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3 days in toronto

hi all, i'm planning a short-trip to toronto the first week in august... i'd like it to be three straight days of good food and general loveliness. tips? i'd like to have at least one fancy-ish option, but i'm going to be by myself so i'd rather it be a place with an open kitchen (so i can sit kitchenside) or at least a place where i won't be stuck in a dark corner next to the bathroom b/c i'm a table for 1.

also, looking for things to look at: i'm planning a trip to riverdale farm, st. lawrence market... what else should i do?

thanks so much!

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  1. try steeles deli restaurant up at yonge & steeles - it's casual and you won't be disappointed :)

    1. If you have time to search this site you'll find lots of v. similar threads, but if not, give us some parameters. Where are you staying? Kind of cuisine? Budget? Will you have a car? Us Tdot chowhounders have lots of opinions and if you give us guidelines, you'll end up with a personalized eating tour of the town (which, by the way, you're gonna love).

      1 Reply
      1. re: stapler

        won't have a car, staying downtownish (but not afraid of public transport), not looking for a specific kind of cuisine, just good food. not touristy.

      2. Check out this recent thread re: good restaurants for a visitor. The poster, freelancer, was also travelling solo.


        2 Replies
        1. re: torontofoodiegirl

          torontofoodiegirl thanks, this is awesome.

          1. re: lightbulboven

            You're welcome. Please let us know where you end up going and what you think...

        2. If you're going to Riverdale Farm there's a killer sushi restaurant that will be opening that's within easy walking distance from there. Not scheduled for opening until sometime in July so no website nor a name. However, it will be at 243 Carlton St. I'm sure Google maps can show you just how close to Riverdale Farm it is. Reservations are suggested and I *think* can be had by calling 416-920-8991.

          Staying in fish mode, one nice place to dine alone is Starfish. You could sit at the bar, enjoy the shucking show, and dine.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            Hey Googs -- what do you know about this sushi place? How do you know it will be killer if it hasn't opened yet? Do tell!

            1. re: TorontoJo

              I'm thinking this is the much anticipated new resto from John Lee (from Omi) - yes?

              1. re: peppermint pate

                Yes indeedy it sure is John Lee's new location. Can't wait.

            2. re: Googs

              hey goos, will absolutely try starfish. the menu looks amazing!

            3. Since you don't have a car, I'm going to suggest that on a Saturday or Sunday, you get a TTC day pass - it's $9, which is the price of 4 regular rides, and you can get on and off as often as you want. I'd start with an early morning trip to the St. Lawrence Mkt, and then a streetcar ride up Spadina to Chinatown with a side trip through the Kensington Market. From there, it's a quick streetcar/subway ride up to the Museum stop, where you can take a look at the new addition to the Royal Ontario Museum (some like it, some hate it), and then skip across the street for a quick drink at the Rooftop Lounge at the Park hotel. (Some people think this is the most delightful bar in the city; it's certainly in the top five!). A wander through Yorkville is always fun, and then a few subway stops to Greektown brings you to a bustling place with great food of many descriptions. On the way back, get off the subway at College, and walk south along Yonge through Toronto's "Time Square Lite". Back to the hotel for a soak in the tub - your feet will probably be sore by this time! - and then head out to the Distillery District for a taste of the night life. All easily accessible by transit, with lots of fun food options along the way.

              5 Replies
              1. re: KevinB

                Oh yeah, KevinB has it right! Do not miss St. Lawrence, have the peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery, do not miss Kensington which has fab street food from around the world, enter via Augusta Street at College and do not miss Blue Banana in Kensington for the best shopping in TO. For dim sum in chinatown, beside Kensington, hit Rol Sam, on Spadina. In yorkville, try the patio at One for cocktails. For more food fun, visit Queen St West West, west of Shaw St, there's a cute cafe called Cage Bernate with nice sandwiches and great cookies but there's also lots of other good places to eat and drink. My top fave rest in the city, Kaiseki Sakura for incredible Japanese food NOT sushi or sashimi, but real, honest imperial Japanese cuisine, to die for. You're gonna love TO, we have a great city with great food and great people! Where are you visiting us from?

                1. re: stapler

                  awesome! i live in new york; looking forward to trying food in a different city! thanks so much! i'm VERY excited about it.

                2. re: KevinB

                  Just a quick note that the St. Lawrence Market is closed on Sundays.

                  1. re: KevinB

                    this is so perfect. i wish my trip were tomorrow. thanks so much!

                  2. i was saying this to someone last night and i think it applies here.. but the streetcar route from broadview station that goes along king st is probably the best and most scenic streetcar rides in toronto.

                    it virtually takes you through all the major neighbourhoods in the downtown area or lets you connect with other lines to help you explore further. being above ground, vs the subway of course, also lets you enjoy the varying scenery of toronto, and believe me does it change a lot on that route.

                    if you're at the riverdale farmer's market or planning to do st lawrence, it might be worth your while to go the extra distance and start at broadview station. it'll take you right by the riverdale park area, down through chinatown east (which is only really valuable for hanoi 3 seasons' northern vietnamese menu), past gerrard (the indian strip), into leslieville (great for modern furniture shopping and a few nice cafes to relax), over the don valley, past distillery district (again a great place to walk around but the only redeemable eats are soma chocolates, made in house, and brick street bakery sandwiches), through king east (where you can go south to get to st lawrence or stick to king and check out more furniture), through the financial district, then the theatre district and south of the entertainment area, past the main chinatown (i'd hop off here and take a streetcar north along spadina to get a bahn mi from nguyen houng and peruse kensington... or see the end of my route), and then you end up in the king west entertainment area and liberty village, but lastly... it'll take you north through roncesvalles (great polish eats, especially donuts). once you hit dundas i'd hop off and take dundas east to finish off the circle where you can access great portugese places (my favourite bakery being the brazilian bakery near dufferin/brock) and keep going east until you pass by trinity bellwoods park and a lot of cute cafes and into the major chinatown/kensington.

                    jkwb and starfish are great barside eating options.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Interesting princess, I was going to suggest the Queen streetcar for the same reason. I like to take it all the way to Roncensville and start walking east back to the city. With a pass, you can hop on and off, and like King st, so many neighborhoods to visit. I haven't done the Queen st East yet, but that would be another choice - go out to the Beach and start meandering back to the centre of the city.

                      And just to add in the foodie parts so this doesn't get cut, one of my favourite restaurants for casual dining is on West Queen West - Little Tibet. The owners are so sweet and the the vege momos are delish..as is the lamb curry and steamed bread. I'm sure there are many interesting foodie stops along Queen St. east as well.