Category Archives: Cuisine (Canadian/American)

W Burger Bar


10 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1K2
(416) 961-2227
wburgerbar.com

I’m not a big burger fan but I do like W’s and all the choices they offer: beef, lamb, bison, salmon, Kobe, chicken, turkey, veggie or portobello burger; fresh baked regular or whole wheat bun; charcoal broiled or flat top style, and a long list of complimentary sauces and toppings!

Recommendations
• Spiked milkshakes (I haven’t tried this yet it but sure looks fun!)

Good to Know
• Best seats: Seats near the window (It’s entertaining to watch all the people who pass by the corner of College and Yonge)
• Service: Helpful (which I needed with all the selection available)
• Atmosphere: Simple; contemporary
• Ideal for: Casual, takeout
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes (they’re quite busy)
• Patio recommended: N/A

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W Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

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Red Rocket Coffee


1402 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON
(Greenwood & Queen)
T: (416) 406-0880
www.redrocketcoffee.com

A nice little hangout with delicious lattes, friendly patrons and outstanding service!

Recommendations
• Industrial muffin – no sugar, no butter, no oil; but has cranberries, blueberries, and oats … a scrumptious and healthy choice! (Only available at the Queen St E location)
• Chai Soy Latte
• Apple Cider (made with real juice, not powered). Spice it up by adding fresh nutmeg, pumpkin spice and cinnamon sprinkles!

Good to Know
• Best seats: the leather sofa at front of the bar (see photo)
• Service: Excellent – the last time I was there I order a cider. When they started making it, the realized the cider had not defrost. Not only did they refund our money but they gave me a large cup of latte (my choice) to make up for the inconvenience. Now that’s exceeding customer expectations!!
• Atmosphere: Casual, cozy
• Ideal for: Date, locals, casual meeting
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: Yes
• Free: Get a free drink if you bring your travel mug to get “rebranded”!

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Red Rocket Coffee on Urbanspoon

Fire on the East Side


6 Gloucester Street, Toronto, ON  M4Y 1L5
(Yonge & Wellesley)
T: (416) 960-3473
www.fireontheeastside.ca

Tucked away in one of the side streets just off of Yonge, this is a good place to go if you don’t want to be in the buzz of downtown but still want stay in the neighbourhood to catch a show at the Panasonic Theatre, a movie at Manulife Centre, or maybe just to check out the bar scene in the Village. They offer a southern-inspired menu with portion sizes that are perfect for someone like me.

Recommendations
• Cocktails – if you like mojitos, try one of their flavoured ones
• Crabcakes
• Fried green tomatoes

Good to Know
• Best seats: Patio (if the weather is warm enough)
• Service: Friendly
• Atmosphere: Trendy, relaxing, comfortable
• Ideal for: Date, celebration, GNO, before show drinks/dinner
• Attire: Casual, smart casual, trendy
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: Yes
• Events: There is a separate room at the back of the restaurant that is available for private functions.

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Fire on the East Side Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Globe Earth


1055 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON
(Yonge & Summerhill)
T: (416) 551.9890
www.globeearth.ca  

Globe’s tag line is “Think global. Eat local.” By this, Chef Kevin McKenna means that all their ingredients are local and seasonal, including their wine list, but the cooking internationally inspired.

This newly opened restaurant is already a big hit in the Rosedale neighbourhood. Getting a table without reservations is a challenge. Expecting it to be slower on a weeknight, I popped my head in to try my luck. Boy, was I wrong. This place was packed at 5:30 on a Monday night with only a few bar seats available.

Recommendations
• John’s Elk Carpaccio
• Any of the wood oven flat bread
• Slow roasted wood oven daily fish

Good to Know
• Best seats: In the main lounge or dining area (very cozy)
• Service: Professional – the server was very knowledgable with both the menu and wine list
• Atmosphere: Contemporary, comfortable, relaxing, mostly neutral/earth tones
• Ideal for: Date, business, more formal, parents
• Attire: Business, smart casual, dressy
• Reservations recommended: Highly recommend (I was there three times prior to successfully getting a table without reservations.)
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Globe Earth on Urbanspoon

Oliver & Bonacini (Front St)


33 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON
(Yonge & Front)
T: (647) 260-2070
http://www.oliverbonacini.com

This O&B just opened this summer. Previously, this hot spot was Shopsy’s. Totally redesigned, they put in a very cool patio on Yonge with large heat lamps. This place is another fun after-work mix and mingling hangout. If that is what you’re planning, it’s probably better to go (and busier) on a Thursday night. I found it quiet last Friday when I was there. There was a small crowd between 5:30 and 6:00 pm but quietly died off by 6:30 pm.

Recommendations
• Ahi Tuna Lettuce Wrap
• A good selection of cocktails – try the Muddled Raspberry Acai Martini

Good to Know
• Best seats: I prefer the lounge area with the high tables and small TV screen set inside the wall. (Good entertainment if your date turns out to be boring.)
• Service: Okay; a little disorganized when seating us (different servers gave us different instructions and we detoured around the restaurant a bit).
• Atmosphere: Simple, chic and casual
• Ideal for: Date, GNO, birthday celebration, after-work gathering
• Attire: Business, smart casual, trendy, dressy
• Reservations recommended: Yes (for dining area); N/A (for lounge)
• Patio recommended: Yes!

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Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill  on Urbanspoon

Sunset Grill


2006 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON  M4L 1J3
(Woodbine Ave & Queen St E)
T: (416) 690-9985
www.sunsetgrill.ca

The Sunset Grill on Queen St E was the first shop that opened in 1985 and is a very busy weekend breakfast/brunch spot. Even at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves waiting in line for 15 minutes. They been around for over two decades and are famous for their All Day Breakfasts.

Recommendations
• Omelets
• Homemade potatoes

Good to Know
• Best seats: No particular preference; it’s very tightly packed, especially on weekends
• Service: Good
• Atmosphere: Retro diner with black and white square tile floors
• Ideal for: Date, quick eats, Queen St/Beaches shoppers
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: N/A

Sunset Grill on Urbanspoon

Golden Court Abalone Chinese Restaurant


270 West Beaver Creek Road Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3Y9
(Leslie Ave & Hwy 7)
T: (905) 707-6628

One of my favourite Chinese Dim Sum restaurants in town!

Recommendations
• Baked chicken pie with coconut sprinkles – very tasty! (This is not on the menu. It is only offered on the weekends between 11am to 1pm. A server walks around the restaurant with a tray, introducing it to each table. Once they are gone, they’re gone.)
• Deep fried octopus tentacles
• Tempura glutinous rice with pork, bean and salty egg filling
• Fresh fruit mango roll
• Baked egg custard tarts
• Chrysanthemum tea
• We also recommend you share (as Chinese Dim Sum dishes are traditionally shared) to enjoy the full experience.

Good to Know
• Best seats: Anywhere in the main dining room (The smaller room on the left when you walk in can be too bright and stuffy.)
• Service: Not bad for a Chinese restaurant
• Atmosphere: Comparatively clean, dining room is bright and big (I seldom have to wait in line.)
• Ideal for: Large groups, kids, parents, family, casual gathering, date
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: Reservations for dim sum are not available (First come. First Serve.)
• Patio recommended: N/A

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Golden Court Abalone on Urbanspoon

Trinity Square Cafe


6 Trinity Square, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2B1
(Bay & Dundas; beside Eaton Centre)
T: (416) 599-9315
http://trinitysquarecafe.webs.com

Trinity Square Cafe is a registered not-for-profit charity, primarily funded by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The cafe is a program for people in recovery and living with mental illness.

Recommendations
• Home style soups: Moroccan Tomato Soup (made with peanut butter)
• Greek Salad

Good to Know
• Best seats: N/A (only communal tables available)
• Service: Friendly and helpful
• Atmosphere: Cafeteria-style, a very small dining room with a few tables
• Ideal for: Lunch, quick eat or take out
• Attire: Casual, almost anything goes
• Reservations recommended: No
• Patio recommended: N/A
• Convenience: Right outside of the Eaton Centre (located near the east doors beside Mercatto or Sears entrance from the mall)
• Hours: Open for lunch only; usually from Monday to Friday from 11:30 to 2:30. (Occasional disruptions may occur that may result in closing for a couple of days. Please call ahead if you are making a special trip here.)

Rosedale Diner


1164 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2L9
(Yonge St & Summerhill)
T: (416) 923-3122
www.rosedalediner.com

Rosedale Diner is a family-owned diner since 1978. I usually go for breakfast/brunch and afterwards I would walk around the neighborhood to check out the houses. If the weather is nice, I would usually head over to Ramson Park to doggy watch.

Recommendations
• Burger on a pita (it’s small and chunky, not overwhelmingly greasy)
• Rosedale Diner Breakfast with blackcurrant jam

Good to Know
• Best seats: The two window seats at the front of the restaurant or the sofa chair table at the back dining room.
• Service: Friendly
• Atmosphere: Neutral earthy tones; a nice gallery of dog photos along the wall of the restaurant (and they are for sale too – what a smart business/cross-selling idea!).
• Ideal for: Breakfast/brunch, neighborhood folks, date
• Attire: Casual
• Reservations recommended: N/A
• Patio recommended: Backyard garden patio

Rosedale Diner on Urbanspoon

Canoe Restaurant & Bar


66 Wellington St W, 54th Floor, TD Bank Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6
(Bay St & Wellington St W)
T: (416) 364-0054
www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe

Canoe is one of the few restaurants in the city that offers great food while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic view of Toronto. I think it’s most spectacular watching the sun set while dining there.

Good to Know
• Best seats: Any table (preferably beside the window) will allow you to enjoy the view from their floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
• Service: The entire staff was very professional and has delivered exceptional service.
• Atmosphere: The glass floor-to-ceiling windows make this cozy restaurant spacious and open. The design is clean and stylish.
• Ideal for: Business, romance, tourists, and special occasions
• Attire: Business, dressy, smart casual
• Reservations recommended: Yes
• Patio recommended: N/A

Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon