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  2. 2. www.SeeTorontoNow.com2 TORONTO FOOD & DRINK Contents SECOND SERVINGS 20 TOP FAMILY RESTAURANTS Don’t lower your dining standards just because you’re toting kids. These neighbourhood eateries won’t make discerning parents cringe. 21 FAN FARE Where to catch our teams on home turf, ice and hardwood, plus where to chow down and fuel up like a fan. 22 A MOVEABLE FEAST Guided tasting tours enhance the shop-dine experience. 23 CRAFT CRAWL Taste the city in five beers. Here’s where to sample some must-try local brews, plus a step-by-step guide to get- ting there by TTC or on foot. 24 DARK MAGIC Get ready for grownup fun. When night falls,thestarscomeout,DJsspin,andthe city’s lounge scene kicks into high gear. 25 SHORT ORDERS Small-plates cuisine goes casual. 26 LIST SERVE Here are our top five picks for the best places to sip, savour, and see and be seen. 27 DINE FLY 10 best places to grab a quick bite or a stellar meal at YYZ. Tourism Toronto Chair of the Board  Heather McCrory President CEO  Johanne R. Bélanger Executive Vice President Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Weir Editorial Director:  Director, Content Publishing Paula Port Managing Editor:  Content Manager  Cathy Riches Director, Industry Relations  Pamela Laite Member Care Director  Denise Belgrove Spafax Canada Inc. Editorial Executive Editor  Amanda Eaton Deputy Editor  Yuki Hayashi Copy Chief  Jennifer Krissilas Art Art Director  Adam Cholewa Photo Editor  Kayla Chobotiuk Operations Production Director  Joelle Irvine Production Manager  Felipe Batista Nunes Proofreaders  Jacob Sheen, Nicole Gottselig Account Management Senior Strategist, Luxury Lifestyle Brands Christal Agostino Account Manager, Luxury Lifestyle Brands Elana Crotin Membership enquiries: 647-202-3042 Ad sales (Spafax Canada): 416-350-2425 Published by Tourism Toronto Queen’s Quay Terminal, Suite 405, 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5J 1A7 Tel: 416-203-2600 Fax: 416-203-6753 Toronto Magazine © 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. All information is current as of press time. The publisher cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of all information and will not be responsible for errors, changes or omissions. UPFRONT 03 WELCOME Dig into one of the world’s premiere foodie hotspots. 04 FEST WITH THE BEST Bite into Toronto’s culinary culture. 06 MAPLE RUSH From sports nuts to foodies, Ontario maple water has everyone buzzing. 07 BRUNCH SPOTS Slow down this Sunday and graze like a local. 09 CHEF’S PICK Ever wonder where notable chefs eat out? 10 HOT ’HOODS Here’s where local foodies eat, sip and shop in three delicious ’hoods. FEATURES 12 MEAT THE CITY Dress comfortably: you’re going to want to make room for dinner. 16 LOCAL FLAVOUR Three chefs dish on what makes their cuisine taste like home. @SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow VisitToronto ON THE COVER Visit College Street hotspot Bar Isabel for small plates and tapas-style cuisine. PHOTO BY JOHN CULLEN 12 23 CONNECT WITH US THE FOOD DRINKISSUE
  3. 3. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 3@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow PHOTO:GABRIELESTABILE HUNGRY? MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR METES OUT MODERN ASIAN FLAVOUR, PG. 12 PERFECT: We’ve got incredible culinary experiences for every taste. A true food lover’s city, Toronto offers boundless options from sun-up until way past sundown. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sumptuous, multi-course tasting menu, our city’s kitchens are renowned for their global influences and extraordinary cooking talent. Toronto’s thriving bar, lounge and club culture contribute to a vibrant nightlife, while our buzzing café and craft-brewery scenes offer the perfect inroads to neighbourhood exploration. Our Food Drink guide presents the best of the city’s culinary scene, so you can make the most of your visit to one of the world’s exciting foodie cities. Welcome to Toronto—we hope you brought your appetite!
  4. 4. www.SeeTorontoNow.com4 TORONTO FOOD DRINK FEST WITH THE BEST Bite into Toronto’s culinary culture. With year-round food, wine and beer festivals, as well as city-wide restaurant events like Summerlicious and Winterlicious, it’s deliciously easy to sample the best of our regional cuisine on your next vacation. With its roster of world-class chefs, top restaurants, and 70+ exhibitors, three-year-old Taste of Toronto (Thursday, June 23 through Sunday, June 26, 2016) has fast become one of the city’s must-attend foodie events. Savour from among nearly 50 dishes from partici- pating restaurants, browse market stalls and take in cook- ing demos and classes or music acts. The alfresco festival’s loca- tion at the memorably scenic Fort York National Historic Site, the historic barracks known as the “birthplace of urban Toronto,” gives the event added cultural intrigue, especially for visitors. TASTEOFTORONTO.COM There are foodies, and then there are people who eat, breathe and dream food. The Toronto Food Wine Festival (Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25, 2016) was created with that latter demographic in mind. Set in the lush city park and cultural centre of the Evergreen Brick Works (as well as satellite locations across the city), the three-day, fall food fest features a mouthwatering itinerary of tutored tastings, hosted dinners, chef talks, celebrity stage demonstrations, and hands-on cooking classes. TORONTOFOODANDWINE.COM Toronto Food Wine Festival Taste of Toronto UPFRONT One of Torontonians’ fave dining events, the annual Summerlicious festival (Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 24, 2016) brings affordability to fine dining. For standard prix fixe rates, diners can sample three-course lunch and dinner menus at nearly 200 of the city’s best restaurants. Insiders hit the phones early to snag reservations—and steals—at the city’s ritzier establishments, but restaurants at every price point participate (the prix fixes are accordingly offered at three price points). Past participants have included high-end heavy hitters like Annona, Bymark, Canoe, Mistura and Momofuku Daishō. Follow @LiciousTO on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so you’ll know the moment Summerlicious 2016 restaurant lists and menus are available online, and so you can book your table, stat. Summerlicious PHOTOS:ARASHMOALLEMI(TORONTOFOODANDWINEFESTIVAL);GEORGEPIMENTEL(TASTEOFTORONTO)
  5. 5. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 5@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow Say cheers to our region’s craft beer scene. Toronto Beer Week (Friday, September 16 through Saturday, September 24, 2016) celebrates the hops and dreams of 35 of Ontario’s microbreweries, brewpubs and small-scale importers. With 70 participating bars, pubs and restaurants (including insider faves Amsterdam BrewHouse, Kanpai Snack Bar and Mill Street Brew Pub), it’s a breeze to organize the ultimate craft beer crawl. TORONTOBEERWEEK.COM For those who pride themselves on staying on the cutting edge of wine and cocktail trends, the Gourmet Food Wine Expo (Thursday, November 17 through Sunday, November 20, 2016) is the place to sip, sample and savour. From tutored wine tastings to mixology demos and a tasting bar, the show’s focus is on wine, spirits and craft beer. But you won’t go hungry here: a gastro stage and dozens of gourmet food exhib- itors keep guests well-fed. FOODANDWINEEXPO.CA If you can relate to the event hashtag, con- sider the three-day Toronto’s Festival of Beer (Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24, 2016) a must on your summer social calendar. The festivities take place at Exhibition Place’s breezy Bandshell Park (not far from the waterfront), and include music headliners Big Sugar, plus live grill- ing demos, culinary stations, beer educa- tion sessions and more. Love beer? Here’s your chance to sample brewskis from local, Canadian and international breweries, big and small. BEERFESTIVAL.CA #BeerLove Gourmet Food Wine Expo Toronto Beer Week PHOTO:GIZELLELAU(TORONTOBEERWEEK)
  6. 6. www.SeeTorontoNow.com6 TORONTO FOOD DRINK MAPLE RUSH From sports nuts to foodies, Ontario maple water has everyone buzzing. PHOTO BY KAYLA CHOBOTIUK Tapped (literally) as Canada’s homegrown answer to coconut water, maple water is straight-from-the-tree maple sap. Boiled down, it becomes maple syrup, but skip that step and you get a refreshing, mildly sweet, and lower-cal alternative to coconut water. Athletes love it for its electrolytes and trace minerals, while foodies like it for its blendability—and regional prov- enance. (Sapsucker Maple Tree Filtered Water, for instance, is sourced from Beaver Valley in the Niagara Escarpment.) Try it for yourself. You can buy it in health food stores and gourmet shops. Sip it straight, mix it into a cocktail, or try this indulgent coffee recipe from the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. • 4 tbsp medium-ground coffee • 1 litre Sapsucker Maple Tree Filtered Water (or other Ontario brand) • Optional: Milk or Canadian whisky Place coffee grinds in a French press. (Don’t use a drip coffee maker). Bring maple water to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot maple water over the coffee grinds and brew for two to four minutes. Plunge and serve. OPTIONS: SERVE WITH HOT MILK, A SPLASH OF WHISKY OR BOTH. IN SUMMER, PREPARE, CHILL AND SERVE OVER ICE. SAPSUCKER COFFEE UPFRONT
  7. 7. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 7@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow WAKE UP TO OUR BEST BRUNCH SPOTS Torontonians live to brunch. Restaurants and cafés across the city serve up classics like omelettes, pancakes and eggs Benedict, plus global dishes from around the world, all weekend long. Slow down this Sunday and graze like a local. Here are some of Toronto’s brunch hot spots. Dedicated to providing warmth, great service and a unique culinary experience, Mildred’s is known for their freshly baked scones and biscuits. A diverse menu of exquisitely prepared brunch options guarantees you will leave Mildred’s with a full belly. Quench your thirst with one of their delectable tea blends or freshly squeezed juices. 85 HANNA AVE. You may have to wait in line to have brunch at this bustling restaurant opened by former chefs at the Drake Hotel, Anthony Rose and Chris Sanderson, but it’s well worth the wait. Aside from delicious food—with unique options such as bread pudding with wild blueberries—Rose and Sons also boasts stylish diner- style décor. 176 DUPONT ST. • SCONES • MILDRED’S FAMOUS CRUNCHY GRANOLA • HUEVOS MONTY • BREAD PUDDING WITH WILD BLUEBERRIES • ALL-DAY BREAKFAST • GRIDDLED BRIE CORNBREAD Mildred’s Temple Kitchen Rose and Sons MUST-TRY ITEMS MUST-TRY ITEMS PHOTOS:AYNGELINABROGAN/FLICKR(MILDRED’STEMPLEKITCHEN)
  8. 8. www.SeeTorontoNow.com8 TORONTO FOOD DRINK  SIGHTSEEING AT: The Distillery Historic District  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Balzac’s Coffee Roasters Café (1 Trinity St.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Koreatown  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Snakes Lattes Board Game Café (600 Bloor St. W.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Kensington Market  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Jimmy’s Coffee (191 Baldwin St.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Queen Street West cultural district/Trinity Bellwoods Park  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: White Squirrel Coffee Shop (907 Queen St. W.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Queen Street West cultural district/Trinity Bellwoods Park  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Nadège Patisserie (780 Queen St. W.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Riverside  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Dark Horse Espresso Bar (630 Queen St. E.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Little Italy  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Café Diplomatico (594 College St.)  SIGHTSEEING AT: Anywhere in Toronto… or beyond  TAKE A COFFE BREAK AT: Tim Hortons (numerous locations across Canada) One of the hippest brunch spots in Little Portugal, Saving Grace has perpetual lineups on weekends – and for good reason. With fresh salads, crispy French toast and savoury options like poached eggs and sandwiches, Saving Grace has something to offer everyone. Aim to show up 15-20 minutes before the restaurant opens at 10 a.m. to secure a seat. 907 DUNDAS ST. W. Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood is known for its abundance of brunch spots, and Lady Marmalade is among the best it has to offer. Dig into dishes prepared from freshly sourced local ingredients while admiring the art on the walls. Be sure to ask about the weekend special. 898 QUEEN ST. E. • FRENCH TOAST WITH CARAMELIZED BANANAS • RAJASTHANI EGGS • ANGELA SANDWICH • HUEVOS RANCHERITOS • LADY MARMALADE BENNIES • CREPE CROQUE MONSIEUR Saving Grace Lady Marmalade LANDMARK CAFÉS Exploring the city sights? Here’s where to grab a java nearby. MUST-TRY ITEMS MUST-TRY ITEMS UPFRONT PHOTOS:KAYLACHOBOTIUK(SAVINGGRACE);ERICSEHR/FLICKR(LESLIEVILLE)
  9. 9. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 9@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow CHEF’S PICK Ever wonder where notable chefs eat out? We asked Christina Tosi, MasterChef judge and owner/baker of Toronto’s Milk Bar, where she brings out-of-town visitors. Dumpling House “I need very little else in this world. I go so far as to eat it multiple days in a row. I walk over for lunch and dinner and walk back. It’s the perfect, most soothing and delicious routine.” Christina’s pick: Lamb Dumplings. 328 SPADINA AVE. Buca “Love the vibe, and love knowing I can duck in and grab a killer bowl of pasta done right and open a bottle of Barolo. Sometimes I sit indoors, but I love the outdoor evening people watching, too. It’s consistent and killer every time.” 604 KING ST. W. Bar Isabel “I love the old-world spirit of the place, and I love octopus, but don’t often love it out. Except for here! The Pan Con Tomate, the Patatas Bravas! Love the tapas-meets-entrees vision of the place. It’s transportive in it’s food and charm. And the cocktails are pretty killer, too.” 797 COLLEGE ST. PHOTOS:WINNIEAU(CHEFCHRISTINATOSI);RICKO’BRIEN(BUCA); KAYLACHOBOTIUK(DUMPLINGHOUSE);JOHNCULLEN(BARISABEL)
  10. 10. www.SeeTorontoNow.com10 TORONTO FOOD DRINK NEIGHBOURHOOD EATS Here’s where local foodies eat, sip and shop in three delicious ’hoods. This bustling South Core neighbourhood around Union Station, Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre includes the city’s central business and entertainment districts. Accordingly, there’s a lot to choose from on the culinary front, from luxe financial hot-shot hangouts to casual sports bars and vibrant lounges—not to mention drool-worthy gourmet shops. SOUTH CORE FOR A COFFEE BREAK Enjoy coffee with a view at Lavazza Expression (225 Queens Quay W.), a mod coffee shop (with patio) right on the Lake Ontario waterfront. FOR A SIT-DOWN MEAL The SOCO Kitchen + Bar (75 Lower Simcoe St.) channels the contemporary vibe of the neighbourhood it’s named after. For upscale dining, book a table at Harbour Sixty Steakhouse (60 Harbour St.), known for its steak and seafood. FOR DRINKS A renowned restaurant in its own right, E11ven (15 York St.) boasts an extra-long communal table, ideal for après-conference or pre-show drinks and conversation. Choose from over 40 international wines by the glass. FOR THE PERFECT FOODIE SOUVENIR The Union Pearson Express outpost of the Drake General Store (61 Front Street W.) offers cool-kid souvenirs, including quirky tableware, locally made candy and maple syrup samplers. E11ven Union Station UPFRONT PHOTO:LODOELAURA(UNIONSTATION)
  11. 11. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 11@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow This east-end suburb is a hotbed of authentic ethnic dining, courtesy of the Greater Toronto Area’s East Asian and Caribbean diaspora. (In fact, some foodies consider it to be the best ethnic food suburb in the world.) Although it is home to a variety of international cuisine restaurants, Scarborough is where Toronto foodies flock for excellent Filipino, Indian, and Hakka-, Szechuan, and Uighur-style Chinese food. Home to Toronto’s LGBTQ community, the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood is known for its plethora of bars, lounges, restaurants and cafes, many with patios, perfect for warm-weather people watching. Whether you seek a quick coffee, a multi-course dinner or a martini flight, this is the ’hood to find it. SCARBOROUGH CHURCH-WELLESLEY VILLAGE FOR A COFFEE BREAK If you love your coffee with homemade, Austrian-style pastries (and who doesn’t?), set your GPS for Gerhard’s Cafe (1085 Bellamy Rd. N.). FOR A SIT-DOWN MEAL Filipino food is h-o-t among foodies; find out what the fuss is all about at Remely’s (4830 Sheppard Ave. E.). Lamb kabobs steal the show at Xin Jiang (3636 Steeles Ave. E.), known for Northern Chinese food with peppery bite. For a unique take on weekend brunch, head to Saravanaa Bhavan (Woodside Square, 1571 Sandhurst Circle) for a South Indian style breakfast buffet. To taste the results of 30 years of Caribbean jerk-expertise, order up at Nicey’s Take Out (54A Morecambe Gate). FOR DRINKS With their chic, lounge-y vibe, dozens of hot and cold tea-based drinks and desserts, tea rooms beat bars in this neck of the woods. Jump on the Taiwanese-style bubble tea bandwagon at Green Grotto (3700 Midland Ave.). FOR THE PERFECT FOODIE SOUVENIR Head to Al Premium Food Mart (1970 Eglinton Ave. E.) for cool-looking Asian cookies, candies, and sauces to bring back home with you. FOR A COFFEE BREAK Fabarnak (519 Church St.) isn’t just a great café to grab your morning latte; it’s also a social- enterprise initiative that provides job training to individuals with employment barriers, who work under professional chefs and front-of-house staff. FOR A SIT-DOWN MEAL Byzantium (499 Church St.) is the granddameofToronto’srestaurant- slash-martini-bars—it was the first, and many say, it’s still the best. But it’s also a stellar fine-dining establishment, with an eclectic menu and chic backyard patio. For a lazy weekend brunch, head to Hair of the Dog (425 Church St.). FOR DRINKS Nightly drag shows, hot DJs and seasonally curated cocktails make Church on Church (504 Church St.) the place to sip and be seen. For a fine, well-priced martini, head to Boutique Bar (506 Church St.), or get your groove on at Crews Tangos (508 Church St.) next door. FOR THE PERFECT FOODIE SOUVENIR Bring home some local preserves or a half-dozen maple shortbread from All The Best Fine Foods (483 Church St.). Fabarnak Byzantium Nicey’s Take OutRemely’s Nicey’s Take Out PHOTO:PAULAWILSON(BYZANTIUM)
  12. 12. Meat the CityDRESS COMFORTABLY: YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO MAKE ROOM FOR DINNER. I am lounging at one of a dozen picnic tables on a bustling Parkdale patio, friends in tow. There are pretty umbrellas and twinkling string lights and, in front of us, plates piled sky high with food. The guys at the neighbouring table want to know what we’re eating, so we offer them a couple of unctuous, sticky ribs and crispy fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese by way of explanation. They pour us beer, and suddenly there’s laughter and messy faces, fried chicken and collard greens, and we’re all having a grand old time enjoying great food and good cheer. Just a few years ago, this scenario wouldn’t have happened: remember when fine dining used to mean starched tablecloths and sitting straight? Yet Electric Mud BBQ ( is just one in a lineup of new Toronto restaurants enlivening the city’s dining scene by pumping up the food—and the fun. Mostly casual, ever eclectic, helmed by young chefs and serviced by waiters in plaid and bartenders with interesting facial hair, Toronto’s restaurant scene has changed so much so fast that one can barely remember what it tasted like before. And from BBQ joints to power steaks, burger bars to nose-to-tail eateries, meat is the heart of the matter. BY AMY ROSEN PHOTO BY PAULA WILSON The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder Electric Mud BBQ FOODSTYLINGBYCHANTALPAYETTE
  13. 13. TORONTO 13 Porchetta Co. St. Lawrence Market Barque Smokehouse
  14. 14. www.SeeTorontoNow.com14 TORONTO FOOD DRINK “Why not pork? It’s delicious. It’s magical. It’s amazing!” says Porchetta Co.’s ( owner, Nick auf der Mauer. His Dundas Street West restaurant specializes in one thing only: marinated pork shoulder wrapped in prosciutto and pork belly before being slow roasted to a cracklin’ finish and sliced into hefty sandwiches. “I wanted to do something with pork that nobody else was doing, and I feel Porchetta Co. resonates with a lot of people.” It certainly did with culinary crown prince Anthony Bourdain, who fea- tured it on his show The Layover. “I don’t know if the concept would have worked five years ago, but Toronto now has some of the best food in the country, and in my own little way I like to think Porchetta Co. has contributed to our city’s nick- name,” says auf der Mauer. He’s referring to Hogtown, so named for the smell that once wafted down Front Street from Old Toronto’s 19th-century abattoirs (the city was once a major pork processing centre). Today, his shop is filled with an aroma so heavenly it’s sure to give the nickname even more longevity. But he’s not the only one dishing out pork for the masses. Pig is also big at the aforementioned Electric Mud BBQ via everything from pork rinds to so-called crack rolls, which are white buns smothered in pork drippings. Momofuku Noodle Bar ( steams up soft pork belly buns, while the venerable Carousel Bakery in St. Lawrence Market keeps turning out their peameal bacon sandwiches. Meanwhile, Queen Street West’s Banh Mi Boys (banhmiboys. com) serves one of the most crave-worthy dishesintown:awinningmashupofFrench loaves, grilled pork belly, kimchi and optional Kewpie Japanese mayo. But you’d be wrong to think that Tor­ onto is all about bacon on a bun. The locavore move- ment has been a driving force behind both kitchen creativity and the ingredients on the plate. Many chefs are personal friends with their farmers and butchers, which leads to more faith in the products and, in turn, using every last bit of the animal. One of my favourite dishes of the year embraces both the nose-to-tail and the locavore movements through the unexpected (and surprisingly luxurious) seasonal combo of scallop and beef heart tartare at Hopgood’s Foodliner ( in Roncesvalles Village. Chef Geoff Hopgood says, “As chefs, we’re obsessed with the best-tasting, most interesting ingredients we can find. We don’t like to get bored, so exploration is key to our creativity.” And so he sources sus- tainable seafood from Canada’s East Coast, heritage-raised meats and organic produce, leading to thoughtful cooking that’s also playful—bone marrow donair, anyone? Thoughtful ingredients and creativity are also top of mind—and seasonal menu— at locavore favourites like Edulis (edulis-, which serves braised cockscomb. Parts Labour (partsandla- and Beast (thebeastrestaurant. com) offer whole-animal cookery, which includes pig head tasso, tongues, pork hocks and venison. “First and foremost,” says Hopgood, “we’re able to do what we do because of our dedicated farmers, who bring us the most amazing ingredients. Without these new pioneers, we would have no choice but to use factory mass-produced, loveless crap!” Another passionate Toronto chef who thinks that local food “cooks better, looks better and tastes better,” especially when it comes to meat, is David Lee of Queen Street West’s Nota Bene (notabenerestaurant. com). “Cumbrae’s côte de boeuf is the mother of all steaks,” says Lee of Stephen Alexander’s celebrated butcher shop mini- chain, a go-to for some of the city’s top toques.“I’vevisitedtheCumbraefarms,and the animals there are very happy and well fed. And the meat is dry aged on the bone, which makes all the difference,” he adds. Though Nota Bene is known for its extrava- gant dry-aged steaks, onion rings and cre- ative “in-betweens” (smoked chicken soup with goji berries, tuna tartare, etc.), the emphasis is always on local and seasonal. It’s one of a number of next-generation steak houses, among them Richmond Station (, Marben (, Jacobs Co. ( and Bymark ( At Bestellen PORKING OUT LOCAVORE TASTES Momofuku Noodle Bar Richmond Station Electric Mud BBQ PHOTOS:GABRIELESTABILE(MOMOFUKUNOODLEBAR);KATIECROSS(RICHMONDSTATION); PAULAWILSON(STOCKYARDS);KAYLACHOBOTIUK(BESTELLEN)
  15. 15. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 15@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow (, where the dry-aging meats can be seen through a refrigerator window in the middle of the buzzy College Street restaurant, the menu includes beef tartare and the Bestellen burger. The menu isn’t light, but it’s thoughtful enough to include some veggie options (baby kale salad and pasta). Another favourite is chef Teo Paul’s UNION ( on Ossington, which looks like a Parisian bistro in small-town Ontario: beautiful and endearing. Same goes for the Ontario-raised juicy, fatty, hon- est, earthy côte de boeuf, with amazing frites and local vegetables. But if I’m really being honest—and of course I am!—when I’ve got a craving for meat, my go-to gotta-have- it is a big fat burger. Luckily for me, Toronto’s in the midst of an all-out burger war, with no end in sight. Thankfully, in this war we’re all the victors, as most of the burger joints specialize in fresh beef, great fries … and extra napkins. The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder’s ( burgers hit the spot with griddle-smashed flair. Yet it’s The Burger’s Priest (theburgerspriest. com) that gets the Holy Trinity of freshly ground, griddled patties, cheese and bun down to perfection, making believers of even the biggest skeptics. WithWet-Napsinhandandbarbe- cuesauceonface,weendthisculi- nary romp where we began, with low-and-slow-cooked meat on our plates and a song in our hearts. Because the biggest thing happening in Toronto right now is down-home, rib-stick- ing BBQ. Be it my favourite brisket from Leslieville Pumps (, Barque Smokehouse’s ( sampler platters of smoky goodness, or the mobile BBQ that is Hogtown Smoke ( hogtownsmoke), the city’s first food truck with on-board smoker, most diners agree BBQ is key to the city’s meat renaissance. Locals engage in heated debates about who’s got the best BBQ in town, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: Toronto’s not a city you’ll leave hungry. ▪ Vegan comfort food spot The Hogtown Vegan (hogtownvegan. com) is the type of place where you can trick your carnivore friends into eating crispy soy “wings,” chili “cheese” fries and shiitake fried “clams” (you’ll find there are a lot of air quotes in vegan cuisine). Live Organic Food Bar (livefood- and Rawlicious (rawli- take things one step further by dishing up raw cuisine (meaning no ingredients have been cooked above 48˚C/118˚F). Then there’s Bunner’s (bunners. ca) and Kensington Natural Bakery (kensingtonnaturalbak- for baked all-vegan treats. The stalwart Urban Herbivore ( has super-tasty BLTs, in this case smoked coconut “bacon,” lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli. But let’s say you’re a vegetarian and not a vegan. Then, my friend, the city is your oyster (mushroom). Toronto is so veggie friendly that most restaurants offer at least a few vegetarian dishes. If you’re a strict vegetarian, your first stop should be Fresh (freshrestaurants. ca), but then do stop by Hawker Bar (, which boasts Singaporean street food, like vegetarian laksa with banana fritters for dessert BURGER LAND BBQ FEVER VEGAN CITY Woody Harrelson likes Toronto’s food. And there’s a reason for that: the yoga-loving thespian is a vegan, and there’s no city with more creative vegan food than here. The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder Bestellen
  16. 16. www.SeeTorontoNow.com16 TORONTO FOOD DRINK LOCAL FLAVOUR those four years, she spent summers hon- ing her skills throughout Italy, Belgium, France and Spain. After graduating, Herrera worked in Spain for several years and then came to Toronto. “The plan was to explore Canada and then fly away, but I fell in love with Toronto,” she says. Her intended one-year stay turned into 13 years—and she hasn’t looked back, honing her chops in some of the city’s best kitchens, like Mistura and Canoe. A few years ago, Herrera began working as a restau- rant consultant, rediscov- ering her culinary roots in the process. Around the same time, she observed newfound opportunities in Toronto’s expanding food scene. “When I came to Canada, it was hard to find Mexican ingre- dients but now it’s easy to get everything you need. It’s incredible,” she says, fre- quenting shops like Perola’s Supermarket in Kensington Market. In 2014, Herrera helped open not one but two Mexican restaurants on King Street West. The casual El Caballito (elcaballito. ca) offers a crowd-pleasing menu of tequila, margaritas and Mexican street food like guacamole, ceviche and tacos. Upstairs, the upscale Los Colibris ( focuses on fine dining and intricate dishes that are a nod to traditional Mexican cuisine. As executive chef, Herrera uses recipes passed down from her mother and grand- mother. One of her signature dishes at Los Colibris is the chilies en nogada—pork- stuffed poblano peppers with a walnut cream sauce—painstakingly created using 32 ingredients. It’s authentic to Puebla, and there’s no better place to taste it than in Toronto, a city where homelands old and new mix deliciously. THREE CHEFS DISH ON WHAT MAKES THEIR CUISINE TASTE LIKE HOME. Authentic ChefEliaHerrera was raised in Veracruz, Mexico, where her mother and grandmother—both chefs— stoked her love of cooking. “I grew up in the family business. Our family has owned a catering company for over 75 years,” says Herrera. So it was a given that she’d attend cooking school in Puebla, Mexico. During BY GIZELLE LAU PHOTOS BY GEOFF FITZGERALD
  17. 17. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 17@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow Fusion Chef Nick Liu describes his two-year-old restaurant DaiLo (dailoto. com) as “my story … in a restaurant.” Liu says the College Street restaurant’s menu is an expression of his cultural identity, one that straddles the Chinese-Canadian line. Though his mom hails from South Africa and his dad from India (both are ethnically Chinese), Liu considers himself Chinese-Canadian. “Growing up and going to my grandpar- ents’, we’d always eat Chinese food. But for me and my brother, we loved it when my grandmother made Kraft Dinner—she put hot dogs in it because she read it in a book somewhere—even though she always made it too dry,” he reminisces. Cooking was a natural fit for Liu. “When I first stepped into a kitchen, it felt right,” he says of working under chef Brad Long at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. Under Long’s advice, Liu enrolled at George Brown College’s Hospitality Centre. Upon graduation, Liu spent the next decade and a half working in some of Toronto’s leading restaurants: Scaramouche, Splendido and Niagara Street Café. He also travelled abroad, honing his culinary skills in restaurants in Italy, England and Australia. Through those experiences, Liu found his niche: “They opened my eyes to the sub- tleties of French techniques with Asian flavours and ingredients.” Enter DaiLo, which in Cantonese means “big brother” or, in slang, “head of the gang.” Liu bills the menu as “new Asian cuisine, based on my own journey to dive into my own culture and learn about it through food.” The journey has been lifelong, says Liu: “GrowingupasaChinesekidinMarkham— before it became predominantly Chinese— we kind of repelled our own culture to fit in and be more white, more ‘Canadian.’ I feel like I missed out, so learning about some of the key dishes of different regions of Asia gave me a stronger connection to my culture, and who I am and where my family has come from.” One signature dish is the truffle fried rice, a traditional Chinese fried rice dish that brings in the French fine-dining flair of truffles, finished with puffed rice for texture. “Egg and truffles is one of the best flavour combinations in the world, so I thought, ‘Why not try it with fried rice?’” explains Liu. It’s that kind of tinkering— taking traditional Asian dishes and incorporating fine-dining technique, local ingredients, and flavours from around the world—that makes DaiLo one of the city’s hottest restaurants. Another great example of this is the mapo “doufu” halloumi, a play on the tra- ditional mapo tofu dish, where instead of tofu, he uses halloumi, a Levantine-style cheese from a local dairy, and stir-fries it up with ground pork, grilled scallions, black bean chili sauce, fried chilies and garlic. It’s a global dish that sums up Toronto in every bite.
  18. 18. www.SeeTorontoNow.com18 TORONTO FOOD DRINK Canadian When restauran- teurs and chefs Wayne Morris and Evelyn Wu decided to open Boralia (, they wanted to create a menu that, says Wu, could incorporate flavours of Wayne’s Acadian background and her Chinese upbringing “without being kitschy.” Inspired by her experience working for BritishchefHestonBlumenthal,whoiscred- ited with modernizing traditional British recipes, Wu and partner Morris began look- ingatCanadianhistoryforculinaryinspira- tion. What they found was lacking, Canada being barely 150 years old, after all. “Toronto has one of the best ethnic-food scenes of any city we’ve lived in,” says Wu. “But people are at a loss when asked about Canadian cuisine and Canadian restau- rants that serve things other than the ste- reotypical poutine and peameal bacon. Everyone knows that Canada is a melting pot of cultures; we wanted to create a menu that would showcase this multiculturalism in the form of flavours.” The duo began delving deeper into Canada’s history from a multicultural perspective. They researched Aboriginal history, including recipes and traditional preparation techniques, as well as recipes from the settlers and immigrants who came after the English and French, specifically those from Poland and China. Boralia’s menu includes dishes like l’éclade, a recipe that traces back to Samuel de C h a mpl a i n: pi ne - smoked mussels come to your table under a glass dome that’s lifted so the smokiness wafts into the air in front of you. The restaurant’s whelk dish is a tribute to the East Coast’s Mi’kmaq Nation, who would fish for whelk (part of the snail family) and use the shell for currency. The whelk are sliced and lightly grilled, served in a whelk shell, under a seaweed beurre blanc, atop a bed of sautéed burdock root and carrot. You’ll also find dishes like chop suey croquettes and perogies, recipes from the 1800s (chop suey is believed to have been invented by West Coast restaurants catering to Chinese rail- way workers, and perogy recipes were brought by Polish immigrants). Wusumsupthatmoderntake onCanuckcuisine:“Canadian cuisine is the food of the people who built this coun- try. It’s the food of the Aboriginal tribes who know the ins and outs of the indigenous plants. It’s the dishes that the early English and French settlers rec- reated here and adapted with ingredients they could find in this new land. It’s the flavours of the immigrants that came after them.” Mindful of history yet ever evolving, this type of Canadian cuisine is like Toronto—alive and unlike anything else in the world. ▪
  19. 19. FROM EVERY ANGLE Iconic views you won’t forget await around every corner. Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the one-hundredth, you’ve never seen anywhere quite like it. It all happens in Canada’s Downtown.
  20. 20. www.SeeTorontoNow.com20 TORONTO FOOD DRINK PHOTOS:ISTOCK(TOP);DYLAN+JENI(TERRONI) Don’t lower your dining standards just because you’re toting kids. These locally picked neighbourhood eateries love small fry (and vice versa) but won’t make discerning parents cringe. “Taste of China ( in Chinatown is tiny, but the food comes fast. It’s usually already loud and no one minds crying babies. Sometimes small places work in your favour!” — Helen Racanelli “Terrazza ( on Harbord Street has a diverse menu that includes pasta and burgers and nice grown-up decor with creamy banquettes and chandeliers. If you ask, kids get crayons and colouring books, and there’s a big-screen TV.” — Deanna Wong “Green Eggplant ( in the Beach is all about location, location, location! It’s right across from Kew Gardens. Plus, they have huge smoothies and free bread with hummus, baba ganoush and eggplant dip. And giant French toast!” — Jim Su “The Rebel House ( on Yonge Street has craft beers on tap and the best grilled-cheese sandwich. We like to take the kids there for lunch; they love the menu, and my wife and I can enjoy a pint with our meal.” — Scott Maxwell “Go to Terroni ( on Queen Street West. The decor’s rustic but sophisticated—nice looking, but your kid can’t wreck it—and the food’s always fantastic. Plus, it’s laid-back and loud: a great place for a family meal and wine.” — Ernesto Ourique “Il Fornello on the Danforth ( has reliably great pizza, pasta and locally sourced specials. This location has a great atmosphere and friendly service. The large booths are comfortable for kids, and the Menù per Bambini is refreshingly not dumbed down.” — Jennifer Reynolds “Konnichiwa ( in Baldwin Village is a tiny gem! It’s quaint and casual with a cute patio. Their menu is more Japanese comfort food than sushi, although they have that too. My daughter loves their ramen, and I’m addicted to their grilled saba.” — Yuki Hayashi Barque Smokehouse Terroni Barque Smokehouse ( always has lots of families. There’s a bucket of smoked popcorn on every table so kids can start eating immediately. They have crayons, it’s always bustling and there’s lots for kids to look at. Cool hipster vibe, tasty food!” — Sigrun Wister “ 10 family restaurants locals love SECOND SERVINGS
  21. 21. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 21@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow PHOTOS:LOUISAU/MLSE(RAPTORS);JAREDEARLE/FLICKR(LEAFS);NILELIVESEY/FLICKR(REALSPORTS); TORONTOARGONAUTS(ARGONAUTS);AMILDELIC/FLICKR(FC) TORONTO RAPTORS  CATCH THE GAME Air Canada Centre (aircanadacen- is where Toronto’s NBA team reaches for the rim.  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON A three-pointer away from Air Canada Centre is Hoops ( With a multitude of televisions on the walls and in private booths, you won’t miss a thing. Or for healthy, marketplace fare, hit Marché (marche-restaurants. com) at Brookfield Place. TORONTO FC  CATCH THE GAME Get your kicks with Toronto’s footy team at BMO Field (  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON BMO Field is just a free kick away from Liberty Village, one of Toronto’s hottest neighbourhoods, so look for fellow soccer lovers at Brazen Head Irish Pub ( or Williams Landing ( Togs in TFC red and white are strongly recommended. TORONTO ARGONAUTS  CATCH THE GAME The Double Blue pass the pigskin at BMO Field (  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON After the Boatmen have played, head on over to Shoeless Joe’s on King Street West for post-game noshing ( Or grab a pint at the Wheat Sheaf, one of the city’s oldest taverns ( TORONTO ROCK  CATCH THE GAME Toronto’s lacrosse team regularly rocks Air Canada Centre.  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON If you like your music and conversation loud, try the boisterous Jack Astor’s ( at Front Street West and University Avenue. For an urbane take on the traditional pub, there’s The Fox (, at Bay Street and Queens Quay East. TORONTO BLUE JAYS  CATCH THE GAME Rogers Centre is a hit with Toronto’s boys of summer.  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON On home game days, OB Canteen ( offers locally famous fare in honour of the Jays. This baseball season, fans can nosh on The Brat Flip, a seed-to- sausage bratwurst served with beer-braised onions, sweet-and-smoky mustard and spicy garlic pickles, named in honour of Jose Bautista’s epic bat flip during the 2015 playoff season. Wayne Gretzky’s ( on Blue Jays Way is popular with fans streaming out of Rogers Centre on a summer day. Fan fare Where to catch our teams on home turf, ice and hardwood, plus where to chow down and fuel up like a fan. BY STEPHEN KNIGHT TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS  CATCH THE GAME The Leafs always pack Air Canada Centre.  CHOW DOWN AND CHEER ON Located just outside Air Canada Centre, Real Sports Bar Grill ( is the place to be if you believe that bigger is better: it includes a two-storey big- screen TV. Get there early on game night. Or try the coconut shrimp at Canyon Creek on Front Street West ( Real Sports Bar Grill Brazen Head Irish Pub
  22. 22. www.SeeTorontoNow.com22 TORONTO FOOD DRINK PHOTO:CLIFTONLI(KENSINGTON) A moveable feast Guided tasting tours enhance the shop-dine experience. BY SHERYL KIRBY FOOD TOURS Food tours combine guided sightseeing with cooking crash courses. Try the Culinary Adventure Co. (culinaryadven- for tours of ethnic neighbour- hoods, including Greektown and Little India. Tours are led by chefs and other experts, and include a mix of restaurants and shops. BBQ champ Jason Rees of Kitchen By Pork Ninjas ( works with the group. “There’s an instant sense of fun,” he says. “On every tour, there’s a genuine passion about the city, its history and food.” Likewise, Shirley Lum’s A Taste of the World ( peripatetic tours of Kensington Market and Chinatown should be on any food lover’s list of cool things to do in the city. Also, Canadian-themed tours from Ontario Wine and Culinary Tours (www.ontariogroupoftouringcompanies. com) combine new and old Canadian food with Canadian art and even hockey. For foodies wanting a personalized option, Chowbella Taste Travel ( offers private customized food tours, as well as a weekly culinary crawl along King and Queen streets. SHOP COOK A creative option is to take a cooking class at the world-renowned St. Lawrence Market (, where chefs collect products from vendors and guests join in for a hands-on evening shopping trip, class and dinner at the on-site Market Kitchen. Or sign up for food Prep School with at locations across the city. CHEF’S TABLES Those wanting an up-close experience should sit at the chef’s table in a restaurant kitchen. Trevor Kitchen and Bar (, TOCA ( and Local Kitchen Wine Bar ( are some of the choicest options. Restaurants with bar seating at an open kitchen also make for great dinner entertainment. Prime seats can be found at Origin (, Beerbistro ( and Restaurant Chantecler ( Ringside seats generally need to be booked in advance, so plan ahead. Most find the extra step worthwhile: after all, aren’t some of the most unforgettable meals served with a generous side of spectacle? Foodie tours provide a toothsome, bite-by-bite taste of any city. After all, how better to discover the lay of the culinary land than by shopping like a local or prepping like a chef? Wondering where to start? Here are some options that will whet your appetite. Check out for a list of restaurants that call the city home. TOCA Kensington Market Market Kitchen Origin SECOND SERVINGS
  23. 23. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 23@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow Craft crawl Taste the city in five beers. Here’s where to sample some must-try local brews, plus a step-by-step guide to getting there by transit or on foot. BY CRYSTAL LUXMORE BAR HOP 391 KING ST. W., BARHOPBAR.COM With 36 everchanging taps and two casks, this friendly hipster haunt serves up refined pub fare and curates the best beers from Ontario. TRY: Sample a seasonal brew from Toronto’s Bellwoods or Left Field breweries. From Bar Hop, walk south on Spadina, then go east on Bremner, past the CN Tower, to Steam Whistle Brewing (a 15-minute walk). STEAM WHISTLE BREWING 255 BREMNER BLVD., STEAMWHISTLE.CA Housed in a former railway roundhouse, this indie brewer has been perfecting its Pilsner since 2000. Take a brewery tour to see how the barley gets from the sacks to the trademark green bottle. Tours start at $10, scheduled every half- hour daily; reserve online. TRY: Unfiltered Steam Whistle is Pilsner taken before the full process is completed. It’s a superfresh lager that’s only available at the brewery. From Steam Whistle, walk east on Bremner, go south on Lower Simcoe Street toward the lake, then walk west on Queens Quay to Amsterdam BrewHouse (a 10-minute walk). C’EST WHAT? 67 FRONT ST. E., CESTWHAT.COM Serving nothing but craft beers and global pub grub, this cozy subterranean craft-beer hub has been in business for 28 years. It boasts 42 taps from breweries across Ontario and Quebec. TRY: Venture outside Toronto to try some killer ales from Ontario breweries such as Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City and Collingwood’s Side Launch. From C’est What? walk half a block east on Front to the LCBO (a five-minute walk). From LCBO, walk east on Front to Parliament, go south on Parliament to Mill Street, then walk east to The Distillery Historic District. Go south on Trinity, then east on Tank House Lane to Mill St. Brew Pub (a 15-minute walk). ROUND 1 ROUND2 ROUND5 ROUND 4 Breweries are popping up in neighbourhoods all over the city. And the outfits that started the city’s craft- beer boom are opening newer, bigger hubs, too. Take our crawl to sample the wares in a range of settings, from brewery tours to waterfront views to cozy pubs where rarities and one-offs are always flowing. AMSTERDAM BREWHOUSE 245 QUEENS QUAY W., AMSTERDAMBREWHOUSE.COM Take a seat on a Muskoka chair on the lakefront patio, order a pizza to soak up those suds, and gaze out at the Toronto Islands. This location holds a large brewpub, a small on-site craft brewery and a retail beer store. This fairly new brewpub was opened by Toronto’s original microbrewer. Tours and tastings are offered daily. TRY: Testify Brett Pale Ale, refreshing and tart, made with a different type of hop every time. From Amsterdam BrewHouse, take the 509 Harbourfront East streetcar and get off at Union Station. Walk east on Front to C’est What? (a 15-minute ride and walk). QUICK STOP LCBO 87 FRONT ST. E., LCBO.COM This craft beer-rich liquor store is a great place to pick up a few souvenir bottles. Look for Toronto’s Junction Craft Brewing and Great Lakes Brewery selections. ROUND3 THE BEER HALL AT MILL ST. BREW PUB 21 TANK HOUSE LANE, BEERHALL.MILLSTREETBREWPUB.CA With two or more taps dedicated to Beer Hall–only brews, this modern take on a German beer hall also boasts one of the best patios and the biggest, juiciest duck wings in the city. TRY: Tankhouse Bierschnaps. The Mill Street Brewery is the only place in Canada that makes its own version of bierschnaps, a traditional German-style dry spirit distilled from beer. THE TTC HAS A “TRIP PLANNER” THAT CAN SHOW YOU WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE. TTC.CA
  24. 24. www.SeeTorontoNow.com24 TORONTO FOOD DRINK PHOTOS:CANADIANTOURISMCOMMISSION(KINGSTREET);GEORGEPIMENTEL(THEONEEIGHTY); ANNAENCHEVA(LULALOUNGE);JOEFUDA(REPOSADO) Dark magic Get ready for grownup fun. BRASSAII Known to attract A-list celebrities during events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge is the lounge of choice for many socialites and local media moguls. The lively weekly programming including dance parties and DJ sets draws a trendy crowd who cool off on the cobblestone courtyard patio—considered one of the best in the city. 461 KING STREET WEST, (416) 598-4730, BRASSAII.COM LULA LOUNGE Lula Lounge specializes in world music, offering salsa dance classes all weekend, Friday night jazz performances, and a Sunday Cuban brunch. There’s never a dull moment in this colourful lounge in Little Portugal, where Toronto’s salsa community lets loose. 1585 DUNDAS STREET WEST, (416) 588-0307, LULA.CA REPOSADO Tequila lovers, rejoice—Reposado has the largest selection of premium tequila downtown. Come for the cocktails and tapas and stick around for the live gypsy jazz and swing performances, which transform the small bar into something of a speakeasy on weekends. 136 OSSINGTON AVENUE, (416) 532-6474, REPOSADOBAR.COM WAYLA LOUNGE WAYLA, a.k.a. “What Are You Looking At,” brings a colourful crowd to the otherwise sleepy intersection at Carlaw and Queen East. The no-frills, casual bar-lounge (think: throw pillows, exposed brick and concrete floors) is a great spot for conversation, but on weekends a raucous lineup of themed parties (think: ’90s and Divas Divas Divas) heats up the dance floor. 996 QUEEN STREET EAST, (416) 901-5570, WAYLABAR.CA Lula Lounge Reposado King Street West When night falls, the stars come out, DJs spin, and the city’s lounge scene kicks into high gear. Whether you seek an after-work cocktail or a decadent evening out, these eclectic nightclubs and lounges serve up both glamour and sophistication. SECOND SERVINGS THE ONE EIGHTY This resto-lounge on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre building in Yorkville has been voted Toronto’s best view. Floor-to- ceiling windows in the dining room offer a stellar view of downtown and uptown, and north and south patios offer stargazers a chance to camp out with a cocktail. The One Eighty also boasts an award- winning menu consisting of innovative tapas-style appetizers perfect for sharing. 55 BLOOR STREET WEST, (416) 967-0000, THE51STFLOOR.COM The One Eighty
  25. 25. PHOTO: PAULA WILSON; FOOD STYLIST: CHANTAL PAYETTE SHORT ORDERS Small-plates cuisine goes casual. BY SIMONE OLIVERO Here’s to elevated nibbles and complex culinary masterpieces served up snack size until late. Peoples Eatery seasame noodle bowl Bar Fancy chicken wings 416 Snack Bar oysters DaiLo Hakka brown wontons DaiLo Jellyfish Slaw Bar Buca sardella calabrese Kanpai Snack Bar Cabbage Patch Kids Junked Food Company waffle sandwich Bar Fancy olives and pork sausages Bar Buca polipo Kanpai Snack Bar Player Hater Bar Buca costolette di manzo Junked Food Company Smash Bag nachos Peoples Eatery grilled short ribs TAPAS APERITIVOS The Italians and Spanish practically invented the art of snacking. For classic tapas like jamón Ibérico, patatas bravas and roast bone marrow, Bar Isabel (797 College St.) rightfully occupies one of the top spots in the city with its creative interpretations. On a similar note, Bar Buca (75 Portland St.) serves up Sicilian-style goat-and-ricotta meatballs, soppressata- and-baby-octopus skewers and house-made burrata stuffed with pesto, making every hour aperitivo hour. CUTLERY-FREE An early adopter, 416 Snack Bar (181 Bathurst St.) opened in 2011, offering small plates that adhere to the resto’s No. 1 rule: no cutlery. Seriously, you won’t find a fork here. Steak tartare, steamed buns and even a salad (Japanese-style with wakame, toasted sesame and miso dressing) are presented as glorified finger food. The same motto goes for its sister restaurant, Peoples Eatery (307 Spadina Ave.). Paying homage to the neigh- bourhood’s Jewish and Chinese history, the menu features latkes and kibbeh nayeh alongside General Tso tofu and Peking duck. ASIAN FUSION Taiwanese night market treats are on order at Kanpai Snack Bar (252 Carlton St.), where wok-fried anchovies, fried tofu and gooey pork belly steamed buns pair perfectly with Canadian brews and handcrafted cocktails. At Lopan (503 College St.), DaiLo’s upstairs bar, Asian riffs on North American classics like the Big Mac and KFC chicken are served dim-sum-style until 2 a.m. CURATED CRAVINGS There’s nothing fancy about the signature Smash Bag nachos from Junked Food Company (1256 Dundas St. W.): they’re prepared right in the Doritos bag with toppings like Dr Pepper pulled pork, dark chocolate chili and mac ’n’ cheese. If fried chicken is more your flavour, Bar Fancy (1070 Queen St. W.) offers a special of $2 fried chicken (and half-price oysters) between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Plus, “dirty” nachos—complete with a Cheez Whiz–like topping—make the rounds until late.
  26. 26. www.SeeTorontoNow.com26 TORONTO FOOD DRINK PHOTOS:THEDRAKEHOTEL(DRAKE);ALEXBROWNE(MILLSTREET) List serve Here are our top five picks for the best places to sip, savour, and see and be seen. A cold drink and city-watching from the best seats in the house—what could be better? 1. DRAKE HOTEL Arty Queen West boasts the Sky Yard, where you can gaze at the stars (especially during the Toronto International Film Festival) and enjoy drinks, whether it’s July or January. 1150 QUEEN ST. W. 2. LA SOCIÉTÉ This très chic French bistro on Bloor Street is the perfect place to sip champagne and watch the fashionistas of Mink Mile walk by. 131 BLOOR ST. W. 3. MURPHY’S LAW PUB AND KITCHEN Grab a pint at this Beaches neigh- bourhood pub, which boasts a breezy rooftop patio and a wide selection of beers on tap. 1702 QUEEN ST. E. 4. THE CHASE Take a break from the bustling Financial District at this elegant penthouse patio. Say cheers with cocktails or pick from an extensive wine list. 10 TEMPERANCE ST. 5. THOMPSON TORONTO The bar of this opulent hotel offers unparalleled 360-degree panoramas of Toronto. Enjoy creative cocktails at an Entertainment District hot spot. 550 WELLINGTON ST. W. From boozy brunches to leisurely nightcaps, Toronto’s patios add ambience to your cocktail enjoyment. 1. AMSTERDAM BREWHOUSE The craft brewhouse by the lake pairs its signature pours with a beer-infused menu. Curl up in a Muskoka chair for a truly Toronto experience. 245 QUEENS QUAY W. 2. THE PORCH The patio of the Entertainment District’s Rock ’n’ Horse Saloon conjures a party-hearty vibe with margaritas, lounge seating and an outdoor kitchen that offers shared plates. 250 ADELAIDE ST. W. 3. MILL STREET BREW PUB The Mill St. Brewery’s charming cobblestone patio is a well-preserved vestige of The Distillery Historic District’s 19th-century industrial roots. 21 TANK HOUSE LANE 4. O’GRADY’S ON CHURCH This traditional Irish pub in the LGBTQ-focused Church- Wellesley neighbourhood is the place to be in summer, especially during the Pride Toronto festival. 518 CHURCH ST. 5. ALLEN’S RESTAURANT This intimate Irish pub on the Danforth is where Toronto’s Celtic music scene is at its best. In summer, the spacious and leafy back patio beckons. 143 DANFORTH AVE. Keep an eye open for these deli- cious food trucks. Follow Toronto Food Trucks @foodtrucksTO on Twitter to find your faves during your visit. 1. CAPLANSKY’S DELICATESSEN Caplansky’s is famous among Torontonians for its deli-style hot smoked meat sandwiches. Mmmmmm. CAPLANSKYS.COM 2. FOOD DUDES Mac N Cheese, Dirty Chili Hash, Captain Crunch Fish Tacos— those are just a few of the options from this beloved food truck and catering company. THEFOODDUDES.COM 3. GORILLA CHEESE Grilled cheese sandwiches like you’ve never experienced before. Save room for the dessert sandwiches. GORILLACHEESE.WORDPRESS.COM 4. FIDEL GASTRO’S Ever had a spaghetti and meatball sandwich? Try that or another creation from the food truck deemed the country’s best, by Canadian Living magazine. FIDELGASTRO.CA 5. BUSTER’S SEA COVE Buster’s is a mainstay in the St. Lawrence Market, and its seafood food truck is a huge hit with “afish- ionados.” Try the fish tacos or sea- food rolls. BUSTERS-SEACOVE.COM 5 BARS WITH A VIEW 5 TASTY FOOD TRUCKS 5 PERFECT PATIOS Drake Hotel Thompson Hotel Caplansky’s Delicatessen Buster’s Sea Cove Amsterdam Brewhouse Mill Street Brew Pub SECOND SERVINGS
  27. 27. FOOD DRINK TORONTO 27@SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow PHOTOS:EDWARDPOND(CAPLANSKY’S);ISTOCK(CORSO,QUEENWESTBAR) 8 Unwind with a cuppa Dragonwell green tea or Alpine Punch rooibos. With over 150 different blends to choose from, DAVIDsTEA (Terminal 1, after Canadian security, Level 2, near Gate D37) has got you covered, no matter how arcane your tea tastes. (Don’t forget to buy loose-leaf tea to take home!) Dine fly 10 best places to grab a quick bite or a stellar meal at YYZ. Toronto Pearson International Airport has a fleet of foodie-approved restaurants, bars and cafés to choose from, many helmed by Toronto’s top chefs. Whether you’ve got time to spare, or want a quality meal in a hurry (or to go), your options are as unique—and multiculturally diverse—as the city you’ve just visited. 1Restaurant Makeover chef Massimo Capra’s Boccone Trattoria Veloce (Terminal 1, after Canadian security, Level 2, near Gate D41) offers casual Italian panini, salads, pasta and mains, with rustic touches and a full bar. 2 Acer (Terminal 3, after international security, departures level, near Gate C36) serves contemporary Japanese cuisine by chef Guy Rubino. Choose from eclectic sushi rolls, heaping bowls of ramen or pull together a snack from various small-plate appetizers. 3Build your own gourmet burger or try one created by Toronto chef Mark McEwan at Nobel Burger Bar (Terminal 3, after U.S. security, departures level, near Gate A13). 4 Enjoy Indian street fare at Toronto chef Hemant Bhagwani’s Marathi (Terminal 1, after international security, Level 2, near Gate E78). Its menu includes the fusion Butter Chicken Naan Panini and classics like shrimp vindaloo. Try the Indian breakfast. 5For more freshly made Italian pasta, pizza and antipasti, check out chef Rocco Agostino’s Corso (Terminal 3, after Canadian security, departures level, near Gate B29). The chef and co-owner behind the city’s popular Pizzeria Libretto, Agostino had a specialty pizza oven built for the airport trattoria. 6 Toronto favourite Zane Caplansky brings his crowd- pleasing, traditional deli offerings (which he refers to as Jewish soul food) to Caplansky’s Deli (Terminal 3, after Canadian security, departures level, near Gate B39). Classics like bagels and lox, BBQ beef brisket and blintzes populate the menu. Caplansky’s Snack Bar (Terminal 1, before international security, Level 3 check-in, at Aisle 11) is ideal for noshing with a non-travelling friend—or if you need to sneak in one final breakfast meeting before you fly out. 7Feast on dim sum and entrees by Toronto’s most internation- ally acclaimed Master Chef, at Lee Kitchen by Susur Lee (Terminal 1, after international security, near Gate E73). Lee, whose cuisine merges flavours and cooking tech- niques from classical French and Chinese traditions, was named one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” by Food Wine magazine. 9Grab a pint of local beer, sip a glass of wine, or toast the city with cocktails at Queen West Bar (Terminal 1, after U.S. security, departures level, near Gate F61). 10 Enjoy a quick meal, or grab a nutrish-and-delish carb + protein bowl to bring with you on your flight. Freshii (Terminal 3, after U.S. security, departures level, near Gate A19/B19) is a fave for its healthy fast food and smoothies. Most restaurants on this list include organic, vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal, all-natural, gluten-free and/or heart healthy options on their menus.