A Guide to Cool Toronto
Toronto surprised me in so many ways. I wasn't sure what to expect, but anything close to the expectations I had was exceeded in so many ways. It has a NYC vibe but much more relaxed, spacious and friendly, it reminded me slightly of Chicago. There are many cool neighbourhoods to discover, and so much good food to be had..!
We stayed at Gladstone Hotel, a very artsy hotel where no two rooms are the same! Every room has been designed by a different artist, and they host plenty of exhibitions and cultural events. The location is also excellent on cool Queen Street West.
There are so many great places to eat in Toronto, here are a few of our favourites:
St Lawrence Market - A big market with all the food you can imagine. If I could, I would have packed a small suitcase filled with goodies from here. National Geographic has chosen it as one of the best markets in the world! Make sure you eat there too, we had a great seafood meal at Buster's Sea Cove.
Boralia - To discover Canada's culinary heritage make sure to pay Boralia a visit. The menu is inspired from recipes from the early settlers. I loved the mussels smoked in pine needles with pine ash butter. Their cocktails are on point too.
Ed's Real Scoop - If you are a serious fan of ice-cream this is your place. So many tasty flavours to choose from, and plenty of toppings.
Antler - Anything seasonal, regional and wild, doesn't that sound intriguing? We had a wonderful dinner here, chef Michael Hunter is very passionate about what he does and is very knowledgeable about foraging and hunting and it reflects on the menu.
The focus here is mainly on craft beer, but if you are a fan of cider you'll find that many places have cider on tap or bottle too.
Her Father's Cider Bar - If you are a fan of cider like me, then you'll love this place. So many ciders to choose from, and flights if you want to sample many different ones. Save some room for food, they have a great menu and good pairings.
Bellwoods Brewery - Really good vibes, excellent beer and a terrace, what more can you ask for? And the food is good!
Halo Brewery - Tiny but so charming, and excellent beers to boot.
Godspeed Brewery - I love, love, LOVE this place! Minimalist, cool, and a short but sweet menu.
Otto's Bierhalle - So cool it hurts! Good beers, great atmosphere and good, German home-made kind of fare.
Bandit Brewery - A wonderful big terrace, beer and food in Toronto's Westend. Perfect to spend hours eating and drinking..!
THINGS TO SEE AND TO SHOP:
Deciem/The Ordinary - I am a huge fan of the skincare brand The Ordinary, and if you are too then I recommend checking out their location in the Distillery district. It's very big and you'll find absolutely everything there.
Gooderham Building - A small and very cute version of the Flatiron Building..!
The Distillery District - A lovely place to spend an afternoon of shopping, eating and drinking..!
Kensington Market - This area is quite an experience, and very different from any other neighbourhood in Toronto. Very hippie, lots of vintage and second hand, exotic food and fascinating vibes.
Queen Street West - A long hip street with many cool shops, bars, cafés and restaurants.
Oak + Fort - This Canadian brand is one of my absolute favourites, very minimalistic and fairly affordable. Make sure you check it out! They have several locations around the city.
Anthropologie - I'm a big fan of Anthropologie, and Toronto has a couple of stores for those of us who love beautiful dresses and pretty home decoration items.