City Guide: Toronto

As many of you might have noticed, I took a huge break from blogging at Where the Sweet Things since last November. I spent the time focusing more on myself and after being away from here for a few months, I’m pleased to say that I’m finally back! I’m taking a break from Montreal and traveling in Toronto at the moment. I’ve been eating non-stop (quiet literally) since I got here and I’ve come up with a list of cafes/restaurants as a mini city guide to Toronto. Enjoy!

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Tampered Press
256 Crawford Street, Unit B, Toronto, ONM6J 2V8
Neighborhood: Little Italy, Trinity Bellwoods

With plenty of sunlight, free wifi and lots of power outlets, it’s so easy to spend a whole afternoon working at this cafe. I had a slice of spice apple loaf with a cup of dirty chai, which is a twist of chai latte made with a shot of espresso. The space is quiet and homey and the wooden communal table is a plus!

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Te Aro
983 Queen Street E
Toronto, ONM4M 1K2
Neighborhood: Leslieville

I met up with Emily for a cafe crawl earlier this week and our first stop was at Te Aro. The baristas here do not disappoint and my flat white was consistently smooth and silky . The cafe is quite huge and has plenty of seats.

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Dineen Coffee Co.
140 Yonge St
Toronto, ONM5C 2L7
Neighborhood: Downtown Core

Before my trip to Toronto, I’ve already seen so many pictures of Dineen on Instagram. I went there for breakfast on a Monday and it was quite packed already with the office crowd since it’s located at the Financial District. It’s definitely a bit pricey compared to other cafes, I paid a bit less than 9 bucks for a cup of latte and berries with greek yogurt and granola. With the high ceiling, hand-painted tile floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, the cafe oozes a Parisian vibe. The servers are friendly and you’ll find them striking up conversations with you even if it’s your first time there. It’s perfect spot for coffee breaks with friends and dates!

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Capital Espresso

1349 Queen St W
Toronto, ON M6K 2S1
Neighborhood: Parkdale

Great spot for a pick me up in the morning. If you’re planning to spend a few hours to work, it’s usually packed during the day so come early to grab a spot!

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Fancy Franks
326 College Street
Toronto, ONM5T 1S3
Neighborhood: Kensington Market

Hands down some of the fanciest hot dogs I’ve ever had. Fancy Franks offers 20 types of hot dogs, mini donuts and milkshakes on their menu. We ordered Fancy 90210 (avocado, bacon, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil) and Franke goes to Buffalo (chicken bacon, carrots, celery, blue cheese dressing, buffalo wing sauce). The sausage in the Buffalo was deep fried and crunchy. If you’re a fan of buffalo wings, this is the hot dog for you. I personally prefer the 90210 more. Nothing beats a juicy hot dog topped with avocado and bacon!

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Grand Electric
1330 Queen Street W
Toronto, ONM6K 1L4
Neighborhood: Parkdale

Best guacamole and chips in my life. The whole plate cost 9 bucks and the freshly pressed graprefruit juice ($2.5) was heavenly. I went back for a second time for their tacos and ordered the pork belly, crispy cauliflower and spicy chicken. Each taco costs $3.6 and as the portion is small (it’s more like finger food), I thought it was a bit pricey compared to the huge tacos for $5 each at Seven Lives. It was a good meal nonetheless. The service was good and the vibe was lively with good music playing in the background.

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Ja Bistro

222 Richmond Street W
Toronto, ONM5V 1W4
Neighborhood: Entertainment District, Downtown Core

I went to Ja Bistro for the first time for their omakatse (chef menu) last December and I’ve been going back there since. Upon my third visit, we ordered a sashimi platter with lobster ($130) and aburicious blow torch ($20) to share. Sadly, the sashimi platter didn’t swoon me this time (the sashimi assortment I had for omakatse was much better somehow) but I highly recommend their blowtorch! The sushi was full of flavor and was glittering with all those fish oil. We also ordered the yuzu mousse with white chocolate cookie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. The mousse was smooth and burst in flavor, I highly recommend it to any yuzu fan. The vanilla ice cream gave a good balance with the yuzu mousse since the sourness could get a bit intense. Service was excellent as the waitress explained each dish in details and she was very attentive.

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Seven Lives Tacos
69 Kensington Avenue
Toronto, ONM5T 2L6
Neighborhood: Kensington Market

We went to Seven Lives for a quick bite before dinner and their $5 taco is definitely not to be missed if you’re in town. The portion is very generous given the price. We got the Baja Fish and Gobernador Tacos and both were scrumptious. I’ll definitely go back again to try the other tacos and ceviche.  The only downside of Seven Lives is that they don’t have a lot of seats and it’s cash only. It’s more like a spot for grabbing tacos on the go. The tacos are extremely juicy so be prepared and snatch a few extra napkins!


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