I just got back from Toronto this week and damn did I ever have a good time. If you're looking for a place to constantly eat and drink amazing things, look no further. Before I left for Toronto, I asked friends for recommendations and while I was there, a few friends showed me their favourite spots. I figured I’d pay it forward and compile a list for the next time you head there.
Thanks to Sal, Blair, Dani, Cody, A-Mac/Crystal, and Alison for all the recommendations!
The Toronto To-Do List
Bar Raval – Probably my favourite place in the trip, and I only had one drink and one dish there. It was just really an amazing bar with great service, decor, drinks, and food. Don’t miss it and get the crostinis with anchovies and butter.
416 Snack Bar – Extremely good bar snacks. I started my trip off with this place and it really set the tone. Get the Korean fried chicken.
Barchef – This place is insane. They’re trying to be the world first Michelin star cocktail bar apparently. Cocktails are $25-$40 each (I KNOW!) but they’re more “experiences” rather than just a drink. I got one that included 5 black truffle and pepper cream spoons that you ate and than sipped a gin cocktail to complete the flavor. I can honestly say I’ve never had a drink experience like it. Also a great place to get a traditional absinthe service. Turns out, I’m not a fan of absinthe. Super expensive place, but completely worth it for the experience.
Rush Lane – nice hole-in-the-wall cocktail place owned by a bunch of bartenders. Really good cocktails, low pretension.
Tacos El Asador – a hole-in-the-wall taco and burrito place that serves authentic mexican food and massive portions. Get their breakfast burrito and you’ll be good to go for 2 meals.
Art Gallery of Ontario – Fantastic range of exhibits, especially their augmented reality exhibit and their psychedelic concert poster exhibit. Something for every art fan.
Bambi’s – A small 50-60 person club with Funktion One speakers! Saw Anton play there and he was great. Awesome spot. I would definitely go all the time if I was a local.
El Rey – nice mescal bar in Kensington. They have this one appetizer that’s a mixture of cricketsand nuts. It’s worth a try just to say you did it. At first it’s a little gross, but then it just kinda tastes like you’re eating a normal bar-nuts mixture.
The Drake Hotel – Really nice spot for daytime food, coffee, or a drink. Plus it has photo booth for mementos of your trip
Reigning Champ – Awesome Canadian-made clothing store. Really high quality clothing that is simple, fashionable, and multi-use.
KOTN – Another awesome Canadian brand. Sells really good, simple, staples for your wardrobe. Great prices considering the quality and local production.
Hanlan's Point Beach – A clothing optional beach on one of the Toronto Island. The beach has a festival/party kinda vibe that’s really fun. Also someone sells boozy freezies (I got a Mojito one that hit hard).
Thanks to Katie and Jason for getting married and giving me an excuse to come visit town!
Places I Want To Try Next Time
I did a lot of food/drink related things this time, so next time I want to focus on the club and music scene. Coda, Electronic Island Festival, and a few of the after-hours clubs are definitely on the list. What would you recommend? I'd also love to play in town, so if you happen to promote shows in Toronto, check out Dunmore Park.