This has been a long time coming. I have been dying to share our Toronto food guide with you all for an embarrassingly long period of time, and the day has finally come. No really, we started shooting these in like April. Why has it taken so long to make its way to your pupils you ask? Because I have OCD, life is full of plans you don’t make, and the internet is a cruel place that doesn’t back up your shit. I digress..food yay! I feel like I say this about every city, but the true excitement behind visiting our anglo neighbours in their business capital, truly relies on eating at the places below. Some have been favourites since before people knew who Drake was…so believe me when I say they are tried and true. Others are new favourites we discovered during our last visit and decided to include. There are tons of place in the 416 (that’s what cool people call it right?) I still really want to get to, but for now here are our top places to gain those 5 or 6 weekend trip pounds, and feel justified and good about it.
Feel free share where you love to eat, by sending us an email with your favourite spots! We’ll try and check them out the next time we’re in your neck of the woods!
Best Mall Meal
Jamie’s Italian (3401 Dufferin – $$$) – This is the new kid I was talking to you about, and though we were reluctant, he sure didn’t disappoint. Being that Jamie Oliver is my husband’s lover of sorts, Peter was like Disney World excited about trying this place. We had visited a Jamie restaurant in London during Fashion Week and didn’t have the greatest experience, so we were so happy my husband’s husband was somewhat vindicated though this dining experience. Also Jamie’s Italian is in a mall, Yorkdale to be exact, and I love malls. Like, I get really excited about going to them. Makes me feel like I’m on a date in a teen movie from the late 90s-early 2000s. Wow…how did I get here. The food was amazing, but don’t trust my weird tangent, just look at the photos below!
Crab & Avocado Bruschetta -Anything on toast is my favourite.
Arancini Margherita – If they’re on the menu, I always order the balls, preferably deep fried.
Aperol Spritz – Also known as the cause of my summertime hangovers.
Polenta Chips – A lovely light side to go with your carbs. No really get them with anything, they’re like crack.
Best Breakfast and Bakery…by far.
Bar Buca (75 Portland – $$$) – I once claimed the Tigelle at Bar Buca was the best thing I had ever eaten. Considering how slutty I have been with that concept since we started CC eats, those words may have lost a little impact, but trust me when I say they are no less truthful. You don’t understand the menu? Doesn’t matter, trust me when I say there are no wrong answers when it comes to ordering. It’s not like you are lacking visuals, as when you walk into the place, the display of drool worth Nutella and dulce de leche pastries will have your heart skippin’ all kinds of beats.
My standard pose when I walk into any restaurant.
Red wine for breaky sounds like a perfectly legitimate lifestyle choice.
My husband’s fancy latte – A breakfast staple.
Cornetto Con Nutella – Makes all the chocolate croissant you’ve ever had look like a bunch of basic bitches.
Cannoli Siciliani and his friends – How many can you eat without dying of a sugar high…I’ve made it to 3…we try not to speak of that day.
Uova Al Pomodoro & Uova Strapazzate – Or as I like to call them, “eggy goodness”.
Cicchetti Tasting – You see that cute little pink guy at the bottom…that’s my lover Tigelle.
Best Meat Lovers Brunch
Barque Smokehouse (299 Roncesvalles -$$$) – I once chipped a tooth from passionately eating ribs at this place, and continued to eat them with not one moment of hesitation …need I say more. Brunch, lunch, dinner, if you are in Toronto and do not belong to the vegetarian clan you’ve got to eat here. Every dish is indecently seasoned with the most glorious meat rubs, and well…I just started tearing up thinking about them. Nothing I can say or show you can do Barque justice, so just go will you?
Perhaps the best hangover cure there ever was.
Dark Beer – Or as Peter tenderly nicknamed it, “hair of the dog”.
Smoked Duck Pancakes with Blueberry Compote and whipped Chèvre – Sweet and savoury.
Candied Bacon – No joke, this was my order that day.
Fried Eggs with Chipotle BBQ Pork Hash, Candied bacon, and Toast – This classic has never looked so good.
Lemon Pepper Rub Bay Back Ribs – These are the culprits I was referring to….and boy are they worth the chip.
Best Carbs, Drinks, Cured Meats, Atmosphere…you get the picture
Buca (604 King W -$$$) – Buca was my first food romance in Toronto. I will always remember falling in love with not only the city, but its food while sitting on their patio one summer. Every bite feels carefully prepared and authentic, and I will never be able to say enough good things about every paste and carne on the menu. This could be due to the fact that their menu reads like a curated list of everything I love to eat and drink. If you haven’t noticed, Italian food seems to be a bit of a fave, and Buca gives the whole culinary genre a serious run for it’s money.
Heavens gates on King Street…always a delightful sighting.
Salumi & Formaggi Board – The meats are UNBELIEVABLE, but you see those pillows of goodness they call Gnocco Fritto, they are the ones I have dirty dreams about.
Vino, Bellini or Aperol Spritz?
Nodini – Or garlic knots, as us dirty food lovers like to refer to them.
Scialatielli Alle Cozze – Mussels and breadcrumbs on fresh pasta…need I say more?
Bigoli – You come to Buca you order the Bigoli. That’s an order btw.
Buca Di Beppo Tiramisu – We claimed to be painfully full, yet all fought over it.
Best Brunch With the Fam
Collette Grand Café (550 Wellington – $$$$) – The words “It’s a buffet man” and this time honoured food binging tradition have always held a special place in my heart. This is not your regular all you can eat experience, this my friends, is one sophisticated affair, with all the bells a whistles and fancy food items you always wished you could eat in embarrassingly large quantities. The decor, is adorably french and will probably reawaken the young Juicy Couture touting lass inside of you, to feel like Eloise again. This place was made for special occasions, or if you’re me, a simple hungry Sunday.
Dessert Bar – I like to sit near the sweet side, to keep intruders at bay.
Charcuteries and Cheese selection – I mean…
Sandwich Bar – Had to include this after that Joey/Friends reference.
Salmon Wellington – Flaky crusts always get me into trouble.
My appetizer…they don’t call it all you can eat for nothin’!
Best Buns Hun
Momofuku Noodle Bar (190 University – $$) – Momofuku is the shit. I considered ending the restaurant’s intro at that, but I felt it deserved more acclaim. Get a couple buns, some noodles, and hit up the Milk bar on your way out, and you will have yourself a culinary food experience you’ll never forget….well that, and a really cute food baby belly. The
Very Extremely Spicy Noodle happens to be my personal favourite, but you absolutely MUST ingest their fried chicken. You have to call 24 hours in advance for that bad boy, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll have no problem setting and iPhone alarm and be extra punctual.
You can’t do Momofuku without visiting the Milk Bar fridge.
BBQ Pork Buns – Who knew I’d ever LOVE anything steamed.
Momofuku Ramen – Peter’s pick.
Noodle party with my besties.
Front row seats, and the least comfortable stools ever willingly sat on in the history of mankind. The food is worth the sacrifice.
Save room for dessert, or like us, make rations for winter.
Best For Romancin’…(if your date is into watching you stuff your face that is)
Sotto Sotto (120 Avenue – $$$$) – This is the first restaurant I ever had the pleasure of dining at in Toronto, and the one I always wish to visit again. There is something nostalgically beautiful, and almost old world about Sotto Sotto. Well that and the atmosphere is romantic and boisterous, and the authentic Italian fair is out of this world. I haven’t even gotten to my closing argument…Drake loves it. BAM! Bet you’re making a reservation right now aren’t you?
The new location.
Prosciutto di…whatever the fuck its good I’m eating it.
Pappardelle Dei Castello – You get pasta!…
Bolognese Mamma Laura – …and you get pasta!…
Spaghetti Carbonara – EVERYONE GETS PASTA!!!
Best for Lazy Days
Snakes & Lattes (600 Bloor W – $$) – I am not usually into hanging out at coffee shops, but when my best buddy told me there was a place where they served Nutella lattes, and you had access to a curated selection of board games, I was in! I’m into doing things with friends that involve junk food, competition and no physical activity, so I believe I have found my perfect match with this one. The menu includes anything from baked goods, to mac and cheese or salad if you’re into that sort of thing. More importantly you can choose between a selection of snack bowls, (nutty, chippy, or gummy) and that’s really where the party’s at.
Good times ahead…oh Hay best friend.
Plan to spend the afternoon.
We went the gummy route! Beer for the boys…
…Nutella Lattes for the girls – We played Disney Trivia…must you really ask who won?
Peter’s Coffee Pick
Thor Espresso (35 Bathurst – $$) – If any of you know me, you know that I have been referred to as Thor before, I even went as far as to dress up as him for Halloween one year. Anyway, an espresso bar with the name Thor? Talk about a home run.
They know how to make coffee too.
Scones galore. Good thing Claude didn’t come in with me…
Wow. Just, Wow.
Perfect for the road back to Montreal…
$$$ Legend $-“That was so inexpensive!” $$-“That wasn’t too bad.” $$$- “Well that’s a little pricey.” $$$$- “We were planning on selling our first born anyway, right!”