Arancini might traditionally be the best use for day-old risotto, but in Toronto these little deep fried bundles are a highly desirable delicacy in their own right. Crispy on the outside and oozing with creamy flavour within, they're the perfect snack or appetizer.
Here are my picks for the top arancini in Toronto.
This lovely neighbourhood restaurant in the Junction is home to a menu of traditional Italian comfort foods. Satisfy your next craving for carbs with these crispy rice balls ($9) coated in bread crumbs and filled with ragu di carne and plump green peas.
Arancino di Riso ($6) from two Toronto locations are done in true Sicilian style; filled with peas and ground beef plus a mix of mozzarella and parmesan that melts when the rice balls hit the fryer.
The veteran Italian restaurant on Dundas West does risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella di bufula and 'nduja for $4 per piece. Enjoy as a starter with a glass of red wine before moving onto pasta and entree courses.
Specializing in the deep fried street foods of Naples, this eatery in Little Italy offers arancini amongst its selection of fritti misti. Sold in paper cones, the rice balls boast oozing provola centres and can be had for $1.25 per single piece, or mixed and matched with a choice of fried veggies, dough balls, and meatballs for $6 for five selections or $11 for ten.
Locations on St. Clair and in Woodbridge serve up arancini con pomodoro ($9) featuring saffron-scented risotto formed into balls and stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce.
The classic arancini at this Italian bakeshop on King West start with risotto cooked in chicken stock and then paired with vegetables, herbs and cheese. On weekends look forward to a novel but delicious variation made with miso. Each ball sells for $3 plus tax.
This Italian bakery and hot counter on Royal York does rice balls on Thursdays and Fridays only. These Sicilian-style treats contain a classic combination of minced meat with peas, tomato sauce, and fried onions and are finally breaded and deep fried for a crispy exterior and soft centre. A single order sells for $3.99.
The fine foods shop on Dundas West offers the largest daily variety on this list. Arancini here come in two sizes; big balls done margherita or Sicilian style sell two for $5, while minis with ricotta and spinach, porcini mushrooms and cheese, or margherita are available 10 at a time for $10.
This casual Italian restaurant on King west offers a plate of risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella for $8. The arancini here come smothered in tomato sauce but adding in a side of meaty bolognese sauce for $2 extra is advised.
Tear drop shaped Sicilian arancini ($3 each) are a must from this tavola calda in Scarborough. The crispy fried rice balls contain cheesy goodness inside and are best had with a side of sweet tomato sauce (+50¢) for dipping.
What did I miss? Add your favourite arancini to the comments.
Photo of Luce by Jesse Milns
by Liora Ipsum via blogTO