Craving Jamaican cuisine? We asked an expert for her top five spots in Toronto

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Opal Rowe came home one evening craving something hot and delicious and at least somewhat healthy. “I went looking for something that looked like a satisfying meal and not a greasy snack, but I couldn’t find one,” she says. “So, I made one.”

She made herself a Jamaican galette, a tasty little pastry filled with meat. The first one was satisfied, but she wanted to take these perfect patties beyond her own kitchen. “There are a ton of examples of snack foods getting top-quality processing,” Rowe explains. “Before, burgers were just fast food, but now you can pay $ 45. But, as the snack food culture evolved, the patty didn’t. I want to change that. ”

Toronto is full of places that sell Jamaican pancakes, they’re even on the subway! But Rowe, of Jamaican descent, couldn’t find it up to it, so she started Sush Patties to create the homemade recipe she hadn’t yet arrived here in the GTA, making mouthwatering toppings like chicken. jerk, curried shrimp and ackee and salted tofu.

“Nothing brings me more joy than feeding people,” says Rowe, who previously owned and operated a home care agency. “And, thanks to Stush Patties, I can feed thousands – and soon millions – of people.”

Her patties are just the little details, whether it’s the succulent grass-fed beef inside or the perfectly flaky pastry. vegetable shortening instead of lard; they’re already a big hit at neighborhood grocery stores like Fiesta Farms, The Epicure Shop, and Summerhill Market as well as local cafes like Filosophy Cafe and Golden Gecko Coffee.

Rowe also regularly gives galettes to shelters so that everyone can have a little galette moment. “The patties are heartwarming,” she says. “Comfort foods tend to elevate our feel-good hormones. Comfort food evokes pleasant and happy memories and togetherness.

Want a little island comfort? Here are some of Rowe’s favorite places for Jamaican cuisine.

Danforth Food Market, 2742 Danforth Ave

“They have a wide variety of Jamaican groceries and just general stuff. It’s my one-stop-shop for everything Jamaican, whether it’s Limacol (lotion), which I’ve been using since I was a kid; donkey corn, which my grandmother made; or Pickapeppa sauce, a staple in my house and an ingredient for some of my toppings.

Jamaican Chubby Cuisine, 104 Portland Street

“My go-to Jamaican restaurant for dining out. It’s relaxed and laid back with friendly service. They have a good range of popular Jamaican food and great cocktails. Definitely the place to take someone out for dinner who wants a taste of the island.

The Dinner Corner, 678 Yonge Street

“Located in the heart of the city, this place offers the best Jamaican Sunday brunch in the GTA. With favorites like hominy corn porridge, festival (fried dumplings) and escovitch fish, plus the sweet Jamaican music playing in the background, it’s hard to believe you’re not. in Jamaica.”

The real moron, 842 Gerrard Street East

“Here is the place to go for a lime (a Jamaican term for exiting). It’s super casual and has a variety of Jamaican food and karaoke. Better yet, the bar offers a wide variety of good rums.

KaSpace Café, 1183 Queen Street East.

“My all time favorite cafe. With hot full meals, it’s more than a coffee. It’s vegan cuisine, but it’s not the regular Italian vegan that’s typically associated with Jamaica. The staff are friendly but professional, and the vibes are always good. It reminds me of SoHo: chic and contemporary.

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