There are plenty of awesome and fun things to do at Kensington Market in Toronto.
Kensington Market is one of the city’s most eccentric neighbourhoods, and it has everything from cool vintage shops to unique international grocers!
Many different cultures and ethnic groups have lived in and around Kensington Market over the decades, which is why it’s become such a diverse Toronto neighbourhood today.
A lot of the Victorian-style houses that were built in the late 1800s still stand today, and have been lived in by immigrants of all ethnicities, including:
- 1800s: Scottish & Irish
- 1900s: European Jewish
- 1950s: Portugese, Italian, Caribbean, & East Asian
- 1980s: Latin American, African, & Asian
The history behind Kensington Market is truly fascinating, and you can do plenty of tours to learn more about it.
There’s also an event called Pedestrian Sundays that runs from summer through fall, so you can wander around the streets completely car-free!
Here’s how to spend the perfect day exploring the Toronto Kensington Market neighbourhood, including all the best things to see and do.
Best things to do in Kensington Market
1. Go café hopping
Kensington Market has plenty of adorable cafés in the neighbourhood, and it’s the perfect spot to go café hopping.
Sip on some fresh brews and enjoy some handmade pastries from these cute cafés in Kensington Market!
Here are a few cafés you can stop by while you’re in the area:
- FIKA Café is known for their aesthetically-pleasing book wall
- Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is known for their pastries
- Little Pebbles has French-inspired Japanese desserts
- Voodoo Child serves up espresso in a cool skull glass
- Jimmy’s Coffee is a local Toronto favourite
2. Explore the colourful street art and buildings
Kensington Market is one of the best neighbourhoods in the city to see Toronto street art.
There are a lot of cool graffiti and murals, and even the houses are painted in fun and vibrant colours!
Kensington Market isn’t very large, so you can take a walk around the entire neighbourhood to see all the cool street art in the area.
With all the vibrant colours, it’s one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Toronto!
3. Shop at Kensington Market’s vintage stores
Kensington Market is filled with great vintage stores for clothes and knick knacks.
While you’re exploring and looking at the street art, you can take a peek and do some window shopping at the vintage stores in Kensington!
Sub Rosa Vintage and Courage My Love are two of my favourites, but there are plenty more Toronto vintage clothing stores in the area.
A lot of the vintage shops in the area take part in the Toronto Vintage Crawl, a seasonal event where you can shop deals on all things vintage!
4. Shop at Kensington Market’s ethnic food shops
Like I said earlier, Kensington Market has been lived in by a plethora of different cultures and ethnicities.
From artisan cheese to tasty snacks from Asia, you’ll find plenty of unique stores in Kensington Market to shop from.
Stop by a bunch of their ethnic stores and bring an entire food haul home from all around the world!
5. Go on a food crawl
Kensington Market is the perfect place in Toronto to go on a food crawl, and you can even do food tours!
There are so many awesome food spots in Kensington Market, and you can grab a dish to share with a friend at each restaurant.
- Seven Lives serve up some of the best tacos in Toronto
- Rasta Pasta has some of the best jerk chicken in the city
- Otto’s Berlin Döner offers German street food bites
- Fresco’s Fish & Chips has some of the best fish and chips
- Dirty Bird has all the chicken and waffles
6. Grab a craft beer at Kensington Brewing Co.
Looking for some local craft beer brewed in Toronto?
Grab a tasting flight and sample some local craft beer at Kensington Brewing Co. in Kensington Market!
They’ve also got some snacks if you’re craving a munchie.
LOCATION: 299 Augusta Ave. | Website
7. Have doughnuts at Dipped Donuts
Dipped Donuts is one of the best doughnut shops in Toronto, and one of the most Instagram-worthy dessert spots in Toronto 😉
They make their doughnuts from scratch daily using fresh ingredients, and offer amazing flavours like S’mores and Carrot Cake.
They even have vegan doughnuts for my plant-based friends!
LOCATION: 161 Baldwin St. #1, Toronto, ON | Website
Best things to do in Kensington Market:
- Go café hopping
- Explore the colourful street art and buildings
- Shop at vintage stores
- Shop at ethnic food shops
- Go on a food crawl
- Grab a craft beer at Kensington Brewing Co.
- Have doughnuts at Dipped Donuts
Kensington Market is a Toronto neighbourhood filled with so much incredible history and culture.
It’s a lot of fun to explore, whether you’re a local or a tourist!
My paternal grandmother actually used to run a convenience store in Chinatown, and she even sold her Vietnamese desserts at a local banh mi shop.
Chinatown and Kensington Market are right next to each other, and they were both a big part of my childhood growing up.
My parents lived in Kensington Market when I was born, and my dad worked in the area for most of my childhood.
I still remember going for Sunday dim sum with the family, getting Hong Kong egg waffles at Chinatown Centre, and visiting my dad at work with my little brother.
While I didn’t explore much of Kensington Market until I became an adult, I have a lot of fond memories from my childhood!
If you’re looking for more Toronto neighbourhoods to explore, check out some of my other posts on the best things to do in various neighbourhoods:
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Feature photo by Kerry Meneses