Poutine might have famously originated in Quebec, but this is one iconic delicacy that has proliferated all across Toronto. Found at dedicated poutineries, hot dog vendors, fish n’ chip shops and pubs, the combination of golden fries, squeaky curds, and hot gravy are classic Canadian comfort food that this city does oh so well.
Here are my picks for where to get a great poutine in Toronto by neighbourhood.
With a smattering of locations throughout Quebec and just one outpost here in Toronto, Poutineville is home to a menu of entirely customizable poutine. Start with your choice of potatoes, including regular cut, julienned, crushed, or sweet, then select from over 10 types of cheese, five types of gravy and seemingly endless combinations of toppings.
Fancy Franks does 10 different types of poutine that include a traditional ($5.75) version with squeaky curds and gravy, then veers into unusual territory with options like the Kimchi & Noodles ($9) loaded with spicy cabbage, crunchy egg noodles, teriyaki sauce, curds, gravy, sesame seeds and green onions.
Oh Boy! Burger does a classic poutine ($5.95) with curds and gravy plus an Irish Poutine ($7.95) smothered with curry gravy, corned beef and cheese curds.
Poutine ($5/$7) at Let’s Be Frank starts with a base of well seasoned Yukon Gold fries layered with fresh curds that’s blanketed in the house hot dog gravy. For something meatier, try the pulled pork topped poutine ($6.50/$9) finished with barbecue sauce and scallions.
Off the Hook is a chippy on Broadview that serves up La Poutine ($6/$8) with vegan gravy, plus gourmet options like the O.T.H ($7/$9) featuring sweet potato fries with spicy gravy, brie and a couple of onion rings.
Operating out of an upcycled shipping container in Market 707, Nom Nom Nom Crepes is home to one of Toronto’s best and most authentic poutine offerings. Run by an ex-Montrealer, this poutine ($6) is a straight-up classic that starts with red skinned potatoes, fresh curds and gravy imported direct from Quebec.
Longbranch Fish & Chips does three types of poutine; a regular option ($5.95), one with chili ($7.95), and another with pulled pork ($7.95). Each order is massive and layered with fries, cheddar and mozzarella curds alongside beef gravy, so that you’ll find good stuff all the way through.
The roast duck poutine ($18.50) is one of the most famous offerings at Bannock. The personal-sized pie comes layered with fries and curds topped with caramelized onions and duck confit.
Fresco’s Fish and Chips does the Quebequois staple with a choice of cheddar curds and deep gravy or daiya cheese with mushroom gravy. Order the small poutine for $4.50 or the large for $9.
Porchetta and Co. doesn’t veer too far from tradition with its poutine, though it’s made extra special with pork drippings incorporated into the gravy and crackling to top it off.
The short rib poutine ($11) is a standout on the menu at Tesla Cafe. This meal-sized portion of fries comes topped with braised beef short rib, Ontario cheese curds, red wine gravy and addictive pickled red onions.
What makes the poutine at the Leslieville Pumps so special is the deep, rich gravy made from the surplus jus from the meats that come out of the on-site smoker. Squeaky orange and white cheese curds can’t hurt, nor does the option to order it classic ($5.97) or loaded with extra protein like pulled pork, brisket, chili or baked beans ($8.84-$10.61)
Utopia Cafe does classic poutine with cheese curds and veggie gravy ($6) plus gourmet variations including one topped with sauteed mushrooms, and goat cheese ($8) and another loaded with shaved bits of roasted leg of lamb, brie and gravy ($9).
Smoke’s Poutinerie is all about adding big bold flavours over a base of fries, curds and gravy. Have poutine here topped with pierogi, pulled pork, steak fajita, and more.
For a particularly tasty take on fusion poutine, head to Nawab Fusion Grill. This Indian pub does poutine ($9) smothered with butter chicken sauce in lieu of gravy and a veg version doused in spinach cream sauce.
BQM offers the iconic Quebecois dish in all its traditional cheesy, gravy cover glory ($6), plus the Palmer Poutine ($7) embellished with caramelized onions and bacon.
The namesake poutine ($9.95) at The Rebel House doubles up on the cheese with fresh cheddar curds and smoked mozzarella that gets extra gooey under a generous helping of hot house-made gravy.
Come and Get It lets diners mix and match flavours and formats and poutine is easily among the most popular options. Have any poutine featuring fresh curds and scratch-made gravy ($8.75/full, $5.25/mini) loaded with a choice of seven different flavours including options like mango jerk chicken, coconut shrimp, and chipotle pulled pork (to name just a few).
The menu at Mama’s Boys Burgers boasts classic poutine ($6.75) with ultra hot gravy over curds and crispy fries in addition to one loaded with saucy slow-cooked pulled pork ($8.75).
ST. CLAIR WEST
Sea Witch & Chips is no stranger when it comes to great chips, which naturally forms the base of any great poutine. Have the classic poutine ($8) with proper curds and piping hot beef gravy, or opt for the fish poutine ($13) with battered nuggets of deep fried fish weaved throughout.
No Bull Burger on Kingston Road does the eponymous No Bull Poutine, including a classic Montreal-style offering ($6/$9) with optional vegetarian gravy, or fully loaded versions like the Poutine Supreme ($8/$10) with bacon, sour cream and chives.
WEST QUEEN WEST
Poutini’s House of Poutine is a devoted poutine purveyor offering traditional poutine ($5.30/$7.30) with a choice of beef, vegetarian, or gluten-free gravy over fresh curds. Add on bacon and maple syrup ($7/$10), smoked meat ($7.74/$10.74) or pulled pork ($7/$10), or go for the Layered Poutine ($7.52/$9.29) with an extra layer of cheese curds in the middle.
YONGE & BLOOR
The poutine at Slab Burgers features fresh cut Yukon Gold fries loaded with Quebec cheese curds and finished with a beefy house gravy that smacks with a hint of bacon. Go classic ($5.59) or choose from half a dozen riffs including the Hotter Than Hell Poutine ($6.99) that’s topped with Cajun seasoning, banana peppers and jalapeños.
YONGE & DUNDAS
Bareburger might be a chain out of the U.S. but here the sit-down burger restaurant adapts to local customs with a respectable offering of fries doused in gravy and curds ($9.95) with optional slices of smoky brisket (+$3.85) available for an upgrade.
YONGE & ST. CLAIR
Holy Chuck Burgers might be best known for its over-the-top beef patties on a bun, but the indulgences don’t end there. Try the $30 foie gras poutine for the ultimate gourmet riff – it even comes topped with fresh white truffles.