Toronto is home to one of the world’s largest Tibetan expat communities. Head to west-end’s Parkdale to reap the culinary benefits. 

With Queen Street West’s Little Tibet playing home to the largest expat Tibetan population outside of Asia, it should come as no surprise that it is also home to some extraordinary Tibetan eats. 

Now there are a few differences: Tibetan chefs use local protein sources like goat, yak and mutton. In Toronto, Tibetan restaurants usually serve meals with meats like chicken or beef.

But believe me, nothing is lost when it comes to authentic flavours. With culinary influences from neighbouring countries like India and Nepal, Tibetan food is like a world of flavours stretching as high and wide as the Himalayan mountains. 

I was first introduced to Tibetan food a few years ago when I was invited on a momo crawl. “What is a momo crawl,” you ask?

A momo is a fried or steamed Tibetan dumpling filled with a meat- and/or vegetable-based stuffing. A momo crawl is when you gather a bunch of food-loving friends and set out to eat as many momos as possible from as many great restaurants as possible! 

But as incredible as they are, momos aren’t the only reason you should be excited about visiting Little Tibet in the Westside’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Here are 5 spots to hit in Little Tibet and the menu items you must try.

Loga’s Corner

People love this place—I mean, really love it. You’re doing something right when your restaurant fans include TV personality/restaurateur Eddie Huang.

However, the biggest celeb at Loga’s Corner may be the owner, who gets as many rave reviews as the steamed or fried momos. Pro tip: add pickled daikon and extra hot sauce to your order. 

Little Tibet

Want an authentic taste of Tibet alongside fusion influences from Hakka, Indian and Mongolian cuisines? Then Little Tibet is the spot for you.

My recommendations for a unique and flavour-packed start to your meal are to order the gyuma (Tibetan blood sausage) and dropa khasta (spicy beef tripe). They also have vegetarian options like sweet and spicy tofu or eggplant in hot garlic sauce.

Himalayan Kitchen

Himalayan Kitchen has mo’ momos than most other places, with around 20 different options. They include chef’s special momos like honey chili, tikka, malai masala and Manchurian. This spot is practically a momo crawl in and of itself.

Shangrila Tibetan & Asian Cuisine

Winters in Tibet can get a little rough, so it should be no surprise that some of the best Tibetan dishes are hearty, soul-warming broths, soups and stews.

Hit up Shangrila for traditional staples like phingsha, which is made with beef, potatoes, vermicelli in a Tibetan gravy. Another must try is then-thuk, homemade hand-pulled noodles simmered in a thick broth flavoured with fresh herbs and spices.

Tiny Cafe

I’m big on recommendations. Not only giving them (wink wink) but I love receiving them as well. So, when I hear “best momos in Toronto” almost every time I hear someone speak about Tiny Cafe, it goes to the top of my list—and needs to go onto yours as well!

I’ve even heard someone say they dream about these momos. Tiny Cafe also sells frozen/uncooked momos to enjoy at home. So, after one of those dreams you can head to your own kitchen and cook some up.

Getting to Little Tibet, in Parkdale

  • Take the 501 Queen streetcar to the Lansdowne Avenue stop
  • Or take the Bloor-Danforth subway line to Lansdowne station and then the 47 Lansdowne bus southbound to Queen Street West