Coming straight from New York I had no idea what to expect from Toronto and other than tourism attractions I didn’t plan anything to do, so it came as a surprise to us that we spent so much time eating and drinking in the city. there is such a huge variety of cuisines in the city, with everything from Vietnamese to Indian, Japanese to Korean and a really amazing Chinatown, allowing us to try so many different styles of food. I would definitely recommend trying the huge range of dining styles and cultures, so here’s a few of the restaurants and bars I would (or wouldn't) recommend visiting while in the city.
CN Tower 360 Restaurant
I’d never eaten in an attraction/landmark before, skipping the extra price ticket options at the Empire State Building and Rockefeller center, writing them off as rip-offs and gimmicks. However I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant in the CN Tower. They had a really reasonably priced set menu, we got a free lift ride up the tower and was able to skip all the queues and actually great food. I was really surprised by the quality of the meals and I would recommend visiting to anyone who wants to try something abit special whilst visiting Toronto. The restaurant revolves 360 degrees over the space of an hour, giving you uninterrupted views over the city and whilst this looked pretty in the evening, it would probably be great for lunch as you’d be able to see much more.
2 courses $65
3 courses $79
You can book via opentable but have a look at their menu and offers here.
This is a new concept for me and whilst I’m no stranger to an Asian restaurant or supermarket, I was surprised to see open stores with shelves of baked goods and baskets for you to help yourself. I chose a range of savoury bao and took them home for a snack, they were so ridiculously cheap, ($1 per bun and they were pretty big!) and also really tasty! If you are wandering around Chinatown I would definitely recommend getting some snacks from one of these places, there are quite a few, with them all offering similar things for sale at the same price.
Gusto 101 was my favorite place to eat while we were visiting the city, a huge rustic well decorated lofty restaurant with a great seasonal menu that wasn’t ridiculously priced. Even better they had $1 per ounce house wine, which was frequently topped up for us by the friendly staff. I’d definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting in the area as there is also a range of cool and edgy bars.
Check out their website
St Lawrence Market
We loved the markets here with an enormous range of different cuisines and foods to take away and eat in there. Some really great coffee places as well as pancakes, waffles, bagels and sandwiches, I would recommend this place for breakfast or lunch. Just remember to bring cash, whilst the majority of places will probably accept card if not it might be helpful to have abit of cash with you.
Be aware that the market is closed Sundays and Mondays!
See their upcoming events here!
Food Court Toronto Eaton Centre
We stopped off here on one of our many shopping trips in the Eaton Centre. This place is enormous with a huge food mall on the ground floor and everything from sushi to fried chicken, teppanyaki and thai food all at a reasonable price. Of course this isn’t a la carte, you choose your food from whichever vendor you’re in the mood for, then sit in the communal seating with all other diners. Whilst the sushi was good from Sushi-Q it was really overpriced and we could have found much cheaper/better quality in Chinatown. Thumbs up for teppanyaki, thumbs down for sushi! This is a really great place for a pit-stop if you’re passing by or are getting hangry during your shopping!
I'll have to say that I was really disappointed with this place, we visited after spending a fun morning in the aquarium as it is located only round the corner and our meals (both Carbonara) were SO disappointing. Perhaps the restaurant is better at its pizzas, as it was such a shame to get great service and it was a well decorated place. I wouldn’t visit again.
See their menu here
Aroma Espresso Bar
This place really saved us during a particularly freezing afternoon (-12 to be precise!). After wandering around graffiti alley we stopped in this coffee shop to warm up and get a drink. Would definitely vouch for the pistachio latte if you’re a nut-flavour lover, if not they have a large range of hot drinks including teas and hot chocolate as well as a selection of snacks. We saw a couple of these around town so I imagine they are a chain but it was nice to try something we don’t have at home!
We found Hemmingway's during the beginning of a snow flurry, wanting to escape from the freezing cold we walked up to the covered rooftop bar come restaurant. It's pretty average here. It is probably popular for people to watch sports but the food was mediocre and there weren't any breathtaking views from the top. A good place for us to get out of the cold, but not great.
Check out their website
Let me know your favourite places to eat in the comments below!