An empanada is a traditional Latin food that’s popular in Latin America and Spain. These savory treats are made with baked or fried dough and usually stuffed with meat, seafood, cheese and vegetables. Lucky for us, they’re also abundantly available in Toronto. Check out our list of the best empanada spots in the city below.
Location: 245 Augusta Ave
Jumbo Empanadas serves up veggie, chicken, beef, or cheese stuffed empanadas, along with a whole menu of authentic Chilean food. If you’re on a low budget, their mini-empanadas are only $1.50 each.
Location: 200 Baldwin St
This Kensington-Chinatown hotspot is popular among the locals. The owner actually goes the extra mile and travels to Lima, Peru every year to perfect her South American menu.
The Empanada Company
Location: 122 Fortieth St (Etobicoke)
Not exactly in Toronto, but worth the trek nonetheless. The Empanada Company offers a menu of both traditional and contemporary empanadas, though the contemporary options — curry coconut chicken, creamy spinach, Cajun pulled pork, Canadian lobster — sound absolutely delicious.
Location: 1078 Queen St W
El Almacen is an Argentinean cafe nestled in the bustling neighbourhood of West Queen West. This cafe not only offers a drool-worthy brunch menu, but is also known for its empanadas and authentic yerba mate, which is an herbal delicacy drink made with steeped yerba leaves.
Red Rocket Cafe
Location: 1364 Danforth Ave & 154 Wellesley St E
The Red Rocket Cafe was once faced with the same strife that has grown all-too familiar with independent restaurants in Toronto. After their landlord wanted to double rent, the cafe was forced out of their Leslieville location and moved to the Danforth, where they have set up shop and are thriving as one of Toronto’s best bakeries. The Red Rocket serves specialty coffee drinks and baked goods, which includes delicious black bean and breakfast empanadas.
Location: 92 Ossington Ave & 392 Roncesvalles Ave
La Cubana’s Roncy location carries bean and cheese empanadas along with a chorizo option, which is a spicy Spanish pork sausage. It was announced in May that La Cubana is expected to open a third location at 1030 Gerrard E this fall.
Location: 478 King St W
If you’re looking for a fancy night out, Patria is more on the jeans with no holes (and maybe a nice sweater) side. This Spanish eatery offers empanadas on their shareable menu, made with slow cooked meat, guindilla sauce, and mojo picón.
Location: 262 Christie St
Pasteleria is a quaint bakery that bakes trays of fresh empanadas daily, along with fresh Chilean breads. This location is perfect for an afternoon snack.
Location: 490 Queen St W
Deep fried cornmeal, cheese, chicken, beef, and fish are among the types of empanadas you’ll find here. Named after grilled corn meal bread, everything offered at Arepa is inspired by traditional Venezuelan cuisine and most items are gluten-free.
Ave Maria Latin Cafe
Location: 631 Bloor St W
Find Latin signature dishes in Koreatown at Ave Maria. This cafe is family-owned and also doubles as a grocery store, where you can find items from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
Feature photo courtesy the Empanada Company via Facebook.