One Day in Toronto: Top Chef Canada competitor Josh Karbelnik

The Top Chef Canada Season 9 frontrunner on his favourite spots in Toronto

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Working as the chef de cuisine of The Broadview Hotel in Toronto, Josh Karbelnik lends his culinary expertise to the property's culinary programs. On Top Chef Canada Season 9, Karbelnik has been putting said expertise to the test and, for the most part, has proved to be a cut above the rest.

Having lost two of his fingers in a freak kitchen accident years ago, Josh's determination and resilience helped him regain a successful career in Toronto's restaurant industry. These traits have come useful so far onTop Chef Canada, helping to propel him to the front of the pack, alongside his wife Erica, Kym Nguyen and Andrea Alridge.

From tasty bagels to (extra) spicy Indian cuisine, here are the chef's favourite spots for eats and drinks in his hometown of Toronto.



A post shared by Kiva's (@kivasbagelsbakery)

Kiva's Bagel Bakery is family. I have been going to Kiva's ever since I was a baby. They have the best big salads and bagels...[and] I always add a scoop of tuna. When I am done breakfast, I stop by the bakery and pick up a rugelach for a midday snack.

A little tip: get a loaf of challah bread and make your own French toast or grilled cheese with it. It’s guaranteed to be a family favourite for years to come!


Pancer’s Original Deli is a staple in Toronto and has been making the best deli sandwiches since 1957. My dad is from Montreal, so he wanted me to experience the best smoked meat sandwich outside his hometown, and this is where we go.

When I’m here for lunch, I usually order the corned beef sandwich with extra pickles on the side, as well as a matzah ball to start. I will continue to take my kids here and keep the tradition alive.


Indian food is my all-time favourite cuisine and Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine is where you will catch me.

Everything is good here, but I always get the lamb vindaloo–extra spicy–with house-made garlic naan and basmati rice. Also, when I am feeling extra hungry, I add the Dal Tadka–I usually go extra hungry so I don’t miss out.



A post shared by Banknote Bar (@banknotebar)

I am not much for fancy cocktails. I usually just order some whiskey neat and a Guinness, but I want to do that in a relaxed atmosphere [and] that’s where Banknote Bar comes in.

Banknote is my local neighbourhood bar where I can kick back, have a drink, maybe some wings and feel like I am on an episode of Cheers. The staff are always friendly, the atmosphere is not stuffy and you are free to be yourself and drink.