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Jul 15, 2008 02:16 PM

Toronto eats and things to do this weekend

HI Everyone - I am traveling with my wife to Toronto this Friday thru Sunday from Detroit Area, MI. We are staying at the Marriott Bloor-Yorkville. It was a last minute thing and we did not know about the Summerlicious festival going on and I hear it may be difficult to get into some restaurants. We need some recs!

We like to try just about everything. I'd like to find something in China Town. Maybe some good authentic italian- around here it is hard to find something without being loaded with tomato sauce. Anything else that I HAVE to try while in town?

Does anyone have any thoughts about Vagabondo for brunch? Bb33 Bistro?

Is Bloor-Yorkville worth a trip for shopping, eating, sightseeing?

One more thing - is there any place to get high quality Asian tea (loose leaf)?

Thanks in advance for any information.

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  1. am I doing something wrong....nobody has replied???

    4 Replies
    1. re: nielubow

      I actually had to look up Vagabondo to see where it was. Then I did a search on the board and there are no comments about it whatsoever (except for one neutral thread).

      Can't help you with the Chinatown recos (mind you, we have three of them) or the Asian tea.

      Bloor/Yorkville is touristy and expensive but it might be worth checking out Caren's Wine Bar, Studio Cafe and Boba. Also just west of Avenue Road is Opus.

      A lot of people consider Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar as a must-go place in Toronto.

      Another area to explore is the Distillery District. High-end restaurant -- Perigee -- there gets lots of positive reviews and it's nice area to walk around.

      Welcome to Toronto! I hope others more knowledgeable respond. And please report back!

      1. re: JamieK

        I just wanted to add that I think the server/site problem is definitely frustrating and may be contributing to the lack of responses.

        (NOT the chef)

      2. re: nielubow

        not sure why replies aren't coming. may be a server error.

        loose tea: look up the Tea Emporium. there may be a downtown location. if all else fails, there is a tea store in the basement of the Bay on Queen and Yonge and its not all that bad.
        Yorkville - do NOT eat there. trust us. rip-off.

        Vagabondo: i used to work near a Vagabondo. i would pass, although i've never had their brunch.
        Chinatown - just beware. read up on the reviews. lots of white chinese food and you have to search for the authentic (I think 7 Seas is supposed to be great for seafood, but i don't touch fish or seafood).

        Summerlicious - hit or miss. i mean, if you want to find a menu online that looks good, then hey, why not hit it up. but i think that it tends to be disappointing.

        Personally, if I had a weekend in Toronto and wanted to eat my guts out, i would break the trip down into must-eats and ethnic stuffs. here would be my lunch suggestions:

        Vietnamese subs at Rose's on Broadview and Gerrard. its $2 for a meatball sub and very tasty. fork out another $1 for the best springrolls in town (especially if they are freshly fried).

        Black Camel - great sandwiches, esp. if you get them drenched in the bbq sauce.

        Monarch Inn - lots of people raving about the smoked meat sandwiches (haven't tried them yet), but its a small jaunt for you to get there (just head west on College).

        Indian buffets - find a good one and enjoy a lunch. i personalyl suggest Kathmandu on Yonge and College. its Nepalese. food is very fresh, selection is decent but the food is great.

        If you want scenery and a neat experience, head to the Don Valley Brickworks ( for the Saturday morning market. food and stuff there and its a nice walk.

        Dinner - you want to spend a lot or a little? this town can bleed your wallet if that's what you want. lots of high end restos.

        People will rant about Jamie Kennedy's for lunch (the Gardiner) or dinner (the wine bar). haven't tried the Gardiner, but its pricey but supposedly great. the wine bar was disappointing (just my opinion).

        Personally, i would hit the ethnic offerings, like Ethiopian (Dukem on Danforth), Korean (lots of places on Bloor and Bathurst), Mexican (El Sol on Danforth), tapas (Foxly's on Ossington),etc.

        but if you want high-end dining and want to drop $100+ a person, there are places that will gladly take your money for you, like George, North 44, Auberge du Pommier or, if you are unlucky, any of the craphouses in Yorkville.

        hope this helps. and bring your appetite, because you could spend the whole bloody weekend eating....

        just don't look for a good hamburger or slice of 'za while here. stick to the serious ethnics.

        1. re: atomeyes

          These are some great suggestions, but dear God, don't tell someone from Detroit to eat Mexican in Toronto. The Midwest does it much better.

      3. Simple!

        RIB FEST Mississauga :)

        1. Lee Valley has a downtown west location, where you'll find an exceptional tin of tea, 7 oz for $8. It contains high grown orange pekoe buds from Sri Lanka.
          Not far from Chinatown.

          Lee Valley
          590 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

          1. For Asian teas, Ten Ren might be worth a try.

            Also, friends have been to Vagabondo..avoid at all costs!! From what I hear, it's terrible.

            If you're in Bloor-Yorkville, you might want to go up the Manulife Centre to Panorama on the 52nd floor and ask for a seat outside on the south patio. It's a gorgeous way to see the city (pass on the food though).

            1. Thanks...These are all great tips!!