Find insider tips for making the most of a stroll along Canada’s longest street.
Canada’s longest street may also be one of its most delicious. With its wealth of East Asian eateries and unique neighbourhood history (the circa-1960s counterculture mecca is also the main drag of the annual Gay Pride Parade), Yonge Street between Dundas Street West and Bloor Street is the perfect avenue to eat and explore.
Start your tour outside Dundas subway station, home to Yonge-Dundas Square and the CF Toronto Eaton Centre mall.
This public space is surrounded by bright LED signs and pulses with energy during free concerts and other events. Across the street, the Eaton Centre, downtown’s premiere shopping mall boasts 230+ shops and services.
Walking north, you’ll hit World Food Market (335 Yonge St.). This cluster of multicultural food stall vendors is across the street from Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre at Yonge and Gould streets.
Start your pan-Asian feast with Nepalese momos from Karma’s Kitchen. Dig into Korean street food from Go Cup, home to crowd-pleasers like BBQ shrimp over rice, stir-fried veggies and kimchi. Or make your Instagram pop with the night market-style grilled squid skewer from Vietlicious—an entire squid, lovingly charred and served on a stick.
Bubble tea alert!
After that starter course, get moving to make room for more food! Strolling north, look up at the buildings above the storefronts. Yonge is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, including Georgian, Italianate, Romanesque, Art Moderne, international—and beyond.
One of the unique things about Yonge is its quirky mix of retailers, which include indie clothing shops, games and electronics, books and more, including a few erotica boutiques that nod to Yonge’s decades-past risqué years. More recently, Yonge has been revitalized by an array of East Asian eateries and shops catering to locals and expats, including students from overseas.
The strip of Yonge between Carlton and Bloor is particularly rich in intriguing shops and food stops. Pick up your fave K-beauty brands at Lamour Beauty (670 Yonge St.). Find J-beauty bath, body and baby-care staples at Rikuriku Tokyo (also known as Reiwatakiya, 658 Yonge St.). There’s more K-beauty at Pinky Floy (516 Yonge St.) and cool Korean candies and convenience foods at Galleria Supermarket (558 Yonge St.).
Don’t forget the gifts! Sanrio stuffies and Studio Ghibli character figures await at Just You Too – Sarah & Tom (686 Yonge St.), Yonge Street’s one-stop shop for kawaii toys, stationery and books.
Ready for more food?
Chow down on a baoger or the signature fried chicken from Monga Fried Chicken (692 Yonge St.), a popular Taiwanese chain. (If you want to compare rival Taiwanese fried chicken, stop by Chi Chop (372 Yonge St.), at the beginning of your walk.)
Jump on the K-hot dog trend with a battered, deep-fried frank from Chung Chun Rice Dog (582 Yonge St.). The deluxe dawgs feature fillings like melted cheese or squid ink.
Nosh on hand-filled Chinese dumplings from Meet Dumplings (649 Yonge St.), including delicacies like pork and fennel or lamb and Chinese cabbage.
And finally, dessert.
Nam Dae Moon Rice Cake (628 Yonge St.) is a must for luscious, Korean-style mochi in exciting flavours like Milky Banana or Salted Oreo Cream with Ferrero Rocher.
Try a liquid dessert at Peacher Peacher (674 Yonge St.)—fresh strawberries blended with cold green tea and topped with whipped cheese foam, for instance.
If light-as-air cream puffs filled with matcha, vanilla, or Earl Grey cream is your jam, don’t miss Japanese patisserie Bloom Cafe (596 Yonge St.).
But for the ultimate Instagram bait, hit Malaysian import The Whale Tea (526 Yonge St.) for the Whale Island Souffle, a stack of airy pancakes drenched in aqua-hued sauce, with edible pearls and a mermaid tail.