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Depending on where you’re staying in the city, there are LOTS of fantastic options for a great cup of joe. If you’re staying by harbourfront, check out Mos Mos coffee, located in RBC WaterPark place. If you’re staying more central in the downtown, head to Little Nicky’s (and definitely indulge in a donut). Further west? Check out Jimmy’s Coffee on King Street. If you find yourself north in the city, Creed’s Coffee is a must.
Toronto has a booming brunch scene, and most Torontonians are no stranger to waiting over an hour for a good benny. However, if you want an easier chance at getting in and out fairly quickly without compromising on quality, make your way to Distillery District and settle into the charming atmosphere of Cluny Bistro. This sprawling space boasts classic French brunch dishes and freshly made pastries. It also puts you in a fantastic position to begin exploring (and eating your way through) more of the east side of the city.
It’s time to make your way north to one of the most energetic cultural neighbourhoods: The Danforth. The Danforth is Greek Town in Toronto, and is home the city’s best Greek restaurants as well as one of the most popular music venues, the Danforth Music Hall. Today we’re skipping the Gyro and going straight for a sweet snack – loukoumathes. Athens Bakery, right on Danforth Street in the heart of the magic, makes some of the best the city has to offer. Think Timbits, but freshly made, and then deep fried and tossed in a sweet, rich honey and sprinkled with sugar. They’re decadent and delicious, and trust us, you’ll need a dozen.
Because you’re not full yet, right? All this traversing across the city is hard work. We hear you, and we’re ready with an eclectic suggestion. Make your way back towards the downtown of the city, and this time a little west into the vibrantly artistic hood of Kensington Market. Kensington Market houses a ton of the city’s bests… you’ve got top notch sourdough at Blackbird Bakery, a world-class cheesemonger at Global Cheese, an entire restaurant dedicated to Bacon called Bacon Nation, and a ton of fantastic Mexican and latin-inspired joints. Head to one of the city’s most renowned taco spots, Seven Lives for a truly authentic Toronto experience.
3:00pm Patio Hopping
Keep walking west and amble your way along towards our dinner destination by stopping on a few of Toronto’s best patios – some hidden gems, some classic favourites. First stop on our list is Ronnie’s Local 069, just a hop and a skip away from Seven Lives. Chum it up with regulars and enjoy a beer on their quaint streetside patio. Keep walking west and south and if you’re into unassuming casual haunts, check out one of the city’s best dive bars, the Done Right Inn which has a magical little back patio. Continue your way west along Queen Street up to Ossington Ave, on which you’ll find one of Toronto’s most popular breweries, Bellwoods Brewery. The patio lineups can be long, but the beer and the ambience are most certainly worth it.
5:00pm Champagne and Oysters
Just a few doors down from Bellwoods, you’ll find a charming butcher shop, complete with some impressive cuts of meat hanging in the windows. Inside the big red door is a Parisian-inspired local market where locals shop for eggs, cheese, meat, milk and bread, while sipping on Sancerre. The shop has a number of small, barrel-style tables, from which you can order from a fantastic list of curated French wines along with small bites like oysters, charcuterie boards, and other wonderful snacks.
Continue your way on foot west, up the bustling street of Ossington to Dundas, and along the streets of Little Portugal until you find your way to Enoteca Sociale, which is one of the city’s best kept secrets for Italian fare. The wine list is extensive, with a robust ‘by the glass’ offering, and the mouth watering breads and pastas are made in-house. Best of all, this little local spot doesn’t draw the crowds, or the bill total up nearly as much as some of Toronto’s other, more well-known Italian restaurants.
If you somehow, impossibly, have managed to save room for dessert, there’s one spot you absolutely must go – even if there is a long line. It’s worth it. Bang Bang Ice Cream, located on Ossington Ave, close to Bellwoods Brewery makes arguably the city’s best ice cream sandwiches. Homemade ice cream and homemade daily baked cookies in fresh, vibrant and unique flavours. What more do we have to say?