It seems nearly every cuisine has their own version of a quintessential comfort food: the dumpling.
Imagine if you will, a walkable trail of restaurants that would lead you through a feast of dumplings from around the world. Sounds nice, right?
Well, no need to make-believe, because our very own Old East Village neighbourhood is packed with global flavours, including many varieties of dumplings! The Old East Village Business Area has curated the Dumpling Trail, a scrumptious self-guided tour of culinary neighbourhood gems.
We visited just a few of the stops along the Trail and found it an excellent way to fill both an afternoon and a tummy.
Featuring photography by Carrie Freele.
Across from the Western Fair Market on Dundas Street is So Inviting Dumpling House. So Inviting is home to shelves on shelves of potstickers, dumplings, and buns of chicken, pork, beef, and vegetable varieties.
The dumplings are pick-your-own and sold by weight, and at $2.69, you can build yourself a feast fast without breaking the bank. Grab a pair of clean tongs and you can mix and match your favourites. For just $10, we packed a container full of a little bit of everything.
If you can’t get enough of the freshly cooked selection, there is also a freezer full of goodies you can take and cook at home. Also, first time visitors to the shop get a free sample!
Indulge Cuisine Caribbean Flavours
Step into Indulge Cuisine, located next to Aeolian Hall, and you’ll enter a world of jerk chicken, rotis, oxtail, and more flavourful Caribbean favourites. This is also where you’ll find Jamaican fried dumplings! These are round dumplings made of a flour and butter dough that has been deep fried.
These dumplings are typically served with a meal. On their own, the subtly sweet dough with its crispy, crunchy exterior hits as an instant comfort food. At $1.50 each, a Jamaican dumpling is an inexpensive way to warm up your day.
Of course, Indulge Cuisine has so many delicious menu items, you can easily find a complement for these beautiful dumplings. Go and indulge yourself!
Momos at the Market
Enter the Somerville 630 building at 630 Dundas Street, and you’ll find an assortment of food stalls, small businesses, and an art gallery! Look to your right as you enter and you’ll find Momos at the Market. The titular momo is the dumpling of Nepal.
Momos at the Market served us a beautiful plate of a dozen assorted meat and vegetable momos with a tomato, coriander and garlic sauce for $12. Of course, you can also order momos as a combo with some amazing Nepalese curry dishes. Happily, you can also pick up some frozen momos to take and cook at home.
Bella’s Acacia Catering
Tucked in the back of 630 Somerville, Bella’s Acacia Catering offers a huge variety of Korean cuisine, including of course, dumplings! Vegan foodies take note, Bella prides herself on offering a wide array of vegan options, including vegan versions of bibimbap, fresh rolls, drunken noodles, and more!
Bella served us some beautifully garnished chicken and vegetable dumplings. We also received some bonus kimchi pancakes, giving us a preview of the other incredible dishes available. Bella’s website describes kimchi as a “Korean sauerkraut.” It’s a naturally fermented cabbage or radish dish with a variety of uses, and Bella’s creates their kimchi in-house.
Aroma of India
Aroma of India recently moved into their new digs at 590 Dundas St, just on the edge of the OEV. We went in and bought 3 orders of vegetarian samosas. Each hot, fresh order contains gigantic, crispy, veggie-packed samosas with accompanying sauces.
These delightfully spiced samosas are the first item on Aroma’s extensive menu. Aroma has a spacious dining area, you can take a seat and spend the day enjoying various curries and masala.
These are just a few of the many stops you can find along the Dumpling Trail. Stop by Unique Food Attitudes to partake in the iconic pierogi of Poland! Order some ravioli bolognese from Tony’s Famous Italian! If you take the trek, be sure you bring some Construction Dollars if you have them, as they are accepted by the restaurants on the trail!
You can find all of the stops on the Dumpling Trail page from the Old East Village BIA. Happy trails!
This post has been powered by the Old East Village Business Improvement Area. The OEV BIA’s mandate is to create a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable commercial corridor, at the heart of an inclusive community, where more people live, work, shop, play and produce.