Billy Bishop Layover
I'll be arriving at Billy Bishop Airport on a Monday at 11:00, and will have four and a half hours at my disposal before flying out again.
This will be my first time in Toronto, where's a nice place to grab lunch?
As far as parameters go:
- Time is obviously an issue, it needs to be reasonable waking distance, not be a multi hour meal on it's own and not have notoriously long waits
- As this will be our first time in Toronto, something unique or regional would be nice.
- If there's a cool, free / cheap attraction nearby to check out after lunch that would be a plus also.
Well can actually take a street car from right in front of airport road to Union Station which is the main hub and take the the subway pretty much anywhere with the downtown core from there or walk around. It should take you about 10-15 minutes from the time you get on the street car.
I would recommend Beer Bistro for food as its just off King Station beer selection is impressive. Other option is Khao San Road which is 10-15 min with public transport. Attraction wise you can visit Hockey hall of fame to kill an hour or so if you are into that sport or visit the touristy CN tower both do have an entry fee but if you look around one can find a way to get a discount.. Both are very close to Union Station (i.e. less than 10 min walk)
Grab a cab and head to Dundas & Spadina (five to ten minutes away) and Chinatown and Kensington Market. You don't need to eat at one specific place, just graize for a couple of hours. Chinese Traditional Buns, Dim Sum King, Mother's Dumplings, King Noodle BBQ, Patty King (Jamaican), Jumbo Empanada (Chilean), Easton's for fancy sandwiches with local ingredients, Miss Cora pastries and tons of food stores/grocers. Vintage clothing stores.
The Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario is two blocks east.
There is really nothing worth wasting your time on walking distance from the airport. Here's the good news, there is a free shuttle bus from the airport to the Royal York hotel in the downtown core and normally I would recommend you take that and walk from there to St. Lawrence Market for a sandwich lunch and a wander around the market then stop into the Hockey Hall of Fame for 1 hour on your way back to the bus, however the market is closed on Mondays. The shuttle stop is reasonably close to the Union Subway station if you wanted to go somewhere on the subway. Do not take the streetcar, it's not actually that close to the airport and it takes twice as long to get to the same place as the shuttle bus.
On a Monday I'll +1 iMarilyn's suggestion, taxi to Chinatown/Kensington.
Don't push your time on the return trip, if using the shuttle bus you really need to be at the bus stop more than 1 hour before your flight departs, you can cut it closer with a taxi direct to the airport but not too much especially at peak times the waits for the ferry crossing can eat up a lot of time.
You would have a great lunch experience at http://www.leselect.com/ and it is about a 25-30 minute walk from the airport. You can then walk up to King St between Bathurst and Spadina and visit Alimento for Italian imports, and SOMA chocolatier for some of our most amazing chocolates. You can walk up Spadina to experience some of Chinatown - along the way is Sense Appeal for some truly unique coffees. If you want great fish and chips check out http://www.totga.ca/menu.html.
Or, you could head up to Queen St and experience all the boutiques and shops along the strip. You will find interesting restaurants (depending on your direction) such as http://www.theprague.ca/index.php or http://www.terroni.com/~menu/Queen or http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/dining/br... to name a few. Just don't bother with County General IMO!
The closest place I can think of to where you are and what you want is perhaps Buca. Heck, Cheesewerks might work for you too. Not knowing where you're from or what you're accustomed to makes it challenging. If you mean this Mon, Feb 20 all bets are off. Stat holiday here.
604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA
56 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5V 2P2, CA
Sorry googs...really I am. But Cheesewerks, please no. I have heard way more negative and nothing super positive. Personally it has only been negative. I hope they get it together, but I would not want somebody to experience Toronto food via Cheesewerks! Sorry to jump on your recommendation like that! What item do you like there so I can try it next time?
Thanks for all of the tips.
We finally are making it out on our vacation.
We ended up trying The Prague and walking around Queens Street. Both were quite enjoyable. We're from Chicago where there is a great deal of Eastern European food, but not much Czech so it was a fun change of pace. Also, we like to cook lots of the things on their menu, so it was nice to see how ours size up.
We had also heard many times that Toronto is very similar to Chicago, so it was fun to walk around and compare. Our verdict.... It's totaly different! But we had a great time.
Not true. Chicago has the Cubs and Toronto has the Leafs. That's another similarity.
Late to the game, but somewhat close to the airport is Liberty Village which is a cool little neighborhood that's explorable by foot. Grab a Bixi bike from the corner of Bathurst & Queens Quay and it's a 10 minute ride to Liberty Village.