Toronto’s Best Takeout

Our continuously updated guide to the most deliriously delicious dishes now available for pickup and delivery

As the pandemic continues to put a hold on in-person dining, we’d like to remind you of all the fantastic food available for takeout and delivery. Here, a continually evolving and growing list of the city’s best to-go dishes, from pizza and burgers to at-home omakase kits and five-star tasting menus. Bon appetit, Toronto.

Edulis

When husband-and-wife team Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth launched their five-course, heat-at-home concept near the beginning of the pandemic, they sold out within 12 hours. With a staff of two, they’re offering 190 dinners a week, Friday through Sunday. A plate of prune-and-olive-studded chicken marbella (last popular in 1987) is a sweet and tangy delight, as is a side of poached asparagus blessed by green goddess dressing. A lot of it is retro food made modern, and it’s excellent—even after a spin in the microwave. Pickup only. 169 Niagara St. 416-703-4222, edulisrestaurant.com


Sugo

This red-sauce joint is co-owned by Conor Joerin, who, along with a group of chef pals known as the Marinara Boys, has made it his mission to give back during the pandemic. His honest-to-goodness spaghetti comes in a rich pork-and-veal ragu, topped with a liberal dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It tastes like a hug from nonna, and it’s exactly what we need right now. $15. Available for pickup. 1281 Bloor St. W., 416-535-1717, sugotoronto.com


 

Topol Sandwiches

This North York lunch counter makes honking-big sandwiches stuffed with all kinds of meaty, cheesy and starchy goods. (“Topol” means “fat” or “filling” in Farsi, and they aren’t lying.) The Bomb Lati is packed with a trio of proteins (Persian sausage, fried sausage, deli chicken), mushrooms, potato sticks and mozzarella cheese. The foot-long sammie is then topped with their house sauce and seared on a flat-top grill. It’s more than enough for two hungry people (or one hungry person who likes leftovers). 8 Kingsdale Ave., 416-792-1333, topolsandwich.com


Photo by Daniel Neuhaus

Donna’s

This twee Wallace-Emerson joint is now slinging baked goods, salads, sandwiches and dinner entrees to go. Donna’s beloved ham platter has been retooled for takeout as a simple stack of just four things—ham, pickled shallots, Colman’s mustard and some greens ($13)—and their signature roast beef sandwich piles paper-thin meat marinated in beef fat and honey onto a crusty Portuguese bun with parsnip, watercress and a house horseradish sauce ($15). Pair any of them with a jalapeño-jolted pea salad and the daily freshly squeezed juice or a bottle of Portuguese wine. Available for pickup and delivery. 827 Lansdowne Ave., 416-536-1414, donnas.ca


Harry’s Charbroiled

Not long after closing his popular Parkdale diner, owner Grant van Gameren resurrected it as a pandemic-times pop-up. The menu is limited to four burger options, all served on Martin’s potato rolls: beef, vegan, green chorizo and, our favourite, kicky red chorizo topped with a fat slice of pineapple ($9.99). And don’t forget to order some double-cooked fries, which manage to stay crispy en route ($4.25). Available for pickup and delivery. 293 Palmerston Ave., harrys.customer.chat


 

Aleppo Kebab

Tucked away in a Scarborough strip mall, this small family run restaurant satisfies with heaping plates of Syrian specialities, many of which feature the kitchen’s namesake item: kebabs. The Aleppo kebab beef sandwich is a must-order. Hunks of juicy, charcoal-cooked beef are swaddled in house-made flatbread with tangy pickles and spicy garlic sauce, before a quick trip to the flattop grill to sear in all the goodness. Ask for extra napkins. 1960 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-701-9191, aleppokebab.ca


Wynona

Chef Jeff Bovis isn’t offering any of his usual seasonally driven plates. Instead, he’s selling DIY meal kits: marinated chickens, fresh pastas and sauces, dips, house-stuffed sausages and loaves of their olive-oil-slathered focaccia. Also available are some high-quality deli goodies like applewood-smoked capocollo and heritage eggs. Available for pickup, and for delivery on orders of $100 or more. 819 Gerrard St. E., 416-778-5171, wynonatoronto.com


Le Phénix

Two months after Chantecler caught fire, its temporary sister spot Le Phénix rose from its ashes to serve familiar Franco fare. The half-duck ($30) is still the standout. The kitchen breaks down whole Stouffville-sourced pekin ducks. The legs are cured in citrus zest, thyme and salt, then poached in duck fat. The breasts, meanwhile, are cold-smoked over applewood and finished on the stove, medium-rare. A duck demi-glace, compressed apples and a smattering of hazelnuts bring it all together. Available for pickup and delivery. 1263 Queen St. W., 416-342-1587, lephenixto.com


 

Ghadir Meat and Fish Restaurant

This Scarborough institution wears many delicious hats. It’s a butcher, a baker, and no, not a candlestick maker—but a market, too. It also happens to house two counters serving ready-to-eat meals, one dealing surf and the other specializing in turf. Order some shawarma by weight (so ,judge your hunger accordingly) and some of their house-made markouk, thin and crispy flatbread; or get a whole grilled fish sided with roasted potatoes, rice, pita and hummus. If you’re just feeling kinda snacky, the lahmacun—house-made flatbread slathered with spiced ground beef, onions and tomatoes—is the thing to get. 1848 Lawrence Ave. E., 416-750-7400, ghadirmeatmarket.com


Favorites Thai BBQ

Sour, funky and spicy best describes the flavour-packed Thai bites coming out of the Ossington kitchen that ranked No. 1 on our latest list of best new restaurants. Although a bottle of Singha is perfect for washing down tangy papaya salad dressed in unfiltered fish sauce and birdseye chilis ($18), don’t overlook the excellent wine list, which is packed with crushable, offbeat bottles from small biodynamic producers. A tart-yet-juicy pet nat rosé from Germany’s Pfalz region pairs perfectly with a bowl of duck egg and dried shrimp–strewn pad Thai ($22). Available for pickup and delivery. 141 Ossington Ave., 437-916-9069, myfavethai.com


Skippa

The fancy lunch boxes coming out of this Harbord Village sushi spot marry Canadian produce with luxe Japanese proteins such as Wagyu beef and cherry blossom trout (a fish known for its tender pink flesh). Bento boxes overflow with a forager’s delight of seasonal finds. And the Sakana Box is a gorgeous arrangement of maki and sashimi that comes with specific instructions detailing which bites gets dunked in the house-made shoyu. And the full Trust Skippa experience is among the most gratifying at-home meals one can have right now. $60 and up. Pickup only. 379 Harbord St., 416-535-8181, skippa.ca


 

Latin World

On a stretch of Bloor amidst bars, vintage stores and bike shops, you’ll find this Latin-American market. It’s the place to go if you want to a) stock up on all kinds of fun imported Mexican pantry staples, and b) grab some lunch while you’re at it. There are tacos, of course, but also hearty pozole, chimichangas and tamales Oaxaqueños, masa pockets stuffed with your choice of protein then drizzled with crema and topped with cheese. To drink: ice-cold Jarritos or house-made horchata. 11229 Bloor St. W., 416-603-3311, latinworlddelivery.ca


Labora

Although all of Labora’s paellas are decadent, it’s the seafood one ($35.50) that has us salivating. Smoked paprika–seasoned bomba rice comes topped with grilled octopus, red Argentinian prawns, calamari, artichokes, capers, baby peas and dollops of saffron-lemon aïoli. To preserve the socarrat—that crunchy base—chef Rob Bragagnolo is baking these bad boys in their delivery trays. Available for pickup and delivery. 433 King St. W., 416-260-9993, labora.to


416 Snack Bar

This Queen West watering hole, known for their bar snacks, has blown up their typically tiny dishes. The eggplant parm doubledown—once a three-bite sandwich of tomato, mozzarella di bufala and basil cradled between two quinoa-breaded eggplant rounds—has been super-sized. Slices of pressed-and-salted eggplant are seared, layered with provolone and lemony ricotta and Grana Padano, then roasted. It’s all topped with San Marzano sauce and six eggplant chips ($18). Available for pickup and delivery. 181 Bathurst St., 416-364-9320, 416snackbar.com


 

Sang Ji Fried Bao

Just one of many excellent takeout spots at the base of a North York condo, Sang Ji’s tightly curated menu deals in three things and three things only: dumplings, bao and noodles. But they didn’t put “fried bao” in their name for nothing—the soup-filled, steamed-then-fried buns are the star of the show here. But—just to be fair to the other menu items—grab some wonton soup and scallion oil dry noodles, too. 1 Byng Ave., 647-346-9199, @sangjibaotoronto


Beach Hill Smokehouse

Pitmaster Darien List abides by the Central Texan BBQ Bible: no sticky sauces, just simple rubs and long cook times over crackling logs of red oak. Beef never hits the flames here. It’s indirect heat that makes the 12-hour-smoked brisket juicy beyond compare. Sides are generous, but the kitchen doesn’t lavish attention on them—these meatheads are focused on churning out perfect pink-ringed pork ribs instead. The best deal is the Jurassic Park Cookout, which comes with enough meat to feed a family of six…or four really ambitious carnivores. $125. Available for pickup and delivery. 172 Main St.; 429 Danforth Ave., 416-792-8275, beachhillsmokehouse.com


Pizzeria Du

This plant-based pizza parlour—the offshoot of vegan tasting-menu restaurant Avelo—is particularly secretive about the blend of flours they use to make their dough. Cooked for three minutes at 750°F, their crust has both a springy, pillowy texture and a satisfying crispness. We can’t decide between their most textbook creation—the margherita ($14)—and their least Italian one: a vegan take on a Hawaiian topped with San Marzano–cut barbecue sauce and jackfruit ($15). The cumin-spiced fruit makes for an excellent pulled-pork dupe on this cheerful, pro-pineapple pie. Available for pickup and delivery. 536 Queen St. W., 647-655-7451, pizzeriadu.ca


 

Khao Gaeng

Friends Nina Chaiwisescharoen and Rida Kongkaew specialize in Thai street food and the Long Branch neighbourhood is lucky to have them. Some of their star takeout dishes include refreshing mango salad, crab rangoon, and specialites like pad grab pro kai dao, a deconstructed dish of beef stir-fried with Thai basil, red and green chilies, garlic, bamboo shoots, long beans, and soy and oyster sauces. Mix it all up with the white rice, fried egg and fish sauce it comes with. 3583 Lake Shore Blvd., 647-343-8019, khaogaeng.ca


Patois

In addition to his Jamaican-Chinese soul food menu, chef Craig Wong is serving up heat-at-home care packages. The Full Pack ($149) comes with 10 different dishes, including Jamaican curry black tiger shrimp, a jerk-seasoned rotisserie-roasted chicken, stewed oxtail, beef patties, kimchi Brussels sprouts with Asian pear, fry bread, rice and peas, plantain chips and—because that’s not enough—a rum cake tiramisu. For the full Patois experience, consider treating yourself to a DIY rum punch kit ($45). Available for pickup and delivery. 794 Dundas St. W., 647-350-8999, patoistoronto.com


Maha’s Egyptian Brunch

Pre-pandemic, this east-end brunch spot had a perpetual lineup. These days, getting your mitts on their Egyptian dishes has never been easier. The curtailed takeout menu focuses on things that travel well, like the Taameia Pita ($12), a fluffy pocket stuffed with vibrant-green, fava bean–based falafel seasoned with dill, coriander and cumin, and rolled in sesame seeds before taking a dunk in the fryer. Available for pickup. 226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703, mahasbrunch.com


 

Itacate

Those in the know, head to this not-so-secret spot on St. Clair West for grab-and-go Mexican street food. The family run taqueria tucked away in the back of a butcher shop, the is a go-to spot for expats who want a taste of home and locals who want a really good meal. The tacos here (al pastor, campechano, lengua) are some of the best in the city, but the cocktail de camaron—shrimp cocktail served with Saltine crackers) and the hulking pambazos should not be passed by. 998 St. Clair Ave., 647-701-0420, @itacate_to


Ho Ga Oriental

This kiosk in the Path draws lineups for its pan-Asian classics. Comfort food doesn’t get more satisfying or flavour-packed than a takeout container filled to bursting with spiced bulgogi, crispy katsu or tongue-tingling Korean chicken, sided by a tangle of glass noodles and a mountain of funky kimchi, and with a fried egg on top. Or does it? That depends on how much of the earthy chili sauce you care to squeeze over the whole thing. Our advice: use lots. Bentall-Kennedy Tower, 121 King St. W., 416-368-5555, no website


Little Sister

As one of the founding restaurants of Feed the Frontlines, this Dutch-Indonesian kitchen has been busy slinging plates of spice-forward fried rice, satays and croquettes for hungry health care workers. Chef-owner Michael van den Winkel says they’re making more food than ever. Every dish is a hit—even simple grilled mustard greens are bursting with flavour from sambal oelek and ketjap manis. The semur java is unforgettable: tender pieces of braised clove-and-cumin-spiked short rib swimming in dark soy sauce ($28). Available for pickup and delivery. 2031 Yonge St., 416-488-2031, littlesisterto.com


 

California Sandwiches

For satisfying sandwiches bigger than a toddler’s head, look no further than this lunch counter helmed by the Bertucci family. The star of their menu is undoubtedly the veal sandwich, a breaded and fried cutlet slathered in tomato sauce, and topped with provolone and sweet peppers. If you can’t decide, they offer mini versions of their most popular creations (veal, steak, chicken, veggie) so you can try more than one. SmartCentres Woodbridge, 200 Windflower Gate, 905-856-7779, eatcalifornia.ca


Aloette

Alo’s slightly casual sister restaurant, known for its Asian-flavoured French plates, had to pare down its takeout offerings to dishes that could withstand a drive. Although sea urchin didn’t quite make the cut, the much-Instagrammed lemon meringue pie is on offer alongside yuzu honey–lashed fried chicken and their signature burger. It’s a comforting stack: a flat-top-cooked chuck-and-brisket patty blanketed in Beaufort cheese and tucked into a cloud-light potato bun ($20). Available for pickup and delivery. 163 Spadina Ave., 416-260-3444, aloetterestaurant.com


Union

For the last 11 years, this Ossington stalwart has stayed fresh by offering an ever-changing menu of seasonally driven bistro plates. Union’s new takeout options stick to the restaurant’s greatest hits, including what may be Toronto’s most perfect meat-and-potatoey salad: butter lettuce tossed in Niagara pinot noir vinaigrette, accompanied by two thick-cut slices of double-smoked Hoffman’s bacon, a big dollop of goat cheese and a rosti that’s fried to golden, crispy perfection. Available for pickup; limited menu available for delivery. 72 Ossington Ave., 416-850-0093, union72.ca


 

One2Snacks

This teeny family-run kitchen in a Scarborough strip mall is possibly the closest thing to a Kuala Lumpur hawker stall this side of Malaysia. An order of their char kway teow brings a Styrofoam takeout container spilling over with fat and saucy rice noodles, plump shrimp, bean sprouts, and egg. Be prepared to line up, but it’s worth the wait.Note: Bring cash, they don’t accept any kind of plastic. 8 Glen Watford Dr., #8, 647-340-7099, no website


Oddseoul

Since 2012, Leeto Han’s Ossington snack bar has been churning out Korean-American comfort food that doesn’t shy away from cheese, mayo or the deep fryer. Our favourites are the Loosey ($9)—a kimchi hollandaise-baptised Big Mac—and the kitchen’s take on poutine ($10), which drowns hunks of squash in curried gravy, more kimchi, Kewpie mayo and cheese curds. Available for pickup and delivery. 90 Ossington Ave., @to_oddseoul


Touch

This Indian restaurant at the eastern edge of the Path is a gem. It has all the charm of a food court—fluorescent lighting, styrofoam plates—but you aren’t here for the ambiance. You’re here to get a not-sad-desk lunch of lamb curry, beef vindaloo or palak paneer. We suggest ordering a thali—like an Indian TV dinner—with a choice of two meat or veg plus rice or naan. Also good: a kathi roll, Frisbee-sized naan wrapped around cubes of tender chicken tikka topped with lettuce, onions and a lashing of raita. If you ask for it spicy, make sure to tack a cooling mango lassi on to your order. Dynamic Funds Tower, 1 Adelaide St. E., 416-364-4203, no website


 

Istar

Conveniently open 24 hours and 365 days a year, this Somali restaurant in Rexdale is perfect for late-night munchies. Stuff yourself silly with dishes like sambusa (house-made beef or fish samosas), sabayat hukum (a Somali breakfast wrap with seasoned scrambled eggs and cheese in house-made flatbread and either chicken, beef or salmon), hilib suqaar (braised beef with potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers), and house-made milk cake laced with coconut, milk and caramel. 235 Dixon Rd., 416-247-5624, istarrestaurant.com


Pearl Harbourfront

Pearl’s dim sum isn’t quite the same without the view of Lake Ontario and the trundle of dumpling-laden carts passing by, but there’s something indulgent about enjoying it whenever you damn well please. Their shumai ($9) are bursting with pork and topped with impressively sized shrimp, and their har gow ($10), enveloped in silk-thin rice wrappers, are packed with plump prawns. Available for pickup and delivery. 207 Queen Quay W. (upstairs), 416-203-1233, pearlharbourfront.ca


Lake Inez

It’s easy enough, relatively speaking, to put together a five-course meal for takeout. It’s harder to package everything else that makes a restaurant meal feel like an escape: the lighting, the scents, the wine list, the music. So along with its weekly takeout meals, Lake Inez might throw in a thimble of aromatic essential oils for diffusing, or a candle to create that special-occasion feeling, along with a bottle of funky natural wine and a curated Spotify playlist that echoes its Little India dining room—from Billy Ocean to the Clash to RZA. It all works because the food is equally creative: chef Jay Moore has cooked everything from precise fine dining (at Ursa and Shoto) to no-nonsense barbecue (at J and J), so it’s not a stretch when he hops from a fried chicken picnic menu one week to an alpine spread of fondue, tartiflette, schnitzel and apple-almond streusel cake with cinnamon custard the next. 1471 Gerrard St. E., 416-792-1590, lakeinezto.com


 

Baghlan Kabob and Bakery

The Rexdale outpost of this Afghani kitchen offers a diverse range of dishes, substantial meal deal platters, kebabs, signature combos and daily specials for $10 or less. Best bets include their tender butter chicken, juicy lamb chops, minced beef kebabs and shawarma wraps—ask for it with fries inside. And be sure to load up on plenty of soft naan, as well as extra house chutney and yogurt dip. For a sweet finish, tack on an order of firnee custard (an almond, cardamom and coconut pudding) or baklava. 32 Rexdale Blvd., 416-401-0120, baghlankabob.ca


Tinuno

This pint-sized restaurant has only ever served one thing: kamayan, a hands-on Filipino feast that feeds up to three people. The cutlery-free spread layers rice on top of banana leaves, which is then piled high with pork skewers, pork belly, mussels, shrimp, grilled tilapia, milkfish and squid. The roughage is scarce—there are a few spears of okra and a bit of eggplant—but one meal without veggies won’t cause scurvy ($36). Available for pickup and delivery. 31 Howard St., 647-343-9294, tinunothirtyone.com


Gus Taqueria

Last year, La Chilaca—a taco stand operating out of a cramped Kensington Market food court—opened up an unfussy sister restaurant just down the street. The options (barbacoa, pastor, carnitas) are by-the-book taqueria, but the quality is above par: handmade tortillas that sop up juices while maintaining their integrity, and perfectly spiced salsa that range from mild to tongue-searing. Get some to go (and pack a cerveza or two) for a park picnic. $4.50-$5.50. Available for pickup and delivery. 225 Augusta Ave. and 616 Gladstone Ave., 416-977-8226, tacosgus.ca


 

East Court and Mike’s BBQ

Get massive meals of Chinese barbecue—all for $10 or less—at chef Jack Tsoi’s restaurant tucked away in a Scarborough strip mall. It’s a go-to spot for takeout containers full to bursting with fatty char siu, crispy pork, glazed chicken and glistening roast duck on your choice of rice or noodles. Bring cash, you’re gonna need it. 4400 Sheppard Ave E., 416-609-2388 or 416-526-7688, @eastcourtbbq


Bar Isabel

Regardless of the speed of the vaccine rollout, it’s going to be a while before we’re rushing to share small plates over cocktails in a packed tapas bar. In the meantime, College Street’s Bar Isabel, the city’s foremost landmark for communal Iberian dining, is packaging Spanish dinners that evoke sherry-soaked late-night meals in San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menu features Isabel standards like the sea bream ceviche, brimming with citrus acidity, ripe avocado richness and chili heat; and grilled Spanish octopus in a lemon-butter sauce. After a quick stint in the oven, it’s a revelation. (Who knew seafood could reheat so well?) A vanilla Basque cake is included for dessert, with sherry cream that needs to heat for a few minutes in a saucepan—and if pouring your own glaze over a piece of cake isn’t a brief cure for the late-winter doldrums, nothing will be. 797 College St., 416-532-2222, exploretock.com/barisabel


Alo

Toronto’s fanciest restaurant—which is equally lauded for Patrick Kriss’s fastidious French plates as it is for its service—is now offering takeout: five-course prix-fixe meals that have included dishes like braised veal shank, Italian burrata with an asparagus salad, and saffron risotto. $65 per person, plus supplements. Available for pickup. 163 Spadina Ave., 416-260-2222, alorestaurant.com


Dandylion

It took a global pandemic to get this social media–shy Queen West restaurant on Instagram. Each week, chef-owner Jason Carter posts a new multi-course menu. All orders come with sourdough and house-made fromage blanc, but the main courses range wildly. One week, it’s roast cod with red pepper, rapini and green olives; the next, it’s barbecue brisket with coleslaw, a Thai shrimp salad, or a gorgeously fat-marbled hunk of seared pork shoulder topped with blackened poblano peppers. $30-$40. Available for pickup. 1198 Queen St. W., 647-464-9100, @dandylionrestaurant


Richmond Station

This Financial District favourite is now offering their menu for takeout or delivery, including chef Carl Heinrich’s Station Burger. The popular patty has been on the restaurant’s menu since day one, and for good reason. An organic, grass-fed patty comes topped with aged cheddar, crunchy iceberg lettuce, sweet beet chutney, pickled onions and a garlic aîoli on a squishy house-made milk bun. And if that’s not enough protein for you, Richmond Station is also selling to-go charcuterie boards loaded with all kinds of house-made and -cured meats. 1 Richmond St. W., 647-748-1444, richmondstation.ca


Pai

The menu at Pai—one of chef and co-owner Nuit Regular’s many Thai restaurants—focuses on the dishes from the northern region of the country, where Regular grew up. Just about everything on the takeout menu is a hit, but must-orders include the pad Thai; gaeng massaman curry, tender chunks of braised beef and potato in a peanut-tamarind sauce, topped with crispy shallots; and the pad gra prow, basil wok-tossed with ground pork, crispy pork, chicken, beef or tofu, and served with jasmine rice, a fried egg and nam prik pla, a spicy, sweet and tangy Thai sauce. 18 Duncan St., 416-901-4724; 2335 Yonge St., 416-901-4724, paitoronto.com


Dailo

You can now enjoy Nick Liu’s New Asian dishes in the comfort of your own home. And while your living room may not be able to compete with the restaurant’s fun and funky atmosphere, at least the food will be the same. The DaiLo tasting menu to-go, available on Tock for pickup or delivery, changes weekly but may include crispy octopus tacos, trout on truffled fried rice and dim sum, a trio of fun bites like Hakka shiu mai and Liu’s popular Bic Mac Bao. 503 College St., 647-341-8882, dailoto.com


Uno Mustachio

It’s a little-known fact that Uno Mustachio, the St. Lawrence Market’s popular Italian hot table, has a second location: a beacon of light in the Atrium on Bay’s little underground food court. Look past the pizzas and pastas, and go straight to the sandwiches. Ask for the veal with everything (a crispy cutlet topped with mozzarella, tomato sauce, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms and jalapeños) and, for an extra dollar, make it a Godfather (that’s Mustachio-speak for the addition of fried eggplant). Weighing in at what feels like three pounds, this Brobdingnagian sandwich is big enough for two and one of the best bangs for your buck in the Path. Atrium on Bay, 595 Bay St., 647-352-8325, @mustachio_to