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various toronto recommendations req'd

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Hi All,
Coming to T this weekend to see Madonna (YAY) on monday pm. My hubby has booked a suprise upscale eatery for us saturday night (or he better have had!) but I am charged with sorting the rest.
We will be staying in Willowdale with family, have a car the whole time and need advice on the following:
-Sat lunch somewhere around niagra on the lake (or nearby)
-Sunday brunch - we (well actually I, ha ha) plan to shop downtown
-Sunday evening - casual rustic cafe type place (italian maybe) would be ideal
-Monday brunch - again plan to do the tourist spots downtown
-Monday evening - pre concert quick and easy spot would be great (concert at Air Canada Centre)

Appreciate any tips you can give (including, if there are any better areas to shop please let me know - I'm into the distinct rather than the mainstream places).
Cheers,

Naomi

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  1. Two of my favourite things - shopping and food!

    Sunday brunch - what are you looking for? The Hart House Gallery Grill on the downtown Univ. of Toronto campus is excellent and more upscale. For a cheap diner, there's a small place right on Queen West, by Spadina called the Stem Open Kitchen - right next to Roots. In between the two, La Bodega on Baldwin Street serves brunch - haven't been there yet, but I've been meaning to. They have a lovely patio, and the food looks good.

    Sunday evening - if you're still downtown, La Palette in Kensington Market is small and rustic, but it's French.

    Monday evening - I'm having the same problem about where to dine since I'm seeing Madonna that night too. You could try Marche/Movenpick (I'm not a fan). Personally, I'm probably just going to head for a little burrito place on Peter Street, just south of Queen, or for Jules (casual French bistro fare) which is on Spadina, just south of Queen.

    Shoppingwise, for distinct items try Queen, west of Bathurst. I think that might be your best bet - lots of interesting stores concentrated in a small area. If you're there, check out Fresh Collective - all local designers, I believe? Additionally, if you're in the area for lunch, you could head to the Red Tea Box for something different.

    1. Here are some ideas for you.

      Sunday Brunch - Mildred Pierce. Since you have a car this would be convenient as it's a bit out of the way and then you could shop in the Queen West area. Unfortunatly there is usually a bit of a line-up.

      For brunch or your Sunday dinner- Kalendar on College Street. It's a good people watching place with a nice patio and after(or before)you could walk along College St. www.Kalendar.com

      Other choices for Sunday dinner
      - Souther Accent- serves Cajun/creole.
      Very good.www.southernaccent.com
      - Le Paradis - French - one of my favorites. www.leparadis.com

      Off the top of my head I can't think of anywhere for your before-show dinner.
      Hope this helps

      Link: http://www.mildredpierce.com