I Tried The 3 Best Jamaican Patties In Toronto As A First-Timer & The Winner Was Obvious (VIDEO)
I'll definitely be going back for more!
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
People in Toronto just love Jamaican patties. As a Middle Eastern woman, it was never something I was curious about. But, since moving to the 6ix it's all I've heard people talk about.
Honestly, I didn't need to add more items to my daily cravings list. But I caved, and now here we are. If DJ Khalid, my fellow Arab, loves them, then maybe I'll enjoy them too.
Also with Caribana happening in Toronto this weekend, it makes sense to try and settle the debate on where to find the best Jamaican patties in Toronto, especially when you're going to need the fuel half way through the day.
I Tried The Best Jamaican Patty Spots In Toronto According To Locals
So, a few months ago, Narcity put up a poll on Instagram, and you told us what your favourite go-to Jamaican patty spots were in Toronto, and I chose the top three recommended places for my taste test.
Interestingly enough, I thought I'd be hitting up some TTC subway stations, but that was not a fan favourite, which came as a shock to me. Instead, all three spots were in downtown Toronto.
Something to note is I actually had no idea what I was getting myself into, nor do I know what to compare the patties to. So, naturally, I thought they would be something similar to an Indian samosa, crispy on the outside and full of flavour on the inside — I was wrong.
I started my adventure at Kensington Market's famous Golden Patty spot. Then, I went to Patties Express in the PATH and ended up at Allwyn's Bakery on Queen Street West.
After visiting all three spots and trying the patties with an open mind, I finally concluded how I felt about this Toronto delicacy.
Golden Patty in Kensington Market.
Address: 187 Baldwin St., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: As the most recommended place in our Narcity poll, this was definitely a favourite among Jamaican Patty spots.
This was the moment I had been waiting for, trying my first-ever patty. The anticipation was rising as I walked into the store, got overwhelmed with the options and quickly ran out. But, the door never stayed shut; that's how I know that people loved this Kensington Market spot.
My first thought was how cheap the patty cost! Like, $2.35? I've never bought food this cheap in my life!
Once I got this warm Jamaican patty in my hand, I took my first bite and wow, did it bring up many questions. Like, what is is it supposed to taste like, how was it soft and crispy at the same time, what were the herbs used on the beef?
From the looks of it, the coating seemed cruispy especially when it was crumbling in the bag, but when I took a bite I instantly told myself "Wait, it's not supposed to be crispy?" That absolutly shocked me.
I took another bite with an open mind and started tasting the Jamaican flavours in the meat and could finally see the appeal, but I felt as thought there just wasn't enough meat, in my opinion, and would have loved a bit more.
Overall, I think this was a pretty good place to start and it seems like a great place for Jamaican patty take out.
Allwyn's Bakery on Queen Street West.
Address: 404 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Allwyn's Bakery is very popular in Toronto; there are many locations in the GTA, and they are reviewed highly on Google.
This spot was quite popular on Queen Street West. Delivery people were walking in and out along with people in the area.
Other than patties, the menu was filled with Jamaican favourites such as Oxtail stew, Jerk Chicken sandwich and Curry Goat. But, people were still ordering Jamaican patties, so I was excited to try them.
This time, the patty cost $2.85, and the meat felt more peppery and less crispy compared to the other spots, which was excellent, and their dough was not as flaky but more doughy, which I liked.
That might not be how most people like it because oftentimes its described as having a crisp but oddly, I still liked it. However, it ranks similar to Golden Patty because it was more expensive and the packaging and experience was pretty similar.
3. Patties Express
Patties Express in The PATH
Address: 65 Queen St. W. Unit BG0150, Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: This Jamaican patty spot is located conveniently in the PATH and it's open every day.
Some of you Toronto Metropolitan University students might remember it being on Elm Street, but it relocated to the underground world of Toronto.
For $2.52, the Jamaican patty was hot, like hot, hot! And I could smell the aromas from a few feet away, hence my excitement to run over there and give this a shot.
Here, the meat was so juicy and flavourful that I finally felt like I knew what people were raving about. The patty dough itself was also flaky and doughy, which made it a perfect combination.
The patty had a balance between the amount of meat in there and the dough that wrapped it, creating mouthwatering pauses between each bite. YUM!
This was definitely the winner of my taste test and I can't wait to go back.
So, here's the thing, I found myself constantly comparing it to something crispier and meatier, so each spot was kind of disappointing to me when I left. But, when it came to choosing one spot as my favourite, Patties Express was the clear winner by far.
It had the perfect balance of meat, flavour and dough crust, which made it enjoyable. I definitely ate it the fastest without much thought, but the only bad thing about it was trying to find the store. I was on a treasure hunt in an underground world that I wasn't very used to.
In second and third place would be Allwyn's Bakery and Golden Patty.
But in terms of flavour, I'd choose Allwyn's Bakery over Golden Patty because I immensely enjoyed the peppery meat flavour and thicker outer shell.
Whereas, Golden Patty was the cheaper option, but not by much.
Overall, it wasn't a bad experience, and I would probably have a Jamaican patty in the future, but this experience was certainly not what I was expecting.