WHERE TO EAT:
The hardest part was deciding where to go. My to-eat list was a mile long, and there are only so many times you can eat and drink in a day!
Banh Mi Boys: Bao buns! Thanks to Joe from grad school recommending this gem.
Hibiscus Cafe: This tiny vegetarian restaurant in Kensington Market offers up healthy fare that is delicious and filling, even for the carnivore.
Union Restaurant: Farm to table food with a really cute back patio, and a great first meal in Toronto!
Roselle Dessert: Known for their picture perfect earl grey soft serve, Roselle is a tiny pastry shop near the distillery district. Small world: one of the employees found out we were from D.C. and turns out she went to school with one of the Buttercream Bakeshop owners.
Grk Ygrt: Located in Kensington Market, enjoy regular or frozen Greek yogurt with a plethora of topping options.
FIKA Cafe: Also in Kensington Market, this Swedish coffee house serves breakfast, lunch and pastries. They have a fantastic back patio complete with hammocks.
SIGHTS TO SEE:
Street art: It’s everywhere, but we took a stroll through Graffiti Alley to get a big dose of creativity.
Bata Shoe Museum: Really random spot, but it was free the weekend we were in town.
Distillery District: Have a coffee at Balzacs and wander around the galleries and shops. Maybe add a lock on the LOVE sign. This area is kind of off the beaten path, so don’t bother if you’re short on time.
High Park: If the weather is decent, explore the park. We encountered a raccoon prancing around during the day and high tailed it out of the woods real quick.
Trinity Bellwoods Park: Cute neighborhood and great park to soak up some sun.
Casa Loma: Mark this under things you don’t need to do. After climbing what felt like a mountain, we saw a line that snaked out the door and a $20 fee to get in. No thanks! Back down the mountain we went.
Kensington Market: Definitely a granola, tree-hugger, hippie spot. Vegetarian restaurants, shops, and an eclectic crowd.
As usual, we hoofed it almost everywhere by foot. We did take an Uber to dinner one time, but realized it was just as easy to walk around. After our epic trek to Casa Loma, we took a train. Well worth it!
Don’t forget that Toronto is in another country..You need a passport, and your phone will either need to be in airplane mode or updated with an international plan.
Check the exchange rate. You’ll likely save a pretty penny!
International flights out of Canada, in our experience, has always been signficantly cheaper than leaving from a U.S. hub. Consider flying into Toronto and enjoying the city before heading overseas. We saved over $1000 by flying through Canada en route to Portugal this summer!
Check the local events calendars to see what’s happening when you are in town.