HELP ASAP! Need locals advice!
I am traveling to Toronto this weekend from Buffalo with 10 girls for a group 30th birthday getaway. We have a group with very different tastes so I am looking for a great place to have dinner on Saturday night. Nothing too fancy or expensive. Maybe upscale bar type food? Sandwiches, salads, maybe a few entrees like pastas and meats. Someone else in the group made reservations at Elephant Castle but from what I understand its a chain restaurant. How is the food? Also we are looking for an area to go out also would be good if the restaurant was around the same area. Looking for upscale low key bars. Nothing too clubby but still good music and good atmosphere. Would like an area for an opportunity to bar hop if needed. We are 30 so we don't want to hang out with 19 yr olds...lol. We are staying at the Westin Harbour Castle so someplace we could take transit or cab. I am desperate!!! Please help!
I like Campagnolo, which would be my current pick for a 30something ladies' night out. Mostly 30 and 40somethings last time I was there, down-to-earth server, good Italian food made with many locally sourced ingredients, and the best mix of music I remember hearing in the last year, with plenty of retro, some classic rock, some Stevie Wonder. The mix reminded me a little of the fun/energetic mix of music that was playing at Babbo the only time I've dined at Babbo.
Delux is also a good bet, if you're looking for low-key bistro with a somewhat hip vibe.
Plenty of bars (for bar-hopping) are located near both Campagnolo and Delux.
92 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z4, CA
832 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON , CA
The Drake which was previously recommended is on Queen West.
Parkette is casual Italian on Queen West
There is also Nyood which is more of a small plates type menu.
Edit - There are also many good options on Ossington which is a north/south street from Queen West. Foxley, Libretto, Fish Bar, Salt, Delux etc.
1096 Queen West, Toronto, ON M6J 1H9, CA
874 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3, CA
Your group might like College ST. west - lots of great restaurants and small lounge / bars too.
Utopia has a great patio and amazing food (not too expensive)
Il Gato Nero - great vibe, good italian food
Black Skirt - AMAZING food, but about a 10 walk from the busier part of the street
Calendar was once rated best "date" restaurant
there are many bars in the area to hop as well. and walking distance to Kensington Market which also has great bars...
974 College Street, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA
Le Select is a large French bistro with a lovely patio that could accommodate your group that's right on the Queen's Quay/Spadina streetcar line that runs past your hotel. Ten minute trip tops. Lots of bar/lounges nearby. You could walk over to Susur's afterwards.
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA
601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA
My personal choice for a group of 30-something women would be Caren's Wine Bar in Yorkville. It's more upscale than a pub, but it's not fancy, just casual and nice. Fabulous back patio with sparkly lights. Dinner options include a great stilton burger and some nice pastas and salads. After dinner, there are lots of bar/club options within walking distance, from casual to upscale.
What are you willing to spend per person? Does that include drinks?
There's an OK Italian restaurant on the roof of your hotel with great city/lake view. It's taking part in the Summerlicious food fest. Three course prix fixe $35.
Against the Grain is a new gastro-pub about a 10 minute walk east at the foot of Jarvis St. Huge patio right on the water and pretty good pub-ish food (burgers/salads,etc). Entrees $16 to $25.
Il Fornello is a decent local pizza/pasta chain at the south end of the Terminal Bldg just west of the Westin. Big patio on the lake.
Gabardine is a nice bistro in the financial district about 15 minute walk up Bay Street. No patio, mains around $20, closes at 10 iirc. Wherever you go, you'll need reservations for a group that large.
Most of the bars in the downtown area are meat markets on Friday night (Kei, South of Temperance). But if that's your scene...
The cool non-tourist bars are mostly on the west-side (Queen West, Ossington). Do-able on the street-car but about a $15 cab ride in traffic.
372 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 3W1, CA
I agree - the Drake is a good idea. It's not too close to your hotel, but would be a pretty easy streetcar ride once you've walked up to Queen (about a 15-minute walk from your hotel). You're not going to find much of anything super-close to the Westin, but a relatively proximate option is Beer Bistro (though you'd probably want to move elsewhere for drinks after).
18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA