5 hour Layover- Where to eat!!???
I will be having a 5 hour layover at Pearson International in early July and was hoping you could all suggest some amazing places to eat nearby. Something affordable, Im up for whatever you suggest! My husband and i are total foodies and this is our first time in Canada so we want to experience what we can of Toronto in the short time we have. Any sugesstions are much appreciated! We arrive around 3 in the afternoon and our flight back home to LA leaves around 7:30-8ish. Thanks!
Please don't judge the rest of Toronto by the airport hell you are about to go through.
I wouldn't attempt this unless I was traveling with only carry-on bags.
If you have checked luggage the system at Pearson (YYZ to insiders) is set up with the assumption that people with connecting flights will not leave the airport. I gather that you are coming from overseas and connecting to your flight home, in that case you WILL be required to pick up your bags at a special belt, then go though US customs with your bags before dropping them off again. If you divert from the usual path set up for connecting passengers to leave the airport for a meal it's next to impossible to get back on the path to the special belt. If you are set on doing this have your airline tag your bags at your origination as if Toronto is your final destination, then pick up your bags at the "regular" luggage carousel, here's the fun part, now you either need to find the luggage storage service (it's located in a shop that sells new luggage, it is neither cheap nor convenient) or lug your bags to the restaurant with you. One of the advantages of the "connecting path" is that it bypasses some of the worst queues, if you are traveling at a time when US customs is busy (such as Sunday nights on big holiday weekends) the "non-connecting" queue can be 2 hours long. Have I talked you out of this yet?
Just to stay on topic of food in Toronto the food at the airport is more or less universally sad and WAY overpriced, a pint of corporate beer is $11, hamburger, fries and a beer is $30. Connecting through YYZ is something to be endured. Come back to visit the city and see Niagara Falls some other time.
Sadly I have to agree with this post, if you have to get your bags there is no point, you risk missing your connection if you leave the airport. And please don't judge Toronto by the airport chaos, it does get better!
Best case scenario, one hour to clear Candian customs, get your bags and get in a cab. Then you need to be back at least 2 hrs before your next flight (a friend arrived 1.5 hrs before a flight to the US yesterday and missed the plane due to the long customs line). So that would leave you 2 hrs to travel to a restaurant and eat and travel back. To go downtown from the airport is 45 minutes by the time you park etc, and that is with no traffic.
Sorry to disappoint, next time do a layover here, there is lots to see and eat!
Welcome to Canada! Sadly, even though 5 hours sounds like a lot, you will have a LOT less time than you think. You will have to go through customs in BOTH directions. When you land, you will go through Canadian customs and immigration, and when you leave, you will go through U.S. customs and immigration. You should allot 30 - 45 minutes for this process in each direction. And if you are coming from an international destination and you have checked baggage, they may actually make you pick up your bags, in which case you will have to check them back in when you get back to the airport (which they may not actually allow since you have a connecting flight). I would call your airline or Pearson airport (probably the better choice) to find out the details prior to your trip.
Having said all of that, if you are still game to brave the airport obstacle course, your best bet is to stick to a destination close to the airport. Downtown Toronto is about a 20-30 minute drive, and in rush hour, that can go up significantly. If you like Chinese food, Grand Chinese Cuisine is upscale and is very close to the airport in the Doubletree Hotel. Kwality Sweets gets some love for cheap and cheerful Indian food in a very unassuming environment. I'm sure others will have suggestions, but fair warning that there are limited options near the airport.
2150 Steeles Ave E, Brampton, ON L6T1A7, CA
Grand Chinese Cuisine
655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON M9W1J3, CA
i haven't been to kwality sweets but if i was only able to do a pick-up or wanted a great snack to haul back... would definitely go to a-one catering on tranmere to pick up their samosas. the BEST samosas i've had in the city by far. it's pretty easy to make a convert once they've tried one. it is only a shop/take-out place and does not have full meals.