Need Your Help: One Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
I am once again throwing myself upon the mercy and kindness of my Chowhound friends to help me girlfriend and I maximize our 24 hour Toronto experience. I've read lots of the posts here and have some good ideas but with Toronto being such a spread out city, I wanted to check on some locations and distances.
Our homebase for the day is on the west side of downtown at the Hotel Victoria (Yonge and Wellington, near the King subway station). I need to plan against four specific meal options:
LUNCH: We're arriving just in time for lunch, so would be great to go somewhere near the hotel. Looking for something really interesting that could serve as an introduction to fall eating in Toronto. Ideally someplace walkable from the hotel-- uniquely Toronto, no chains!
EARLY DINNER: We're thinking of heading to Mississauga for an afternoon draw at the Curling World Cup (very excited about this!) and we could either eat dinner after the event somewhere out there (the event's at the Hershey Centre), or on the way back, or even at/near the hotel.
LATE DINNER: We're also considering heading to a rock show at The Phoenix Concert Theater on Sherbourne, right off the streetcar line. We'd be looking for someplace where the kitchen is open until at least midnight on a Thursday night that's either in the neighborhood of the club or somewhere on the way back to the hotel.
BREAKFAST: We're not big breakfast-out people, but if there's something near the hotel that gets rave reviews (I've seen a couple really positive breakfast reviews on the board but didn't know where those places were relative to us!) it might lighten our spirits on the way out of town!
So I know it's a lot to ask, with these four meals, but I can tell you that looking around on this board can make all of the difference, and it's improved my visits to all kinds of places. I'm not super picky, but I do want to get the best possible experience in Toronto and since I only make it up there every few years at best, I'm looking for good, interesting, unique, and earnest food. No stars or 5 stars, doesn't matter if the food's good. What do you think? Can you help? THANK YOU THANK YOU!
This is an excellent start! All of these sound like great choices! Is dinner at Colborne Lane a lengthy affair? That's normally a good thing but given this looks like a fast paced day. I'm hopeful we can make it work because it looks fantastic!
As for later into the evening, we are definitely not picky but would love a place with"real" food (ie not frozen/deepfried/microwaved). Hoping there's someplace fun or interesting nearby!
As for our food tastes, we go for almost anything! When we travel we're always on the lookout for something "local.". These days that seems most often to mean ingredients (which is great) but I mostly mean local color, the kind of place where you learn about the character of a city by visiting. For example, when I go to New York, I'm not usually at the five-star opulent meals- I go to Brooklyn for modern hand crafted food and end the evening at a taco joint. :). Overall I'm looking for food quality with a side of character. Whether that be "Canadian," French, vietnamese, or African actually doesn't matter.
So far these have been tremendous picks- thank you! Anyone have other thoughts?
Your hotel is pretty much 1/2 way between King Station and Union Station, don't confine yourself the the area around the hotel, while there are some options around there, a short subway ride will significantly open up your options.
For lunch I might think about dropping my stuff at the hotel and riding the subway to St. Patrick station and going to Mother's Dumplings in Chinatown, cheap and cheerful or walk 10 minutes east to St. Lawrence Market and do the obligatory peameal bacon sandwich
There are a whole range of different ethnic options but something you may not have done is Caribbean food, in particular from Trinidad, there are a bunch of threads here recommending specific places.
Colborne Lane will take a while, especially if you take the tasting menu.
I'll take on a couple of these.
EARLY DINNER: Fairly near the Hershey Centre is Kumai Sushi. It's a little offbeat, but the food is reasonably good. If sushi isn't your thing then your best off heading back downtown. Near your hotel is the fabulous Colborne Lane practicing molecular gastronomy. I highly recommend it for a highly entertaining great meal.
LATE DINNER: This is not a great option in Toronto. I can't think of a single place that's worth going to where the kitchen's open until midnight. Snacks and cocktails, sure, but full dinners? Nope, we're not that grown up yet.
If you could say a bit more about what you like to eat that would probably help.
45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA
35 Brunel Rd, Mississauga, ON L4Z3E8, CA
Okay, this isn't near your hotel, but since you seem to be a big fan of Zingerman's, and want something uniquely Toronto, I'll suggest a lunch at Caplansky's. It's a uniquely Toronto deli experience, and (if he has his supply problems worked out) his smoked meat sandwiches and fries are fantastic.
For Breakfast, go to Petit Thuet at Yonge and King. On the South-West corner. Lots of good pastries. Might work for a quick lunch too, as I hear their sandwiches are good, though I haven't had them.
Here's the front: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/3...
Lunch, you may wish to visit Canoe, which is around the corner at the TD Tower (0.4km!). They're good with the seasonal/local eating. You can get a taste without having the pocket-punch of dinner prices.
Also want to suggest Swirl for late-night snacks, but it's rather out of the way. Call ahead to make sure it's open!
Here's an idea of what Swirl is like: http://bit.ly/pne8f
I just really like the space and bites.
Added Canoe, but Swirl and Thuet aren't the in DB.
54th Floor TD Bank Tower, 66 Wellington, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6, CA