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The Best Pho in London

Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam, a soup full of rice noodles, meat, and ultra-flavourful broth. The phenomenon has found its way to international popularity, not unlike the popularity of ramen. It is a simple and elegant dish that is craved by many, so here are the greatest spots in London that you can indulge in some fantastic pho!

Pho Lee Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Carling Heights
1030 Adelaide St. N #8C (map)
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Best Pho in London - Pho Lee

If beef pho is what you crave, Pho Lee is your destination. They’ve got sixteen varieties of beef pho on their menu! Sixteen! They use a bunch of different preparations and parts of the cow to give your soup different flavours. Rare beef, beef flank, beef balls, tendon, and tripe all in different combinations to make over a dozen unique soups.

If red meat isn’t your thing, don’t worry – the chicken pho is spectacular as well.

No matter which soup you get, you won’t be disappointed. The warmth and rich flavour makes it one of the best comfort foods there is. On your next sick day, pass on a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle and order a bowl of pho from Pho Lee, it’s almost magical how much better you’ll feel.

Pho Lee’s Vietnamese food is stellar all around, but there’s a good reason “pho” is in their name. It’s beyond delicious and has become a constant craving for multiple people here at the SKB office. If you’re a fan and have never visited Pho Lee, we can’t recommend it enough!


Vietnam Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Old East Village
1074 Dundas St. (map)
http://www.vietnamrestaurant.ca/
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Best Pho in London - Vietnam Restaurant

Vietnam Restaurant may not have the catchiest name, but it’s definitely accurate. This restaurant in the Old East Village has been offering traditional Vietnamese cuisine for a quarter of a century now (since 1994), and it’s truly mouth-watering.

Found right across the street from the old Kellogg’s Factory, Vietnam Restaurant has got all the Vietnamese food that you want. From hotpots to rice dishes, and of course the pho!

There are nine varieties of beef pho that you’ll find on the menu. Their specialty is the #8, pho’ dac biêt. Rare beef, beef balls, tripe, and beef brisket accompany your noodles in a rich beef broth.

Vietnam Restaurant is definitely a hidden gem – many Londoners have probably passed by dozens of times without stopping in. But we can assure you that when you do decide to dine at Vietnam Restaurant, you’ll be floored by how delicious it is. Fresh and flavourful, Vietnam Restaurant is a mandatory visit for lovers of pho in London!

Dem Hai Dang

Neighbourhood: Carling Heights
1249 Huron St. (map)
Best Pho in London - Dem Hai Dang

Haven’t heard of this one? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Their online presence is non-existent, and their sign is rather small and unassuming. However, should you be able to track this place down the first time, the food will have you coming back time and time again.

A charming little hole in the wall, Dem Hai Dang is determined to bring you the best Vietnamese and Thai food you can get in the Forest City.

Over a page of the Dem Hai Dang menu is dedicated to different varieties of pho. All sorts of beef preparations could go into your soup if you desire it. From rare beef to well-done flank to tripe, it’s sliced perfectly thin and incredibly tender.

Rich, warming, and extremely delicious, the pho at Dem Hai Dang is to die for. The succulent meat, rich broth, and chewy rice noodles make for the perfect soup that will keep you coming back for more!

Tamarine

Neighbourhood: Downtown London
118 Dundas St. (map)
http://tamarine.ca/
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Best Pho in London - Tamarine

Tamarine flips the script on many of the other restaurants on this list, and instead of having multiple variations, they offer one truly perfect rendition of pho. Additionally, instead of beef, which has been the favourite of this list so far, the protein of choice at Tamarine is chicken.

The pho is labelled a “house favourite” for good reason, it’s straight up fantastic. The broth is flavoured with star anise, cinnamon, and ginger, adding layers of incredible flavour to the dish. Tender, juicy chicken, rice noodles, and fresh herbs to top it off.

If you really are craving beef, however, they have a spicy beef noodle soup that is also incredible. It’s not pho exactly, but it’s pretty similar in many ways. Thinly sliced, rare beef served with vermicelli in a spicy beef and lemongrass broth.

Tamarine’s location is perfect for a pre-Knight’s game dinner. It’ll warm you up before you spend all evening in a cold arena!

When you’re downtown and on the hunt for pho (or something similar), there’s no better spot than Tamarine!

Vietnam Taste

Neighbourhood: Oak Crossing
666 Wonderland Rd. N (map)
http://www.vietnamtastelondon.com/
Best Pho in London - Vietnam Taste

The mission statement of Vietnam Taste is in its name: give London a taste of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

The pho at Vietnam Taste is near perfection, it’s seriously hard to beat. A bowl of pho at this restaurant is a real treat. They’ve got plenty of options to pick from, making it easy for you to find the perfect bowl for you. They’ve got multiple preparations of beef to put in the soup and a chicken option! Can’t decide? There’s even a chicken and beef pho for you to try.

If you’re extra hungry or just want lots and lots of beef, the Special Noodle in Broth (number 27) is for you. Rare beef, beef ball, tripe, tendon, and brisket all in one bowl! It’s a jam-packed bowl that’s full of flavour!

After a round of bowling at Fleetway across the street or an “I swear it’ll be quick” trip to Costco just down the road, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of pho from Vietnam Taste!

Thuan Kieu

Neighbourhood: Carling Heights
1275 Highbury Ave. N #116 (map)
http://thuankieu.ca/
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Best Pho in London - Thuan Kieu

Thuan Kieu has a huge menu, spanning multiple types of Asian cuisine. Despite all the choices available, the pho is one of their most popular dishes! Having tasted many of their dishes over the years, this is a testament to how delicious this soup really is.

Thuan Kieu offers a variety of beef-based soups, each more delicious than the last. It’s hard to beat the classic beef rice noodle soup, perfect in its simplicity. Add some beef flank or tendon for a little something extra. Or go all the way and get the special, which has it all!

Add a squirt of sriracha to give your soup a little extra kick, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a bowl of soup! It’s undoubtedly one of the best in the city of London!

The Best Menswear in London

Whether you want to make a great first impression at a job interview, have a wedding to attend, or you simply love fashion, these are the spots for you to go to get some fabulous menswear!

Joseph’s Clothiers

Neighbourhood: SoHo 194 Wellington St. (map) https://www.josephsclothiers.com/
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Best Menswear in London - Joseph's Joseph’s Clothiers is a London landmark for men’s fashion. The doors opened in 1957, over half a century ago, and ever since they’ve been making the men of London look more dignified, stylish, and confident. At Joseph’s, you can rent a suit for an event, get your favourite one tailored, or even have a brand new one custom-made! They carry a whole array of brands from 7 Downie Street to Wurkin Stiffs. Bespoke garments are made-to-measure featuring top designers and quality craftsmanship, there’s nothing quite like owning a suit that was stitched together just for you. Once your suit is sorted, you’ll be able to find any accessory you need to complete the look. Ties, pocket squares, lapel pins, socks, wallets, cuff links, and so many more all at your fingertips at Joseph’s. Other services include dry cleaning and in-home wardrobe consultation – just like What Not to Wear on TLC but less tragically unfashionable! The folks at Joseph’s Clothiers are dedicated to making your whole wardrobe the best it can be, even if you didn’t buy it from them. Our very own Santa even met with the owner-operators, Jeff Da Costa and Jason Cabrel, to talk shop for a #BusinessOfTheWeek – check it out here. They’re passionate, intelligent, and undoubtedly have a keen eye for style. With these two at the lead, Joseph’s is Fashion has definitely changed over the last fifty years, and Joseph’s has evolved with it to keep on offering modern, on-trend, quality clothing to the men of London. No matter the occasion, Joseph’s Clothiers has something stylish for you to wear.

Collins Formal Wear

Neighbourhood: Glen Cairn 297 Adelaide St. S (map) https://www.collinsformalwear.com/
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Best Menswear in London - Collins Formal Wear If you’re looking to exceed expectations at your next big event, look no further than Collins Formal Wear. Blow the minds of every other attendee with the fantastic suit you got from Collins. Whether you’re renting or buying, Collins Formal Wear will give you the absolute best. They only carry the most luxurious fabrics and have exclusive styles from brands you know and love. Ralph Lauren? You bet! Jean Yves? Indeed! Ike Behar? You’d better believe it! If you think you may fall in love with your perfectly-fitting suit, then you should definitely try out the Love It or Lease It program. Collins has introduced a line of suits in five colours that you can either rent or buy. But the catch is if you’re renting and if the idea of returning it breaks your heart, let them know and you can keep it. It’s the perfect plan for wedding parties, since you’re guaranteed to have all the suits match perfectly! Beyond just suits, Collins also offers premium casual clothing. So, if the shindig you’re headed to is less black tie, more jeans and a polo, you don’t have to fret looking for something that looks great but still suits the vibe. Collins even custom prints t-shirts, so you can get your bachelor party garb and your wedding suits at the same spot!   Collins Formal Wear even suited up Santa and the Manbun for the Logan Couture Charity Casino Night last summer. They were looking sharp as can be and couldn’t stop giving glowing reviews of the style choices and the fitting experience. Wherever you’re headed, Collins Formal Wear has the perfect outfit for you. From a formal tux to a modern suit, and even custom-printed tees, there’s only one destination: Collins Formal Wear!

Channer’s Mens Ladies Apparel

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 581 Wonderland Rd. S (map) http://channers.com/
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Best Menswear in London - Channer's Channer’s is a family affair and has been since it formed in 1997. Formerly found in the Westmount Shopping Centre. Legends in the realms of both men’s and women’s fashion, Channer’s is a must-visit store if you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe. With dozens of luxury brands offered, Channer’s has you covered from A to Z. Literally, AG Jeans to Z Zegna and a great many brands in between! Each brand has its own personality, style and flair, but you can rest assured that they’re all fantastic quality and design. If you love a garment but it doesn’t quite fit, don’t fret! Their expert tailors can cinch, seam, and modify any piece to fit your body perfectly. Tailoring is complimentary on all regularly priced men’s and women’s fashion! Or if you want complete creative control, you can order a made-to-measure garment! Choose your fabric, pattern, and styling and their team will bring it to life with a perfect fit. Channer’s offers everything that you could possibly desire from the world of fashion. Bespoke garments, premium accessories, and fantastic service!

David E. White

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 171 Queens Ave. (map) https://www.davidewhite.com/
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Best Menswear in London - David E White Located in the heart of downtown, David E. White is easily one of the greatest tailoring and menswear shops in the city. They go above and beyond, creating custom pieces that are truly perfect. David E. White carries everything from tuxedos to swim trunks, all of it top quality material and craftsmanship. They’ve got you covered for any day of your life, whether it’s a trip to a beach, a day in the office, or a dinner with the in-laws. Whatever your day has in store, David E. White will have you looking sharp and ready to conquer anything. If you’re going with custom, there are three levels of trailoring at David E. White. A “signature” suit is wonderful and will fit you perfectly. It may be the lowest tier, but it’s still a damn fine suit! A “platinum” suit offers a little more customization, including finishing touches done by hand. The top level is a “bespoke” suit. Going with this means your suit will be truly one of a kind, a real masterpiece. Bespoke garments take multiple fittings and at least eight weeks of production to get you your suit, so plan ahead! At David E. White, they know it’s not only about the clothes to look good. As such, they also have a barbershop so when you walk out, you’ll look as fresh as can be. New haircut, new suit, new you! They also sell all the tools so you can give yourself a fantastic shave in the comfort of your own home. If your appearance is a priority, then a visit to David E. White is absolutely in order. They’ll get you looking your best in no time, from the hair on your head to the shoes on your feet and everything in between!

Tyner-Shorten Clothiers

Neighbourhood: Northridge 1152 Fanshawe Park Rd. E (map) http://tynershortenclothiers.com/
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Best Menswear in London - Tyner-Shorten Tyner-Shorten is practically in the north-east corner of the city, but it’s worth the trip for clothing of this quality. The shop appears to be a cross between a golf clubhouse and a luxury bungalow, giving it an extra air of extravagance and sophistication. Within the store, you’ll find a fantastic selection of menswear that is stylish and attractive. There are several lines for both casual and business scenarios. From alpaca sweaters to Italian suits, there’s anything a man could wear when he wants to look good. On top of carrying amazing brands, they also have their own! Originally designed by Jack Victor for Tyner-Shorten’s 50th anniversary in business, the line has since expanded to offer a wide range of suits, blazers, suits, ties, and accessories. The whole line is a perfect balance of classic and modern based on over half a century of experience working in men’s fashion. Completely unique and only found in their store, the Tyner-Shorten brand is as gorgeous as they are exclusive. Everything you buy at Tyner-Shorten feels special and bespoke. Even if you got it off the rack with minor tailoring, it has the feel of something that was made especially for you. Absolutely worth checking out next time you’re in the market for a suit.

Richard’s Clothing

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 57 York St. (map) https://richardsclothing.ca/
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Best Menswear in London - Richard's Richard’s Clothing is dedicated to bringing bold, powerful male fashion to Londoners from their store in downtown London. Just opened in 2017 by the eponymous Richard Musah, they promise to only offer the best of the best. Richard’s has wonderful suits, stylish coats and jackets, and shirts with fun prints that will catch the eye of anyone you pass. The brands offered in the shop are handpicked and have Richard’s own seal of approval – Bertoni of Denmark, Patrick Assaraf, and Beltopia just to name a few. Not sure what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, everyone working at Richard’s are style geniuses and as friendly as can be. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations if you’re feeling a bit lost. They believe that every garment should be as functional as it is fashionable, meaning you don’t have to worry about uncomfortable fits or easily-torn seams. The fashion at Richards is durable, comfortable, and stylish – a difficult trifecta to achieve. Richard’s may not have the longest track record, but they’re off to a strong start. In under two years, they’ve cultivated quite a reputation for quality fashion. Your next suit should unquestionably come from Richard’s!

The Best Family Day Activities in London

Family Day is a very new holiday. Ontarians celebrated the first Family Day in 2008, established by then-premier Dalton McGuinty, a promise from his 2007 campaign for re-election. It was proclaimed that the third Monday in February would be Family Day, a statutory holiday across the province. Many other provinces have adopted this holiday as well, though some have given it different names – Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and Islander Day in PEI. Family Day celebrates the importance of families for people and communities. As such, there are many events and activities for you to do with your entire family, bringing multiple generations and limbs of the family tree together to have fun. In London, there are a number of both indoor and outdoor Family Day events, depending on your tolerance of winter temperature and weather. All are exciting, engaging, and a fantastic way to spend the day with your family!

INDOOR

Educational and Fun Activities at the London Children’s Museum

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 21 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map) https://www.londonchildrensmuseum.ca/
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The Best Family Day Activities in London - Children's Museum Celebrate togetherness, have fun, and get educated all in the same place! This Family Day, the Children’s Museum is inviting families of Londoners to explore, play games, make art, and learn! There are a number of activities throughout the museum to enjoy, from the Early Years play space for the smallest ones in the family to the “I Wonder” station for the most curious! All day, you can partake in supersized games. Massive versions of the childhood games you love are free to play in the museum. Try not to topple a giant Jenga tower and satisfy your enormous appetite in a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos where you are the hippo! It’s an absolute riot! Feeling artistic? From 10:30 to 4, you can get creative in the Collaborative Art Lab. Create a masterpiece that captures everything you love about family! The London Children’s Museum has so many things to do and explore this Family Day. If you’ve got kids that are full of curiosity and energy (which honestly sounds like every child I’ve ever met), this is the perfect place to take them!

Take a Tour of the Eldon House

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 481 Ridout St. N (map) https://eldonhouse.ca/
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The Best Family Day Activities in London - Eldon House The Eldon House is London’s oldest residence. Barely a single thing has changed since the nineteenth century. This historic site used to be the home of the Harris family, and still contains may family heirlooms, furnishings, and treasures that belonged to them. Explore their family history with your family! Only on Family Day, the Amazing Corbin’s Grand Flea Circus will be performing in the drawing room of the Eldon House. Flea circuses were popular entertainment way back when the Harris family still lived with in the house. Well-trained “fleas” perform tricks and feats on a miniscule scale, which dazzled the folks of the nineteenth century and will dazzle your and yours this Family Day! Just because your kids have the day off school doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be learning. Experience history first hand by strolling through the Eldon House this Family Day!

Play a Few Rounds of Bowling

The Best Family Day Activities in London - Bowling Bowling is great for Family Day because you don’t have to be good to have fun. Your whole family can grab a lane and take part in a friendly competition. It’s a fun, physical activity that requires little to no talent to enjoy, and since nobody in your family is probably a pro-bowler (unless you’ve got an uncle in a bowling league or something) you’re all on equal ground. Whether you go with five or ten pin, you’re bound to have a good time chucking the ball down the lane. Try to beat your personal best score, or just do your best not to lose to your little cousin that uses bumpers. For a full rundown on all of SKB’s favourite bowling alleys in London, check out our Best Bowling Alleys list!

Go See a Movie

The Best Family Day Activities in London - Movies Going to see a movie in the theatre is a tried and true Family Day activity. Pile into a car and head to your theatre of choice to watch the newest blockbuster with the whole family! Our personal recommendation for your whole family’s viewing entertainment is the Lego Movie: The Second Part. Released earlier this month, this follow-up to the smash hit Lego Movie is great for everyone of all ages. Appropriate and engaging for the kids while still being legitimately entertaining to adults, it’s a rare opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a movie-going experience. There are two Cineplex theatres in the city if you want to cash in your Scene points – Silver City in Masonville and Cineplex Odeon Westmount, which also has a VIP (19+) cinema if your Family Day doesn’t include any children. There’s also the Imagine Cinemas right in the heart of downtown. If you’ve got a bunch of family across London coming to the movie, the Imagine Cinemas has the perfect central location for everyone to meet at. The Landmark Cinemas on Wellington have the comfiest seats of any theatre in the city. Their big, plush recliner seats make it a destination for many Londoners because there’s nothing worse than getting distracted from an awesome flick because you can’t get comfortable.

OUTDOOR

Make Maple Syrup at the Kinsmen Fanshawe Sugar Bush

Neighbourhood: Thorndale 21201-C Lakeside Dr. (map) http://home.primus.ca/~greaterlondonkinsmenclub/index.html
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The Best Family Day Activities in London - Sugar Bush Brave the cold on Family Day and head out to the Kinsmen Fanshawe Sugar Bush in Thorndale and you’re in for a fantastic, syrupy day. If you head out early and are one of the first fifty families to enter the sugar bush, you even get to tap your own tree! After the trees are tapped, you get a demonstration of how the syrup is made, try some samples maybe. Combat the chill by sitting at a campfire and chowing down on a plateful of the famous hot pancakes dripping with their maple syrup. For just $2 per person (or $10 for a car load), it’s one of the most financially friendly activities on top of being the tastiest. Fresh, real maple syrup is unlike anything else, especially if you tapped the tree yourself!

Ski, Snowboard, or Tube Down Boler Mountain

Neighbourhood: Byron 689 Griffith St. (map) https://www.bolermountain.com/
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Best Winter Activities - Boler Mountain Boler Mountain is one of our favourite winter destinations. We’ve detailed all of the fantastic things you can do at Boler Mountain in our Best Winter Activities list, and all of that remains true, plus some extra special Family Day activities. With extended hours on the weekend of Family Day, you and your family can enjoy everything Boler has to offer for even longer! Sunday night, there’s a tubing special. Tickets are required to be purchased in advance for this event, just as a heads up. So, if you want to go tubing from 6-9PM on Sunday, keep your eyes peeled for tickets on their website. To finish off a long, happy Family Day of sliding down the snowy hills, there will be a firework display at 9PM on Monday. It’s a wonderful way to end the day.

Snowshoe around the Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum

Neighbourhood: Mount Brydges 8348 Longwoods Rd. (map) https://www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca/
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The Best Family Day Activities in London - Ska-Nah-Doht Village The Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority invite you to come out and strap on some snowshoes this Family Day (assuming the weather co-operates). LTVCA staff will teach you everything you need to know about snowshoeing, from its history to a practical lesson! Then they’ll send you on your way down the woodland trails for a lovely winter hike. Explore the Ska-Nah-Doht village, a recreation of a longhouse village from a millennium ago. There are 18 outdoor exhibits to explore. It’s physically active, fascinating, and educational!

Skate at one of the Awesome Rinks

Best Valentine's Day Date - Storybook Gardens Skating is a great family activity. No matter if you or your kids are just learning, or you’re practically ice dancers, it can be a great experience for the entire family. There are a bunch of really great spots to go skating this Family Day, both indoor and outdoor. We personally prefer outdoor – if you’re going to be cold, you might as well get some fresh air while you’re at it. If you’re looking to skate for free, both Victoria Park and Covent Garden Market have quality rinks that cost nothing to skate on. These downtown spots are great because after your skate, there are so many options to warm back up. Perhaps a coffee or hot chocolate would do the trick. Storybook Gardens is also a great spot for skating, plus they’ve got extras. They’ve always got the Beavertail stand up and running, offering warm, crispy fried pastry with a plethora of toppings to choose from. On Family Day, they’re also offering an all-day pancake breakfast served by a campfire! Plus, you can take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon around the park. There is an up-front cost to get into Storybook Gardens, but once you’re in, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time with your family. If you’ve never gone, check it out this Family Day!

The Best Valentine’s Day Date in London

DINNER

A dinner out on the town is an integral part of any Valentine’s Day date. Eating great food, drinking great drinks, and enjoying each other’s company is one of the most popular ways to celebrate your relationship and each other. Spend some quality time with your partner at one of these amazing restaurants! Don’t forget: if you’re planning on getting dinner at one of these spots on Valentine’s Day, we definitely recommend calling ahead and getting a reservation. It’s going to be a busy night for everyone, so guarantee yourself a table by booking ahead!

Craft Farmacy

Neighbourhood: Southcrest 449 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map)
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - Craft Farmacy Craft Farmacy is one of our favourite spots in the entire city to get a bite to eat that makes you feel fancy. The restaurant has an air of class to it, without even coming close to stuffy or uptight. It’s fun, it’s stylish, and best of all, the food is incredible. The Craft Farmacy menu is a wonderful, eclectic mix of dishes inspired by all sorts of styles and cuisines, elevated to fine dining. From gnocchi to schnitzel, and one of the best steaks you’ll find in the city, Craft Farmacy has got something for everyone. The drink menu is just as exciting. Craft beers galore, a wine list to die for, and a cocktail menu that will have you wondering whether you can handle trying one of everything, because you really, really want to (please drink responsibly). Don’t forget to get an order of oysters! They’re fresh as can be – shipped to the restaurant that day and only shucked once you’ve placed your order. Oysters are often thought of as aphrodisiacs, making them a perfect part of the ultimate romantic dinner. Celebrate your love and local cuisine this Valentine’s Day at Craft Farmacy!

Hunter & Co.

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 349 Talbot St. (map) https://www.hunterco.ca/
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - Hunter & Co Hunter & Co. is another spot that never fails to impress. The ambiance is on point and the food and drink are obviously incredible. Their menu is always changing to stay fresh and seasonal, but you can bet that anything being offered at Hunter & Co. is going to blow your mind. The Hunter & Co. menu consists of awesome small plates that you are perfect for sharing between the two of you. Share a charcuterie board, a big platter of oysters, or the roasted bone marrow, which a perpetual favourite here at SKB. Don’t forget about drinks! Their cocktails are some of the best in the city, they’ve got an excellent beer selection, and their wine list is extensive. Find something to pair perfectly with your meal and enjoy! Sharing a dish or two at Hunter & Co. is a wonderful, intimate experience that is perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Anderson Craft Ales + Peas and Thank You

Neighbourhood: Old East Village 1030 Elias St. (map) https://andersoncraftales.ca/events/2019/2/14/valentines-day-with-peas-amp-thank-you
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - Anderson Anderson Craft Ales, one of our favourite craft breweries in town, has teamed up with the vegan pop-up restaurant Peas and Thank You to bring you a Valentine’s Day dinner that you’ll never forget. To get into the brewery, you must buy a ticket ahead of time. You can get your ticket(s) here. Your ticket doesn’t just grant you access, it also gets you a three-course prix fixe meal and a glass of beer. Your dinner is 100% plant-based, as brought to you by Peas and Thank You. The appetizer is a veggie charcuterie board, the main is a “chk’n” parm, and for dessert you’ll be having a passion fruit and raspberry cake. Of course, your beer is an Anderson brew. Take your pick of anything they’ve got on tap and enjoy! This is the perfect Valentine’s Day date for vegans, beer lovers, and vegan beer lovers! Buy your ticket today!

The In Home Chef

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 731 Wellington St. (map) http://theinhomechef.ca/
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - The In Home Chef The In Home Chef invites you and your partner to enjoy Valentine’s Day with a fantastic meal. Thomas Waite, the eponymous chef, has crafted a four-course meal that will make you feel love like you’ve never felt before (just don’t tell your partner that). The meal is absolutely delectable, an elegant and exciting exploration through the world of food. Your meal begins with a brown butter Jerusalem artichoke soup, followed by a root vegetable box. The third course is a choice between either braised beef cheek or seared cod. Finally, a crème brule for dessert. So many rich, delicious flavours that will leave your date happy, full, and impressed. They’ll definitely consider themselves lucky if you take them there. To top it all off, champagne and strawberries, two classic parts of Valentine’s Day. Who would say no to a little bit of bubbly?

The Springs

Neighbourhood: Southcrest 310 Springbank Dr. (map) http://www.thespringsrestaurant.com/
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - The Springs The Springs is an upscale bistro found in a renovated church on Springbank Drive. The vibe is welcoming, cozy, and intimate – perfect for dining with the love of your life on Valentine’s Day. They have crafted a menu specific to celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s a whopping six courses, with multiple choices for four of them, meaning you get to try a whole lot of food, with more flexibility and customizability than your average prix fixe menu. You get an amuse bouche, an appetizer, two entrées, a palate cleanser, and finish off with dessert. And all for only $80 per person! Explore their menu here, with so many choices it’s impossible to detail them all here. One of the dishes that really caught our eye is the pork belly (found in entrée 1), which incorporates coffee in two ways – as a rub and a sauce – and blueberry jam, two elements that intrigue us to no end. As everyone knows, Santa has a serious coffee addiction, so infusing it into his dinner is an exciting prospect. Six courses may seem intimidating, but when the food is so tasty, you’ll be wishing you had more. Check out the Springs this Valentine’s Day for a seriously tasty meal!

Plant Matter Kitchen

Neighbourhood: Old South 162 Wortley Rd. (map) https://plantmatterkitchen.com/
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - PMK Vegans love Valentine’s Day too! Plant Matter Kitchen is giving vegans an excellent option for a Valentine’s Day out on the town with some fantastic food. A three-course meal for you and your sweetheart, no reservation required (but it might be a good idea for a guaranteed table immediately). The first course is futomaki, which is a “fat” rolled sushi filled with veggies and tofu. Alongside it is a lightly pickled tomato cut into a rose for that beautiful Valentine’s aesthetic that you can eat! The main course is a vegetable tower. Zucchini red pepper, and tomato stacked high, with sweet sesame jack fruit and crispy potato! The final course (presumably a dessert) has yet to be revealed, so stay tuned to their social media to find out! They’re also serving their regular menu, if the prix fixe doesn’t appeal to you. Burgers, salads, and entrées that are all plant-based and all delicious! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day in a cruelty-free fashion at Plant Matter Kitchen!  

ENTERTAINMENT

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the food. There are many other ways to enjoy time with your significant other! Try these activities on for size!

Terry Barber at the Aeolian Hall

Neighbourhood: Old East Village 795 Dundas St. (map) https://aeolianhall.ca/
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - Terry Barber at the Aeolian Hall Join Terry Barber at the Aeolian Hall, one of the best concert venues in the city, for a night of romance, joy, and music. Terry Barber is a Grammy award winning artist, known for having an incredible vocal range and impressive technique. He has performed all over the globe in amazing venues, and now he graces the Forest City The concert will feature some classic showtunes written by Andrew Lloyd Webber along with some romantic classics that will have you singing and dancing with your significant other – a wonderful and intimate experience, even if you aren’t particularly good at either.

Couples Skate at Storybook Gardens

Neighbourhood: Byron 1958 Storybook Ln. (map) https://www.storybook.london.ca/
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Best Valentine's Day Date - Storybook Gardens Assuming the weather is cooperating the evening of Valentine’s Day, you and your partner can head to Storybook Gardens for a leisurely and romantic skate around the park. This is an 18+ event, so you don’t have to worry about trying to skate around kids, just adults that haven’t gone skating in a while. You have to buy your ticket ahead of time, none are sold at the door. A ticket is $20, valid for two people. It also includes one Beavertail pastry and two hot drinks, which you can enjoy next to a campfire before or after your skate. Don’t have skates of your own? Don’t worry! For a small additional charge, you can rent some skates right then and there! Grab your tickets here!

Cooking Class in the Covent Garden Market

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 130 King St. (map) https://thelivewellcommunity.com/product/valentines-dinner-cooking-class/
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Who says you have to go to a restaurant for a fantastic Valentine’s Day dinner? Book yourself a Valentine’s Dinner cooking class at the Covent Garden Market, and you’ll be whipping up a three-course meal so delicious and romantic, that you’ll consider opening a restaurant yourself. The class is 2.5 hours long, led by Chef Shauna. She will take you through the fundamentals of making an amazing, vibrant, and healthy meal! It starts with a sun-dried tomato baked brie with toasted baguette, followed by an immaculate plate of pork ribs with mashed potatoes and greens! Finally, a flourless chocolate cake that is as indulgent as it is gluten free (100%)! Purchase your ticket right here!

Tinder Tales at the Rec Room

Neighbourhood: Masonville 1680 Richmond St. (map) https://www.therecroom.com/?location=london-masonville
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The Best Valentine's Day Date in London - Rec Room This Valentine’s Day, the Rec Room is hosting a standup show centered on the trials and tribulations of dating. Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, you can grab yourself a ticket and laugh at the romantic blunders of these comedians! The show is called Tinder Tales, a comedy show that has sold out venues internationally! The lineup of seven comedians share tales of dating, relationships, and how they’ve managed to screw it all up. But don’t worry, it’s all in good fun. Valentine’s Day could be all about serious romance, or you could have some fun with it at the Rec Room!

The Best Waffles in London

BREAKFAST

Start your day the right way: with a fantastic waffle for breakfast! Or maybe it’s close to midday on a weekend and you’ve been waiting for brunch all morning… Either way, these spots will get your day started on the right foot with a great waffle for your first meal.

The Early Bird

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 335 Talbot St. (map) https://www.theearlybird.ca/
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The Best Waffles in London - Early Bird We hope you brought your appetite, because the waffles at the Early Bird are no joke. The portions here are seriously big, but once you start eating, there’s basically no stopping until that plate is clean. Vanilla waffles made fresh when you order, so perfectly fluffy on the inside with a crisp outer layer, you’ll wonder if angels made them. They’re accompanied by the classic maple syrup and whipped cream, because those two elements are quintessential. But instead of the same old lame mixed berries or little plastic containers of jam that were sealed no one knows how long ago, next to your waffles sit poached apples – soft, sweet, and incredible. Everything feels fresh and However, if you really want waffles, but also crave something savoury, the chicken and waffles is your ticket. Dense waffles stacked high with fried chicken, bacon jam, and crispy onions. Top all that off with some maple syrup, and you’ve got the perfect place – a tantalizing blend of salty and sweet. If you’ve never heard of chicken and waffles, you may think it’s absurd, but I swear, if you love fried chicken and you love waffles, and you haven’t had both on the same plate, your life will change once you try it. Whether you go for sweet or savoury, your order comes with a side of home fries and salad or a fruit cup, because everything is made better by home fries, no exceptions. The Early Bird is one of our favourite spots to have breakfast in the city, and their waffles are no different. They’ve set a high bar for themselves at the Early Bird and both the sweet and the savoury options exceed expectations. Definitely worth trying the next time you’re looking for a great breakfast out on the town.

Happiness

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 430 Wellington St. (map)
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The Best Waffles in London - Happiness Happiness is not only what you’ll be feeling after tasting these waffles, it’s also the name of the place! Happiness is a new face in downtown London, found on the corner of Queens and Wellington, and they’ve been off to a strong start in the last year or so since opening. Cakes, crepes, macarons, coffee, and of course, our focus for today: waffles. Sticking to owner Olha Prytkova’s European roots, she’s serving Belgian waffles at Happiness. Light, fluffy insides, and a delightfully crisp exterior, always made fresh when you order. There are all sorts of options to pick from when it comes to topping your waffles. Fresh fruit and maple syrup are just the start! Peanut butter, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, lemon cream… The list goes on and on. Your typical order gets whipped cream plus two toppings, but you can go crazy and get as many as you want for an extra charge. Gluten free? No worries, you can get waffles made with rice and coconut flour, absolutely no gluten in sight. Vegan? Not a problem, replace the dairy with almond milk and you’ll be chowing down on some delicious waffles in no time. Happiness is always happy to accommodate. Happiness hasn’t been around for long, but they’re bringing smiles to the faces of Londoners with their amazing menu. If you haven’t checked this place out yet, we can’t recommend it enough.

Plant Matter Kitchen

Neighbourhood: Old South 162 Wortley Rd. (map) https://plantmatterkitchen.com/
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The Best Waffles in London - PMK Sure, these waffles are vegan, but do you really need eggs and milk to make a waffle amazing? Plant Matter Kitchen answers that question with a resounding “hell no!” As with everything on their menu, the PMK Waffles at Plant Matter Kitchen are completely plant-based. It should be no surprise at this point, that this fact has absolutely no impact on how delicious the food at Plant Matter Kitchen is. Their dishes never fail to impress. The waffles are so incredibly fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, making the perfect vessel for the toppings. Organic maple syrup, sweet soy cream, fruit coulis, and butter – which, of course, is a plant-based alternative that tastes and melts just like the real dairy product – top your immaculate waffles. Sweet, fresh, and fruity, there’s no denying how good these waffles are. Whether you’ve made the decision to go completely plant-based, or you’re just on the hunt for an incredible waffle, Plant Matter Kitchen should be your destination this weekend for breakfast!

Symposium Café

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 620 Richmond St. (map) https://symposiumcafe.com/locations/london-restaurants
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The Best Waffles in London - Symposium Symposium Café opened in London over two decades ago, and has since expanded to over 21 restaurants across Ontario. Their spot in the core of downtown London has made them a go-to for everything from breakfast to dinner to a late-night snack. Their breakfast menu, which features the waffles that placed them on this list, is available to order every day from 8am to 4pm, so it’s great for everyone, no matter what time you roll out of bed. Their Belgian waffle is made fresh to order, ensuring that when it arrives at your table, it’s still warm and the exterior hasn’t gone soft. They top it with your choice of fruit, and served with an additional fruit cup on the side. Plus, they give you your own table syrup to top as you see fit, as much syrup as you can handle. If a plain waffle just doesn’t get your heart racing, you can add chocolate chips for just $1.50, adding a whole new level of delicious to your waffle. They get melty and gooey in the waffle press, a definite must-have for any chocoholics out there. The waffles at Symposium are fantastic, and not just because you can get them basically all day, every day. Warm and fresh, and potentially oozing with chocolate, the waffles are our favourite choice whenever you’re out for breakfast at the Symposium.  

DESSERT

Waffles shouldn’t just be a morning food, they should be an anytime food. Whether this is actually a post-meal treat, or just actually your meal, we won’t judge you. These are just the spots that have waffles available later in the day, for a post-breakfast/brunch waffle fix!

Marky’s Crepes and Waffles

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 484 Richmond St. Unit 478 (map) https://www.markyscrepecafe.com/
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The Best Waffles in London - Marky's Marky’s is basically the destination in London for crepes and waffles. I mean, it’s in the name of their establishment after all! They’ve got all crepes of all sorts, including both savoury and sweet preparations, milkshakes, desserts, and best of all, waffles. For a shockingly fair price (averaging about $7), you can get yourself a whole assortment of amazing sweet waffles that would be the perfect end to any meal, or may even qualify as a meal in itself. You could go for the classic Belgian waffle, topped with icing sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Simple and delicious, but you don’t go to Marky’s if you want to play it safe, you go for their unique, amazing concoctions. For instance, the Fruit Haze-nut – as pictured above – which is topped with Nutella, strawberries, bananas, and icing sugar, fruity and chocolatey is exactly what we’re looking for. Or maybe you’d prefer the Strawberry Cheesecake, which has rich cheesecake filling, strawberries, and cookie crumbs – because why have one dessert when you can have two on one plate? Marky’s has been offering amazing waffles for years, and I’d be surprised if you’ve never heard of them. Located right on the corner of Richmond and Dufferin, they’re so centrally located that every Londoner must have passed the storefront dozens of times. If you’ve been there before, you already know how great it is, and if you haven’t, that’s has to change soon!

Soonies

Neighbourhood: Blackfriars 243 Wharncliffe Rd. N (map)
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The Best Waffles in London - Soonies Have you heard of Soonies? Because we hadn’t until we posted on Instagram asking where the best waffle was. And boy are we glad that Dos Tacos let us in on this little secret. Located inside of the Babaz shawarma restaurant on the corner of Wharncliffe and Oxford, is Soonies. Their menu is simple, only three items: milkshake, cheesecake, waffle. And oh boy, are their waffles aver amazing. The waffles are so thick we’re inclined to call them deep dish, perfectly fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Cover that bad boy in cookie crumbs, then a scoop of ice cream, and finally cookie butter. You read that right, cookie butter. Like peanut butter… but cookies instead of peanuts. If Soonies is a test in self-control, we’re failing hard and we’re happy doing so, because this is too good to pass up.

The Best Poutine in London

To Canadians, poutine is no joke. Besides being nice, inventing hockey, and drinking Tim Horton’s, it’s one of the few things this country is truly known for. London is just like any Canadian city, we’re proud of our poutine and we want a lot of it… A whole lot of it. The restaurants on this list are the best in the business when it comes to making poutine.

CLASSIC POUTINE

All of the restaurants in this section haven’t reinvented the poutine wheel, but then again, they didn’t need to. There aren’t too many surprises when it comes to what you’ll get when you order poutine from one of these spots, but the flavour is absolutely mind-blowing. They’re the best of the best to satisfy that poutine craving that so many Londoners experience.

Root Cellar

Neighbourhood: Old East Village  623 Dundas St. (map) http://rootcellarorganic.ca/
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The Best Poutine in London - Root Cellar The Root Cellar is a spot that we’re constantly drawn to. Local ingredients, expertly prepared, served up hot and fresh? It’s impossible to resist. When you cave in to the urge and visit, there’s no better start to your meal than the poutine. The fries are hand-cut from local, organic potatoes, then fried and seasoned. They’re absolutely fantastic on their own whether you get a full order or as a side with your burger, if you’re somehow reading this and not a fan of poutine. The fries are then topped with cheese curds, then doused in house-made miso gravy. Vegans of London, rejoice! Ask your waiter for the poutine to be vegan, and in the place of those dairy curds, you’ll get Daiya shreds! When the vegan “cheese” melts under the heat of the fries and gravy, it becomes one of the most delicious, gooey, animal/cruelty-free messes that you’ll ever get to experience. When the holy trinity of fries, cheese, and gravy comes together in the Root Cellar kitchen, you know you’re in for a treat. It may be the classic recipe, but the Root Cellar puts their own twists and trademarks on it to make it unique, and utterly delicious. Stop by and give it a try for yourself, the only downside is it’s not all you can eat.

Craft Farmacy

Neighbourhood: Southcrest 449 Wharncliffe Rd. S (map)
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The Best Poutine in London - Craft Farmacy Our love affair with Craft Farmacy continues! Ever since we did a Business of the Week with them last fall, we keep going back. Even though we always intend to try something new, the draw of the poutine always screws with our plans. We simply can’t not order it, we need it in our souls. It’s not just a regular poutine either, it’s duck poutine! You’ve got your fries, cut in house and fried to golden perfection. Top those gorgeous potatoes with local cheese curds, shredded duck confit, and scallions. To finish it all off, a healthy portion of duck demi-glace, which is a kind of rich gravy that was invented in France. It’s almost unbelievable how good your first bite is – you’ll have to go in for a second, and maybe even a third. The fries are perfectly crisp while the duck confit is so incredibly tender, it practically melts in your mouth. The curds, partially melted by the blanket of warmth that is gravy, are amazing to say the least. When eaten all together, it’s a magical experience. If you’re a fan of poutine, you have to get yourself to Craft Farmacy on the double.

Sammy’s Souvlaki

Neighbourhood: Argyle Park & Byron 1815 Trafalgar St. (map) & 1035 Southdale Rd. W (map)

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The Best Poutine in London - Sammy's Souvlaki Sammy’s Souvlaki has been a staple in London for 40 years now. Every Londoner has seen their booths around the city, and most of them have probably stopped and eaten there a time or two! Their wraps and sandwiches are always great, and their tzatziki is so good that they sell it by the container for you to take home now, but their poutine is always one of our favourites. Sammy’s does poutine in classic chip truck style, which makes a whole lot of sense given their facilities. The fries are thick cut, perfect for supporting the weight of a cheese curd, and freshly fried so they’ll be hot and crisp when you get them. The gravy is the brown, delicious sauce that you know and love. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s done well, and compliments the other ingredients flawlessly. Poutine may not be traditional Greek food, but we sure are happy that Sammy decided to add it to his menu alongside classics from the Mediterranean.

The Early Bird

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 335 Talbot St. (map) https://www.theearlybird.ca/
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The Best Poutine in London - Early Bird The Early Bird calls itself a “fine diner,” taking your diner classics and elevating them to fine dining status. With an eclectic menu of sandwiches and fabulous all-day breakfast options, the Early Bird has made itself a popular destination for Londoners to grab a fantastic meal. At the Early Bird you get a choice of gravies for your poutine, either duck or veggie. The duck gravy is amazing, balancing fatty richness and saltiness with ease. The veggie gravy is equally delicious, and perfectly suited for vegetarians since there’s no meat stock or drippings used to make it. For just an extra fiver, you can add one of their signature meats to your poutine. Either the brisket, the pulled pork, or the smoked ham that’s usually saved for their sandwiches could grace your plate atop your poutine. If you’re feeling like something a little more unique than a classic poutine, try out the Early Bird’s perogie poutine – all the poutine ingredients you know and love with the addition of Polish perogies hidden under the gravy and cheese. Yep, the perogies don’t replace the fries, they’re added on top of them! Whether you’re getting your poutine as a side to accompany a sandwich, or it’s just your whole dang meal, you’ll always leave satisfied.

Smoke’s Poutinerie

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 551 Richmond St. (map) http://smokespoutinerie.com/
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The Best Poutine in London - Smoke's If you love poutine, you’ve undoubtedly been to Smoke’s, I mean, it’s a whole restaurant dedicated to the stuff. Every poutine begins with fresh hand-cut fries, cheese curds, and Smoke’s signature gravy – although they do also have a veggie gravy for those that choose to not partake in meat. What happens after that is completely up to you. They’ve got a whole menu of spectacular concoctions with various meats, veggies, and sauces that will blow your mind. From homemade chili to buffalo chicken, Smoke’s has something that will get just about everyone’s mouth watering just looking at the menu. Smoke’s is also open late, like really late. 3am on Monday through Thursday and 4am on Friday/Saturday night. It’s no surprise, though, they’re right in the middle of downtown, in close walking distance of a bunch of bars. Poutine is an excellent drunk food, one of the best really. Smoke’s just knows their audience!

SPECIALTY POUTINE

The restaurants in this section of the list have taken “poutine” as a set of guidelines, as opposed to a hard and fast recipe. They’ve switched things up, taken different ethnic inspiration, or added the ingredients they crave to the amazing poutine formula, and the resulting poutine dishes are irresistible.

Shelby’s Food Express

Neighbourhood: SoHo 223 Horton St. (map) http://www.shelbysfoodexpress.com/
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The Best Poutine in London - Shelby's Ever in the mood for shawarma and poutine at the same time? What about in the same forkful? Well, look no further than Shelby’s Food Express. Shawarma poutine, AKA chicken shawarma fries, takes the concept of poutine in a whole new direction. It may not be traditional, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. What you do is take some fresh fries, top it with Shelby’s incredible chicken shawarma meat, straight off the rotisserie. Sprinkle some feta on there – we know, it’s not curds, but it’s still a salty, cheesy pop that’s undeniably good – and parsley for good measure. Finally, instead of a traditional gravy, there’s a secret Shawarma Fries sauce that’s creamy, spicy, and incredible. A real stick in the mud would look at the shawarma poutine from Shelby’s and say “that’s not poutine!” Well, we’re more worried about what tastes delicious than what checks all the traditional poutine boxes, and the shawarma fries at Shelby’s Food Express are too good to ignore!

Smok’in Joe’s BBQ

Neighbourhood: Argyle Park 1920 Dundas St. (map) https://smokinjoesbbq.ca/
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The Best Poutine in London - Smok'in Joe's Smok’in Joe’s BBQ not only has one of the most confusingly places apostrophes in London, but also some of the best barbeque. Mouthwatering meats slow cooked and applewood smoked, so tender they melt in your mouth… What more could a Londoner ask for? Oh, how about putting that delicious meat on some poutine! If you’re looking for something classic, no frills, but still delicious, go for the Simple Joe. Potatoes, curds, gravy, it’s all you really need. Like most things at Smok’in Joe’s, the gravy is smoked, giving it extra flavour and a little more complexity than your run of the mill gravy. However, for the more adventurous or the more carnivorous out there, Smok’in Joe’s has a few incredible poutine options for you. Take the Simple Joe and add a portion of pulled pork on top, and you’ve got yourself a That’s Not All Folks. Or if you’re more into red meat, get yourself a Beefaholic, which uses their scrumptious smoked brisket. If it’s barbeque and poutine you crave, then Smok’in Joe’s is the place to go. They’ve got the best of both, and when combined, it’s even greater than the sum of its parts!

Campus Hi-Fi

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 736 Richmond St. (map) http://www.campushifi.com/

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The Best Poutine in London - Campus Hifi Who says poutine can’t be eaten in the morning? Definitely not the folks at Campus HiFi! This downtown breakfast joint has got the breakfast poutine of your dreams. It begins with the poutine basics: potatoes, cheese curds, gravy. In this case, you can get either the classic choice of fries or switch it up and get home fries, a much more breakfast-y choice. Alongside the curds and gravy, you get two poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, and your choice of either bacon or sausage. In essence, you’re getting eggs benedict but instead of an English muffin, you get poutine… And that sounds amazing to us. The poutine also comes with a side of toast, perfect for picking up any of the gravy-yolk-Hollandaise blend that may be left over after all the potatoes have disappeared.

Che Restobar

Neighbourhood: Downtown London 225 Dundas St. (map) https://www.cherestobar.ca/
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The Best Poutine in London - Che Che Restobar takes poutine and gives it some Latin flair with their version, the yuca poutine. They do something that no one else on this list has done: taken the potato out of poutine. In its place is yuca, another root vegetable that is very common in many cuisines of the world, including Latin. Atop the yuca fries are cotija cheese, aji Amarillo sauce, and black olive aioli. The cheese adds a salty pop, the sauce adds spice, and the creamy aioli is absolutely incredible. It’s far from traditional – there’s no potato, curds, or gravy to be found! However, that’s the joy of something as simple as poutine. Chefs can take the basic concept, blend it with any number of global influences and transform it into something that is delicious, new, but still poutine at its core!