72 Hours in Toronto
From wok-fried Taiwanese treats and Haitian tapas, to Canadian ciders and Spanish pintxos, Toronto has been hard at work answering to a new crowd: foodies. Here, how to make the most of three food-filled days.
Arrive at Thompson Toronto in King West Village and make a beeline for the hotel’s rooftop lounge and 40-foot infinity pool, where you can sip cocktails while taking in the sweeping skyline views. When hunger strikes, head downstairs to the first-floor lobby bar for tapas crafted by chef Kevin Sinclair, and start your evening right by listening to local musicians play a live set.
When you’re ready to explore, the city’s finest art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and nightlife are all just a few steps away. Stroll 20 minutes to the ultimate Toronto dining trifecta: Rhum Corner, The Black Hoof, and the Hoof Cocktail Bar, all owned by genius restaurateur Jen Agg. Try Haitian snacks at Rhum Corner, like tuna ceviche and bananas frites, and save room for the quirky cocktails, including slushies and buckets of rum. (We love Julia’s Flight, which features a fun twist on the classics like Plantation Rum and Angostura 1824). Then sidle over to The Black Hoof for pistachio hummus and chicken livers (don’t worry, it’s definitely more appetizing than it sounds!). If you still have room for a nightcap, check out the late-night drinks at Hoof Cocktail Bar — Corpse Reviver No.2 and No New Friends don’t disappoint.
Start the day at the convivial Bar Raval over Spanish pintxos and pastries (like the dulce de leche & crispy jamon donut). Once you’ve fueled up, wander the stores on College Street before heading to the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in the posh Yorkville neighborhood. Get your fix of high-end, luxury shopping, before cozying up at Café Boulud. The French brasserie is done up in retro-modern décor and serves specialties like beignets de calamari and beer battered, pickled hot peppers in a spicy kaffir lime sauce. Walk off the carbs at Kensington Market, where the eclectic maze of narrow streets and alleys lends to some of the city’s best vintage shopping. Rows of charming Victorian houses fill the neighborhood, evoking a sense of 1920’s charm, while bars and restaurants are tucked neatly into the mix. After picking up your own set of shades from Courage My Love, hop over to the dive bar of your dreams, Ronnie’s Local 069, for Canadian cider at the table-lined front patio.
As you exit Kensington Market, make a stop in Chinatown’s many markets to taste a coconut or sugarcane juice. Continue your Asian-fusion food crawl at Kanpai Snack Bar for traditional Taiwanese snacks reminiscent of wok-fried bites found in the the bustling night markets of Taipei. The perfect way to finish the night? With a pint of craft beer at local favorite Bellwoods Brewery.
Spend a lazy Sunday in The Junction, a once derelict district that’s been revived into a boho-chic hood. Stop for craft beers at Indie Alehouse, where seasonal — and hilariously-named — brews like the Cockpuncher Double IPA are constant crowd pleasers. Afterwards, scour the shelves of Smash Salvage for one-of-a-kind vintage furniture. Next stop: La Cubana, a cozy Cuban eatery where the menu is as mouthwatering as the decor is picturesque. Opt for a lunch of guava BBQ short ribs with a side of conch fritters and a sweet mango colada.
Further south toward West Queen West, you’ll find some of the trendiest bars and restaurants in all of Toronto. Have happy hour at Miss Thing’s, and drink tropical tipples from ceramic flamingo and seahorse chalices. (We dare you not to Instagram them.) Just across the street is Grand Electric, a backyard Tecate diner. Relax with friends at a picnic table, and order rounds of spicy yam, crispy cauliflower and pork tinga tacos. Walk down the street for sunset cocktails at The Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard patio, before making it to your final Toronto stop: Bar Isabel for the best octopus plate in the city. Choose from drinks like The Revenant, an absinthe and whiskey cocktail, to toast to your time in Toronto.
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