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fun food and drinks downtown toronto

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Hi All. Traveling to Toronto at the end of October to meet up with two old friends who live outside the city. We would like restaurant recommendations for something new, hip and fun -- a place with a big menu of food and drinks, a place that we can linger and catch up. Wine and beer bars ok, tapas might be good.We are staying at the hotel Victoria downtown. Thanks so much!

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  1. Quiet or loud? Walking distance or cab OK?

    1. Weslodge is new and I enjoyed my drinks and small plates (the apps and sides) there. Great atmosphere.

      1. What about Origin? I know it gets mixed reviews here, but apart once when the food was poor, I have had good success here. It is good - not knock your socks off - food, and I *really* like the atmosphere. You can sit around at a table and it's fun.

        *off to check out Weslodge...*

        3 Replies
        1. re: CocoaChanel

          Torito on Augusta, south of College is great for tapas and sangria. Origin is good for small plates and cocktails. Neither are new, but both are fun. Also not new are Nyood and Kultura. I fear the "new" places will be very tight about table turnover and won't encourage any lingering whatsoever.

          1. re: 1sweetpea

            +1 for Torito
            I have not been to Nyood or Kultura in a long time. I never liked Kultura.
            Nyood was always fun/good

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              Have you been to Kultura since it changed hands, 1sweetpea? The last time I clicked on their website, I got the impression the vibe had changed and that the quality has possibly dipped since the change in ownership.

              I had a great meal at Cava about 10 days ago. New world tapas. Not new or hip, but stylish. It might be possible to linger (it's usually possible to linger weeknights), although the room gets pretty loud.

              For non-tapas options, I like Campagnolo and Enoteca Sociale, but might be difficult to linger unless you get one of the later reservations. Enoteca Sociale has more wines by the glass than Campagnolo.

              I also like the vibe and drinks available at the Grove, which opened in the spring. Haven't tried the food at the Grove recently, which I found to be ok-to-decent when it first opened, but may have improved over the summer.

          2. Thanks for all the suggestions! Serbaljub, cab is ok... and I wouldn't say loud, but lively :). Keep em coming.

            1. Bit of a stab in the dark, but Daisho might work? It's about as new and hip as you can get and even if it turns out you can't linger there, you could just head down to Nikai or the Shangri-La bar for more drinks.