Karen Lloyd is a Queen East scribe who fancies gritty dive bars, street meat smothered in French’s mustard and hanging out at dog parks. In addition to writing twisted non-fiction about her neighbourhood for The Local Rap, Karen also specializes in digital marketing, website design, food photography and social media.
Toronto is home to tons of cafés that inspire with their contemporary spaces and nutrient-rich menus (read: smoothies, cold-pressed juices, power bowls that are guaranteed to leave you feeling energized and satisfied). Each of these restaurants and cafés feature farm-fresh organic ingredients prepared in ways that will make you wonder how you ever thought vegetables were boring. [Image credit: iStock.com/Leonardo Patrizi]
For most, the traditional diner is synonymous with greasy food, drip coffee and an overall grungy atmosphere. These old-school establishments are anything but. While these Toronto diners maintain an authentically vintage vibe, they’ve evolved to include fresh, wholesome foods and globally inspired dishes. [Image credit: iStock.com/nickfree]
Be unpredictable and change up your Friday night pizza and movie plans with an order of delicious dumplings. These tasty Cantonese treats are unexpectedly filling and come stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Whether you’re a meat lover or vegetarian, you’ll love it when a box of these steaming dumplings get delivered right to your doorstep. [Image credit: iStock.com/tad1962]
Zumba dance classes are a super fun way to burn fat, build muscle and shake the stresses and tensions from a long day or busy week. An hour-long class can help you burn up to 800 calories and leave you feeling energized. Zumba classes are offered all over the city for men, women, children and seniors, so there’s no excuse: it’s time to get grooving. [Image credit: iStock.com/Christopher Futcher]
Happy Hour, False Economy Hour, Cocktail Hour, call it what you will, but one thing is for sure: there’s no shortage of daily drink specials or happy imbibers on Queen Street East. These bars, pubs, restaurants and taverns do it best, offering great drinks at reduced prices to make your first few hours after work even more enjoyable. [Image credit: iStock.com/Pekic]
Whether they’re mixing with gin or vodka, spicy ginger beer or Domaine de Canton, fresh lime or lime liqueur, these Toronto restaurants have mastered the Moscow Mule, each with their own tasty twist. Some even serve this flavor-filled cocktail in its traditional copper mug for a full-on ‘50s feel. [Image credit: iStock.com/rez-art]
You may be too old for glittering tutus, but you’re never too old to learn (or rediscover) ballet. Toronto’s boasts dozens of adult ballet classes, both for beginners who’ve longed to move with the grace of a ballerina but never had the chance to train, and for skilled dancers looking to keep their skills sharp. [Image credit: iStock.com/PeopleImages]
Kids love cheese and every one of these family-friendly restaurants has it. Cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese and pepperoni pizza, macaroni and cheese. Toronto parents looking to take a break from their dinner duties have some serious options with so many menus offering simple meals for the wee ones along side savoury dishes for the tastebuds that are a little more refined. [Image credit: iStock.com/mediaphotos]
Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite with the kids incognito, or dress up and celebrate good grades with the entire fam, there’s no shortage of restaurants in Toronto’s east end that aim please every member of the clan. When it’s time to gather your picky eaters, meat lovers and health-conscious vegetarians, make sure you check out these family-friendly east end restaurants. [Image credit: iStock.com/Imgorthand]
The word salad is no longer synonymous with wilty Boston lettuce and ranch dressing, especially in Toronto. Our health-conscious city is chock full of salad bars with protein-packed dishes on the menu (think: fresh produce, crunchy grains, and exotic sauces). There’s no reason to sacrifice taste for a healthy lunch or dinner – but be warned, this list may change the way you eat forever. [Image credit: iStock.com/ehaurylik]
Whether you’re looking for an intimate evening with your cocktail lover in a dark and cozy setting or breathtaking vistas of downtown Toronto, the city is full of watering holes with a truly other-worldly feel. Here are seven cocktail bars in Toronto that promise to have you feeling warm and fuzzy in no time. [Image credit: iStock.com/WanderWomen]
Good things come in small packages, especially when it comes to Toronto’s most tantalizing chocolate shops. Passionate chocolatiers all over the city are making mouths water with their bite-sized truffles and treats that come in a variety of flavours to suit every taste bud. From east to west, here are some of favourite boutiques to settle your cocoa cravings. [Image credit: iStock.com/Alina555]
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