Lunch and Shopping in Toronto’s Kensington Market

* * * UPDATE : Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington Market Toronto has closed permanently * * *


It was a beautiful day for a lady-date in Kensington Market with my friend Meghan!

This is such a cool and interesting neighbourhood, and although I go there all the time — we do most of our grocery shopping there — it never gets boring. There is always something, or somewhere, new and different to see.

I just saw on the wiki page (linked above), that Kensington Market is a designated “National Historic Site of Canada“.

Meghan and I met at the corner of Dundas Street West and Augusta Avenue (pictured in the head photo), and walked north into the market.

The first order of the day was lunch! We went to a place that Meghan recommended, located just up from the corner, Pow Wow Cafe, where they serve indigenous-inspired cuisine.

It’s not a big place and the food is really good, so it wasn’t surprising that all the tables, inside and on the patio, were occupied, with people waiting to get in. (This was on a Tuesday at noon.)

↑ I had the Chicken Shawarma Taco, which came on Frybread rather than in a traditional taco shell. It was served with hummus, toum (garlic sauce), a green salad and turnip pickles. AND there were flowers on it!

Meghan had the Fritatta, served with butternut squash, dandelion greens and sage Parmesan cheese. ↑

Now that I’ve tasted their delicious food and experienced their friendly hospitality, I very much look forward to going back. Please note that they accept payment in cash only.

After lunch, we continued northward along Augusta …

↑ We didn’t go into Carlos’ House of Spice this time, but this is one of the places that Nick and I go to regularly. If you enjoy cooking, you should check it out for seasonings of all kinds. ↑

↑ Hot Box Roach-O-Rama – “Serving potheads since ah … I forget” haha ↑

↑ A Latin American Food-Court, on the left ↑

↑ We popped into The Organic Press for a take-away green juice. ↑

↑ In addition to organic juices, smoothies and snacks, they also sell a variety of very healthy looking houseplants there. ↑

↑ The gelato place on the right is very nice. See this previous post for photos of the inside, if you’d like. ↑

↑ In the excellent shop that is Bungalow this cute and stylish couple posed for a photo (thank you, you two :)) ↑

↑ They offer new clothing and accessories, as well as vintage clothing, furniture and housewares. One thing I noticed when editing these photos is a little sign that said “More Furniture Downstairs”. What? I’ve been here a bunch of times and had not realized there was a downstairs! My goodness, can’t wait to go back to check out the basement! ↑

We took a quick spin around Blue Banana, located across from Bungalow.

↑ I had a gift-card to use there, however, there were so many nice things to choose from that I couldn’t decide what to get, and didn’t want to keep my friend waiting, so I got some ideas and will be going back soon. (I previously wrote about this “multi-boothed gift shop” in detail in this post if you’d like to see more.) ↑

↑ The Bob Ross Chia Pet is a contender for my gift-card ;) ↑

↑ I’d not heard of these charming little collectible figurines called “Sonny Angel“, but if you’re looking for them, they have them at Blue Banana! ↑

↑ Of course, we’d just had lunch, so didn’t go in, however we both agreed that El Trompo is a great Mexican restaurant. Meghan is recently back from a 2 month stay in Mexico City, so that’s saying a lot. (I had lunch here before and wrote about it, if you’d like to see the inside and samples of the food.)

By this point, we’d walked nearly all the way up to College Street (the northern border of the market), so we turned around and went back down Augusta, to Baldwin where we turned and went eastward …

↑ There’s the fruit and vegetable shop (with no obvious name) that we usually go to. Beside it is Eurolins, which I recently wrote about here, when showing you a birthday gift of a satin robe that I got for my lovely friend Leslie. I also found the Canada Day tea towels and maple leaf printed bandanna there. ↑

↑ They have a lot of nice vintage tee shirts at Flamingo, if you’re looking for one. ↑

↑ There’s a take-out pizzeria at 185 Baldwin Street … I’ve not been but evidently, it’s Homemade and Delicious! It looked good, based on the slices I saw people having. ↑

Then, we turned south on Kensington Avenue. This is where a whole bunch of vintage shops are found …

↑ I’m partial to Exile these days because it’s where I found what has become my favourite vintage shirt (bought during this shopping trip). Also, the woman who, I believe, owns it, is very friendly. ↑

↑ They have so much stuff in there, all neatly divided into sections based on era and/or style. And, they have the best (if somewhat creepy) vintage mannequins all over the shop. ↑

↑ They also carry all kinds of pieces for costumes, including wigs and masks (that are new) and accessories. ↑

↑ Meghan got this great little sixties number. I love it on her! She also found a couple of pairs of trousers. (We usually call them pants here, but I sure don’t want British readers to think she got secondhand undies!) ↑

I like vintage menswear, so got a men’s short sleeved cotton shirt (pictured at the end of this post). I thought I would tie it in a knot at the front, to wear with a skirt or skinny jeans, however I made the mistake of trying it on over-top of what I was wearing, and now think it’s a bit too big across the shoulders. That’s not a problem though, as I’ve given it to my mister, Nick, and it looks good on him. He gave me a smaller one that he had, in exchange, though, so we both have a new shirts we’re happy with. ↑

↑ I got a pair of sunglasses at Butterfly and Meghan found some tiny earrings she liked. ↑

↑ By then, we were out of time, but “Courage My Love” is also a great shop. I posted photos of it in this post, if you’d like to see inside. ↑

This brought us back down to Dundas Street West, where I went westward and Meghan went eastward.

Here’s what I got. Watch for both pieces in my next post, as we wore them to an event on Tuesday!

↑ A shirt for Nick. ↑

↑ Glasses with a rhinestone detail and a vintage look (but they’re new). ↑

Thanks for joining us on our visit to Kensington Market. It was a great time, in deed!

xo loulou