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NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Little Portugal

  • By Mai Nguyen
  • Photos by Chris Donovan
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Little Portugal
Toronto
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There’s an Old-World-meets-New vibe to Little Portugal. Starting in the 1950s, thousands of Portuguese immigrants made their first home in this west-end area. Over the years, it’s steadily been in transition, as many of the original residents have moved to the suburbs while urban professionals settled in. As a result, there are cool bars, quaint restaurants and independent retailers, but the family bakeries and cafes that are still around — and regularly frequented by elderly residents — keep this area from changing too fast.

Meet Mai Nguyen

Mai has lived in Toronto since 2006. Before that, she lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Vancouver, B.C.; and Halifax, Nova Scotia — which has kept her from developing the center-of-the-universe complex that Torontonians sometimes get.

Want to get in touch?

mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Little Portugal

Dundas West Mural
At Dundas West and Sheridan Avenue, you’ll find a cheerful mural designed by Jose Ortega, the artistic director and co-founder of Lula Lounge, a live global-music venue that’s just around the corner.
1547 Dundas St. W. Toronto, Ontario M6K 1T6
Caldense Bakery
Pastel de nata, tosta mista, Sumol soda: It’s all here at this classic, no-frills Portuguese cafe. It’s so good, even Justin Trudeau made a surprise appearance at the sister location in Bradford, Ontario.
Caldense Bakery, 1209 Dundas St. W. Toronto, Ontario M6J 1X3
Imanishi Japanese Kitchen
Technically, everything on the menu is considered a snack, but order strategically and you’ll leave satisfied. Get the Nagoya-style chicken wings, grilled squid with kewpie mayo, tai carpaccio, and when the server asks, say yes to the Tokyo toast and taro ice cream.
Imanishi Japanese Kitchen, 1330 Dundas St. W. Toronto, Ontario M6J 1Y1
Easy Tiger Goods
Thanks to the keen eye of owner Zai Rajkotwala, every item in this store is so pretty it hurts. There’s stationery, jewelry, housewares and even a coffee bar here.
Easy Tiger Goods, 1447 Dundas St. W. Toronto, Ontario M6J 1Y7
Mai Nguyen
Mai has lived in Toronto since 2006. Before that, she lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Vancouver, B.C.; and Halifax, Nova Scotia — which has kept her from developing the center-of-the-universe complex that Torontonians sometimes get.
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bymainguyen
Chris Donovan
Chris is a Toronto-based contributing photographer for The Washington Post who grew up on the ocean and misses it dearly (but on good days, when the sun glistens off Lake Ontario, it does just fine). He loves living in Toronto because of the diversity and great food from around the world.
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cdonovanphoto

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