There's no denying that Toronto has unreal restaurants that are both diverse and eclectic. However, when people think about Markham, what they may not know is that this booming city is also filled with plenty of hidden gems that are so worth the drive. The multicultural population as influenced the food scene here and it's absolutely incredible.
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From Asian to American eats, you can find something for even the pickiest food lover. If you're the kind of person who's more comfortable heading to your favourite bar on Beaver Creek or going through the Tim's drive-through, it's time to shake things up and treat yourself to something new. Especially since the Markham food scene is so worth exploring.
It goes without saying that, Markham has over 21 amazing restaurants worth trying (I mean the list could go on forever) but here are some of my personal top picks if you're looking for a mouthwatering meal.
Smash Kitchen And Bar // 4261 Hwy 7, Unionville
Cuisine style: Upscale American
Menu recommendation: This spot is easily one of my favourite places to eat at in Markham (and no they didn't pay me to say that) but if I could only eat one thing on the menu EVER again, it would have to be the Neptune pizza and a little pro tip, on Monday's they have a $10 pizza deal.
Kiku Japanese Cuisine // 230 Commerce Valley Dr. East
Cuisine Style: Japanese
Menu recommendation: While there are easily over 50 AYCE sushi spots in Markham that are both delicious and cheap, Kiku is one of the nicest places to dine in. The sushi itself is amazing, but make sure you don't leave there without getting something off the dessert menu. My personal favourite is the tiramisu.
Planeta Mexico // 187 Main St Unionville
Cuisine Style: Mexican
Menu recommendation: It's not too easy to find good Mexican eats in Markham, but with Planeta on Unionville Main, you don't have to travel too far. One of my personal must try's on the menu are the shrimp Flautas Rancheras, which are deep fried shrimp tacos. Don't forget to ask for a side of Aztec sauce if you like things spicy.
Ambiyan Restaurant & Bar // 149 Main St Unionville
Cuisine Style: Upscale Indian
Menu recommendation: The perfect spot for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. My go-to is always the Chana Masala with either basmati rice or garlic naan (sometimes both if I'm feeling fun). However, my friends swear by the Butter Chicken or the Lamb Curry.
Inspire Restaurant // 144 Main St N #1, Markham
Cuisine Style: Fusion
Menu recommendation: In a blink and you'll miss it location on Markham Main St., Inspire is easily one of the more unique spots to grab a meal in Markham. Their menu, in general, is a work of art, but my go to orders would either be the Salmon Poke or the Chicken & Waffle.
Ithaca Restaurant // 5308 Highway 7 E., Markham
Cuisine Style: Greek/ Mediterranean
Menu recommendation: Step into Ithaca and you'll easily feel like you've been transported back to Ancient Greece with their beautiful Mediterranean decor. The food is just as authentic, seriously, please don't leave there without trying Tzatziki, Taramosalata, Hummus Taster or the Saganaki Opa as a starter and the Manestra Orzo.
Good Catch Boil House // 179 Enterprise Blvd #109, Markham
Cuisine Style: Seafood
Menu recommendation: One of the newer additions to the Markham food scene, Good Catch is easily becoming a local favourite. Obviously, if you stop in here you'll need to try one of the seafood boils but I personally swear by the Cajun Seafood Fried Rice. Give it a try if you like a little heat.
KaKa All You Can Eat // First Markham Place, 3235 Hwy 7 #18a, Markham
Cuisine Style: Japanese
Menu recommendation: Another great addition to the AYCE sushi spots in Markham, KaKa is easily one of the hardest places to get a reservation - definitely make sure you call ahead. What makes KaKa so popular? Their torch sushi is for sure one of the reasons. Make sure you try all of the options on the menu.
Big Bone BBQ & Wicked Wings // 180 Bullock Dr, Markham
Cuisine Style: Southern BBQ
Menu recommendation: Winners of 50 different BBQ championships, Big Bone knows how to do Southern comfort eats well. Of course, you need to try the ribs, wings and pulled pork but don't forget to ask for a side of corn bread, it's honestly just too good. Plus it tastes just as good reheated the next day as a snack.
Ginger & Onion Cuisine // 7131 Kennedy Rd, Markham
Cuisine Style: Dim Sum
Menu recommendation: This might not be the most secret or unknown spot in Markham (walk in on a Sunday morning and you'll for sure be waiting for an hour) but it definitely qualifies as an amazing spot to eat at. If any of you haven't done Dim Sum before you'll have to give it a shot. The small orders make it un-intimidating to try new things. One of my staples on the menu is always the lotus wrapped sticky rice.
Dragon Legend // 25 Lanark Rd, Markham
Cuisine Style: Asian Buffet
Menu recommendation: If any of you love the Mandarin and are looking for something similar (way better in my opinion), Dragon Legend should be on your bucket list. With a sushi section, a peaking duck area and a stacked dessert table, it's a buffet lovers dream. Be sure to try the freshly made waffles and top it off with a delicious scoop from the ice cream station.
Sansotei Ramen // 3987 Highway 7 East, Markham
Cuisine Style: Japanese
Menu recommendation: Ramen is probably one of the most comforting meals you can have ever, and there's never really a bad time for it. If you're sick of those basic Mr. Noodle bowls, check out Sansotei for some badass ramen selections. My fave? Always the spicy Tan Tan bowl.
Folco’s Ristorante // 42 Main Street Markham N., Markham
Cuisine Style: Italian
Menu recommendation: In one of the more underrated places on Main Street Markham, you've probably passed this place 100 times and maybe thought to yourself that you should stop inside - but seriously, make a reservation ASAP. While you're there order the Meatballs or the Parmesan Cheese Wheel Pasta (FYI - the pasta is handmade freshly every day).
Kobi Korean BBQ Restaurant // 100 Steeles Ave W.
Cuisine Style: Korean
Menu recommendation: It's not a stretch to assume that most people in Markham have tried or at least heard of Korean BBQ. The most known spot is probably Chakos, but if you've been there just one too many times and want to switch things up - head over to Kobi Korean BBQ. Top choices here are either the Stone Pot Hot Soup or the Cheesy Chicken.
Kim Tao Hot Pot // 10 East Wilmot St #10-13
Cuisine Style: Hot Pot
Menu recommendation: If you love AYCE restaurants and don't mind cooking your own food, pop into Kim Tao. I know I'm cheating with this spot a little since it is kind of in Richmond Hill but I'm just going to overlook that. Obviously, you can order anything you like and as much of it as you want but make sure you wash down all that food with the always refreshing lemon ice tea.
Tangerine Asian Cuisine // 7690 Markham Rd #4C, Markham
Cuisine Style: Hakka
Menu recommendation: Hakka is the blend of both Asian and Indian spices coming together to form hot and hearty dishes. At Tangerine, you can indulge in some pretty delicious Hakka food. Give the Chili Chicken or the Manchurian Chicken a try.
Jakes On Main // 202 Main Street Unionville
Cuisine Style: American Bar Fare
Menu recommendation: One of the popular patios in Markham, if you haven't enjoyed some live music and a pitcher at Jakes you're definitely missing out. For any smoked salmon lovers reading this, you just might be into Jake's Smoked Salmon Club.
Bamiyan Kabob // 7760 Markham Rd., Building C, Markham
Cuisine Style: Afghan
Menu recommendation: If you have yet to try Afghan food please drop everything and stop into Bamiyan. Everything on the menu is under $15 and you'll 100% leave feeling full and satisfied. Try any of the Bamiyan famous kabob dinners since they come with naan, rice, and a salad but also if you want to try something different go for the Mantu.
The Owl of Minerva // First Markham Place, 3229 Hwy 7 #7b
Cuisine Style: Korean
Menu recommendation: The Owl of Minerva is located all over the GTA and can easily be considered the McDonalds of Korean cuisine. The flavours and spices are there with most every dish. If you're looking for a classic you can go with the Kimchi JjiGae (Pork Bone Stew) but I love the KimChi BokEumBap (KimChi Fried Rice). Fun fact, you can actually order the KimChi to go and enjoy it at home as a side dish.
Pho Metro // 50 Bur Oak Avenue, Unit 7
Cuisine Style: Vietnamese
Menu recommendation: As most of us already know, there's never really a bad time for Pho, and Pho Metro is one of the cuter spots to get your fix. Located on Kennedy and Bur Oak it's a little more north than most places on the list. However, with the modern decor and the cheap prices, it's for sure worth the drive. While all the beef broth soups are delicious, I highly recommend the Rare Beef Noodle Soup.
Boosters On Main // 175 Main St Unionville
Cuisine Style: Fusion (Asian Pub Fare)
Menu recommendation: A cool spot to eat, drink and lounge; Boosters is an underrated spot on Main Street Unionville for those looking for a low-key night out. To all my fellow oyster lover, do the buck a shuck on Thursdays - it's so worth it. If you aren't a fan of oysters, give the Tiger Salad a try.
Rawlicious // 116 Main St Markham N., Markham
Cuisine Style: Raw/ Vegan
Menu recommendation: Don't be thrown by the fact that Rawlicious caters to the raw/ vegan eaters of the world. This spot is unique and delicious, along with being healthy. If you're not afraid to try something new, order the Zucchini & Kelp Noodles Pad Thai. If you want to keep things nice and safe, go with one of their smoothies, you won't be disappointed.