Globe Hopping: Ethnic Restaurants Far From Downtown

By Suresh Doss  |  November 15, 2013

From crispy South Indian dosas to Peking duck and rosewater blossom baklava, there's a culinary paradise located outside of the downtown's core, north of Toronto. Here's a list of where you can go to get your ethnic fix.

  • Nilgirs

    Located in Markham, Nilgris features some of the best vegetarian-friendly South Indian food in the greater Toronto area. Foodies come from far and wide for the restaurant's specialty: dosas. Nilgris serves its dosas a number of ways, from plain with a selection of daily chutneys to Masala style (stuffed with curried potatoes) and the popular rava onion dosa (stuffed with roasted onions). Other popular items include the daily thali selection, plain white rice served with a variety of daily chutneys and curries perfect for a dip-and-eat journey. 

    3021 Markham Rd.; 416-412-0024

  • Luxmy Caters

    Located in a lengthy plaza in Scarborough, don't let Luxmy's unassuming digs fool you - this shop serves some of the best Sri Lankan food north of Toronto. The takeout shop specialises in spicy Sri Lankan snacks like mutton rolls, fish stuffed patties and meat cutlets. Once you're done snacking, order the house specialty: mutton kothu string hopper, a spicy Sri Lankan stir-fry tossed with dried mutton curry and a variety of vegetables. Limited seating, so be prepared to grab and go. 

    1849 Lawrence Ave. E.; 416-288-8177

  • Credit: Renée S. Suen

    John's Chinese

    Located in a Richmond Hill plaza that's home to plenty of tasty Vietnamese and Chinese food, John's features a large menu, but the must-try items at the restaurant are Peking duck, whole-steamed fish and pork belly. Go with a group of friends and order all three. Call ahead for the pork dish. 

    328 Hwy. 7 E., Richmond Hill, 905-881-3333

  • Patisserie Royale

    No visit to Scarborough is complete without a stop at this pastry heaven. Although Patisserie Royale features a small selection of Middle Eastern food products, the real highlight here is the vast selection of pastries and sweets. A large window display lists each item that the cafe produces daily. It's impossible to recommend just a few pastries, so the best option is to order by the box (various sizes) and let the friendly staff take you through the selection. Don't forget the rosewater-infused orange blossom baklava, the cafe's signature item, made daily - it runs out fast. 

    1801 Lawrence Ave. East Unit 9; 416-755-6323

  • Allwyn's Bakery

    Located in a plaza in York Mills, blink and you'll miss this tiny family-operated bakery that specialises in baked goods and features some Caribbean dishes that are worth the drive. Jamaican-style patties are made daily and come in a variety of heat levels. These are some of the best patties in the city, so load up on a dozen - they're freezer-friendly. Jerk chicken sandwiches, goat curry and oxtail are all musts. 

    1277 York Mills; 416-391-1757