Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stellar patties and reggae tunes in Toronto's Little Jamaica

Want to try some wonderful Jamaican patties and buy suspiciously cheap reggae CDs in one stop? Head to Randy's Take-Out, a classic Caribbean joint at 1569 Eglinton Ave. West in Toronto's Little Jamaica neighbourhood. 

"We've been on this block since 1978," explains Jennifer, one of the shop's owners, in her soft Jamaican lilt. She's part of a Chinese-Jamaican family that runs the restaurant.

Customers line up to get piping hot patties for $1.33 each. Each patty has a delicate, flakey crust. We quickly inhale the beef patty, which is filled with a spicy paste, and the chicken patty, made with hot peppers and curry spices.

The vegetable patty is surprisingly tasty, and includes callaloo, a Caribbean leaf vegetable. The ackee and saltfish patty isn't on the menu, but it's worth asking for: the smooth taste of the ackee fruit and lip-smacking saltiness of the codfish make Jamaica's national dish a wonderful combination. 

At the counter, make sure you clarify if you want one single patty or one box of patties—many of the customers here buy them by the box. Fresh patties are $13.50 a dozen or $13 frozen. In addition to the patties, curry goat and oxtail are also on the menu. 

If the island food gets you in the mood to hear some great reggae tunes, you're in luck. During our visit, vendors speaking in thick Jamaican patois were peddling compilations of Jamaican tunes right inside the shop. At $3 a CD, you can't go wrong.

Randy's is located at 1569 Eglinton Ave. West at Oakwood. Hours of operation are Monday to Thursday 11am to 8pm; Friday 11am to 9pm; Saturday 11am to 6:30pm, Sunday closed. Randy's is cash-only and there's no seating. 

Thanks to Tonya from What's on my plate for the tip. 

  • Share your own thoughts on Randy's in the comments field below.
  • Follow Spice City Toronto on Twitter and like it on Facebook.
  • Recommend a place for Spice City to visit at SpiceCityTO @ gmail.com 
  • Taste the food of the world without leaving Toronto with the Spice City Toronto World Food Map.

View Larger Map


  1. It sometimes amazes me how much small restaurants like this can surprise me with great food and amazing service. This just proves that a restaurant doesn't have to be big and fancy in order to be really good at what it does.

  2. Wish there was delivery to the U.S. I used to live in Toronto and moved away. Miss the Randy's patties soooo much! Mouth watering!