Eating my way around #YYZ Terminal 3 was never a part of my plans. I was solely focused on boarding a plane and getting home in one piece. That changed, however, when there was a change to my flight home with WestJet and I ended up at the airport seven hours before my flight home.

Sure, I could have tried to come to the airport closer to my flight time, but with an impending snowstorm, and the fact that my ride had woken up early in the morning to drive me, I decided it was best to keep my plans as they were. I could use the time to work and read.

Seven hours in an airport is a long time, and with a snowstorm starting, there is a very good chance of my being here longer.

So, spending my time, eating my way around the airport terminal seems like a pretty good idea – even if I will need to live off of salads for the next two weeks!

It’s time to eat my way around #YYZ Terminal 3!

Caplansky’s Deli

Caplansky's Delicatessen in YYZ Terminal 3 - a yummy spot for a quick snack.
Bagel, lox, and cream cheese at Caplansky's Deli at YYZ Terminal 3 – Nom, nom, nom...

Caplansky’s has been a staple at the YYZ Terminal 3 for several years, it’s close to Gate B28, next to a Starbucks, with faux exposed brick walls and royal blue decor. Frankly, it’s hard to miss. Unless, of course, you are rushing to your gate.

Skipping the tables and opting for a corner seat at the bar with a view of the snowstorm outside on the tarmac, I grabbed a menu and settled in.

Caplansky’s Deli first opened its doors on College Street in Toronto in 2009, expanding into the neighbourhood of Yorkville, as well as in YYZ Terminal 3. While the doors at the College Street and Yorkville locations closed in 2018, the airport location has remained open. Much to the delight of my tummy!

A little early for lunch (by about 20 minutes), I opted for their bagel, lox and cream cheese ($11.50), although the smoked meat hash ($17) looked yummy as well. It’s my first stop, I should spread this out a little. I order the bagel with lox and cream cheese, delighted by the fresh pieces of lox that are draped over my bagel, as well as the healthy portion of cream cheese underneath. It’s not fancy, but when I add the top half of the bagel, dressed with more cream cheese, tomato, and red onion, my tummy does a wee dance.

It’s not the most amazing bagel with lox and cream cheese I have ever eaten, but it’s pretty damn good. I’ll definitely be back to try out their smoked meat sandwich, and possibly another bagel with lox and cream cheese,


SmashBurger was the first restaurant I spotted after getting through security at Terminal 3. It was a little after 8 o’clock in the morning (haha… I feel so old school typing that) and all I could do was stare at it from the central courtyard area.

“They are clearly open, I wonder if they serve burgers this early? Is it too early to eat a burger?”, my mind was suddenly consumed with these thoughts, even as I decided to walk around the terminal.

Smash Burger at Toronto International Airport, Terminal 3

I ended up at Caplansky’s Deli first, but when I eventually left and discovered nothing else of interest on that side of the terminal, I made my way to Smash Burger. What can I say, I am a sucker for a good burger.

Ordering a Classic Smash and a vanilla milkshake, I sat at a high table with a view of the airport concourse. A perfect spot for people-watching. Served on a fresh egg bun, my burger was topped with melted American cheese, smash sauce (whatever that is), tomato, ketchup, red onion, and lettuce. Honestly, I’m not sure why I mentioned all of that. It was my first ever SmashBurger, and its greasy meaty cheesiness is exactly what I needed.

I’m fairly certain that the next time I am in YYZ Terminal 3 I will indulge in at least one SmashBurger while I’m there. Yes, really! I wonder if anyone has done a food crawl upon arrival instead of departure… that could be an interesting twist. Ha ha ha

And then…

I confess, after SmashBurger I stopped eating. I was feeling a tad full, plus a lot of the restaurants in YYZ Terminal 3 are generic, offering mediocre options. I was drawn in by the idea of sushi, but then I realized that airport sushi could be a very bad idea, especially just before a flight. I spotted a Paramount and felt a pang for chicken shawarma. There was a busy Fionn MacCools that I’ll definitely pop into next time, and I’m still on the fence about trying Smoke’s Burritorie – it could be good? Freshii and Beerhive are all up there as well. I’ll skip Booster Juice, David’s Tea, Tim Horton’s, Subway, and Starbucks. I know those too well, nothing surprising to be found there.

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