“Great latkes” is a slogan that’s used regularly on the lips of Jewish women around the world. While there are plenty of places to get latkes in Toronto – from authentic cafes to savory delicatessens – they’re often made a little too lightly or fall short of their potential. It’s impossible to improve these potato fritters, the cornerstone of Passover, or not giggle at the sight of them, but they are best when they are the right recipe for being perfect, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. When many people experience latkes for the first time, they are delighted by the promise that they will always be perfect. But there are people who will end up ordering one too many times, getting them too hard or turning them upside down. By sticking to a few favourites, Toronto has a recipe for the latke that suits the preferences of everyone – while still keeping things really good. And this year, the world’s appetite for latkes means you’ll want to get a latke pretty much anywhere you go. If you’re looking for the perfect one – and some fried chicken to go with it – here are the top five places to order latkes in Toronto.
Yossi’s Toronto P’tself Tart. Photo: Taylor and Augie.
Talk about a serious mixologist. Yossi Cohen, the force behind Yossi’s Toronto P’tself Tart and Yossi’s New Orleans Bar & Grill, is legendary for flipping liquor over ice. Cocktails are made with bitters, agave nectar, herbs, rosemary and of course, sweet sherry. And everything in the tart room is seasonal and hand-carved. The coconut milk latke is top-notch and my favourite. It comes with a chive-cheddar cream, or you can go the classic route with a ham-and-cheese pie and an egg drop.
In business since 1976, Yossi’s has been through many changes – from a charming canteen in Sudbury, Ontario to a respected restaurant and bar in the heart of Downtown Toronto. Everything about Yossi’s is top-notch. The bar, while largely indoor, is just as good if not better in the winter. The menu is wide-ranging, and the service is friendly and refined. Yossi’s is a great place to grab a latke, beer and a bowl of sticky toffee pudding. You can even get cocktails in the nooks and crannies of the space. And don’t forget to visit the windows – on either side of the pastry display – for scenic views of Toronto.
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