Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Even though the last day of Summer has already come and gone there is still plenty of time left to enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces we have in this city. Scarborough is home to some of the best natural scenery, trails and waterfront in Toronto and this is a great time of the year to take it all in before it's covered in snow.
Now this wouldn't be a proper Local Vibe post without a food angle so I'm going to combine the beauty of both the natural landscapes and the best surrounding food options in this edition.
The Scarborough Bluffs always get the most attention but it is far from the only natural attraction in the area. Scarborough boasts the most scenic shoreline in the city with the Bluffs being just one part of that. Lets take a look at five of the best and most picturesque places to visit and then where to find some incredible food nearby.
Rouge Beach Park
195 Rouge Hills Dr, Scarborough, ON
The marsh and wetlands area at the mouth of the Rouge River are the highlights of this park and walking the boardwalk is a great way to take in the scenery and wildlife in the area. Past the marsh is also a swimmable beach and a walking/cycling trail that continues West for a few kilometres and eventually joins the Highland Creek trail system. It's a great place to go for a ride or walk, take in the sunset or even fish in the marsh!
Port Union Bakery
61 Undercliff Dr, Scarborough, ON
You'll find all of the bakery staples like fresh bread, buns and plenty of sweets at the Port Union Bakery but the star items are their Filipino Empanadas and Asado (pork buns). The empanadas come in chicken or pork varieties, plus a dessert version filled with pineapple. My personal favourite, the Asado, is a pocket of slightly sweet minced pork baked into a dinner roll (pictured above). At a cost of only $1 to $1.50 each these are some of the best bang for your buck snacks around.
Simply Frosted Cupcakery
5550 Lawrence Ave E #5, Scarborough, ON
This "Cupcakery" tucked in the corner unit of a plaza at Port Union and Lawrence is the perfect place to treat yourself after spending some time hiking along the waterfront. They feature a large selection of cupcake flavours for walk-in customers and an even larger selection for orders. A Dulche de Leche cupcake from Simply Frosted goes great with a cappuccino from Mr. Beans Coffee just a few doors down.
The Guild Inn Estates
201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON
This is the perfect spot to both take in some natural scenery and Toronto history. This historic property dates back to 1914 and has changed hands and purposes many times over the years including stints as a seminary, an artists colony and a PTSD hospital following World War 2.
Long time owners Rosa & Herbert Clark began collecting pieces of historic Toronto buildings as they were being torn down to make way for new development in the 30's. Now the Inn's grounds feature numerous pieces of Toronto's architectural history as well as many other sculptures and art pieces surrounded by gardens, woodlands and views of Lake Ontario.
The Suya Spot
269 Morningside Ave, Scarborough, ON
Not too far from the Guild Inn is the perfect spot to get your fix for some West African flavours. Suya is a preparation of grilled meat cooked on a skewer that's popular throughout the region. It's flavours comes from ground peanut, hot peppers and various other spices.
Suya Spot serves up your choice of Suya meats along with Jollof rice and fried plantain. Jollof is a rice dish stewed with tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilies and spices. It's the perfect accompaniment to go with the spicy Suya and the sweet plantain. Pictured above is the Chicken and Goat Suya combo.
They also add some of their house made pepper sauce on the side. BEWARE! This hot sauce is no joke! I think of myself as someone with a pretty high spice tolerance and this stuff is way to high on the heat meter even for me to handle.
Another option to try here is the Waakye, a dish of rice and black eyed peas, served with goat stew, a boiled egg and noodles.
3222 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough, ON
Also in the area you'll find this old school stop for German comfort food. If you are in the mood for Beer and Schnitzel this has been the place to go in Scarborough since 1965. Aside from a variety of schnitzels, there is also German sausage, smoked pork chops and goulash on offer. You can't go wrong washing any of these down with an extra large 1 litre stein of German beer like Erdinger Weiss or Radeberger.
Rosetta McClain Gardens
5 Glen Everest Rd, Scarborough, ON
Named after one of the original owners of the land that the park sits on, Rosetta McClain Garden features winding pathways, elevated views of the lake and a manicured circular garden surrounding a large boulder fountain. It's always a peaceful oasis in the city. As an added bonus for those exploring the area, just east of the park entrance there is a steep old utility road that leads down to a lake side trail.
1466 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1N 1R6
The original Kingston Road location of this small chain has been a Scarborough go-to for authentic Thai street food for years. Named after a gigantic weekend market in Bangkok, Jatujak does great versions of classics like Pad Thai and Khao Soi. Their Lemongrass chicken wings always impress as well.
1666 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1N 1S5
The Birchcliff is the perfect stop to get your caffeine fix during any expedition in Scarborough. Their baked goods are too good to pass up while you're there, especially their butter tarts that are provided by the butter tart queens from Maple Key Tart Co. (pictured above)
The Scarborough Bluffs
Bluffers Park - The southern end of Brimley Road, Scarborough, ON
Scarborough Crescent Park - 61 Undercliff Dr, Scarborough, ON
Cathedral Bluffs Park - 24 Lyme Regis Crescent, Scarborough, ON