Honey / best of College-Ossington
Hi all. I've got two questions I'm hoping Chowhounds can kindly answer.
For Christmas, I'm thinking of a simple but nice gift to give to my hostess. My idea so far is a jar of fancy artisanal honey, and perhaps something to go with it. Where should I go in Toronto to find that? (If your suggestion is St Lawrence or Kensington Market, which specific place should I go to?)
I'm moving to a place near College and Ossington in a week and I'm hoping Chowhounds can help me assemble a list of local favourite places to hit (beyond Little Italy). I'm looking forward to exploring further west too.
I've got down Caplansky's as a local smoked meat deli, and that's it. We've got some things we like:
Best all-day breakfast
Best (cheap) Japanese
Best Chinese/Thai/noodles craving
Best dessert (cake, ice cream, pie, the works!)
And if you have a favourite place you just love going back to, feel free to throw it in!
Yet to find a good breakfast spot in that hood. Dakota, brunch for sure. Tasty Thai is pretty good they're at Delaware and College. Cheap Japanese is just that, cheap and therefore not good! Caplansky's for sandwiches, he's on Clinton just south of college upstairs at the monarch tavern. And of course, California sandwiches are outstanding. Gyros, i go to College Health Food on Oss just north of College. You're gonna live the hood....
I just moved from the neighbourhood and loved the food options around.
I also suggest Pantry. I've heard great things about their take out, but it's the coffee that has me coming back for more. They also have great cookies and the breakfast sandwich I had a few weeks ago was delicious. But really, they serve Balzac's coffee and it's stands as the best cup of Joe I've had all year...
If you want Ethiopian, go to Nazareth at Bloor and Dovercourt. Great food at low, low, low prices.
For baked goods, try Oh So Good. It's on the northside of College, west of Ossington.
Sunday Brunch at the Dakota is good, cheap and fun. It is family style for $12 and you usually get scrambled eggs, pancakes, home fries, bacon and sausage, oj and coffee. Bluegrass bands are the entertainment, and the kids dancing to them. On Ossington east side, just north of Dundas. Starts at 11am and a line starts forming immediately, so plan accordingly.
Also good for brunch is If Cafe, on north side of Dundas at Grove Street. Small place, small menu, but everything is delicious and less than $10. Great lattes too.
Excellent Churrasco chicken place next to Caldense bakery. Can't remember the name of the place, but really good sauce on the chicken. I don't know how people go to KFC when that place is next door, but that's me.
jayt90's honey suggestion is a good one. That vendor will let you taste everything he offers, and he has interesting flavours from around the world.
That said, I think local honey is an even nicer gift! Foodshare (http://www.foodshare.net) distributes honey produced by the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative right in the city. I'm not sure whether they've bottled this year's harvest yet, but they will sell out. You could also go to the SLM farmer's market - there's an Ontario honey vendor there as well. I also saw some Dutchman's Gold (Carlisle, Ontario) and a couple others at the Healthy Butcher on Queen West this week.
I got some good responses when I asked about Ontario honey a couple of months ago as well: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563832
*full disclosure - I am a member of the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative, but I don't benefit from Foodshare's sale of the honey we produce.
Down Ossington and about a half block west on Dundas is Caldense Bakery. They have the best bread. My favourite are the Padas (buns) They freeze well, they make a great breakfast pastry (toasted with a little butter and honey on top) or sandwiches. Also try their pasteis de bacalhau (codfish fritters) with a pineapple sumol. Mmmm.
Pho Lin on College west of Dufferin is worth a trip, also several central American places around Bloor and Dovercourt for comida corrida. There is is good Portuguese take out on Dundas between Brock and Ossington: chicken, pork, seafood and bakeries.
There is a well known honey guy (Russian) on the lower level of St Lawrence market. He may be connected to a honey store at Brown's Line and Evans, but SLM is easier to get to Here is a thread to look at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/523630
Pho Lin is currently closed for renovations until the end of December. At least, that's what the sign said when I walked by yesterday.
I actually prefer my pho & bun at Phuong Hauang across the street!
There really isn't any great breakfast places around College & Ossington. The closest is probably Boom Breakfast though I would much prefer to walk down Ossington and go to Delux for brunch (a few blocks north of queen). I second Pantry... I've been taking out a lot from there recently. I had an incredible artichoke tapenade from them that I highyl recommend.