Near Baldwin Village and beyond
My husband and I are visiting Toronto in a week and we're looking for restaurant suggestions. Neither of us have ever been and we have no idea where to start and would even love neighborhood ideas we should absolutely visit. We're looking for any suggestions, but would like some of these specifics:
1. casual places, maybe a brewery or a pizza place at least one night.
2. a good breakfast/brunch place
3. a nice romantic evening with wine, maybe Italian or French?
4. a coffee shop with yummy pastries
5. And any other suggestions are welcome!
Different price ranges are great, we're pretty much open to anything and would like to try local food, although we're not even sure what that is. We do have a car so we're willing to travel a little if needed. Thank you so much for your help!
For a casual place, I'd recommend Khao San Road on Adelaide St W, if you like Thai food. I like their squash fritters, fresh spring rolls and green chicken curry. They don't take reservations, so it's a good idea to go earlier for dinner, or go there for a midweek lunch.
For a romantic resto, I like Scaramouche (midtown) and Le Select (downtown). For Italian food, I like Campagnolo for contemporary Italian, and Carisma for classic Italian. For French food, check out Ici Bistro and Pastis Express.
If you're brunching on a weekend, Le Kensington serves a nice casual French brunch in Kensington Market, a short walk from Baldwin St. Le Select on Wellington also serves a weekend brunch, as does Frank restaurant at the AGO. For breakfast and brunch midweek, you might consider Patachou, the Drake and Lola's Kitchen.
If you're looking for decent coffee and good pastries, I'd suggest Patachou (north of Bloor) or Rahier (midtown). Most of our best coffee shops focus on the coffee, and don't pay too much attention to their pastries. Golden Wheat is a bakery serving espresso in Little Italy that's not too far from Baldwin, if you like Italian or Portuguese sweets.
If you're going to the AGO, there's a nice espresso bar w pastries inside the AGO outside the gift shop at the exit of the Picasso exhibition.
Hope you have a great time in TO.
I'm not sure how old you are or what atmosphere you prefer but try these for good examples of Toronto restaurants in interesting neighbourhoods:
1. Bellwood's Brewery on Ossington (great beer and really interesting food)
1. Pizzeria Via Mercanti
2. Beast or Marben for a carnivorous brunch
3. Edulis or Arcadia or ICI bistro or Hardbord Room or Splendido
4. Cafe Pamenar (great coffee and great place to people watch, nice pastries)
4. Sam James Coffee Bar on Harbord (best coffee and fantastic pastries)
5. You should try at least one place in Spadina/Baldwin area. I like Dumpling House on Spadina and there is a great Dim Sum place on Dundas to the east of Spadina but I don't know it's name. There are many others on this board that can recommend Chinese food in this area.
5. Try Kinton on Baldwin for noodles.
1. Pizzeria Via Mercanti may be one of my fave restos in the city right now. They've really upped their game since opening and I love their pizza. Their Daily pasta is also usually very good! Bellwoods Brewery would def be your best bet.
2.Brunch is something Torontonians go nuts for. If your here on a thurs or fri I'd reccomend Hadley's it's gotten way to busy on weekends. For weekends I really like Frank at the AGO which is right near you. Honestly everyone in TO is going to have a very strong opinion about their Fave brunch place. Get ready!
3. Not Italian or french but Origin is good. If you want more traditional then Scaramouche is probably your best bet.
4. I really love Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Furama Cake and Desserts Garden is my fave and they have some great chinese and vietnamese pastries. It's gonna be hot next week so you may need a lot of them. Luckily they're on Spadina just south of Dundas!
5. Dim Sum! It's best in Markham but there are some decent spots in China Town too. I like 1/2 price Sky Dragon during the week for a quick brunch option. I'm sure there are many things I'm not thinking of but I'm sure other CHers will pipe up shortly!
I like Elle M'a Dit on Baldwin for the casual/ or evening the romantic french evening - they even have alsatian "pizza" if you want that - a patio too: http://ellemadit.com/
Others can correct me if there is something better closer but my coffee pick would be Manic on College. http://www.maniccoffee.com/. Moonbeam in Kensington is also fun. Both have pastry/snack options.
Definitely wander over to Kensington Market and seek out the little food court on Augusta Avenue which is headlined by Agave Y Aguacate and churros in the window. Lots of other fun casual options in Kensington as well both latin and middle eastern (Akram's Shop is great).
College Street and Little Italy are very close. Many great options there. My fave Italian is Trattoria Giancarlo at College/Clinton - very sold.