Toronto Business Trip
I'm from Kansas City and will be traveling to Toronto at the end of this month. I've never been to Canada, let alone know of any of the "must-visit" places. I will be staying downtown on King Street, and will be at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre a lot.
Any restaurant suggestions will be helpful! I'll be there Sunday-Tuesday.
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There's not a lot to be recommended in the immediate vicinity, but here's a recent thread:
Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar (Church St just south of Front St) would be a very short cab ride away, or just further along on Front, Mia Romagna is quite good, though other posters here have said that it has been inconsistant of late. Let us know where you ate and what your impressions were.
Seriously? You're recommending Phil's to someone from Kansas City?? Heheh... seems a bit silly IMO, apparently KC has some mighty good 'cue of their own.
As for recommendations... the other thread linked above has some great recommendations, if you've got an expense account definitely check out Splendido, Chiado, Susur, Perigee, etc on the high end.
Steak - If you want to treat yourself, Harbour 60 is fantastic (also walk or cab-able distance). Great bar too, so a nice place to hang out and no need to feel weird dining solo. Expensive, but the best.
Seafood - Starfish is great (King Street East - again, walk or cab-able). Smaller, bistro-y feel. Again, if you like to sit at the bar, expert oyster shucking for entertainment. Rodney's is also in the King Street area and would be a fun place to hang out.
Italian - Tutti Matti is in the King Street area - food is good and quite authentic. They send their staff to Italy once a year, so they have some pretty good tricks. Bistro-y vibe. If you want something a little more upscale, Mistura is good (a cab ride, but not really too far). It's more formal, but they have a really beautiful jazz bar upstairs ("Sopra" also shares Mistura's kitchen, so it might be a fun place to hang out and listen to music... a really beautiful room).
www.mistura.ca / www.sopra.ca
I know less about lunch (just not my meal of choice for dining out), but you're relatively close to the St. Lawrence Market, and if you have a bit of time it might be a nice trip. Note that the market is closed on Monday.
There are actually some decent lunch places in the food courts underneath the office buildings. My favourite is "Fast Fresh Foods" under Commerce Court (SE corner of King & Bay Sts.). Made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Cash only I think. Get a nice lunch from them and have a picnic next to the cow sculptures on the lawn across the street.
In addition to Harbour 60, the other notable non-chain steakhouse downtown is Barberian's http://www.barberians.com/ which has a small and cozy bar in front with expert bartenders, reliable steak, competent side dishes, and desserts which I find to be both uninteresting and far too big. And easily the best wine cellar in the downtown area.
For music, try the Rex Hotel http://www.therex.ca/ for jazz.
For lunch near the convention centre, I'll defer to others. I used to work around there and can't think of anything that I'd recommend. For dinner, I can give you a few Italian options.
Near the convention centre (and right by the Holiday Inn on King) I'd go with Marinela's, a nice casual family-run place almost next door (http://www.marinelas.com/) though I've heard good things about Tutti Matti as well and it's only a block away (http://www.tuttimatti.com/). If you're over at the King Edward Hotel or willing to do about a $5 cab ride, one of my favorite Italian spots is right there - Mirto is a small place run by three guys who really understand customer service and their food, while not fancy, is consistently good. (http://www.mirtorestaurant.com/)
Here are a bunch of picks with a cab tab of less than $10.00:
Jamie Kennedy Restaurant on Church and Front for dinner and amazing, guided wine tastings.
Starfish on Adelaide at Jarvis is an incredible seafood spot owned by the Guiness World Record holder as Oyster Shucker (I am not kidding)
Colbourne Lane (which is one block away from King at Church) has some great looking new dinner spots - (Doku 15 and Colbourne Lane)
All of these spots are also walking distance to The Esplanade (street name) at Church, where there is a good row of busy bars with patios to cap off the evening (Bier Market is the main one, but there are a couple other ones there)
For live music and great microbrew beers, try C'est What at 67 Front Street, which is also right there.
If you want to have it all in one tiny area that is VERY unique to the city, visit the distillery. It is a recently restored old section of the town that makes you feel like you are stepping back into the 1800s. cobblestone streets and incredibly restored buildings. http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/ There you can wander art galleries, eat in great spots like The Boiler House or Perigee, and have a drink on a patio all in the same place. There is usually live music going on in the summer also. Will be about $10 to get there from your hotel. The more that I think about it, the more I am in favour of this suggestion.