2015 was a busy year for Toronto’s east end, from Riverdale to Cabbagetown to the Distillery. Fresh new businesses are popping up everywhere, and among them are some of the finest eateries in the city. Whether for brunch with pals, a dinner date, or dessert, there are many places to indulge without the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Toronto’s coffee scene has experienced a surge of newcomers this year, from east to west. It’s one of the things I love about the city. You can find some of the coolest cafés in odd areas and quiet corners, and busy neighbourhoods alike. From old, rundown spaces revitalized, to beautiful environments that make grabbing a cup of Joe a luxurious pastime, here are my favourite cafés that opened in 2015.
As winter rears in the 6, Torontonians cower to their couches, armed with an extra wool blanket and a space heater close by. But with the city’s blossoming selection of restaurants and watering holes offering fireplaces, crushed velvet sofas, and lively, rosy-cheeked crowds to rub elbows with, there’s no reason to retreat into solitude this winter – these resto-bars will keep you plenty cozy. [Photo courtesy of Kanpai]
If you're looking to celebrate the New Year but are dreading the thought of overpowering music, jam-packed crowds and black tie dress codes, read on to see all the gems Toronto has to offer for your ideal end-of-year affair. From hip pubs and cozy eateries to board game cafés and comedy shows, there's sure to be something that fits you just right.
Now Donna! Now Dashiell! Now Pauline and Veronica! The holiday season is upon you Toronto – it’s time to gather friends and family dear for some comfy cocktails and cozy dinners, and these chummy diners, trendy bistros, and historical spots are sure to fit the bill. Read on as we take you for a carriage ride through the frosty streets of Toronto and some of the city’s most charming venues to gather during the holidays.
Tequila’s smokier cousin, Mezcal is traditionally handcrafted in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. This agave-based liquor has a rich history, made the same way today as it was two hundred years ago. Although typically taken straight, these Toronto cocktail bars are putting a spin on the Mexican classic, mixing it with maple, citrus, cherry and more to highlight its uniquely earthy flavour. [Image credit: iStock.com/Bogdanhoda]
Whether you need a night out on the town or would rather spend a low-key evening at a local pub or restaurant, Leslieville has the cocktail bar for you. Toronto is known for its variety of watering holes and Leslieville doesn’t disappoint. There’s always a new place to explore in this neighbourhood! Here are the hippest hangouts for cocktail hour in Leslieville. [Image credit: iStock.com/Ezhukov]
One hundred years ago, Toronto's west-end neighbourhood The Junction was a designated dry ward, with no alcohol in sight. Although the ward lost its temperance status just 15 years ago, the Dundas West strip is already home to several independent breweries, bars and pubs. For a pub crawl or private celebration, The Junction's cozy pubs serve cocktails and comfort straight up. [Image credit: iStock.com/ Silvrshootr]
The craft beer revolution is booming. Never before have we had access to such a diverse selection of well-crafted, creative brews. You'll find countless places to grab a drink within the downtown core alone; check out these spots for a craft beer you can really enjoy. Cheers!
Iran (previously Persia) is known for its art – from architecture to painting to calligraphy to metalworking. So it’s no surprise that there’s more to their cuisine than the food. It’s a practice of detail, from the pottery to the fresh ingredients. While nobody can beat my mom’s Persian cooking, these TO restaurants cut it close. Each offers an experience of Iran’s culture, past and present. [Feature image: Tavoos Restaurant]
There are two kinds of wine drinkers: those that taste with their palate, and those that taste with their wallet. For those of us in the latter category, you’ll be pleased to find Toronto’s east-end offers a number of budget-friendly wine nights throughout the week, sure to satisfy your inner wino as well as your inner cheapskate.
So you’ve finally gotten up the nerve to ask your crush out for a drink, but you don’t want this to be just like any other first date. You need the best pub experience Toronto has to offer and we’re here to help. [Feature image: Amsterdam Brewhouse]
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