Toronto's Best Shepherd's Pie

James Chatto, beloved Toronto food critic and native Englishman, knows his shepherd’s pies



Chatto’s standard for a good pie is his mom’s. His grade school cafeteria also served the dish and sits at the opposite end of the taste spectrum. The Pour House’s pie (called the “cottage pie” on its menu) is the last one he tries. After admitting that none of the pies he’s tasted have “really wowed” him yet, he’s holding out hope for this one remaining dish. “The potato looks much richer,” he says. “This seems as though it’s actually been baked in an oven, rather than assembled.” Chatto is pleased to see carrots, peas and corn mixed in with the meat. And these veggies are cooked to Chatto’s liking: not overdone and adding “textural interest.” As for the meat? “It’s nice, moist, with some tanginess to it. Yeah, I think that's quite well done.” It’s not a “wow,” but we’ll take it.

Price: $12.99

WATCH VIDEO: James Chatto Pick T.O.'s Best Shepherd's Pie


Butler’s Pantry — 591 Markham St.

“Here’s another shepherd’s pie with a lovely crusty top,” says Chatto. “There’s a good inch and a half of potato there. And the meat's been mixed with plenty of other vegetables.” Although he likes the “peppery seasoning,” Chatto says this dish is a touch “too dry.”

Price: $9.75


Britannia Pub & Grill — 7359 Yonge St., Thornhill

“This almost looks more like a moussaka,” says Chatto, who enjoys the “flavourful meat” in Britannia’s shepherd’s pie. The uber-whipped potatoes, however, are “too close to liquid” for Chatto’s liking. Still, he likes the overall seasoning of the pie.

Price: $10.50


Daiter’s Fresh Market — 3535 Bathurst St.

“That’s a handsome-looking shepeherd's pie,” says Chatto. “It’s finished under the grill to get a little crust on it, which is nice.” Unfortunately, Daiter’s dish doesn’t have “any oomph” to it — although Chatto does like the sweet kernels of corn sprinkled on top.

Price: $9.99


McEwan — 38 Karl Fraser Rd.

“There’s almost too much potato here,” says Chatto. “And they’re not using ground meat, which is really unusual. There are great big chunks of meat. The meat itself is quite tender — but here’s a lump of fat.”

Price: $13.95


WATCH VIDEO: James Chatto Picks T.O.'s Best Shepherd's Pie

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Thornhill mom-and-pop shop fights back

Thornhill mom-and-pop shop fights back

Posted 1 week ago
Taste Test: T.O.’s perfect pie à la mode

Taste Test: T.O.’s perfect pie à la mode

September is apple-picking season around these parts, so we rounded up the city’s most decadent apple pies and matched them with this town’s best gourmet ice creams in search of the perfect dessert pairing. Which duo did chef Mark McEwan crown tops in T.O.?
Posted 3 weeks ago
Old rivalries emerge in Thornhill council

Old rivalries emerge in Thornhill council

A Thornhill councillor and upstart community firebrand face off on social media and in council.
Posted 4 weeks ago
Police investigate ‘swatting’ in Rosedale

Police investigate ‘swatting’ in Rosedale

Posted 2 months ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module