Food Tour: Kensington Krawl
I got the chance to go on my first food tour by winning a pair of tickets through Hailo Toronto. Savour Toronto provides food tours, culinary experiences and culinary events for Torontonians and tourists since 2013. The tickets I received were for the Kensington Krawl. This tour focuses on finding hidden gems and on the history of Kensington Market. There are a total of 13 stops, seven of which are food stops and the rest are for quick history lessons.
The first place we started off was at Cheese Magic. We got to sample four types of cheese, which I really loved. After, we got to visit Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli. It's a gourmet shop with many canned preserves, sauces, and pickled items. They also sell fresh pasta and deli sandwiches. My boyfriend loved the fresh ginger beer there. We got to sample sandwiches and pickled food. The sandwiches were yummy!
Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli
Next, we headed to Sanagan's Meat Locker and learned more about this upscale butcher shop. We tried various sliced meats. Everything in the shop is locally sourced from Ontario farms. Shortly after, we had a couple of historic stops to learn more about Kensington.
Sanagan's Meat Locker
Next was the Kensington Lodge. It is a historical building that has been renovated into a bar. I got to try the Antigravity, which is an American Blonde Ale from Flying Monkeys. My boyfriend ordered the Maple Whiskey Sour (hopefully I remembered the name correctly because I didn't write it down), which I thought was absolutely delicious. It didn't taste like alcohol but more like a fruity beverage, which I really liked.
Kensington Lodge, Antigravity (left) and Maple Whiskey Sour (Right)
Once we were done with the patio and alcoholic drinks, we headed over to Akram's Shoppe. It's a store that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine and sells a variety of grocery items for customers to take home. There was an assortment of sweets and each person on the tour got to try two pieces of their choice. I personally want to go back if I am ever craving shawarma or falafel because it is super cheap there ($2-$3)!
Once we satisfied our sweet tooth, we headed over to Carlos' House of Spice. Perfect for anyone who loves to add herbs and spices to their cooking. Each person got a bag of dried mango slices (all made fresh). My boyfriend absolutely loved them and finished them as quickly as he had received them. Once we got out of there, we took a walk around Kensington and our guides went over four historical spots. Our last stop, and my favourite, was at Jelly Modern Doughnuts. I always wanted to try it out, but knowing it being a gourmet doughnut shop, I always skipped out because of the price. But alas! This food tour allowed each person a doughnut of their choice. I went for the large S'mores doughnut and my boyfriend went for large Coconut doughnut. Mine was delicious! I can't wait to go back because I got a coupon for a free doughnut and coffee!
Jelly Modern Doughnut
My favourite food stops were: Cheese Magic, Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli, Kensington Lodge, and Jelly Modern Donuts. My boyfriend favourite stop was Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli since the ginger beer sample really surprised him by how delicious it was. He also quite enjoyed the sandwiches as well.
The Kensington Krawl is $55+HST that lasts for three hours. Asides from the samples, the price includes for a full size alcoholic drink and a gourmet doughnut. I think the price is a bit expensive, but then again I've never been on a food tour before so I cannot compare it with others. I think it's a good tour to go on if you are a tourist and would like to learn more about one of Toronto's many diverse communities. Also perfect for the foodie out there who would like to discover some new favourite shops.