One of my favourite things to do for lunch is to go to Kensington Market.  There are a ton of delicious places to eat, and a variety of ethnic delicacies are easily available.  And after you eat, you can stroll through the market to do some vintage clothing shopping and get all your organic vegetables and freshly baked breads for dinner.

Our stand-by for a quick and delicious meal is to go for pupusas at Emporium Latino (243 Augusta Avenue, in Kensington Market, Toronto).  Pupusas are a traditional food from El Salvador, made of masa (corn flour) and stuffed with delicious things like refried beans and cheese.  They have a ton of vegetarian options (and omnivore fiancés are happy with the meat options) — and it’s always a struggle for me to choose between some of my favourite foods: pupusas, tamales, and tacos.  I always choose pupusas.


I’ll share in the delicious joy of deciding what you want from the menu:


Don’t you want one of each?

Once you’ve decided what you want, you order at the counter, grab the slip of paper they give you with your order on it, and take it to the back, where the magic happens:


They’ve got a teeny kitchen at the back of the grocery store, where you hand your slip to one of the wonderful folks at the back.


While you wait for them to get your pupusa on the grill (they make each one to order), you can poke around the grocery store — which is a great place to get all sorts of dried chili peppers:


Grab some beans out of the buckets and some local crema from Ingersoll:


Or grab some ready-made tamales (or queso fresco!) from the freezer:


The pupusas I order EVERY TIME we go are “refried beans and cheese”.  But this time, they had CACTUS (aka. nopales)!!!  So what’s a girl to do but order one of each?  The cactus and cheese is now my new favourite pupusa… but they don’t have it every time.  So grab it if it’s available when you are there.


The pupusas themselves (and the vinaiger-based cabbage coleslaw) are mild mild. But if you want a bit of heat, they’ll offer hot sauce on top. It’s spicy and wonderful. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, ask for “the vegetables” — pickled jalapenos and carrots that will spice up your mouth!!! SO GOOD!


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Categories: Travel


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  1. Arepas | The Kitchen Operas℠ - September 9, 2013

    […] Latin American countries (mainly Columbia and Venezuala, but eaten all over).  They are similar to pupusas (Salvadoran stuffed corn flatbreads), but they are cooked as a single patty, then split in half and turned into little savoury […]

  2. Gluten-Free Masa Cornbread | The Kitchen Operas℠ - October 8, 2013

    […] out-of-town with us.  But I had brought some masa harina (precooked corn flour) for making pupusas and arepas!  I knew right away that masa harina would make a great cornbread — and it would […]

  3. Curtido (aka. The Best Coleslaw Ever) | The Kitchen Operas℠ - August 13, 2014

    […] I embarked upon a kitchen adventure: making pupusas.  You may remember pupusas from my post about Emporium Latino in Kensington Market.  They are Salvadoran corn breads stuffed with savoury fillings, and my favourite combination is […]

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