The Annex, Bickford Park, Bloorcourt Village, Bloordale Village, Brockton Village, Chinatown, Christie Pits, Davenport, Dufferin Grove, Dundas West, Entertainment District, Fashion District, Harbord Village, Harbourfront, Junction Triangle, The Junction, Kensington Market, Liberty Village, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Ossington, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Summerhill, Trinity Bellwoods, Wallace Emerson, West Queen West, Wychwood, Yorkville
Playa Cabana: Toronto definitely has no shortage of Taco joints, and the Playa Cabana empire is taking the lead.
Fat Pasha: Middle Eastern & European Jewish dishes served in a funky/country-chic setting with a backyard patio.
Fet Zun: Anthony Rose’s latest and greatest. Middle Eastern sharing plates in the space that once belonged to Bar Begonia. Open for lunch and dinner inside or on the patio deck. Choose from a variety of meze plates, handmade flatbread pitas like za’atar or tomato, vegetable dishes, meat and fish.
Madame Boeuf and Flea: Behind Fet Zun is a huge backyard patio that is Madame Boeuf, your new go to spot for burgers, hotdogs and fries (with veggie options).
Flùr: Beautiful flower & plant shop also carrying a great selection of ceramics and stationary.
Live Organic Food Bar: Cute and casual spot for raw & vegan eats with a backyard patio.
l'Unità: Stylish and rustic Italian eatery. The ingredients featured on the menu adapt to each season, and the pasta is made fresh in house.
New Generation Grill Fusion: Huge menu, modern + sleek ambiance, delicious Japanese food.
Kensington Natural Bakery: All-natural bakery and eatery serving mostly vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free baked goods and prepared foods.
Tori's Bakeshop: Great bakery for vegan, mostly gluten-free, refined sugar-free & organic eats. They have amazing scones, muffins, doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, sandwiches and seasonal goodies. They also have Wi-Fi and several tables with outlets nearby.
Brett’s Ice Cream: Seasonal ice cream flavours with vegan options.
Terrazza: Local family-run Italian spot. In the summer, a garage door opens up the interior of the restaurant, overlooking the sidewalk patio and letting in lots of light.
Apiecalypse Now!: Takeaway spot for vegan pizza. Try the Fat Mac (Big Mac pizza), the Reunion Tour (lots of veggies and cashew ricotta cheese). They also have sides, salads, sandwiches and sweet treats.
Mulberry Bar: Small yet elegant Parisian-style bar with a corner patio. Mulberry serves up delicious cocktails, inventive alcoholic milkshakes, mulled wine and cider in the winter, a great variety of wines and beers and a few snacks on their beautifully designed menu. The bar is quite small but they also have lovely basement seating with a romantic and cozy vibe.
Cock-A-Doodle-Doo: This gluten-free bakeshop is one of the best in Toronto. Specializing in delicious homemade sourdough loaves, brownies, amazing fruit tarts, and so many more yummy guilt-free baked goods (most are also vegan and made with coconut sugar).
Bakerbots Baking: Popular bakery & ice cream shop with seasonal offerings and cookie ice cream sandwiches. Creative rotating flavours such as avocado, London fog, lemon meringue, matcha, dulce de leche, beer n' brown bread and some vegan options. They have tons of mini tarts, pies, cupcakes, cream puffs and cookies.
Field Trip Cafe: Plant-lined coffee shop with plenty of seating and Wi-Fi. Patio in the summer.
Paradise Grapevine: Welcoming and cozy wine bar with an amazing backyard patio that’s kept heated and covered throughout the winter. Also serving beer from your favourite local breweries: Bellwoods, Burdock, Godspeed, etc.
Northwood: Cozy cafe with an outdoor patio across the street from Christie Pits Park. At night this cafe turns into a bar, and is a great chill spot to come with friends for cocktails and beers.
Bloomer's: Plant-based bakery and restaurant with delicious vegan treats like muffins, cookies, doughnuts, and hearty options like salads, sandwiches and bowls.
Little Sito: Lebanese fare in a modern space with a delicious weekend brunch menu. Try the hard boiled eggs with olives and feta or the eggplant stew.
Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.: 100% vegan baked goods and prepared foods. Known for their doughnuts but my favourite are the croissants.
Burdock Brewery: Chill, cozy and welcoming bar/restaurant/microbrewery serving Canadian fare and showcasing live music in the music hall next door. Hanging plants and exposed light bulbs line the space and tiles leftover from the original churrasqueira. Sit on the patio and choose from the rotating list of pale ales, saisons, pilsners and (my favourite) sours and enjoy some local, seasonal food.
Souvenir Studios: Creative retail boutique-meets-gallery and event space for emerging designers, artists and makers. Beautifully executed, minimalist aesthetic, contemporary art lining the walls, and lifestyle goods, jewelry, skin care products and unique craft items live amongst the space. A great place to buy a gift for someone.
Province Apothecary: If you have been to any boutiques/general stores/wellness shops/yoga studios in Toronto, you have probably stumbled upon Province Apothecary. Province Apothecary is an all-natural small-batch skincare brand using only high quality, organic ingredients from each Canadian province (hence the name). They sell items like body and face oils, serums, lip balms, eczema balms, toners, makeup remover and perfume oils. They also have a shop on Dundas West where you can get a facial treatment from one of their holistic aestheticians.
Brockton Haunt: Small, cozy, bright cafe serving Pilot coffee and from scratch baked goods. Seating options include a few tables next to the bar, some stools up front at the window and a communal table towards the back. A good spot to do work as they’ve got some outlets and free Wi-Fi.
Cygnet Coffee: Cozy neighbourhood coffee joint with retro decor serving local coffee and pastries.
Grinning Face: Small basement ice cream shop specializing in seasonal, homemade, dairy-free, coconut milk-based gelato. Delicious flavours like Madagascar bourbon vanilla & apple cider caramel.
F'Amelia: Nestled in the residential heart of Cabbagetown is F'Amelia, a warm and rustic Northern Italian trattoria. Simple, authentic Italian food, cozy space and a patio.
Souk Tabule: Perfect spot for a modern Middle Eastern meal serving up healthy, fresh and authentic Beirut street food in a beautiful light and airy space. Try the saj pita, mezza plates, fresh salads, all-day brunch, wraps and bigger dishes like falafel or shawarma over rice and Arabic slaw. They also have a little in-store marketplace where you can buy Middle Eastern teas, spices, olive oil, fresh juices, soups, sauces and more.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar: Huge space with lots of natural light and plenty of seating including communal tables, tables for two and couch areas with small coffee tables and end tables. There's a long coffee bar with light snacks and baked goods. Enjoy a variety of espresso-based drinks and teas and stay for hours on end as they also have free Wi-Fi and plenty of outlets for your laptop.
Tori's Bakeshop: Moving their newest location a few km west of the Beaches, but still gracing eastern Torontonians with guilt-free indulging, Tori’s Bakeshop in the Canary District is the perfect bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling bad afterwards. Here you’ll find delicious vegan, mostly gluten-free, refined sugar-free & organic cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, savoury & sweet scones, muffins, sandwiches & focaccia, coffee and tea in a modern and bright space.
Contra Café: Located at Shaw and Yarmouth, Contra is a great coffee shop with a wrap-around patio and Scandinavian interior design of whitewashed exposed brick, wood tables with retro school chairs and modern architectural accents like marble and concrete. In addition to coffees and teas, Contra offered delicious baked goods (with some vegan and gluten free options), sandwiches and breakfast options like yoghurt with homemade granola and breakfast sandwiches.
Church + Wellesley
Rooster Coffee House: This location of Rooster has got great light, it's spacious, super cool industrial-meets-cozy decor, friendly staff, Wi-Fi and great music.
Odin: A Nordic-Canadian cafe + bar, Odin is a beautiful and spacious cafe with tons of natural light, a great work environment, large white angular/geometric bar with great drinks and snacks or lighter lunch fare. In the evening Odin stocks a full bar with a small wine, beer and cocktail selection.
Tandem Coffee: Inside a little old converted house with quirky Japanese design elements. Try something different than your regular espresso-based drink, like a black or white sesame latte.
Impact Kitchen: Bright eatery for the health-minded individual. Good spot for a quick lunch, menu includes power breakfasts, salads, healthy bowls and an espresso bar with delicious paleo baked goods.
Sumach Espresso: Local coffee haunt with lots of natural light and a corner patio.
The Greater Good: Brought to you by the guys that started Get Well, another craft beer/video arcade bar in Toronto's west end. Great rotating beer selection and they’ve got food covered with a North of Brooklyn pizza joint at your disposal.
Parallel: Geary’s best known hotspot. Industrial Middle Eastern eatery and sesame butter production site. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, some must haves are the herb falafel (best in the city), Parallel salad with tofu, truffle hummus, grilled asparagus, fried cauliflower to name a few. Menu changes every now and then and everything is delicious. Don’t forget to have a slice of halva after your meal.
Blood Brothers: Brewery, taproom and bottle shop. Try a flight (they’ve got great sours) and grab a bag of nacho chips with dip and enjoy an afternoon at one of their picnic benches on the patio, people/dog watching on Geary.
Famiglia Baldassarre: Fresh pasta shop and a big supplier to some of your favourite Italian restaurants in the city. Open from Tues-Fri, stop by to pick up a box of fresh housemade noodles, watch the behind the scenes process or dine in for lunch (be prepared to wait in a very long line).
Dark Horse Espresso Bar: Set in an old auto shop, this location of Dark Horse serves as the main bakery, providing all it’s other locations with their breads, pastries and sandwiches, baked fresh every morning. Only a handful of seats here at the bar making this location of Dark Horse a great spot for takeaway.
Midfield Wine Bar: For a late night glass of wine on the patio, an intimate dinner with your love, or an afternoon snack with your best friend, Midfield is perfection. Small plates for sharing, a great wine list to choose from and a mellow, cozy space to set the mood.
Anti-Vice: Juicery with fresh made seasonal juices, smoothies, tonics, kombucha and vegan gelato.
The Federal: A great everyday brunch spot. Exposed brick walls, quirky vintage details and yummy food with a creative spin on classic dishes like eggs benny with kale and mushroom tarragon cream.
Pray Tell: Cozy, woodsy, Scandinavian-style snack + cocktail bar. Also does a great weekend brunch.
SoSo Food Club: Millennial pink meets old school Chinese from the people behind Otto’s Bierhalle. But honestly some of the best Chinese food in the city. Walk into the dimly lit space, expect to wait 3 hours for a table without a reservation on a weeknight or sit at the bar straight away and enjoy a bottle of wine (1/2 off on Wednesdays) with veggie dumplings, xiao long bao, the veggie of the day (cross your fingers it’s the bok choy), so so dan dan mian and the new year rice cakes (delicious). Lots of vegan options and menu indicates how spicy the dishes are.
Giulietta: Outstanding Italian restaurant from Chef Rob Rossi and David Minicucci. Must try the tonnarelli cacio e pepe (best in the city), the mezze paccheri allo scoglio, which is tube shaped pasta (from Famiglia Baldassarre) with baby clams, prawns, calamari, tomato, basil, saffron & white wine, the swordfish in padella with braised chickpeas, the (when in season) tomato panzanella with castelvetrano olives and a Giulietta spritz.
Loveless Cafe & Bar: Cafe by day, bar by night, Loveless is a Dundas West staple, a great place to hang out during the day with your gang or your laptop and a coffee, or drink the night away during the evenings. On a summer night, the corner patio is packed with people.
The Common Espresso Bar: Low-key, charming coffee shop.
Kitten & The Bear: Artisan preserves, scones, tea, cutest tearoom.
Ufficio: Hip Italian, pescetarian-focused eatery serving delicious seafood dishes with tons of vegetarian options (you know it’s going to be good when Craig Harding is the consulting chef). Dishes are meant to be shared here, try the grilled rosemary focaccia with olives, $1 oysters on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the cavoletti di bruxelles (brussels sprouts pan-fried with shallot brown butter confit). They also have a small vegan menu with a delicious vegan cheese agnolotti stuffed with a tofu, cashew based ricotta in an herb butter sauce topped with summer vegetables and black truffle.
Mahjong Bar: A small, glowing pink bodega acts as the façade for this hidden Hong Kong style snack/cocktail bar.
Black Cat Espresso Bar: Cozy neighbourhood cafe with art-lined exposed brick walls and the best breakfast sandwiches in the city.
La Palma: La Palma is Chef Craig Harding’s greatest Toronto hotspot, and it is definitely one of the best restaurants in the city. Alongside his designer wife Alexandra Hutchinson, the two opened La Palma just across the street from their ever successful and delicious Italian spot, Campagnolo (which sadly closed its doors as of June 2019). La Palma is doing everything right; the service is outstanding, the seasonal menu is perfection, the on point decor with a unique mural painted by local artist, Madison van Rijn, lends a very Venice Beach vibe to this Italian venture (even the bathrooms are stunning) and they are open every day from 8:00am so you can spend your mornings here with a coffee and fresh baked good and stay through to evening with a pomodoro, basil & burratini pizza and a glass of Montecucco.
Tampered Press: Quaint cafe with lots of natural light that overlooks Trinity Bellwoods Park. Communal table in the centre of the cafe, great space to enjoy a coffee and do some work.
Archive: Snug, cozy wine bar with a great selection & European-influenced small plates.
Steambox Dumplings: Handmade dumplings for takeaway using local ingredients with vegan and gluten free options. They also have several retail outposts around the city where you can pick up a bag of frozen dumplings, cooking instructions included.
Paris Paris: Unpretentious, all-day wine bar with exposed brick walls, skylights, wood furniture and breezy plants. Stay for lunch or dinner and enjoy options like cheese, charcuterie, fresh Woodlot bread, fries, meat, veg and seafood dishes, or for a snack and a Sam James coffee in the afternoon. The wine list is huge with lots of by the glass availability.
Lucky Shrike Bar: Low key, unpretentious bar with exposed brick walls, great cocktails, secluded backyard patio and a chill vibe.
Unboxed Market: Zero waste grocery store.
Penny Arcade Vintage: Thoughtfully curated vintage, great finds here.
Saving Grace: Small space but great brunch food. There is always a line so head on over early!
Northern Belle: Sweetest little spot for coffee and lunch during the day, or amazing cocktails, beers and wine at night, all at the top corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park. Amazing date spot. There's a little patio on the deck too. The neighbourhood's answer for a cafe-meets-bar kind of place.
Ella's Uncle: Lovely coffee shop. The space is small, with only a few bar stools, but great coffee drinks and snacks will keep you coming back. Cash only.
The Get Well: Amazing bar with a great beer selection and arcade games.
Rhum Corner: Haitian restaurant/bar with a cool, relaxed atmosphere. Owned by Jen Agg and her husband Roland Jean, the same people as Cocktail Bar (conveniently located directly across the street), come here for tasty & cheap snacks, like the bananes frites, and great drinks like the spiced rhum & ginger or the piña colada. Find Roland here on a nightly basis having a drink at the bar.
Cocktail Bar: If I had to drink cocktails at one bar for the rest of my life it would be at Cocktail Bar. Stunning space too! And the music is great, lots of oldies.
Pai: Great spot for Thai food. The vibe is very different from a typical Thai restaurant in Toronto, with a cushioned seating area to sit on the floor and the decor makes you feel like you are in a Thai marketplace.
Khao San Road: Popular Thai eatery set in a vibrant and bright space with an upstairs bar and delicious food (can accommodate for vegan & gluten-free).
Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar: Laid-back café, high ceilings, whitewashed exposed brick walls, communal wood table at the front next to the floor to ceiling window, letting in lots of natural light. Great spot for doing work (though if it's during peak hours it's a bit loud) and great snacks, breakfast and lunch fare (avocado toast, beautifully crafted chia puddings and egg dishes).
The One That Got Away: Petite menu of all things fish.
Buca: Rustic Italian fare in a swanky space.
Forget Me Not Café: Bright and airy Argentinian/Colombian café, serving coffee, tea, empanadas and baked goods. This café doubles as a design studio and home goods boutique.
Lee: Renowned chef, Susur Lee, definitely does not disappoint in this city. Lee features a creative take on Asian and French fusion, with his most popular dish being the signature Singaporean style slaw.
Detox Market: All-natural cosmetics store with beauty products, skincare items, for body, face, bath, cleansers, fragrances, and some all-natural sweets. No chemically-laden products here. Great brands like RMS Beauty, Tata Harper, Zimt Chocolates, Province Apothecary, Agent Nateur, Matcha Ninja, Pura Botanicals and more. There is also a Greenhouse Juice counter set up in here.
Her Father's Cider Bar + Kitchen: Rustic-chic pub for local ciders and seasonal brunch & dinner fare. Try a flight of ciders on the patio.
Almond Butterfly: Little gluten-free bakery and cafe with a huge selection of cupcakes, tarts, muffins and savoury baked goods like bagels.
Flock: Most locations of Flock are fast-food counters serving up delicious rotisserie chicken and tons of salads with amazing ingredients. Great spot for lunch if you are on the go. This location however has a large dining area and a patio on the corner of Harbord and Robert Street that is perfect for summer.
Harvest Kitchen: Vegetarian-friendly restaurant with a great menu and rooftop patio!
rasa: Dim, rustic-meets-industrial space, enjoy global-inspired snacks and entrees for dinner or Sunday brunch. They are famous for their chopped salad (kale, grapes, quinoa, peppers, crispy harissa chickpeas, jalapeño feta, parsley, cucumbers, sumac).
Piano Piano: Chef Victor Barry’s whimsical Italian restaurant with homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza and great mains.
The Hogtown Vegan: About two blocks south of Harbord on College is Hogtown Vegan. 100% plant-based versions of your favourite comfort foods plus weekend brunch. Think mac and cheese, BLTs, shiitake fried clams, wings, poutine, salads, chicken and waffles, fish and chips, burger and more. Another location on Bloor Street between Dovercourt and Dufferin.
Hopper Coffee: Just south of Harbord on College is Hopper Coffee; a little, minimalist nook of a cafe serving light breakfast fare too. Run by artist Jibola Fagbamiye and Martina Kusnir.
Boxcar Social: Overlooking the lake in the Harbourfront Centre, Boxcar is a cafe by day, bar by night, and they serve a great selection of wines, beers, whiskies and charcuterie. This location is a bit more lively than others and has a dinner menu after 6pm, serving up smaller tapas-style dishes like patatas bravas, grilled shrimp, and burrata with chickpea hummus, walnut pesto and grilled rosemary focaccia.
Drake Commissary: The Drake enterprise’s most recent venture; a bakery, bar and larder all in one. They are open from 7:30 in the morning and serve customers until the late hours of the night. Stop by in the morning for a breakfast loaf, homemade fermented sourdough, muffins or croissants, take a fresh salad, sandwich or Roman style pizza for an on-the-go lunch, or bring your pals for dinner and cocktails on the patio and share a charcuterie, seasonal pasta, a Danish Smørrebrød or delicious veggie sides. The 8,000 sq. ft. space is a former condiment factory, and resides on post-industrial Sterling Road at the bottom of the Junction Triangle.
Hale Coffee: Roastery and coffee shop housed in the Clock Factory building. Bright, industrial space serving (aside from traditional coffee and espresso-based drinks) baked goods, soups, salads, sandwiches, breakfast, matcha, kombucha and plenty of seating with free Wi-Fi and outlet access.
Defina Wood Fired: Delicious gourmet pizza spot in a big contemporary-meets-rustic loft-like setting. Also try their salads, pastas, flame-grilled meats and vegetable dishes. Second location, Pizzeria Defina, on Roncesvalles.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art): The MOCA (formerly known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art – MOCCA) has shaken off its roots from its former location on Queen West and has reopened in a 55,000 square foot former industrial space on Sterling Road. MOCA features the work of thousands of Canadian and other international artists and its exhibitions are always worth checking out.
Noble Coffee Co.: Little boho coffee shop
Kibo Market: Great Asian grocery store with a wide selection.
Wilder Food: Just off the main Junction strip, Wilder is a great organic cafe with high ceilings, a small but delicious breakfast/brunch menu, smoothies and baked goods.
Mjolk: For a dose of design envy, Mjolk is a beautiful hybrid of Scandinavian and Japanese furniture design. Started by husband and wife duo, John and Juli Baker, they created a space that is adorned with the most aesthetically pleasing minimalist home objects and lifestyle goods.
The Butternut Baking Co.: 100% natural bakery with paleo, keto and gluten-free treats with absolutely no refined sugar (they use natural sugars like coconut sugar, maple syrup and monk fruit). Some vegan options.
Pho Huong: Great Vietnamese spot in the Junction.
Crema Coffee: Bright and quiet corner cafe in the heart of the Junction. Plenty of seating, free Wi-Fi, some outlets, breakfast sandwiches, baked goods with gluten free options, tons of beverages, Pluck Tea and signature drinks.
The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar: Airy space with natural light and exposed brick, plenty of seating (some tables, stools at higher tables overlooking Annette and a cozier nook with comfy leather chairs), free Wi-Fi and some outlet access, corner patio, baked goods and sandwiches. Second location can be found in Koreatown.
Kaffebar: Charming & intimate Scandinavian-inspired cafe. Limited seating but a great spot for a coffee and pastry.
Junction Farmers Market: Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. Great selection and strong community feel.
Raw Chemist Juice Bar: All natural cold-pressed juice and smoothie shop.
Grasshopper Eatery: Delicious vegan comfort food with an East Asian influence. They’ve got a great variety of burgers, bowls, salads, mac and cheese, noodles, sides and appetizers like kimchi fries and and popcorn nuggets. Another location on College at Spadina and one in the Beaches.
Grey Gardens: Eat here, drink here, date here. From Jen Agg, who brought you Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner, Grey Gardens is a whimsical restaurant and wine bar in Kensington Market. Brass, marble, vintage glass and ceramic pieces are joined together to create a beautifully curated space and ambiance. The food menu is seasonal and à la carte style that consists of smaller dishes meant for sharing, with delicious options like the sweet potato ravioli with black truffle and burnt apple sauce on the side, the skate with black truffle meunière and charred brussels sprouts leaves and the fresh bread with butter and schmaltz.
Cold Tea: Located just off the beaten path in Kensington market, this little hideaway is always a fun time for a night out. They also have a backyard patio and serve dim sum at the entrance.
Koi Koi Saké Bar: Cozy Japanese snack bar with a delicious menu, large selection of Japanese whiskey, sake and beer. Try the mushroom inari, yakitori skewers, black pepper edamame, burdock fries and bomb fried rice.
Sweet Hart Kitchen: Opened by Alexandra Courts and Julia Hart, Sweet Hart Kitchen is a cute and cozy cafe that serves plant-based, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, baked and unbaked treats. There's a little window nook for you to enjoy your treats or in the summer they have a patio to enjoy your kombucha, coffee and tea. These girls started out of their own kitchens, showcasing their products at events all over the city like the Vegan Food and Drink Festival, Toronto Baker’s Market and Toronto Veg Fest, just to name a few, and have plenty of cafes in Toronto stocked with their yummy goods.
Bunner's Bakeshop: Popular bakery for vegan and gluten-free options. In the summer they have a delicious vegan soft serve (soy milk based) with a gluten-free cone. Another location in the Junction.
Seven Lives: Takeaway taqueria selling Baja-tacos and Mexican eats, perfect for meat/fish lovers and vegetarians alike. Cash only.
Hibiscus: Perfect spot for a quaint summer lunch on a patio with a good book. Cozy little vegetarian/vegan cafe with delicious homemade buckwheat crêpes, soups, a 42-ingredient salad and vegan ice cream.
i deal coffee: Local roaster with a great sidewalk patio. Enjoy fresh coffee with a local baked good or light snack and stay for hours, people watching in Kensington Market Other locations in Roncesvalles and on Ossington.
The Green Wood: All-day brunch/lunch spot with a focus on sustainable fare using local Ontario ingredients. Ambiance is a retro-diner feel with lots of greenery and splashes of pink.
Godspeed Brewery: Japanese inspired brewery incorporating flavours like yuzu and green tea into some of their brews. Izakaya-style sharing plates with plenty of vegan options, open kitchen, communal tables, patio, bottle shop.
Brodflour: Bakery specializing in sourdough breads. Stop by to pick up a loaf or stay for an avo toast, sourdough brownie and coffee.
Bar Isabel: In Little Italy you will find the best seasonal Spanish tapas restaurant in the city. Dimly lit, cozy space with soft red neon lights. Chef Grant Van Gameren's menu is absolutely outstanding. Start with a few slices of pan con tomate and marinated olives, then move onto some patatas bravas, salchichón Ibérico, leeks with mushroom & almond, and the shrimp a la plancha.
The Walton: Warm and charming cafe and cocktail bar. Wood floors and furniture, cream-coloured exposed brick and panelled walls, marble countertop bar and tunes that your grandparents grew up with set the mood. This is a great spot to hang out at during the day with a good book and some snacks from the Tempered Room, and then as happy hour comes along, mosey on over to the cozy, secluded patio (white paper lanterns, twinkle lights, heaters, high wood fences and plenty of seating) out back for some drinks and charcuterie.
Sam James Coffee Bar: Small coffee chain in the city. This location has got a great neighbourhood vibe. Cash only.
Woodlot: Rustic Italian space, wood-fired oven producing dense sourdough bread, both meat and vegetarian menu options, great wine list, intimate and comfortable setting, great service and a friendly atmosphere, serving creative yet simple seasonally evolving dishes made with local ingredients.
Virtuous Pie: Vancouver’s best vegan pizza arrives in Toronto. Delicious Italian-inspired individual pizzas are baked fresh with 8 different topping combinations and small plates are available with options like grilled broccolini, mac and cheese, almond ricotta & gem tomato salad and Italian meatballs in tomato sauce. Finish off with a scoop, tasting flight or pint-sized tub of homemade vegan ice creams. They also serve local beers on tap and kombucha floats.
Agenda Cafe: Cozy cafe serving locally roasted coffee, house made baked goods, craft beer, empanadas, sandwiches and vegan soup. Baby blue walls, vintage Bose speakers and foliage set the mood and a communal table, window seating, free Wi-Fi and outlets create a perfect working environment.
Away Kitchen + Cafe: 100% plant-based eatery and cafe brought to you by the people behind Awai, an upscale vegan dining restaurant in Bloor West Village. Enjoy vegan baked goods, light lunch items like salads, sandwiches, cheese and crackers, quiche, dumplings from Steambox, empanadas, bagels with cashew cream cheese, soups and more and beverages you can find at any other cafe but using only plant-based milks. Second location on Queen St W. Away is also a great spot to work as they’ve got plenty of seating, free Wi-Fi and outlets all around. Patio in the summer.
DOMA: Tucked away on Clinton, DOMA serves French-influenced Korean fare. The menu is seasonal and the space dim and tranquil.
Empire Espresso: Cozy, sun-filled coffee shop.
Pinky’s Ca Phe: Hip, lantern-lined Vietnamese snack bar with a backyard patio. Plates are meant for sharing, go with a group of friends and try the tiger’s milk ceviche, soft shell crab fried rice, mushroom vermicelli, eggplant claypot and the hua-hua iced tea to share.
Health Hut: Holistic and wellness boutique for all of your natural beauty and lifestyle needs. Health Hut carries great brands like Wildcraft, Earth tu Face, Woodlot, Dr. Bronner's, fur, Ilia, Grown Alchemist, RMS Beauty, Matcha Ninja, Province Apothecary and Sun Potion. Every month they have new wellness events for the community.
Birreria Volo: Narrow Italian-inspired beer hall in an exposed brick space with communal tables. They specialize in unique rustic beers, natural wines, cider and tapas-style Italian snacks like anchovies, fresh bread, cheese & olives.
Village Juicery: A great local juice bar in Toronto serving 100% organic cold pressed juices, plant milks and booster shots, warm or cold made-to-order beverages (try the ginger fireball or the golden milk if you are feeling under the weather), breakfast jars for takeaway, soups and pre-made plant-based salads. They also carry some local Toronto brands like Wildcraft Care, Aromacentric, Tori’s Bakeshop and Living Libations.
Bangarang: Bar with dancing, cocktails on tap, cornhole lanes, bean toss and other games.
DaiLo: Tapas/snack bar/asian fusion vibe. All the dishes are meant for sharing and they are all fantastic and the space is super cool as well. Located on top of DaiLo is LoPan, a cool dim sum snack and cocktail bar, serving food until 2am.
Bi Bim Bap: Korean stone bowl riceteria. Delicious and fresh Korean bi bim bap served in sizzling stone bowls, creative appetizers too. Plenty of vegan options. Another location on Eglinton just west of Bathurst.
Bar Raval: Another Spanish joint from Chef Grant Van Gameren, Bar Raval features Gaudi-esque decor, delicious tapas and Barcelona vibes.
YamChops: 100% plant-based butcher, prepared foods, dine-in option, grocery store and catering.
The Fish Store & YuNes’ Sandwiches: Compact space with a sidewalk patio serving fresh fish sandwiches, salads, tacos and other specials.
Enoteca Sociale: This spot makes the best homemade pasta and changes their menu with the season. The service is outstanding, the patio is perfect and the food is so fresh and creative.
Good Rebel Vegan Provisions: 100% plant-based grocery store!
Wallflower: One of Toronto’s coziest bars, think vintage wooden tables with sprigs of flowers, a record player, strings of twinkle lights lining the bar, a latticed chandelier and a great wine and cocktail selection with a snack list changing on the daily. There's also a super cute patio out back.
E.L. Ruddy: Intimate vegetarian restaurant/bar with Sunday brunch.
Easy Tiger Goods: Little boutique/general store selling jewelry, candles, ceramics, publications, home goods & other lifestyle products. Most brands are local, including F. Miller Skincare, Herbivore Botanicals, Province Apothecary, Wildcraft Care, Akai Ceramics, Common Good, Boy Smells, Catbird, Kinfolk, Gather Journal and Kitten & The Bear.
Run and Gun Coffee: Cafe and plant shop.
The Wanderly: Boutique selling curated, well-crafted, high quality women’s vintage and new clothing and other goods from local and international artisans and designers.
Safehouse Coffee: Bright cafe located on the corner of Dundas West and Brock. Big floor to ceiling windows up at the front, with a live edge bar and a few stools. To the back of the coffee bar there's a communal table, maybe big enough for 6 people. Great place to come with your laptop as there is Wi-Fi and outlets. Most of their snacks and drinks are local, from Village Juicery, Desmond & Beatrice and Pilot Coffee Roasters.
Soop Soop: Magazines and clothes.
Chosen Vintage: Stocked with both men's and women's apparel, shop hand-picked vintage duds if you are looking for some unique additions to your wardrobe.
True True: Artisanal personal size pizzas, made to order and baked fresh right in front of you. Choose from a variety of topping combinations or create your own. Interior design is cool too, sort of like a retro-futurism vibe with baby pink walls, lots of mirrors and contemporary ceiling lights.
Rooster Coffee House: Great drinks, baked goods, ambiance and fun staff.
The George Street Diner: Classic diner serving comfort fare with some Irish influence.
Neo Coffee Bar: Contemporary-style bakery and cafe with a heavy Japanese influence. Concrete walls, high ceilings and warm wood accents. The front section of the cafe is a long bench with tiny individual pedestal tables that face the coffee bar, with communal tables and booths further back. The menu is typical for a cafe, with added Japanese ingredients such as matcha, black sesame and yuzu incorporated into both the drink and snack options (including gems like Japanese roll cakes).
Mamakas Taverna: Greek bistro-style restaurant in the heart of Ossington, serving up honest seasonal Greek fare with a modern simplistic twist. The space is meant to mimic an open market with whitewashed exposed brick walls, little light bulbs strung from the ceiling in the dining area and cheeky artwork surrounds you as you enjoy some of the best Greek mezze plates & main dishes you will ever taste in Toronto. Open kitchen to your left upon entry fills the space with wonderful aromas of warm grilled pita. Start with the tzatziki, melitzanosalata and kopanisti, then the spanakopita and horiatiki salad. Depending on the size of your party, you might be feeling full at this point, but save room for the kotopuolo (1/2 roasted mountain tea brined chicken with potatoes, carrots & green beans), the oktapódi (grilled octopus) and a side of broccolini.
Bellwoods Brewery: A favourite brewery and patio for locals. Enjoy great beer and snacks at a picnic table and underneath a garage door lined with patio lanterns. Pick up a few Jelly Kings next door at the bottle shop!
Tanto: Sooner or later we all walk out of a restaurant saying "that was the best dinner I have ever had." Case and point, Tanto on Ossington. An Argentinian influenced, seasonal tapas restaurant; Chef Julian Iliopoulos’ flavours and dishes come together like yin and yang. Some must-try dishes are the house baked sourdough, pork & piña skewers, potato churros with piquillo honey, grilled cabbage, grilled squid with burnt almond salsa, marinated brussels sprouts with grilled butter sauce and the leek ñoquis with hen of the woods mushrooms. The service is also hands down some of the best in Toronto, thanks to Niall, Curtis & Conor, these guys will take care of you and ensure that you walk out happy.
Pizzeria Libretto: Unreal Neapolitan pizza with four locations across Toronto (Danforth, University, King West).
The Grow Op: Cafe for hemp milk-based smoothies and vegan salads and sandwiches.
Bobbie Sue's: Outdoor take-away counter in a little tent that serves up ONLY mac and cheese with 9 combinations to choose from (including vegan and gluten-free).
Jimmy's Coffee: Cafe with a few locations around the city. Jimmy's is a great spot for doing work as there are plenty of options for seating, whether it's at the front of the cafe, overlooking Ossington, or towards the back with several tables and couches to choose from. Jimmy's has a chill vibe and free Wi-Fi + outlets for your freelance pleasure.
LoversLand: Primarily a petite bridal boutique for the modern + offbeat bride, but the front section of the store mimics a chic gift shop, selling brands like For Love & Lemons, Mary Young, Province Apothecary, Kinfolk, along with jewelry, beauty products, home goods, swimwear and accessories.
Pho Tien Thanh: Great spot for pho, usually busy but queue moves fast.
Reposado: Chic, dimly lit bar serving top-shelf tequila & Mexican tapas. Live music every night.
Bang Bang Ice Cream: Bakerbots headed south and opened the very popular bakery & ice cream shop with seasonal offerings and cookie ice cream sandwiches. Creative rotating flavours such as double smoked bourbon bacon, candy apple, olive oil, matcha genmaicha, fresh mint and several vegan flavours with a water or coconut base that are usually chocolate, raspberry and vanilla. They have tons of cookies, puffs, chiffon cakes and fresh-made waffle cones. The line here will always be very long, especially in the summer. And they are closed during January.
i deal coffee: Cozy, local & organic coffee roaster & cafe. Enjoy fresh coffee with a baked good or light snack and stay for hours with free Wi-Fi available and outlets. In the evening this location turns into a cozy wine bar. Snag a table on the patio. Other locations on Roncesvalles and in Kensington Market.
Foxley: The OG of Ossington, Foxley is a cozy Asian-fusion tapas bistro with a Pan-Latin influence and great wine selection. All of the small plates are meant for sharing, choose from meat options, fish and vegetables.
Pilot Coffee Roasters: Cafe chain with locally roasted beans, a slow bar, ample seating, baked goods and light lunch options. Wi-Fi and outlets available.
Bar Sybanne: Chic Mediterranean restaurant & bar with signature cocktails and sharing plates inspired by Israeli, Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine. Try the fried brussel leaves with dates and almonds, the whole grilled fish and the saffron rice (addictive).
Fat Choi: Fat Choi operates out of its sister restaurant, Soos, and serves a delicious, modern, vegan Malaysian menu only on Mondays and Tuesdays. Try the okonomiyaki, tortellini (like mushroom dumplings), no mapo no tofu and the nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice).
Crown Flora Studio: Botanical shop with must-have plants for your home, unique terrariums, baby succulents and an assortment of home goods, ceramics and lifestyle products.
Grand Electric: Hip little spot for tacos and creative Mexican fare. Cannot go wrong (though beware of cilantro).
Vegandale Brewery: Lively vegan brewery serving Doomie's menu. Hailing from Los Angeles, Doomie’s serves up strictly vegan comfort food. Indulge in a myriad of plant-based burgers (including a vegan Big Mac), fried chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese, pulled pork, Philly cheesesteak and french fries. Doomie’s has nothing to do with the "clean eating" stereotype often associated with veganism, but rather wants to provide an ethical way for everyone to enjoy fast food. Within the brewery is also vegan soft serve sundae bar, Not Your Mother.
Boxcar Social: Cafe by day, bar by night, this location of Boxcar has high ceilings, plenty of communal tables, bar seating and high tops. They serve a great selection of wines, beers, whiskies and snacks, as well as delicious tea blends and of course coffee/espresso with a slow bar from 10am-5pm featuring pour overs & tasting flights.
Frankie’s Italian: Sister restaurant to Annabelle. Simple, homestyle Italian food. 3 fresh, homemade pasta specials daily. Burrata special. Veg special. Pane (bread) special. Appetizers. Wine. Brunch, lunch, dinner. No reservations. Quaint backyard patio.
Lan Vietnamese: Delicious Vietnamese food in the East end. Tons of vegetarian/vegan options too.
Saulter Street Brewery: Secluded small batch brewery and tap room. Grab some bottles to go or stay a while with a flight, board games and a self guided tour.
GUFF: Vintage teak furniture and home accessories. Great finds here.
I’ll Be Seeing You…: Eclectic sister-owned bar with a focus on craft beers, cocktails and comfort food.
Rooster Coffee House: Great light-filled coffee shop overlooking Riverdale Park with a sidewalk patio. Two other locations on Jarvis and King St East.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar: Huge space with lots of natural light and plenty of seating (both communal and tables for two). There's a long coffee bar with light snacks and baked goods. Enjoy a variety of espresso-based drinks and teas and stay for hours on end as they also have free Wi-Fi and outlets.
Simple Kitchen: Health-conscious cafe offering a wholesome, Keto-inspired build-your-own-meal menu with fresh, superfood ingredients. Options include brown rice or zucchini noodle base with beef, chicken or a plant-based option with veggies and homemade sauces. Menu also includes salads, all-day breakfast items, bone broth, soups, sandwiches with gluten-free buns or paleo wraps and out-of-this-world healthy baked goods (like a vegan, paleo twix bar) and vegan chocolate/vanilla date-sweetened soft serve. Simple Kitchen also has a mini market with Bulletproof products, Vital Proteins, Simple Mills, Lee’s Provisions, Hu Kitchen chocolate bars, Siete and other health foods, as well as plenty of tables with outlets nearby and free Wi-Fi.
Ardith: A thoughtfully curated women’s clothing boutique in the heart of Roncy. Ardith focuses on athleisure, the idea being that you can go from a yoga class to a social outing without having to change They carry a great selection of natural health and beauty products, jewelry, swimwear and lingerie.
Bandit Brewery: Located inside an old auto shop, Bandit Brewery is a large open-concept space with lots of seating, a huge street-facing patio, greenery hanging inside and out and twinkly Edison-style bulbs line the ceilings to set the mood. Lots of brews on tap with the option to try a flight of four, and a small menu of snacks to enjoy alongside your beer like homemade soft pretzel bites, charcuterie and parmesan fries.
Fantail Bakery-Cafe: Vintage style cafe/bakery serving a wide variety of baked goods (sweet and savoury), sandwiches, salads and fresh breads. Plenty of seating here and Wi-Fi however limited access to outlets if you bring your laptop.
Frock: Women's clothing boutique also selling swimwear, accessories and apothecary.
Gloria Espresso Bar & Cafe: Local-loved neighbourhood coffee shop with free Wi-Fi and plenty of seating with outlet access for freelancers. They serve coffee and espresso-based beverages, tea, baked goods, Montreal bagels, sandwiches and other light bites.
Reunion Island: Sustainable, neighbourhood roastery. White-tiled, minimalist interior, lots of seating with Wi-Fi and outlets making this cafe a great work environment or hangout spot to catch up with a friend over a pour over and a baked good or Gold Standard burger.
Likely General: Home goods boutique offering beauty products, magazines, art prints, ceramics and other gifts.
i deal coffee: Local roaster tucked away on Sorauren at Wright Ave, the coziest neighbourhood spot. Enjoy fresh coffee with a local baked good or light snack and stay for hours with free Wi-Fi available and outlets. Other locations in Kensington Market and on Ossington.
Sorauren Farmers’ Market: Great Farmers’ Market run out of Sorauren Avenue Park every Monday from 3-7pm (outside from May to October and inside the Fieldhouse in the colder months).
Lit Espresso Bar: Chill, rustic coffee shop with a communal table up front.
Village Juicery: A great local juice bar in Toronto serving 100% organic cold pressed juices, plant milks and booster shots, warm or cold made-to-order beverages (try the ginger fireball or the golden milk if you are feeling under the weather), breakfast jars for takeaway, soups and pre-made plant-based salads. They also carry some local Toronto brands like Wildcraft Care, Aromacentric, Tori’s Bakeshop and Living Libations.
Aniq: Contemporary Asian-fusion restaurant with sharing plates.
Cherry Bomb Coffee: Small cafe for a coffee, espresso or fresh baked goods. No tables, just bar stools at the counters along the wall.
nutbar: Bright and airy cafe, go-to for plant-based superfood snacks, smoothies and juices. Try their delicious toasts made on double-fermented organic multigrain bread from local Prairie Boy Bread bakery, paired with a smoothie, energy ball or warm drink like their turmeric latte.
Boxcar Social: Cafe by day, bar by night, great selection of wines, beers, whiskies and charcuterie. Great backyard patio.
Nana: Amazing Thai food brought to you by the same owners as Khao San Road, this Bangkok-style street food eatery is set in a vibrant and colourful space and the dishes are delicious (can accomodate for vegan and gluten-free).
White Squirrel: Little coffee/ice cream shop at the foot of Trinity Bellwoods Park with a super chill vibe and an upstairs area overlooking the serving counter downstairs. There is a communal table and some high stools with Wi-Fi and outlets creating an optimal workspace. Great place to spend a lazy afternoon, or to stop by for a beverage or cream during your explorations of West Queen West.
Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market: At the northwest corner of the park (Dundas & Shaw) every Tuesday from 3-7pm from May until October.
Terroni: Terroni is a casual-chic Italian restaurant with Southern Italian fare. Amazing pizzas, homemade pasta dishes, salads and charcuterie. And the backyard patio is a must during summer.
Sud Forno: Owned by Terroni, a great spot to grab lunch on the go. Salads, paninis, pizza & baked goods.
Baddies: Bringing the Australian coffee and brekkie scene to Toronto's west end, Baddies offers a creative and delicious take on all-day breakfast. Baddies changes up the ingredients on their menu items based on what's in season and makes a mean sticky chai tea with wildflower honey and steamed oat milk.
Propeller Coffee Co.: Cafe in an industrial space just around the corner from Lansdowne Station, surrounded by old warehouses and auto shops. Propeller is an award winning coffee shop that specializes in sustainability sourcing and small batch roasts. The space is huge and lined with many communal tables and also acts as an event space for private parties. Free Wi-Fi and outlets and an ideal spot to bring your laptop and work for hours.
West Queen West
The Drake Hotel: Your one stop shop for all things brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, dancing, live music, sky yard patio, sidewalk patio, art, community, cafe, events. And for a great gift shop/coffee bar, cross the street for a visit to the Drake General Store.
Bolt Fresh Bar: Perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch on the go, serves health conscious items like açai bowls and a fresh salad bar.
Hello 123: Cozy, exposed brick, vegan restaurant serving brunch, lunch and dinner with a great cocktail list. Try the green xxxxx bowl with seared tempeh, the messy home fries with cashew cream and sunflower crumble or the almond and banana sourdough french toast with a superfood turmeric latte.
Fonda Lola: Small, Mexican cantina with locally sourced ingredients and amazing food/drinks. Great, cozy backyard patio with Frida Kahlo accents. Must try the Margarito cocktail with fresh mango, lime & ginger with Ancho Reyes liqueur and house tequila, the grilled fish lettuce wrap with citrus agave vinaigrette, the tofu sofrito tacos with cornmeal batter tofu in a smoky tomato & bell pepper sauce topped with cream and crispy kale chips, and the Baja fish tacos with crispy corn battered fish with cabbage slaw, cucumber, guacamole, cilantro aioli and authentic salsa roja.
Otto's Bierhalle: Stylish, German beer hall with communal tables serving German eats like BBQ-style platters of schnitzel, pork, beef or wurst with sides like spätz & cheese, pretzel & mustard, house pickles, veggies and sauerkraut with a long list of local & imported beers. The ambiance is spacious and well-lit with cool light rods lining the ceiling, whitewashed exposed brick, and plants/vines set the mood. Don't forget to head to the washroom for a cool disco experience.
Mercat del Carmen: Extension of the tapas restaurant next door, Carmen, this is a petite grocery/cafe offering hot & cold Spanish eats (sandwiches, baked goods, tea & coffee) with limited seating and pretty décor. Sit towards the front of the cafe as it opens up by means of a garage door. Stay awhile and you might receive some free samples of Spanish baked goods.
Sweet Olenka's: Ice cream shop with vegan options.
Annabelle: True Toronto gem. Simple, honest food. 3 fresh, homemade pasta specials daily. Burrata special. Veg special. Pane (bread) special. Appetizers. Wine. Brunch, lunch, dinner. No reservations.
Bob Coffee Bar: Sits adjacent to Annabelle and run by the same owners, Bob is a cozy cafe and a great spot to do work with its free Wi-Fi and ample outlet access, or just hang out with a baked good from Petit Thuet, a soup and panini, cup of tea or an evening cocktail on the weekend.
Nodo: Cozy space with rustic accents and modern Italian comfort food. Delicious appetizers like garlic knots with warm spiced olives, charcuterie, salads, fresh pastas and pizzas and a great wine list. Cute backyard patio if you're dining in the summer. They have another location in the Junction for those of you situated further west.
Krave Coffee: Cozy cafe/hangout for coffee, espresso drinks, tea and local baked goods/light fare. A great spot to bring your laptop as they have Wi-Fi and outlets, and also nice to spend a summer day out on the patio.
Queen of Persia: Try the Iranian flat bread with feta cheese, mirza ghasemi (garlic, eggplant & tomato spread), aash (barley, bean & herb stew), kashk va bademjan (grilled eggplant & dried whey dip), chicken kebab, ghormeh sabzi (green herb & kidney bean stew) and on Monday's, the loobia polo (saffron rice with tomato, ground beef, green beans and cinnamon).
The Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns: Amazing farmers’ market every Saturday year-round.
Sassafraz: Delicious French-inspired food and perfect for people watching while dining al fresco.
Yamato: Upscale Japanese restaurant with teppanyaki tables.
Trattoria Nervosa: Old house-turned-Italian restaurant on the corner of Yorkville & Bellair. Snag a table on the sidewalk or rooftop patio.
KOKO Share Bar: Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant in the heart of Yorkville with dishes meant for sharing. Enjoy Japanese staples like miso cod, sushi and teriyaki, or Korean stone bowl bibimbap.
Planta: Toronto's first plant-based upscale dining experience brought to you by The Chase Hospitality Group. The menu is super creative, 100% vegan and changes every so often but I recommend the cauliflower tots with almond parmesan, the queso dip, any of the pizzas, salads and brunch.
Kasa Moto: Upscale Japanese cuisine with tons of plant-based options and a robata grill. Definitely a bit of a splurge but worth it.
The Oxley Public House: English pub in a red brick, two-storey house with a traditional British style and cuisine, rooftop terrace and patio.