Lunchtime gems around Bloordale and Wallace-Emerson

Lunch-minded in the west end? Head straight to Bloor and Lansdowne. These Bloordale restaurants are knocking it out of the park with homey interiors and fast and fresh lunch fare. In this blossoming hood, you’ll find PB&J on vegan sourdough, a Nordic-inspired sandwich and a mainstay for casual classics. For all your on-the-go and dine-in needs, these lunchtime gems have you covered. [Feature image: Brock Sandwich] 

Hello Darling Cafe

827 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Z2

Hello Darling is a cute café located on Lansdowne and Wallace. With sunny seating and week-long brunch offerings, this friendly spot offers an all-vegetarian menu with the option to add bacon and sausage on the side, sourced from locavore go-to Rowe Farms. Hello Darling is a real neighbourhood locale; favorite menu items include the eggs Benny and fluffy pancakes topped with lemon whipped cream.

Café Neon

241 Wallace Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 1V5

Located in the Junction Triangle just off of Lansdowne, Café Neon is an eclectic café offering delicious, homestyle food and a warm atmosphere. Café Neon’s lunch sandwiches improve on loveable classics; think grilled cheese with aged cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella, garnished with caramelized onion and thyme. It’s a savoury, gooey, feel-good experience. The pulled pork bun is also a hit, packed with house-smoked pork, coffee gravy, apple slaw and aged cheddar. Café Neon also hosts a beautiful interior great with plenty of seating, making it an awesome spot for weekday brunch with pals.

Brock Sandwich

1260 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N5

Brock Sandwich is a no-nonsense dine-in and takeout sandwich joint right in the middle of Bloordale. For the spicy at heart, try the chicken piri piri Sandwich. It’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and dressed with a healthy dose of hot piri piri sauce. Brock Sandwich also offers a killer cripsy fennel Sandwich, which is a hearty vegan option topped with creamy cashew cheese. Brock Sandwich has an authentic, casual feel where the standout feature is the food. Pair your sandwich with truffled poutine, the house special. You won’t be disappointed.

Karelia Kitchen

1194 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N2

Karelia Kitchen is a Nordic smokehouse and café that’s long graced the Bloordale neighbourhood with its European-inspired menu. Karelia rounds up a delicious, locally sourced and organic menu with a focus on simple, smoky flavors. The Smorrebrod open-faced sandwiches are topped with salmon, chicken, trout, bacon, goat’s cheese and more, and are all prepared in the Karelia Kitchen smokehouse. For a sampling of everything Karelina gets right, head over to the café with a friend and split the smokehouse platter. Or tuck into the local favorite – the smoked salmon Smorrebrod with quail egg, salmon roe and cheese.

Grey Tiger

1190 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N2

Grey Tiger is a quaint café and coffee shop with a unique menu of vegan comfort food. Their standout offering is Brick Toast, a vegan version of Hokkaido, a Taiwanese sourdough milk bread. Grey Tiger’s most popular Brick Toast is the Priscilla: thick sliced toast slathered in organic peanut butter and topped with bananas and coconut bacon. For a midday treat, enjoy one of Grey Tiger’s black sesame buns and one of their excellently rendered coffee creations. Sit up in the bright window and while away a few hours at this bright Bloordale gem.

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Made from crispy, flaky dough piped with pastry cream and traditionally topped with chocolate icing, éclairs have caught food-trend fire in Toronto, with expert pastry chefs serving up fun variations that rival those found on the streets of Paris. Head to these Toronto patisseries when you’re craving this classic French dessert, they’ll be offering rich flavour fusions that are absolutely to die for. [Feature image: Nugateau]
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