With my upcoming trip to Toronto, I can't wait to have access to a multitude of different kinds of food. From Sri Lankan, to Arabic, to Malaysian, Toronto has the best food by far. Toronto is such an international hub for different ethnicities and it is reflected in the kind of restaurants they have.
Forget places like P.F. Chang's and Panda Express, if you go to Toronto you can have actual ethnic food, and you can definitely taste the difference. One of my favorite dishes I've had in Toronto was curry pizza. Yes, it was like regular pizza, but instead of pepperoni or sausage, it had spicy curry.
I've lived in Charlotte, Durham, and Chapel Hill, and I have struggled to find restaurants that have authentic ethnic food. Everywhere I go seems to be so Americanized and devoid of any distinct flavor or spices. In Charlotte, if I want good Indian food, I have to drive 45 minutes towards UNCC to get some good dum biryani. If I want good Korean barbecue, I have to drive 40 minutes to a small Korean grocery store that has a small restaurant in the back.
Don't get me wrong, I love places in the Triangle area like Spicy 9 and Ms. Mong's, but having traveled to a lot of Asian countries, none of these places come close to matching the exquisite tastes of the dishes I've had abroad. North Carolina is so lacking in restaurants that use good spices and flavors. When my mom cooks, she often orders ingredients from California or Canada because local stores just don't have the ingredients.
I've always been frustrated that I've never seen a Sri Lankan restaurant in North Carolina, and I have even seriously considered trying to open one on my own or asking my parents too. I guarantee that most of you reading this don't know what Sri Lankan food consists of.
While thinking about North Carolina's lack of ethnic restaurants. More and more people are migrating to North Carolina and we are home to the headquarters of many big companies (just one example is Bank of America). Charlotte continues to grow and it might become like New York City or Chicago in the years to come, but I'm waiting for the day that there is a Chinatown, Little Italy, or Little India.