Since my first visit in Toronto, there was still much to be seen and I am so glad that on our most recent trip, we were able to walk and explore around this beautiful Canadian city! We quickly understood how much of a FOOD CITY Toronto is! We hung out and traveled in a pack of ten (!!) and it was actually so fun because we rarely ever travel in groups that big. Also, it allowed us time to catch up with faraway friends and new ones alike. What surprised me most about summer in Toronto is that it is equally as hot/humid as it can be down in Philadelphia. Despite the heat, we walked a lot to take in many corners of the city. We found eventually ourselves in Toronto's famed Graffiti Alley, some of the city's best brunch spots, and coffee houses. We even enjoyed some window shopping and brews! Even our favorite Canadian, B professed that Toronto is a haven for foodies. So, below I am sharing some of my favorites, of course with my rambling annotations and musings.
This was the hit of the weekend! We heard about Mildred's from our friend, B, a Toronto native. We expected - and had to endure - a 1.5 hour wait for a table for 10. Honestly, it was so worth it, and the brunch we shared was fantastic. I ordered the Little Kay's Favourite Grilled Cheese sandwich, which was without a doubt the most sumptuous and indulgent sandwich I've ever feasted upon. Seriously, so so good (highly recommend!). I snuck a few bites of Shayne's pancakes, the famed Mrs. Biederhof's Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. Equally fantastic, especially paired with a blueberry lemonade mimosa. The interior is so airy and refreshing, it creates the illusion that you're in a vivid garden rather than in downtown Toronto. The only reminder of the surrounding city is the commuter train that zooms past the floor to ceiling windows in this beautiful temple of a restaurant. If you're ever in Toronto, GO. Even if you have to "endure" a 1.5 hour wait like I did, you can pass by the time by lolling through the endless displays at West Elm next door :)
Carnita | John St.
Carnita was an awesome dinner spot with the group! Inside this cozy spot, we shared pitchers of lime margaritas for the table. The peppery chips served with an abundance of cojita guacamole was some of the best I've ever had. Seriously! The vibes were super chill and I loved their urban, industrial vibes inside. When our tostadas and tacos arrived, we had some trouble distinguishing who got what. But if I remember correctly, the "In Cod We Trust" was a hit, as well as our "Pollo Frito." The menu is so creative and varies from location - here was what we ordered from.
I admit I am a total coffee snob. When I first saw a Balzac's in Union Station, I snubbed it and judged it as a tacky chain. When I saw it again in the adorable Liberty Village, I was definitely in the need of coffee and their place was a perfect respite from my caffeine-deprived state! I ordered a beautiful Cortado, and their sunny cups happened to match my yellow blouse. I was pleasantly surprised at how modern and upbeat their interiors are. Their cafe in LV is gorgeous and I highly recommend the coffee! It meets my high coffee diaries standards!
Amsterdam Brew House
Some of the best lake side views were enjoyed here at Amsterdam Brew house! I cannot recommend the hot buffalo cauliflower wings. I need to get that recipe myself to make here! As soon as we touched down in Toronto, we dropped our bags at our AirBnB and grabbed an uber straight to this place. We enjoyed yummy apps, sangrias, and I got the largest burger of my life. I couldn't finish it! Those Canadians don't mess around!
I'd be lying if S and I felt like some of the people found on Graffiti Alley weren't a little shifty. But the photo ops were amazing here, and there is truly graffiti down this very long and famous side street for pedestrians in downtown Toronto. It's the perfect place to stop for touristy pics before some window shopping along Queen Street.
Steam Whistle is an unforgettable spot because it is situated at the base of the picturesque CN Tower in the heart of downtown Toronto. Refitted as a brewery, this site sits on a historic railway roundhouse. When you're walking around, you can see some of the old train cars and let your mind wander about where these railcars traversed in the forests of Canada. We were surprised to find that the brewery offered only their own beers - makes sense, duh? right? - but in unfiltered and filtered taps. I got the unfiltered, S got the filtered. If I am being honest, it wasn't my favorite, but the experience was awesome.