Toronto (food)

Lake House Restaurant

I realize my posts are supposed to be about Toronto spots to go get food but you know, sometimes you have to venture out a little bit too right? Maybe you want to impress your parents? Take your best friend out for her birthday? Maybe you want to take your side chick somewhere no one will see you? Right. 

Lake House Restaurant is amazing for any of the aforementioned reasons. Oh, and the views and food are pretty amazing too. 

This has been one of my favourite restaurants for a very long time. When I lived in Hamilton, this was the place we all went to celebrate graduating college. Now, it will take about a little over an hour to get there from Toronto, well worth the drive though. 

I'm sure many of you have seen this place on the side of the highway when you drive to and from Niagara Falls. It is hard to miss the thousands of lights set up on the restaurant and the tree outside of it. The decor is beautiful, there is a huge wine selection and if you can score a seat on the patio - you're really set. It has amazing views of the water and it is so peaceful and jaw-dropping at sunset. 

On this trip to Lake House Restaurant my friend Jummy and I decided to try out the charcuterie board and for our mains we both chose the lobster mac and cheese. First of all, I have to mention they bring out bread before your meal starts and it is WARM bread. This may be insignificant to some, but to me it is a huge bonus when I don't have to try and put hard butter on some hard bread. All types of fail. This was nice and fluffy bread with fluffy butter to match. 

Once the charcuterie board came out, we were pretty impressed. The best part of the whole board was actually the mustard. If you love mustard, this is the place to try some very unique-looking mustard that tastes delicious. When the lobster mac and cheese came we both laughed at how small it was and that we would need to overload on dessert after to be full. We were wrong. This may have been the thickest mac and cheese I have ever had. We both were huffing and puffing to finish the whole bowl of this little meal. Wild.

On a nice summer or fall night if you can make it out to Vineland, you really should try and visit there. If you can, also request a patio seat with your reservation and try to go near sunset. You will not be disappointed. Beautiful place.

Fave dish: Lobster Mac and Cheese

Location: 3100 N Service Rd, Vineland

Website: www.lakehouserestaurant.com

 

- Mirna

Food Festival Season: Toronto Summer 2018

Hello all,

If you are like me and enjoy completely disregarding your fitness goals during summer - this list is for you. Also, if you do the whole 'cutesy dates' thing, I would suggest this list.

It is really time for the greatest thing ever in Toronto, our summer! There is food, food and more food galore. There is an insane amount of food festivals and events to do with eating and/or drinking (or both?). I attempted to make this blog post as simple and as accessible as possible, I hope you enjoy. They are all listed in chronological order so you can organize your weekends accordingly.  

If there's any food fest I forgot, feel free to add it in the comments so other people can take advantage and see it!


Poutinefest

Date: Thursday, May 24th - Sunday, May 27th

Location: Yonge-Dundas Square, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: I didn't even know this was a thing, might roll still.


Brunch Fest

Date: Friday, June 1st - Sunday, June 3rd

Location: 99 Sudbury, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: $7.95 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: Make absolutely sure you go by the Lisa Marie booth when you go! They had some delicious food last year. Also, I think we got a free beer when we walked in? WINNING. Very sad to be missing it this year. 


Mac and Cheese Fest

Date: Friday, June 8th - Sunday, June 10th

Location: Milton Fairgrounds, Milton

Tickets: $7-$10 online, $15 at door (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: I'm low key upset it is no longer downtown, but happy that it got so big it HAD to move. I guess.


Foodalicious

Date: Saturday, June 9th - Sunday, June 10th

Location: Downsview Park, Toronto

Tickets: $8 regular, $50 family pass, $25 VIP (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: I had never actually heard of this event until I did this blog post, looks like there's lots of activities and a variety of food vendors. Family friendly. 


Taco Fest

Date: Friday, June 15th - Sunday, June 17th

Location: Ontario Place, West Island, Toronto

Tickets: $9.95 - $14.95 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: I'm looking forward to going again this year. Be smarter than me and bring an umbrella if it even says 10% chance of rain, got caught in that last year at Taco Fest and it sucked. Make sure to go in a group and share tickets so you spend less time collectively in lines and more time eating! 


Taste of Little Italy

Date: Friday, June 15th - Sunday, June 17th

Location: College Street, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: Definitely trying to roll to this, I love cannoli almost as much as I love breathing. 


Taste of Asia

Date: Saturday, June 23rd - Sunday, June 24th

Location: Kennedy Road just North of Steeles Avenue East, Markham

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: Canada's largest Asian festival.


Rib Fest

Date: Friday, June 29th - Sunday, July 2nd

Location: 256 Centennial Park Road, Etobicoke 

Tickets: Free (or $3 donation), $18 Basic VIP, $47 VIP

Website: Click Here

Notes: I realize there's a bunch of these all over the GTA - if you go look for your specific city I'm almost 100% you probably will find one coming closer to you.


Taste of Lawrence

Date: Friday, July 6th - Sunday, July 8th

Location: Lawrence Ave. E. from Warden Ave. to Birchmount Rd., Scarborough 

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: You know....I've never attended this and I always hear great things about the food. This might have to be the year!


Salsa on St. Clair

Date: Saturday, July 7th - Sunday, July 8th

Location: St. Clair Avenue West between Winona and Christie, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: Pretty pathetic I've lived in Toronto almost eight years and was always working during this. Might have to be the year to finally attend this and get my dance on, with food in my hand. 


Night It Up!

Date: Friday, July 13th - Sunday, July 15th

Location: Markham Civic Centre, Markham 

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: A showcase of Asian street foods styled like the night markets in Taiwan and Hong Kong.  


Pizza Fest

Date: Friday, July 20th - Sunday, July 22nd

Location: Ontario Place, Toronto

Tickets: $7.95 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: ARE YOU DUMB? I love pizza. Have to go. 


Beer Fest

Date: Thursday, July 26th - Sunday, July 29th

Location: Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Tickets: $40-$60 for the times that aren't sold out already (5 beer sampling tokens included)

Website: Click Here

Notes: I had a really good time last year and bought tickets to go again this year. The headline performer was Method Man in 2017, this year it is Ludacris. Depending on which night you go, there's someone different performing. 


Harold's Fish Festival

Date: Friday, July 27th - Sunday, July 29th

Location: West Island at Ontario Place, Toronto

Tickets: $9 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: Another event I hadn't heard of until I did this blog post, shame. I love seafood. The event says that it is a fusion of fish and seafood dishes with a perfect blend of wines, beers and Signature cocktails, bringing you a fish event like no other. Down!


Food Truck Festival

Date: Friday, August 3rd - Sunday, August 6th 

Location: Woodbine Park, Toronto 

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: If you check the website, there are other dates for other locations around the GTA. I really like attending food truck fest because I love food that is handheld and innovative. Sad I haven't been in two years. Fail.


Taste of the Middle East

Date: Saturday, August 4th

Location:  Yonge-Dundas Square, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: Not only are we spoiled with Caribana being this weekend (and the next event, Taste of India) but it is also downtown? Send me all the shawarmas. My belly is ready. 


Taste of India

Date: Sunday, August 5th

Location: Nathan Philips Square, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: See post above this, change shawarma to roti and channa. Ok thanks.


Jerkfest

Date: Thursday, August 9th - Sunday August 12th

Location: Centennial Park, Base of the Ski Hill, Etobicoke

Tickets: $10 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Note: A freaking staple in Toronto. Must-attend. You can eat your face off at this event because you finished playing mas at Caribana the weekend before, bye bye costume body. There is always awesome performances as well as I think I read there is a domino tournament where you can win up to $500. Bet you won't yell PASS! 


Waterfront Night Market

Date:  Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th 

Location:  I guess, a waterfront? No info yet.

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: My friend Martha said this is good, we have to trust her. 


Taste of the Danforth

Date: Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th

Location: Danforth Avenue from Broadview to Jones Avenue, Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: I attend this literally every year. Love it. It can get very crowded and busy, but in my experience the lines move pretty quickly for food.


Vegandale Fest

Date: Saturday, August 11th - Sunday, August 12th

Location: Fort York, Garrison Common, Toronto

Tickets: $10-$15 (entry only)

Website: Click Here

Notes: Had to include something for the hippies. 


Sweetery

Date: Saturday, August 11th - Sunday, August 12th

Location: David Pecaut Square, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: All things sweet. MmMmmmmm.... sugar.


Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

Date: Friday, August 24th - Sunday, August 26th

Location: Ontario Place, Toronto 

Tickets: Out on July 5th, expect the $10-$15 range for entry only

Website: Click Here

Notes: Same people who give you Taco and Brunch fest do this event, if you like BBQ, it's a go. 


Panamerican Food and Music Festival

Date: Saturday, August 25th - Sunday, August 26th

Location: Yonge-Dundas Square, Downtown Toronto

Tickets: Free

Website: Click Here

Notes: I bet I have attended this and didn't even know it. Downtown food is all the time food ok? Looks like there's going to be some great food and great music at this. 


I would also like to give a special mention to these events, although not 'food events' - they got some great food AT the events: 

Pride Toronto (June 22nd - June 24th) - Click Here

Afrofest (July 7th - July 8th) - Click Here

Caribana (August 2nd - August 6th) - Click Here

CNE (August 17th - September 3rd) - Click Here 

Busker Fest (August 31st - September 3rd) - Click Here

 

Happy eating :) 

- Mirna 

Why Toronto is The Greatest City in The World

"It's too expensive."
"The transit sucks."
"People are mean."

Yes. Yes. OKAY MAYBE YOU DID SOMETHING TO MAKE IT SO?

I believe Toronto is the greatest city in the world and no one can tell me otherwise. Although I understand where people from New York and Los Angeles are coming from - you're just not us stillllll. We don't have Donald Trump as our leader bean and we also have universal health care, thank God. I know Montreal and Vancouver are also going to try and chime in but like, 1) Quebec & Religion (enough said) and 2) Do they even have fetes in Vancouver? Do you have NBA teams? Oh. You don't. 

This post wasn't made to put others down though, this was to boost about why Toronto is awesome because I feel in the winter we temporarily forget that. 

The sheer arrogance of Toronto makes my heart warm. As someone who is also arrogant, I couldn't imagine being in any other place. I made a short list of 10 things I really like about where I live. There is definitely many MANY more reason but since I am a true millennial Torontonian, who has time to write all that between two jobs to afford where I live? 

  1. We have MLB, NBA, MLS and NHL teams in the city. No other Canadian cities have all of that going on, so boom, we already superior. (yes, we also have a CFL team but as a devout Tiger-Cats fan, I'm not even going to get into that)
  2. The smorgasbord of different foods available to us at ungodly hours is never ending. 
  3. Fete after Fete after Fete. You'd better believe there is a soca fete to attend every weekend at any time of year. Summertime is even better because there is boat rides to go to nonstop so you can jones and wukkup while looking at our awesome skyline.
  4. Our slang is the most ridiculous, obnoxious and brilliant thing all at the same time. When someone asks how many languages you speak 'Toronto Hoodman' should be listed in that.
  5. Along with the different foods available regularly, the insane amount of food festivals during summer is a marvel in itself. One weekend you are at Jerk Fest and the next you are at Salsa on St. Clair or downing some gyros at Taste of the Danforth. 
  6. Caribana. We have the biggest street festival in North America EVERY year showcasing our biggest treasure. (see #7)
  7. Toronto Women. I feel like I don't really need to explain this one - if you've visited here, you already know you can't walk five feet without seeing a 10. Now imagine Caribana, where there is thousands of 10's everywhere dancing? Bet. 
  8. I realize I would get some side-eye for this one, but Toronto men as well. I love our Toronto men because who else will understand you when you're at your FULL Toronto Hoodman talks? After a while it gets annoying explaining to your American bae what 'nize' and 'cyattie' are. 
  9. Although we may be a bit brash (as per most people living in a Metropolis) I really do believe we still have that super Canadian kindness to visitors. The constant 'I'm Sorry!' when walking into people proves it enough as well.
  10. We are the most multicultural city in the world, as per the BBC Radio. (TAKE THAT LONDON!)

What do you love most about Toronto? Let me know in the comments!

- Mirna 

Roywoods (Ossington)

There was a piece on BlogTo that made me notice this restaurant. A simple picture of a plate that had lobster in coco bread - that was all it took for me to want to go to the new Roywoods location. 

From my understanding Roywoods was a popular eating spot on Fort York and about three weeks ago they chose to open up another location at Dundas and Ossington. I didn't make a reservation to go, I just went and hoped for the best.

When we got to the restaurant it wasn't busy so getting a seat quickly was not an issue. The server was very nice and let me tell you, she can make a HELL of a drink. I tried their 'Sugar Pie' cocktail which has coconut rum, Amaretto, butterscotch Schnapps, coconut water, simple syrup and soda in it. It was so tasty, I couldn't even tell there was alcohol in it. 

For the appetizers we got the cod fritters and the jerk wings. I thought the cod fritters were OK, but the jerk wings are an absolute must-get. Nice amount of spicy to encourage more drinking. 

The best part of the meal was the entree - the aforementioned lobster in coco bread. They did NOT skim on the lobster. It was so full inside the coco bread with a nice side of home fries. I loved it. This was the dish that lured me into coming to this restaurant and I am happy to say it was very worth it. 

I would recommend this for a nice hang out spot with friends or taking your side ting there in hopes of your main never seeing you.

Fave dish: Lobster on coco bread

Location: 198 Ossington Ave.

Website: http://roywoods.ca/

 

- Mirna

Tinuno

I saw a post on Instagram of this place about three days ago and I made it a mission to go as soon as I could. That is the only explanation as to how I was lead to a little restaurant I didn't even know existed so close to where I live. 

Tinuno is a Filipino gem tucked away on a side-street within walking distance of Sherbourne subway station. Don't expect much attention or service as they are really busy and I mean, there's only ONE item on the menu - how much more attention could you possibly need?

It would be smart to call ahead and get a reservation for a table whenever you plan on going. It would also be smart to NOT call during their lunch hour as I did about four times. No one will pick up. I suggest calling around 4pm when that rush has died down and after one ring someone picks up and enthusiastically takes your reservation.

When you sit down, you will be brought two bottles of water alongside some plastic gloves and paper towel. There is no plates and there is no cutlery for this meal. (My kind of eating!) The size of the meal that will be brought out is dependent on how many people there is in your party. The beauty of having one item on the menu is that there is a fixed price for it ($15/per person) and they are VERY good at making that one item. As you will see pictured below, that was the portion for just two of us.

Meat. Lots of seafood. And most importantly, rice that has been sitting under the meat and seafood absorbing all the deliciousness. Incredible! I really suggest going here as a cheap date that doesn't LOOK cheap, just be prepared to eat a little messy. 

Fave dish: Assorted Seafood/Meat Plate

Location: 31 Howard St. 

Website: http://tinunothirtyone.com/

 The 'one item' on the menu

The 'one item' on the menu

- Mirna

Doomie's

My friend Shurly thought it would be a good idea to bring my SUPER carnivore self to a vegan restaurant, so I obliged. That is all you need to know about how I ended up in a vegan restaurant. 

Doomie's was a cool hipster spot with exceptionally polite and quick staff. I had Shurly explain the menu to me, but prior to coming I knew I wanted to try their 'Mac Daddy' which is supposed to be a vegan alternative that tastes like a Big Mac. As someone who loves Big Mac's - I knew this was a tall order to replicate. The french fries were really good and the Mac Daddy was a HUGE and messy burger. It didn't taste bad, but it still didn't taste like a Big Mac to me. I feel like I would have enjoyed the burger without the expectation of it tasting like something else much more. Shurly had the Philly Cheese steak mac and cheese and it looked really good, I wish I had tried some. To finish it off we had some warm and delicious pumpkin donuts that I would recommend everyone to try. Eventually I will return to Doomie's and order other things on the menu (especially have more french fries) but, maybe not the fraudster Big Mac. 

Fave dish: Pumpkin Donuts 

Location: 1263 Queen St. West

Website: https://www.facebook.com/DoomiesToronto/

- Mirna

Platito Filipino Soul Food

I solely blame Facebook for finding this place. Those purple coloured waffles drew me in the second I laid my eyes on them. 

Platito is a simple place with an awesome menu. I went there yesterday for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate. They have a long list of appetizer choices and mains along with their desserts. I may have come for the purple waffles but it was their spring rolls that will have me returning. By FAR the best spring rolls I have ever been fortunate enough to taste. The prices were also reasonable and the service was prompt and friendly. If you like variety and a party in your mouth, this is the spot for you.

Fave dish:  Lumpia Shanghai (Sweet and Crispy Spring Rolls Stuffed with Pork)

Location: 35 Baldwin St.

Website: http://platitotoronto.com/

- Mirna

Buster's Sea Cove

In my search of delicious places, I stumbled on Buster's Sea Cove during one of the many food truck festivals Toronto has. As an avid seafood eater, this was cheap and yummy - which is like 99% of the battle. So they win, every damn time. 

Buster's opened a location close to Yonge and Bloor and it was of the utmost importance that I would try it and see if it was as good as their food truck spread. It was even better. I have been to this location now more times than I am willing to admit publicly. It is that good. The staff are incredibly nice, the food is fresh and it is delicious. I suggest my fellow seafood lovers go check it out. 

Fave dish: Lobster Roll + Fries (pictured below)

Location: 876 Yonge St.

Website: http://busters-seacove.com/ 

 

- Mirna