I was able to spend a long weekend doing nothing but walking around the city, eating and drinking at a few unique Toronto spots. Toronto is a great walking city so don’t be afraid to get out and enjoy the city and discover all that it has to offer. There are a lot of sites to see in Toronto from the CN Tower, Aquarium, a Blue Jay MLB game, and so much more. Whether it is snowing or a bright crisp spring day you will find something great to eat, drink, and enjoy at any of the locations I highlight below.
Walking around I happened upon this place a few years ago and the dinner I had sitting at the bar made a lasting impression. Off the beaten path, Ristorante Buonanotte is located in the Theatre district in downtown Toronto. Their wine list is extensive and the food is great. Ask any of the locals for good Italian food, and they will definitely recommend this place. You can go early for a pizza and a glass of wine or late night for cocktails and socializing; this place has it all. Their menu has a little something for everyone from salads, pizzas, pastas along with meat and fish courses. Now, not every Italian place has to have great arancini to win me over but it does help. At Buonanotte you won’t be disappointed in their spin on the arancini, it isn’t like others I’ve had as they stuff them with not just cheese but meats as well. I recommend anything that has their wild mushrooms or truffle polenta with it, I get it every time I go and it’s great. So grab a glass and a few friends and dine where the locals go – you won’t regret it.
Located on the 2nd floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Luma has a great view of the city and the CN Tower. With the open airy ambiance, great food, and extensive wine list you can’t go wrong with this location. The hardest decision you will make the entire meal is choosing what to eat and drink because it all looks good. So be sure to come on an empty stomach and be ready to feast on course after course of delicious food. I recommend starting with the Buffalo Mozzarella salad, the green goddess dressing is light and not overpowering and pulls the mozzarella and tomatoes together nicely. Their roasted chicken was one of the best roasted chicken dishes I have ever eaten, sorry Grandma. I paired a bottle of California’s Cannon Ball Cabernet with it and when I saw truffle fries on the menu I couldn’t resist but to eat those too. Regardless of whether you sit at the bar or in the dining room you can’t help but take in the views, food, and the vibe that Luma has to offer.
Location: 350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Opening Hours: Lunch – Monday – Friday: 11:45am – 3pm; Dinner – Monday & Tuesday: 5-10pm; Wednesday – Saturday 5-11pm
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While I typically shy away from chains Mercatto is a local Toronto brand that has 5 different restaurants in the downtown Toronto area. What keeps me seeking this place out is the freshness of their food and chill vibe of the place. The Taverna Mercatto is located in the financial district and on a sunny day you can’t beat this seat with its’ outdoor covered patio. Their Barbietole Arrosto an arugula, burrata, and beat salad is so fresh and crisp you can’t help but pair it with a glass of Chianti. The spicy sauce on their Arancini brings out the sweet flavor of the provolone they stuff inside, I recommend asking for an extra side of the sauce. Feeling like you need to end your meal with a little sweet? Grab a cappuccino and a cannoli; paired together they are a great end to a great meal.
Location: 120 Bremner Blvd Suite 100; Toronto, ON M5J 0A8
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 11:30am – 11pm; Thursday – Saturday 11:30am – 12am and Sunday 11:30 – 10pm
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Whether you are looking for a place to catch up with friends over a glass of wine, enjoy listening to live music while you eat good food and drinks or want a sit down dinner — Crush Wine Bar has it all. It is located downtown on King West and embraces the entertainment district vibe for which it resides. Looking for a great glass or flight of wine? Check out their wine in woman flight — this flight showcases 3 different regions of red wine and celebrates these women wine makers. Check out their “up & coming” calendar to see who is playing in the bar on Friday nights, I recommend you get there early to get a good seat. Mondays are $1 corkage fee’s, can’t beat that if you have a bottle that you want to bring with you while you enjoy any one of their fantastic entrees. Are you into oysters? Then Sunday is the day you need to go with their featured ‘buck-a-shuck’ Sundays menu where you can grab a $7 glass of sparkling wine and enjoy oysters at a buck a shuck until they run out. Looking for oceanwise seafood – they have you covered as Crush’s menu’s focus on using products that are fresh, local and, seasonal which you can taste in every bite.
Location: 455 King Street W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, Canada
Opening Hours: Mon 11:30am – 9pm; Tues & Weds 11:30am – 10pm; Thurs 11:30am – 11pm; Fri 11:30- 12am; Sat 5:30pm – 12am and Sun 4:30pm – 9pm
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As I was walking around Toronto I couldn’t help but notice a lot of people walking around with green and blue boxes in their hands. They all seemed to be coming from the south side of downtown, so naturally I had to check out where they were coming from. I came across Steam Whistle Brewery located in the Roundhouse Park, a brewery that only makes 1 beer – their pride, a Canadian Pilsner. The owners wanted to focus on doing 1 thing and doing it well and from what I saw when I walked in they were successful. Steam Whistle is a combination of a must see attraction and a fun place to grab a pint of their Pilsner. Anyone over 18 with a valid ID can get a taste of their Pilsner at no charge, and these aren’t small pours. The place was packed, so I grabbed myself a spot at the bar and got a pint, had to see what all the fuss was about. I missed signing up for the brewery tours, however, I do recommend them but be warned, they sell out quickly, especially on the weekends since it’s first come first in and they can’t be reserved online. Grab a friend or two and head down this way to drink a pint, grab a growler or 6-pack, this crisp cool Canadian Pilsner is refreshing.