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Trip List by beprepared

Toronto - for discerning adults

Jun 5, 2006  A true Torontonian that lives right downtown
4.0 of 5 stars based on 6 votes

The first-class city that begs to be explored

  • Category: Perfect day
  • Traveler type: Culture, Shopping
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Budget travelers
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. The Patrician Grill

    Go early as the place fills up with people who work in the area. It's been around for over 30 years and is a family run diner that aims to please. All the usual breakfast fare (bacon & eggs, great cheese omelettes, pancakes and waffles etc.) but it's consistently cooked to perfection. Easy on the wallet - you can get a full breakfast for 2 for less than $15 CDN.

  • 2. Caban

    A great store on funky Queen Street West Caban stocks cool home furnishings and accessories as well as trendy clothing for him and her. If you like contemporary decor this is the place to shop without breaking the bank. Specialty food items like the perfect biscuits for cheese and "tipsy" olives to take back to your hotel room to savour with that great bottle of wine that you have picked up at the LCBO (liquor store).

  • 3. Kensington Market

    Previously known as the "Jewish Market", Kensington is now a vibrant multi-cultural eclectic mix of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Grab a coffee at one of the coffee houses and sit outside and take in the local colour. Have a look at Tom's Place for great bargains on designer fashions. Pick up a pair of Chinese Slippers that are all the rage for 3 bucks! Head over to Global Cheese and sample some phenomenal cheese - you don't have to buy any but you'll definitely be tempted to! There's a great selection of vintage clothing at "Courage My Love" that you just have to check out.

  • 4. Pho Hung

    It's a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown that is always packed, but the service is swift - just don't go at 12:00 noon on a weekday! You've got to try the Spring Rolls which are deep fried but remarkably not greasy. The favourite is the Pho which is a giant bowl of soup filled with thinly sliced tender beef, bean sprouts and noodles. Curried chicken or shrimp on rice are both fantastic choices. Adventurous diners might want to try the rare beef salad which is loaded with red pepper flakes and served with crispy shrimp chips. Lunch for two with green tea is around $20 - $25 CDN. It's also licensed to serve liquor, so you might want to try a cold Chinese beer!

  • 5. Tap Phong Trading Company

    After your delicious lunch, head up the street a block or so to Tap Phong Trading Company. They stock restaurant supplies but also sell to the general public. Some great finds are authentic bamboo steamers, Japanese ceramic dishes, glassware and all sorts of baskets at ridiculously low prices. Pick up chinese soup spoons to use for single serving hors d'oeuvres (the hot new trend in entertaining) for about a dollar and get some woven table mats to complete the look for a couple of bucks a piece.

  • 6. The Distillery District

    The Distillery District is a national Historic Site and is definitely not to be missed. Formerly known as The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, there is something it boasts art galleries, restaurants & bars, interesting shops (if you have a dog don't miss Mona's dog boutique) and an award-winning micro brewery. If the weather permits, stop for a drink on the patio at "Pure Spirits" restuarant. The "Boiler Room" has free Jazz concerts Thursdays through Saturday nights and also has a Jazz Brunch on Sundays. There are walking tours for $15 but you can really have a great time just wandering around. Don't miss the Sandra Ainsley Gallery - its' full of fabulous contemporary pieces by Canadian, American and internationally
    recognized artists. Admission is free.

  • 7. Greektown on the Danforth

    The stretch of Danforth Avenue from Chester to Pape Avenues is unofficially known as "Greektown". There are so many great restaurants serving Greek specialties like moussaka (similar to lasagna but with eggplant and potatoes), roast lamb, grilled quail and of course, greek salad. One of my favourites is "Omonia" which has a patio and is great for people-watching in the summer.They have a great selection of dips served with pita for starters and not to be missed is one of the most popular appetizers, "Saganaki Opa" . It's simply kefalotiri cheese doused with ouzo and then lit on fire at your table, which is always a great show. It's served with toasted garlic bread and is deliciously creamy and decadent. Dinner for two at most of the restuarants can be had for about $70 with a half litrre of house wine.