A day in the neighbourhood: Toronto’s Little Portugal

Known as a cultural enclave, Little Portugal is home to one of the most ethnically vibrant communities in Toronto. This neighbourhood resides in the west end of the city stretching from Bathurst to Dufferin Street. A neighbourhood in transition, here is a list of some additions to Little Portugal that have been creating waves in the city, adding to the colourful life here. [Feature image: Souvenir]

Saudade

1
1191 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X3

A design offering by Nancy Fernandes and Connie Freitas, Saudade (“nostalgia” in Portuguese) brings to Toronto a taste of Portugal like never before. Adhering to the traditional and artisanal designs of Portugal, this recently created passion project carries brightly coloured wool blankets, housewarming gifts and home accessories that harken back to a land rich in culture and heritage.

The Saucy Pierogi

2
1282 Dundas St W Main, Toronto, ON M6J 1X7

This bright, spacious restaurant is Little Portugal’s new Polish comfort food fix. With walls adorned with sights of Poland, Chef Aidan Sebecke serves up everything from pierogis to cabbage rolls to schnitzel sliders to charcuterie boards to polish kielbasas. Our pick: the lobster-stuffed pierogis never disappoint.

Royale's Luncheonette

3
1418 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1Y5

Sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches, bagels with candied salmon, and jerk wings with cornbread are just some of the many mouth-watering options served up at this charming luncheonette. This one time flower shop turned tiny 15-seater offers sammies, soups, salads and delicious grab and go’s that are warming the hearts of this neighbourhood quickly.

Ufficio

4
1214 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X5

Die-hard pescatarians and vegetarians had loads to be excited about when Ufficio opened shop in Little Portugal. This chic, open-concept Italian resto-bar offers vegetarian dinners and unpretentious seafood dishes that are painstakingly cured and crafted. With a menu completely devoid of meat, it will surprise you how filling and satisfying their meals can be.

SOUVENIR

5
1232 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1C2

A new design studio opened by graphic and textile designer Danielle Suppa, Souvenir is a gift shop that offers a range of swoon-worthy lifestyle goods, including jewellery, home accessories, ceramics, and leather and textile goods. For a more #treatyourself vibe, there are also candles, skin and body care products, stationery, rugs and furniture. And despite their eye-catching beauty, the pieces are a lot more affordable than you’d think. The bright space also offers other artists a venue to teach and exhibit their crafts that range from paintings to looming classes.

Le Dolci

6
1006 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W6

Built at the site of an ex-hair salon, this is another cake shop that will leave your jaw hanging and salivating as you walk past it. From whimsical child-friendly t-rex cakes to luxurious, dreamy and out-of-the-box fondant creations this custom cake shop also offers culinary courses in cake and cupcake making that are fun for families, challenging for corporate teams, and memorable for dinner dates. If you’re looking to add finesse to your baking skills, Le Dolci’s six-week baking boot camp will certainly give you a run for your money.

Bake Shoppe

7
859 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1A1

Owned by sisters Cindy and Sarah Coelho, this custom cake shop has the honour of being the first Canadian cakery to be featured in America’s Food Network challenge, where it won a silver. A glimpse at their storefront in Little Italy, is enough to force a cake craving that can only be soothed by a decadent indulgence into one of their many delicious flavours. In the market for naked cakes? This is where your journey ends. With fresh berries and intricate flowers cascading down their baked tiers, these naked and rustic cakes are simply marvellous.

For The Love Of Cake

8
171 E Liberty St, Toronto, ON M6K 3P6

From cupcake towers, to designer creations, to custom bride and groom toppers, to party favours, this Liberty Village favourite will have you dancing giddily as you approach it. Known for 5-tier cupcake towers at a modest $95, this cake shop will have you swooning at not only their dazzling designs but also their 15 types of buttercream flavours. A book lover, are you? This cake shop can build you your own multi-tiered vintage book wedding cake that will stop every show in town.

When attempting to beat the heat this summer, why not try out TO’s colourful food trend: gourmet popsicles. Walk away from the run-of-the-mill popsicles and embrace natural fruit juice iced pops and paletas perfected by these shops across the city. [Image credit: iStock.com/jenifoto]
There’s nothing more wholesome than a bowl of hot noodle soup on a cold Toronto day. Japanese comfort food has captured the attentions of the city’s culinary elite, making way for a slew of bustling ramen hotspots to appear throughout the city. So, while you dream of visiting the ramen noodle museum in Osaka, warm up, and sharpen your chopstick skills at one of these gourmet spots.
Toronto’s streets are brewing with cafés – from the corner coffee shops at the end of your residential avenue to the retail coffee giants dotting the narrow downtown streets. You'll find these sweet spots serving up everything from your average latté to the more discerning Argentinian maté. Here are some of our favourite spacious cafés where you can settle in to pass a few comfy hours.
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