Eat Around the World in Riverside

Short of pemmican stew and vegemite sandwiches, pretty much all of the flavours of the world can be sampled at eateries right here in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood.

Whisk yourself away for a couple of hours to Hanoi, Florence, or Mumbai. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos or truffle mac and cheese, Riverside’s restaurants have a world of international dishes to sample! Here are a few faves to check out:

White Lily Diner

There’s nothing quite as Canadian — or as sweet—as maple syrup, eh? Try this liquid gold drizzled over a stack of three delicious buttermilk griddle cakes, chase it with a classic ceasar, and get your donuts to go.

Prohibition Gastrohouse 

For elevated American style comfort foods made from scratch like chicken fried ribs (glazed in whiskey), this Queen Street East gastrohouse it all including a few south of the border specialties like nachos and new kee-two-tartare tacos.

Caribbean Sunset

When it comes to Island eats, look no further than this tiny restaurant for authentic Caribbean dishes like jerk roti, Jamaican patties, sweet plantains, and the most savory spiked coconut cocktail you’ll ever try.

La Carnita

This stylish Mexican restaurant and bar in Riverside is proof that everything tastes better in a taco. Try the crispy cotija taco stuffed with cheese, cauliflower, pinto beans, pickled carrots, chipotle sauce, green onion, and cilantro. New house creations rotate daily.

Lucky Star

Eat in, Pick it up, or ask for delivery. This old-school Chinese restaurant is great when you’re on the run and craving the best chicken-fried-rice (and at the best price!) east of the Don River.


From the mouthwatering fish masala and butter chicken to perfectly spiced lamb curry and paneer tikka, this tiny Queen Street East take-out restaurant promises a taste of India with every bite. Try the milk dumping dipped in sugar syrup and rose water for desert.

Sushi Bar 

For a taste of Japan, this spacious sushi restaurant in Riverside boasts an extensive menu featuring authentic Japanese dishes like tempura, udon, teriyaki, bento boxes, and a wide variety of classic and creative sushi rolls. If you like seafood, try the CN Tower roll.

KABOOM Chicken 

Crispy, crunchy and totally worth every calorie, the Korean fried chicken at this Riverside eatery will make your taste buds go kaboom. Each piece is glazed in house-made sweet chili sauce and best served with a side of kimcheesy fries.

LAN Restaurant 

With authentic and savoury Vietnamese dishes like grilled fresh prawns, spicy beef salad, yellow curry chicken, and dozens more, this Queen Street East restaurant brings old Hanoi to life in Riverside. Spicy dishes are best paired with a lychee smoothie.

Bonjour Brioche

All it takes is one bite out of a mouthwatering butter croissant to see why this Parisian inspired bakery and cafe in Riverside is one hottest brunch spots in the city. In the summer, you can enjoy your breakfast on the patio with a lovely view of Queen Street.

Il Ponte

A trip to Italy has never been so quick. This stylish restaurant, with a patio looking out to the Riverside Bridge (yep, ‘il ponte’ means bridge in Italian) and Don River, features a variety of Italian dishes including a signature gourmet pizza topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola, fresh figs, and prosciutto. It’s delizioso.


Whether you order juicy lamb skewers, falafel in a pita, fried eggplant, or Fattüsh salad, you’re in for a flavourful meal at this exotic Middle Eastern restaurant and foodie favourite on Queen Street East. Enjoy the lively back patio in the summer!


Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series giving you the inside scoop on Riverside, Toronto. Read other blogs in the series: Riverside PatiosPlaces to Stay in RiversideBrunch SpotsHealth & Wellness in Riverside,  Kid-Friendly RiversideEvent & Catering SpotsRiverside ChefsSelf-Care in RiversideIt’s Easy Being Green in Riverside, and The Dirt on Gardening in Riverside.