Get carted away by T.O. snack shacks
A martial arts–inspired hot dog cart and more
Not too long ago, Toronto’s mobile and shack-sized eateries were limited to hot dogs and the very occasional ice cream truck. Around North America, food trucks blossomed into a culinary culture of their very own. Portland got their food cart pods, L.A. put Korean tacos from the back of a mobile eatery on the map, and Montreal sent out its gastronomic pride and joy, Au Pied de Cochon, in an upcycled UPS truck and won hearts across the city with a $6 sous-vide pork tongue sandwich served on a doughnut. Toronto, in response, had “Toronto à la Cart,” a short-lived pilot program that forced local restaurateurs to apply for expensive licences and purchase even more expensive uniform carts, something at least one mayoral candidate at the time dubbed, “Toronto à la Failure.” T.O. street carts in the late 1800s served roasted chestnuts and Italian ices.
L–R: Kung Fu Dawg owner Stephen Payne and Mr. Chu’s gigantic cotton candy