Sate your snack fix with the city’s flakiest, tastiest Caribbean foods—as picked by locals in the know.
Tears were shed—and massive lines formed along Little Jamaica’s Eglinton Avenue West—when the iconic Randy's Takeout permanently closed its doors in early 2022. That’s because Jamaican patties have a loyal following across the city, as one of Toronto’s most beloved foods, and the foundation for a number of successful Black-owned businesses.
Debates over who makes the best patty in Toronto can get spicier than the savoury beef, chicken or vegetable filling inside of one of these tasty treats, so I asked some friends who really know food to pick their faves. Here’s what they had to say.
Toronto’s flakiest Jamaican patty
"Tinnels’ seasoning is always on point and their flaky crust is absolutely perfect,” says Kenneth Benjamin, CEO of Lignum Honey.
If a patty doesn't have a flaky crust, I personally do not want it anywhere near my face. One of my favourite post-patty routines is rummaging through the bottom of the bag for those fallen flakes of crust nestled into each corner.
Toronto’s most ubiquitous Jamaican patty
"Patty King is close” to everything, notes Chef Wallace Wong, a.k.a. The Sixpack Chef, co-owner of Spatula Foods.
For patty addicts, proximity is a major factor in picking a fave. Family-owned Patty King has been serving up patties and growing its business since 1981. Being available in major grocery chains, convenience stores and cafeterias across Toronto makes them some of the most readily available patties in the city. Pro tip: buy a case so you can enjoy them at home.
Crumbs Gourmet Patties and Patty Stop
Toronto’s best fully loaded Jamaican patties
“My favourite patty at the moment is the stuffed patty from Crumbs Gourmet Patties in Kensington Market,” says Eden Hagos, founder of Black Foodie.
I have to agree with Eden: the stuffed patties at Crumbs are amazing and it is not just because they are stuffed with delicious toppings like cheese and tomatoes, but the actual patty itself is so good.
Once a little harder to find, stuffed patties are popping up everywhere. A certain Six God has even expressed love for the stuffed patties at Scarborough's Patty Stop.
Toronto’s best “subway” Jamaican patty
"I really enjoy Fahmee’s spicy beef—it's a classic, and Black-owned too,” notes Hagos.
If you’ve ever had a chance to Ride the Rocket (translation: take public transit), via Bathurst or Warden subway stations, you may have bought a Fahmee Bakery spicy patty. These beef, chicken and vegetarian morsels are Toronto’s famed “subway patties,” although as of spring 2022, they’re no longer available inside subway stations.
The good news is, you can find them at Fahmee’s three bakery locations… and eat them on the subway or anywhere else.
Toronto’s best Jamaican patty with a little something extra
"At Goldee’s, they don't just fill their patties with beef, but they use other Jamaican specialties. Their jerk chicken with the plantain inside is so flavourful and it has a little bit of a kick,” says CHUM 1045 radio host Azalea Hart.
Part of what makes patties such a people-pleaser is their portability. With Goldee’s patties being packed with staples of the Jamaican kitchen, like oxtail, curried veggies and jerk chicken, it is the perfect way to have an entire meal on the move.
Toronto’s best non-Jamaican Jamaican patty
“Of course, my favourite patties are from Street Bites TO. I launched the brand to offer patties with unique and classic flavours and crusts. Our menu starts with traditional beef and extends to tasty vegan choices like coconut curry chickpea,” says Tony Bradshaw, restaurateur and owner of Street Bites Toronto.
Like myself, Tony has Bajan blood and calls Barbados home… so he knew if he was going to get in the patty game, he had to do something different. While honouring techniques that made Jamaican patties a staple in Caribbean households (and around the world), Street Bites is definitely making patties their own. My personal favourite is their mac-and-cheese-filled patty.