Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Taste of the Danforth (Greece)

If you missed it, I am on a mission to eat authentic food from every country in the world, right here in Toronto! I have now created a handy map to show which countries I’ve eaten, the one I’m currently eating, and the ones left to eat.greece copy

I am a visual learner so I like to see what’s eaten and what is left. A lot of green is what is left… This is not exactly a quick project, but I am making some progress on the eating. You can find all past recaps here.

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My next eating the world adventure was Greece! This weekend was Taste of the Danforth, a Toronto street festival celebrating Greek food and culture.

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I love love love Greek food but I’ve never been to Taste of the Danforth before and I knew that was where I needed to go to truly eat Greece. It worked out that Eric was visiting while it was on, as he’s never been either, and we also got my friend Hannah to join us.

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Hannah missed the glasses memo.

Danforth Avenue in Toronto has been known for years for its many Greek restaurants. There are other types of restaurants along the street as well, more have popped up especially in recent years, but Greek is still the majority. Taste of the Danforth started 22 years ago when restaurant owners took their food to the streets as a group to entice visitors to the area. It became a thing and has turned into Canada’s largest and Toronto’s most popular street festival.

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Meaning it is crowded. It is very crowded. The entire street shuts down to traffic, and the restaurants line the streets with their food stands.

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Mostly Greek but there are some Italian and Asian stands around as well.

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You can essentially just eat your way down the street.

There are also various entertainment things happening along the street, like a live band every few blocks.

The food at Taste of the Danforth is pretty cheap, but it was so crowded that it felt like wading through a mosh pit, and I thought eating would be tricky because I would keep getting bumped. If someone knocked my gyro out of my hand I would not be happy about it. The lines for food were also very long. So when we happened across the Greek restaurant Pappa’s Grill we decided to try to get a spot on the patio, which we assumed would be impossible. It was PACKED. I still don’t exactly know how this happened, but we were able to score a table for four immediately. We got a prime location on the patio and it was absolutely perfect because we could sit and enjoy our food and drink beer and people watch like crazy.

Our table started with the spanakopita, the Greek spinach pie!

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Spinach, feta cheese, onion, and egg wrapped in phyllo pastry, usually eaten as a snack in Greece.

We also ordered the melanzano, a dip of baked eggplant with red onion and garlic.

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With fresh pita for dipping. In Greece I believe this dip is called melitzanosalata, but either way it’s delicious. This eating the world challenge has been opening me up to eggplant dips and I can’t get enough.

I also cannot get enough of chicken souvlaki. If I am ever at a Greek restaurant I cannot resist ordering the souvlaki.

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I just love that it comes with tzatziki (Greek sauce), rice, Greek salad AND potatoes. And those potatoes are usually my favourite kind, too. It was awesome.

So, good times at Taste of the Danforth. Crowded, yes, but also delicious and highly entertaining.

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And can you spot Eric in the above photo?

PS – I have also had really, really great Greek food at Colossus Greek Taverna in Mississauga.

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4 responses to “Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Taste of the Danforth (Greece)

  1. I just love these series of food posts. It makes me insanely jealous though. We have 1.5 places to eat in my little town. 🙁

  2. Have you ever tried the Detroit Eatery on Danforth? It’s owned by Greeks and serve yummy Greek food, but they serve up one of the best burgers I’ve ever had!