I ate one of Meghan Markle’s favorite foods from Toronto. It lived up to the hype, but the restaurant that serves it was just OK.

Before she was a Duchess, Markle was a foodie.

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Before she was a Duchess, Markle was a foodie.
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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images and Rachel Askinasi/Insider

  • Meghan Markle loves the Peperoncini Piccanti condiment from Terroni – a restaurant in Toronto – according to her interview with Vanity Fair.
  • Before she became the Duchess of Sussex, Markle ran her own food and lifestyle blog called The Tig. She often posted about her meals and cheese boards at the restaurant as well.
  • On a recent trip to Toronto, I set out to experience the city the way this actress-turned-royal once did, or at least as much as I could in 24 hours. So I made a reservation at the restaurant she visited quite often, according to a restaurant representative, wanting to get my hands on those peppers.
  • While the condiment that comes alongside a complimentary basket of bread was delicious and left me wanting more, and the rest of the food I ordered was definitely solid, I wouldn’t return for another meal – maybe just to pick up a jar of Peperoncini Piccanti to-go.
  • The food was surprisingly affordable considering how trendy and upscale the atmosphere was – the most expensive pasta dish on the menu, which featured black truffles, was CA $26 (less than US $20) – but the service I received during my visit was sub-par.
  • Here’s everything I ate for CA $51 (less than US $40).
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

I had around 24 hours to spend in Toronto and I knew I had to plan ahead if I wanted to see, do, and taste as much as possible.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Other than the city’s iconic CN Tower, the first thing that came to my mind was Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle — I wanted to try and explore places she loved while living in Toronto.

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

As I was reading through lists of some of her favorite places, one restaurant — and its pepper relish — kept popping up: Terroni.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Source: Vanity Fair, Vogue, Flare, Toronto Life, Brit + Co., Chatelaine, The Kit


So I made a reservation for a Saturday night and ferociously researched the menu, excited for the meal ahead.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Terroni has three locations around Toronto, plus three sister restaurants. There are also two Terroni locations in Los Angeles, California.

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Google Maps

Source: Terroni


I visited the Toronto location on Adelaide Street.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The restaurant took over an old courthouse…

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

…and has three levels of seating, each with its own vibe.

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Gabrielle B./Yelp

I was seated on level three, which had kind of a club lounge atmosphere. There were diners dressed up in sport coats and button-downs, and there were diners in ripped jeans and T-shirts.

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Terroni/Instagram

Markle has made her love of Terroni’s Peperoncini Piccanti well-known, so I knew I had to try some. I asked for the complimentary bread basket to start, which comes with olive oil and the hot pepper condiment for dipping.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The olive oil was fragrant and tasty, and the bread was soft on the inside with a nice crust…

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

…but the star here was by far the pepper relish.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The peppers themselves tasted really sweet, but the heat of the seeds was super strong. It was a tasty balance that I couldn’t stop eating even though my mouth was on fire.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

When I looked at the menu before arriving, I noticed that everything was surprisingly affordable, considering this place gave off what I would call a trendy, upscale restaurant vibe. I decided I would make this a three-course meal.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

To start, I went with a Caprese salad (CA $15). A basic Caprese salad has slices of tomato on a dish layered with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with basil. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Terroni’s Caprese, but I hoped it wasn’t something that looked like this — Terroni just seemed more creative than this.

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MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images/Contributor

I was pleasantly surprised to see this stunning dish of different types of tomato, a heaping mess of mozzarella, and confetti strands of bright and fragrant basil. The tomatoes were dressed super lightly in some sort of olive oil and vinegar base.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I knew I had a lot of eating to do still, but I couldn’t hold back from finishing all the cheese on the dish.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

For my main dish, I ordered the Spaghetti in Canna a Mare (CA $23).

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

A large bowl of pasta came to the table and I was ready for it. When I first stuck my fork into the pile of spaghetti, twirled it around, and lifted it out, a rush of steam was released.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

But, I quickly learned after biting into the seafood that while the center of the pasta dish was piping hot, the top layer — including the seafood — was nearly cool. It put a damper on the dish for sure.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

While the temperature made the dish slightly less enjoyable, I still ate and liked it. It was packed with seafood like mussels…

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

…shrimp…

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

…and calamari.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Here’s the full lineup: Shrimp, squid tentacles, calamari, clams, mussels, and baby scallops.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The ratio of pasta to seafood was a little off, considering there wasn’t much of each shellfish, but it didn’t ruin the dish at all.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I don’t know if I had filled up on bread and cheese, or if that Saturday just wasn’t my day, but I couldn’t finish the huge portion of spaghetti. There was so much left!

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I still had dessert ahead of me, so I decided to wrap up the rest of my dinner and take it to-go for a midnight snack.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

As a kid, a cannoli was always brought to my family’s table at our go-to Italian spot, and as I got older cappuccino came with it. So when it came to picking out dessert at Terroni, there was no question — even though this tiramisu looked delicious.

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Kendall B./Yelp

I decided to test out their classic cannoli on offer (CA $3) along with a cappuccino (CA $4.25) — my favorite way to end any dinner, although Italians will tell you milky coffee is just for breakfast. This was where things took a turn.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Source: HuffPost


The cappuccino came out first. I wanted to enjoy it with my cannoli, but after waiting a couple of minutes, I had to take a sip — it was going to get cold. The foam was great and the ratio of steamed milk to coffee was spot-on. I really enjoyed it!

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The miniature cannoli, though, came to my table nearly 10 minutes later — my cappuccino was room temperature. The waiter brought over the pastry rolling around on a too-big plate. The filling was everywhere.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

After flipping it over to get a good look at the dessert, I gave it a try. It was a fine cannoli — the cream was smooth and dense, the shell was crunchy, and the candied orange peel was a nice touch. It wasn’t bad, but I also wouldn’t order it again.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The food at Terroni was very solid and I enjoyed it all. I wouldn’t go back because the service I received was lackluster to say the least, but Markle’s recommendation of the pepper relish definitely holds up.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider

So much so that I almost bought a jar to take home.

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Rachel Askinasi/Insider