Toronto has a culinary scene that will both impress and overwhelm you. With so many places to find a great meal in the city, it can be a daunting task to narrow down your choices to just one restaurant. Fret not, because below is a guide to eating in Toronto for a day, including breakfast or brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night eats:
Breakfast or Brunch- Bannock
Bannock, which is part of the Oliver and Bonacini brand, specializes in Canadian comfort food and serves brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In this welcoming eatery, a bright space warmed by the blond wood of the ceiling and chairs as well as interesting light fixtures with decorative tangled metal strands, the brunch menu includes lighter options such as parfaits, and breakfast favorites, such as eggs Benedict, steak and eggs and the almost-requisite “great Canadian breakfast” (maple bacon, black pudding, hen’s eggs and griddle-baked bannock bread). If you are really looking for some authentic Canadian fare, try the brunch poutine, a rich dish made of poached eggs, cheese curds and truffles. Bannock also has a grab ’n’ go counter where you can pick up fresh pastries and breakfast wraps (non-breakfast items such as salads, soups and stews are also available) any day of the week.
A favorite of herbivores and carnivores alike, Fresh offers clean and healthy food in four locations around the city — Bloor Street West, Queen Street West, Spadina Avenue and, coming later this summer, Eglinton. Dishes such as the grilled cornbread or Energy Fresh Bowl (marinated tofu cubes, coconut curry sauce, chick pea and vegetable stew, cucumber, tomato, red onion, sunflower sprouts and tahini sauce) not only taste great, but also make for a light lunch that will keep you energized while you sightsee around Toronto (and allow you to save your appetite for an amazing dinner). This casual eatery also has a selection of gluten-free baked goods and meals that are best accompanied by one of its specialty fruit smoothies or Ravine Vineyard’s organic wines.
Dinner- One Restaurant
Located at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Hazleton Hotel in the heart of Yorkville, One Restaurant is the type of place where you might run into a few famous faces — this rings especially true around September’s Toronto International Film Festival. The open dining room is decorated in shining metallic trimmings and deep-red walls. But check out the large patio, which is perfect for summer dining and also serves as a great spot for a date night or an evening with friends. Seafood lovers can enjoy selections such as grilled octopus and B.C. black cod. Also notable at the stylish eatery are the striploin steaks, which come from Prince Edward Island and are grass-fed. Top off your meal with one of the Four-Star restaurant’s signature cocktails, such as The Hazelton (Madame Butterfly-infused Tanqueray gin, rosemary lemonade and basil-ginger syrup) or Lipstick (raspberry-infused Ketel One vodka, fresh raspberry and champagne).
Late Night- Burrito Boyz
If you are planning on enjoying some of Toronto’s nightlife, you’re sure to work up an appetite. The best way to beat those late-night hunger pangs is by paying a visit to one of the many Burrito Boyz locations. A local favorite, the unfussy takeout joint serves customizable burritos that are made with your meat of choice, such as sirloin steak, chicken and shrimp, and are loaded with all sorts of other ingredients, such as green onions, black beans, green peppers, cilantro, corn and more. It also serves vegan options that are stuffed with refried pinto beans and Mexican rice. However you like your burrito, make sure to top it off with the signature hot sauce. It might be more of a kick than you are used to, but it will definitely be worth it.
Photo Courtesy of The Hazelton Hotel