Poke is having its moment, and for good reason.
Immensely tasty, superbly healthy and beautifully presented, numerous poke-exclusive shops have opened downtown over the past five months.
Traditionally poke (pronounced po-kay) is made with raw fish, onions, sesame oil, and soy sauce over rice. Building on this basic recipe, Toronto shops add their own ingredient combinations to create remarkable presentations.
Poke shops downtown Toronto:
Big Tuna, 599 Bloor Street.
Big Tuna opened June 17, 2016 as Toronto’s first poke-exclusive shop, and is the only shop where you can enjoy a beer with your bowl.
Big Tuna owner Anh Tran offers up a poke bowl complete with taro chips at his 10 seat shop
Pokito, 420 Queen Street W.
Pokito benefits from having the expertise of owners from successful businesses of Chatime, Bake Code, and Me.n.u food truck.
The “420” complete with tuna, salmon, ponzu lime sauce, sweet onion, cucumber, sesame seeds and guacamole is Pokito’s signature bowl
The Poke Box, 36 Toronto Street.
The Poke Box is square with plain white walls, no seating and lightning fast service.
How fresh the fish is, makes or breaks poke. The Poke Box flew this tuna straight from Hawaii.
Poke Guys, 112 Elizabeth Street.
Poke Guys is a hidden gem just off Dundas Street West. Not as busy and bigger than other shops, you can poke and chill.
Hoki Poke, 946 Yonge Street.
Hoki Poke owners reinvented their sushi shop (The Signature Sushi) to become Toronto’s second poke shop.
The potential colour and texture combinations of raw seafood, vegetables, fruits and sauces are endless- salmon bowl from Hoki Poke
Calii Love, 367 King Street W.
“Positive vibes” radiate throughout the space: Staff eagerly help you make the perfect menu selection while fun tunes blast in the background.
Calii Love has something the other shops don’t- it is spacious.
SU&BU, 106 John Street.
SU&BU launched as a stall in the Food Building at this year’s CNE to huge fan fare leading to their permanent location, with a second one in the works.
Toronto’s latest opening SU&BU also offers sushi burritos
Can you catch’em all?
Ever more poke-exclusive shops are set to open:
Rolltation at 207 Dundas Street West (now open)
North Poke at 179 Baldwin Street (now open)
Lawai’a on Queen Street West
Poke Wrap at 354 Yonge Street (now open)
SU&BU (2nd location) at 8020 Bathurst Street
Fish’d location TBA