If you’re from out-of-town, and you’ve never been to Kensington Market before, then you absolutely have to check it out! But be warned that you’ll want to give yourself more than just a short afternoon visit to explore it properly. It offers something for everyone, no matter what you’re into; and it’s such a big and unique place with so much to see, that you’ll need plenty of time to go through it and see most of it. If you’re planning on heading to Kensington Market anytime soon, here are 7 places I think you should check out and things you should do:
7. Have a coffee at Casa Acoreana Cafe.
There’s no shortage of coffee shops in Kensington Market, and some of them even have better coffee, but you should still check out Casa Acoreana Cafe for your caffiene fix. If Kensington Market was a city, Casa Acoreana Cafe would be it’s city hall. The entire neighbourhood seems to congregate here, and it’s location at Augusta and Baldwin offers some of the best people watching in the city.
6. Visit Sanagan’s Meat Locker.
I love shopping local, and as far as buying meat from a local butcher goes, it doesnt get much better than Sanagan’s Meat Locker. They’re knowledgeable, friendly, and offer tons of quality meat and poultry raised in local Ontario small farms. They also usually have some really interesting window displays that almost everyone stops to look at, often filled with pig heads and what may seem like other oddities you might not have though about eating.
5. Visit AAA Army Surplus.
Even if you’re not into military nostaglia, this place is still really interesting to check out. Looking for a good deal on WWII German Army jackets, historic army patches, or even military-grade gas masks? AAA Army Surplus has got you covered on all of that.
4. Go to Bunner’s Bakery, and buy pretty much anything.
This may be cheating a little bit because I also chose this as one of the things you should do in The Junction, but this place is so great that you still have to check it out if you’re in Kensington Market. In my opinion, they sell the very best grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, and alternative baked goods in the city.
3. Go to The Grilled Cheese, and have a grilled cheese sandwich.
Who doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwiches? Even though the grilled cheese concept has been done in a lot of other places, The Grilled Cheese in Kensington Market does a really good job of coming up with really tasty and creative ways to server up a grilled cheese sandwich. Plus the place is so small and cozy, you’ll probably enjoy eating it there.
2. Grab some juice from Romeo’s Juice Bar.
Romeo’s Juice Bar serves up really fresh, and really interesting, juice with everything from sweet potato and banana to watermelon and mint; and you can make your own out of pretty much anything you can think. It’s one of those small, tropical-feeling, standing room only places that provides a really unique Kensington market experience that you just have to try out.
1. Go anywhere…at night.
If you’ve never been to Kensington Market at night before, you need to go at least once. It’s a completley different place. It’s eerie. It’s weird. It’s a little bit scary. Once all of the store’s steel, graffiti-covered door covers drop down and the darkness creeps in, it creates a totally new environment. It’s worth checking out.
So there you have it; some of my favorite things to do in Kensington Market. Did I miss anything that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below.