Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kensington Market, Toronto

One of the sojourns while here in Toronto was to the Kensington Market.
It is surely one of the most vibrant and diverse places in Toronto. It can be called the 'khau gali' of Toronto but offering much more than just food.
On entering, the Market looks deceptively small. You'd be dismayed by the few options and hoping that there are more inside. And were there more?!
Kensington Market is bounded by Nassau Street, Spadina Avenue, College Street and Dundas Street on its four sides. It abounds with restaurants, eateries and patios offering cuisines of many countries....Moroccan, Tex-Mex, Middle Eastern, Italian, Latin American, Chinese, Indian... and even three vegetarian restaurants! There are many beer & wine shops spread across the Market.
On a leisurely trip, we sauntered along, planning to first assess the market and then decide on what to have. Soon we realized that viewing and remembering the selection was not as easy as we thought. So, we started with a soup in one of the vegetarian eateries. Continuing on our journey, we next had a cheese garlic bread. Priced at $ 3.50, it was a foot long .Warm from the oven, it exuded a heavenly baked taste.

Cheese garlic bread, Kensington Market
After  a 45 minute walk, we went to an Asian eatery where we ordered a salad. The salad, though exorbitantly priced at $11, was a splendid example of how fresh, tasty and crunchy a salad can be. Apart from the many vegetables, it also came with sesame seeds, and the crunch of Ramen noodles.

Asian Salad, Kensington Market

Further on our journey, we discovered an alley that encouraged graffiti. Among the many graffiti on the streets was this one that took our breath away.

Graffiti, Kensington Market

In front of the spectacular wall was this car in which grass and plants were allowed to grow. From what I discovered later, the graffiti on the car is changed every once in a while.

Graffiti, Kensington Market

The meandering walk took us to the adjoining China Town. We entered the street and saw the many Chinese eateries and clothes. Not really in the mood to explore further, we turned back to the Market and walked into a bakery to have churros priced at $1.25. After another 30-minute walk, we entered our last eatery for the day, a gelato shop which offered two scoops for $5. The variety of gelatos and yogurts were amazing.
We walked eagerly into a restaurant named, 'Vegetarian Restaurant' and discovered to our great amusement that their 'vegetarian' concept included the sea food as well! Well, new things to be learned from new places.
For the wine and meat lovers, the  Kensington Market offers mind-blowing options.The market also abounds with the freshest vegetables and fruits that range from the most common to the most unconventional choices.
There were other shops that dealt with clothes, spices, natural products, incenses, tattoos etc.
Towards evening, we viewed a small band of three singing and playing on their instrument, catering to the requests of the audience.

Music, Kensington Market
On Sunday evenings, we were told, that the street remains closed to vehicles and entertaining acts are performed.
Two things I'd suggest: Go with an empty stomach and a full pocket. The place is not inexpensive.