Two people sitting on the ground eating poutine

The Best Poutine in Toronto, Eh!

Published: June 21, 2024

Move over, Montreal!

If you're a poutine fan, Toronto might just have what you’re looking for. Toronto takes its food seriously and has a thriving culinary scene from all over the world.

With trains running every 15 minutes, whisking you between Pearson Airport and downtown Toronto in as little as 25 minutes, why not indulge in the city's culture by trying out some of its best poutine spots?

From traditional to gourmet, UP Express has scoured the streets to bring you the ultimate guide to the best poutine in Toronto. So, grab a fork, get ready to dig in, and let's explore all the cheesy, crispy, and gravy goodness that Toronto has to offer!

Poutine – a classic Canadian dish

Poutine, fries with gravy and cheese in a paper container

If you're looking for a delicious and unique Canadian dish that satisfies your every craving, look no further than a poutine! Originating from the French-speaking province of Quebec, this dish consists of fresh deep-fried French fries and cheese curds smothered in hot gravy, resulting in a gooey, soft, and hearty meal. The best part? It can be customized with additional toppings such as bacon, sausage, or vegetables. Poutine has become a cultural icon in Canada and is loved by locals and tourists. Poutine is Canada's must-try comfort food if you are visiting for the first time.

While Montreal is often called the poutine capital of Canada, Toronto has quickly emerged as a serious contender. Many of the city's restaurants have put their twist on this classic dish, resulting in innovative and delicious blends. Whether you're a poutine expert or simply looking for a new culinary experience, we’ve listed some of the best spots for those visiting Toronto for the first time.

The best traditional poutine spots

Close up shot of poutine, fries with cheese curds covered in gravy

The combination of crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and hot beef-gravy is a match made in heaven, offering a deliciously indulgent and comforting meal. It's a classic dish that's easy to make but hard to perfect. When done right, it's an experience that can't be beaten. Check out some of these restaurants for the best traditional poutine in the city.

Loose Moose / Antler Room – 146 Front Street West, Toronto, ON

Nearest UP Express station: Union Station

Loose Moose / Antler Room is a restaurant near Union Station in Toronto known for offering traditional poutine with a unique twist. Their signature dish, Loose Moose Poutine, consists of crispy fries, cheese curds, and a generous serving of hot gravy. The poutine is delicious due to the perfect combination of meat-forward gravy and extra-crispy fries. It's a must-try for anyone who loves traditional poutine or wants to experience a different take on the classic Canadian dish.

Nom Nom Nom Poutine - 707 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON

Nearest UP Express station: Bloor Station

Nom Nom Nom Poutine might not look little from the outside, but the food truck's attention to detail and commitment to the only thing on the menu, poutine, makes their traditional poutine stand high above other poutine spots in Toronto. Nom Nom Nom Poutine uses fresh and squeaky cheese curds, and the gravy is rich and savoury without being too heavy. The fries are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, creating the perfect base for any topping you may require – though, with how good this poutine is, why mess with the classic?

The best unique poutine spots in Toronto

A poutine in a paper box - fries with cheese covered with jerk chicken shredded with gravy

Toronto’s culinary landscape has given rise to unique and innovative variations of this beloved dish, each offering a different twist on the traditional recipe. From Korean-style poutine with kimchi and bulgogi to Jamaican jerk chicken poutine, the city's diversity comes alive through the different poutines you can find here. Check out some of the best below:

Poutine from around the world at Smoke’s Poutinerie – multiple locations

Nearest UP Express station: Union Station

Smoke’s Poutinerie is a Canadian chain specializing in poutine and has been expanding rapidly all over the country in recent years. What sets Smoke’s Poutinerie apart is their creative and unique approach to the classic dish. They offer multiple variations of poutine from around the world, each with its own distinct flavour profile. From Butter Chicken to Bacon Cheeseburger, at Smoke’s Poutinerie, you can travel the world without leaving the restaurant!  They also have vegetarian and vegan options, making it an inclusive and diverse restaurant for even the most picky eater. If you're looking for something new and exciting in the world of poutine, Smoke's Poutinerie is the perfect place to start your journey.

BBQ poutine at Leslieville Pumps - 913 Queen Street E, Toronto, ON

Nearest UP Express station: Union Station

The Leslieville Pumps is a gas station turned restaurant that offers a fantastic BBQ Poutine unlike anything else in the city. This poutine is unique because it features crispy fries, juicy pulled pork, melted cheese curds, and tangy BBQ sauce, all topped with a dollop of sour cream. The combination of sweet and savoury flavours is irresistible, and the generous portion size makes it perfect for sharing. If you're looking for a unique and delicious twist on the classic poutine, with a nice walk through one of Toronto’s Trendy Neighborhoods to burn it all off, the Leslieville Pumps is a great option.

Butter Chicken Roti – multiple locations

Nearest UP Express station: Union Station

If you're arriving in Toronto via the UP Express and craving some delicious poutine, look no further than Butter Chicken Roti in Union Station and all over Toronto. This Indian fast-food joint offers a unique twist on the classic poutine by adding butter chicken to the fries and cheese curds, creating a fusion of Indian and Canadian cuisine. The result is a flavorful and satisfying meal perfect for a quick bite after a long journey. The location is also convenient for those who want to explore the city when they arrive or are on a Long Layover ticket. If you like Indian food, cheese, and fries, Butter Chicken Roti will be your new favourite.

Shawarma poutine at 2 Bros Cuisine - 1500 Royal York Rd, Etobicoke, ON

Nearest UP Express station: Weston Station

2 Bros Cuisine on Royal York Road in Etobicoke offers mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine with a Canadian twist. Looking to try something unique? Their poutine with shawarma, donair meat, and falafel is a definite standout, fusing the beloved Canadian dish with Middle Eastern flair. Its proximity to Weston Station and easy accessibility via the UP Express make it a prime dining choice for both locals and tourists.

A traditional dish shaped by the community

A group of 8 people of various genders and backgrounds holding up a Canadian flag

After a long flight, why not warm up with a delicious plate of poutine and taste the local Canadian culture? From traditional to gourmet, poutine comes in all shapes and sizes in Toronto, making it the perfect tapestry of the city's culture. There's no better way to experience the diversity and creativity of Toronto's food scene than by trying out the different poutine spots around town. On a layover in Toronto? Try to try as many as you can around Union Station!

Luckily, getting to some of the best poutine spots in the city is easy, thanks to the UP Express - a convenient, affordable, and reliable rail link that connects Toronto Pearson International Airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto. So, after landing, hop on the UP Express and head straight to one of Toronto's top poutine destinations to satisfy your cravings and soak up the city's delicious food scene. It's the perfect way to start your Canadian experience, whether coming home, stopping in, or visiting for the first time.