Bacchus Roti
By Rosemary May Richings

Caribbean Food, Parkdale Charm

Husband and wife duo Dick and Sue Bacchus have been operating Bacchus Roti Shop in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood since 1985. Toronto has a wide variety of food options, and plenty of Caribbean roti shops to choose from, so why have local customers remained loyal to Bacchus for so many years?

According to Dick, the restaurant's enduring appeal isn’t just about how good the roti tastes or the low prices, he also credit's his wife's warm personality and friendly customer service. "She’s always jovial, smiling, laughing," he says of Sue. "You go to some other businesses and…people are not always necessarily all that pleasant all the time. I guess that’s the reason people enjoy coming back here.”

Evidence of Bacchus’ friendliness is present in everything from the restaurant's homey decor to its casual and relaxed atmosphere. The dining room is always buzzing with families eating a meal together, friends casually conversing over roti and customers chatting in line as they wait for their take out orders. For Dick, interacting with customers continues to be his favourite part of the job.

"We have many people that we deal with on a regular basis over the years and eventually we’ve moved from a customer relationship to more of a friendship," he explains.

We have many people that we deal with on a regular basis over the years and eventually we’ve moved from a customer relationship to more of a friendship - Dick Bacchus, co-owner
Bacchus Roti Shop, Roti, homemade, desserts, Caribbean, Parkdale
Bacchus Roti Shop owner Dick Bacchus.

Homemade with TLC

Bacchus offers a wide variety of vegetarian, shrimp and meat roti options to eat in or take out. The most popular dishes are the boneless chicken breast roti and the vegetarian roti, which comes stuffed with an array of flavourful fillings like curried chickpeas, squash and spinach. The diverse menu also features some North American crowd-pleasers such as sweet potato fries and mac 'n' cheese. For dessert, Sue shows off her baking skills with a delicious homemade pastry filled with peanut butter and sugar.

The neighbourhood spot is also licensed and offers  craft beer, wine and cocktail options to enjoy with your meal.

Bacchus Roti Shop, Roti, homemade, desserts, Caribbean, Parkdale

A Neighbourhood Fixture since 1985

After decades in business on the Queen Street strip, Dick and Sue have watched as Parkdale’s changing landscape has impacted Bacchus’ own diverse customer base. In its early days, the roti shop’s served a predominantly West Indian clientele. As the business grew, and the neighbourhood evolved, the local eatery began to attract customers of all ethnicities. “Because the neighbourhood has changed...this has lead to more people wanting to come in and try different kinds of foods,” Dick notes.

After all these years, Bacchus continues to thrive in the gentrifying neighbourhood without sacrificing its traditional recipes and cultural roots. Dick is clearly proud of the roti shop's longevity in an increasingly competitive marketplace. He explains: “one of the biggest compliments we get — especially in today's economy — is when customers say, 'Wow, you guys are still here after so long!'”

Bacchus Roti Shop, Roti, homemade, desserts, Caribbean, Parkdale
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