There are only a few moments more frustrating (stubbing your toe knowing a stranger saw) than when you have sat down at a restaurant, had a sip of water and then realized the restaurant you chose is a huge mistake. It’s not even the restaurant that is bad sometimes, you just know it won’t fulfil the hopes and dreams you had for that meal. Once you say yes to that tap water thought, you’re pretty much stuck.
That moment feels the worst while traveling. On a short weekend trip you’ve got, maybe, two opportunities to enjoy every type of meal. If you mess one up… well, you can do the math. It’s Blasphemy!
That being said, we had a hard time finding suitable restaurants near our hotel in Downtown Toronto. Here are a few we really liked:
This pretty pub is located on a quiet street downtown. It’s good for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner: best all around. It has a small but lively outdoor area on the second floor. The menu is small, the food we had was fantastic (especially the burger, fries and toast) and served gorgeous plates. They offer a wide variety of beers and large flat screen TVs showing sport. A boys and girls dream pub!
This diner has been around for over 70 years, but now has four locations in Toronto. Fran’s offers a typical diner menu: a lot of everything. Our plates tasted a lot more healthy and a lot less greasy than usual diner food. If you’re into diners, definitely give it a go! I, for one, love those crispy potatoes and drip coffee!
What looks like a supermarket from the outside is actually a restaurant with a visual menu. Once you are given a swipe card from the hostess, you are free to explore all of the restaurant’s offerings: salads, smoothies, fresh juices, crepes, Italian cuisine, greek cuisine, cold meats section, dessert bar, etc. You simply choose what you want and the person behind the counter will prepare it straight away. It’s a healthy (ignore that nutella crepe) and delicious option for a quick, no fuss, just-get-fresh-food-in-your-belly lunch.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters have locations all over the city but I think you should visit the one across from St. Lawrence Market. The interior is wonderful, the staff is friendly and it has that “old town” feel about it. Plus, look how on point Balzac’s coffee cup art is!
Dineen Coffee Co.This downtown coffee shop was constantly busy. The coffee is great, as are the treats offered. It’s a really nice place to have a coffee and a baked good (also known as “fika” in Sweden) to sit down and regroup after a long day of being a tourist.
NON DOWNTOWN PLACES WE LOVED AND HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN ABOUT:
The full day of restaurants we would have tried had we not missed our flight to Toronto.