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Interesting/economical solo dining spots downtown

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I'll be at the Royal York for a few days solo and would be interested in hearing about any eating opportunities that are:
a.) local faves
b) within walking distance
c.) solo diner friendly
d.) uniquely Canadian (whatever that means!)
e.) reasonably affordable, although a few suggestions for well-worth-it blow outs are welcome!
f.) Not underground -- yes, I realize it's the dead of winter, but I don't want to feel like a cave-dweller!!

Would also be interested in hearing about great places to pick up take out in the neighborhood.

Thanks so much -- you all never steer me wrong! I promise to report back!!

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  1. Check out Saving Grace several blocks west of Bathurst on Dundas for a great Toronto brunching experience.

    One can comfortably eat solo at the bar up the stairs.

    Link: http://reviews.degrassica.

    1. Well, it's not exactly "Canadian", but when I'm in that area, I like to go to the Lone Star Cafe. It's a Tex-Mex place that's got good food. There's also a bar area if you'd prefer to eat solo there. The tortilla's are made as you order so they're super fresh. It's at 200 Front street - just up the road from your hotel.

      If you're up for it, they even have some kind of massive 72oz. steak deal where if you can eat the whole thing in under an hour it's free. Of course then you'd have to roll your way home.

      1. The Royal York is actually quite a nice spot - I am certain you will have a wonderful stay. Good places to eat are a bit of a walk from there.

        If you go east along Front go to the St. Lawrence market for a peameal sandwich from Carosel Bakery - both a takeout and a uniquely Toronto spot! Also if you don't want to have to have a hotel breakfast you can grab a bagel from St Urbain (same place). The market is also a fun spot just to walk around and people watch. Be warned it is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Any of the staff at the Royal York will be able to give sirections. Along the way the is a spot (bar) called C'est What that I am told is not too bad as well.

        If you really feel like blowing the bank go to Epic (its just located in the Royal York Hotel.) Some may disagree with me on this one - but I had the fortune of going for an anniversary one year and found the service wonderful and the food actually quite good.

        If you want to adventure a bit further you can go to Salad King it is a really nice Thai restaurant located on Gould off Yonge - Look for Sam the Record Man (take the subway to Dundas Street and then go north on Yonge). Long tables with people on both sides - great people watching!! www. saladking.com for directions.

        Also if you feel like exploring you can walk west to Spadina and take a look in Chinatown - there are a number of good spots there. Or go up University and wander along Queen Street West. There you can find a few interesting spots - I really like Ho Su Bistro (Korean) and Tiger Lily (Asian). But look around. you might see something interesting!

        I hope that gives you a few options. Feel free to email me if you want any further directions or suggestions - I can still think of more!! Also, if you are coming at the beginning of February that is the start of Winterlicious so a number of restaurants will have $20 to $30 per plate options. I have put the URL below for you.

        I hope you have a wonderful visit and let us know what other great spots you might find!

        Cheers

        Link: http://www.toronto.ca/special_events/...

        1 Reply
        1. re: otonabee
          c
          Chinese Perry

          If you are up to wandering into the Spadina Chinatown, King's Noodle at Spadina and Dundas would be an inexpensive spot. Seating is hodge podge, and as a solo diner, you'll end up sharing a table with one or more other parties of diners.