A very special Housefly earned an A++ on her neighborhood report.  I hope you enjoy her full-length tale of eating and drinking in C1 as much as I did!

Welcome to the jungle, we've got (culinary) fun and games...

Our neighborhood excels in the quality and quantity of fun places to eat.  A key reason to live in the area is its proximity to places that offer exceptional fare.

BRUNCH

Saving Grace is a very cute, homespun kinda place with mostly (if not all) vegetarian options. Hoof Café is the latest addition to the nabe, known for its meat-centric breakfast offerings.  It is a spin-off of the hugely popular Black Hoof charcuterie place across the street and is famous for top quality food and very strong cocktails.

 

Atkins devotees rejoice at Hoof Café. Sunny side up eggs join forces with pig tail stew and cheese curd grits for the ultimate protein showdown. Photo by Sifu Renka

I also must mention Musa.  This is a very neighborhoody place, totally cosy and inexpensive with large portions and good eggs.  It’s fun in the evenings too, but not a place I would recommend for top quality food. But you can get a totally decent falafel sandwich and $5 glass of wine and watch the denizens of the hood come and go.

Of course, Aunties and Uncles is the most adorable breakfast place in town.  Tiny and cluttered, they serve serious espresso drinks and hand-crafted eggs benny.

 

One key experience for the Trinity Bellwoods dweller is the Bluegrass Brunch the The Dakota Tavern.  A family-style serving of hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes with a stellar live Bluegrass band strumming away nearby.  Shared communal tables.  The kids love it… they dance the morning away.

DINNER

The places we go on a fairly regular basis for everyday comfort food: Terroni, Fressen, Oyster Boy, Swan.

If Santa still responded to my emails, I'd be begging him for Terroni margherita pizza in my stocking. However, this is one gift that keeps on giving - according to a Toronto Life expose, each delicious pie has 1400 calories and 54 grams of fat! Pow! Photo by Shopping Diva

Our favourite treat places where we go to when we feel celebratory: Niagara Café and Foxley.  Both restaurants are consistently very good, with creative, small-ish menus and fantastic ambiance.  They have been truly exceptional the last few times I’ve been there.

Skate or Die! Tea smoked skate with asian greens at the Foxley. Photo by Sifu Renka

I must mention just a couple other places in Kensington Market as they are only about a 10 minute walk east from our house and very special places to eat.

Worth the drive to Acton, or in this case, 10 minute walk to Kensington Market. Photo by Kaj Bjurman

Top marks for authenticity and flavor go to El Trompo on Augusta.  It is ‘cheap and cheerful’ with plastic table covers and chairs and the most wonderfully authentic Mexican tacos you will find in Toronto.

Torito is also a very worthwhile evening out.  It is small and usually packed full, serving Spanish tapas-style plates with great creativity and flavor.  More expensive, but worth it.

When I have a bigger group I love to eat at Supermarket.  It is one of the best values in the city for the quality and diversity of the menu.  It is often not that busy and I have never been disappointed in the food.

I would be remiss to not mention two legendary places that are in our very regular rotation of dinner take-away spots.  These places are on Bloor, near Christie Pitts Park so not exactly in our nabe but one of them offers us free delivery!  This place is the delightful Banjara Indian Restaurant.  The food is so memorable, I consider my culinary knowledge of Toronto in a pre- and post- Banjara experience.  The food sings.  And you get a little free rice pudding with every order!

Who ya gonna call? BANJARA!

Also a comfort food treat is the El Salvadorean place on Bloor at Clinton: Tacos El Asador.  This place offers simple and stunningly tasty papusas and burritos.  Very authentic.

A special mention must go to one of my favourite places a little further north to College – Negroni on College at Euclid.  Only a 10 minute walk gets you one of the best grilled panini in town.

COFFEE

Another highlight of our nabe is the quality of coffee available on almost every corner.  One of the best things to do on a Saturday afternoon is to wander the streets, people watching and window shopping with a coffee, then head to Trinity Bellwoods Park and watch the world go by.  I would recommend these five places, all equal in quality, yet quite different in their ambiance:

Clafouti:  Hands down the best bakery in the hood.  Stunning croissants and pain au chocolat. Don’t get me started on the clafoutis.  Yum. Coffee is very good also, but go here first for the croissants.  Often lined up early Saturdays and Sundays, and you must show up before noon to not be disappointed.

Prozac on a plate. There aren't too many problems that can't be solved by a café au lait and almond croissant at Clafouti. Photo by Tom Flemming

The White Squirrel:  Very strong coffee, these people are serious about their caffeine.  Huge map of old Toronto covers one wall.  Wi-fi.  Can often find a free copy of the Sunday New York Times.  Ice cream in the summer.

Ella’s Uncle:  Walk-in, walk-out kinda place.  Great scones and cookies baked on site.  Don’t ask for skim milk, they don’t have it.

Ezra’s Pound:  Very good coffee and lots of baked treats, including rugolas!  Good size patio and more room to hang out than Ella’s.

Niche:  Very good coffee, organic and fair trade.  Dense scones and they serve breakfast and lunch too!  A cute private patio in the back is great in summer.

BOOZE

Many fun and casual places to go for drinks such as:  Squirrely’s, The Done Right Inn, Magpie. Go for a glass of wine or cocktail at Czehoski and sit on the upper patio deck.

Duck season. Rabbit season. Patio season! Mojitos on the Czehoski patio. Photo by Catherine Chan

Black Hoof on Dundas is known for cocktails but also a busy dinner place.  The Paddock has my favorite wrap-around bar and is known as the film and TV writers’ stomping ground.

Then there is Ossington and the options are almost too many: Baby Huey, Sweaty Betty’s, Communist Daughter, The Dakota Tavern, Reposado….

SHOP

For groceries this neighborhood is a little tricky.  There isn’t a key one-stop shop, but more smaller, specialized places.  You can’t get by in the hood without Square Fruit, the corner store on Euclid and Queen. Don’t laugh!  It has top-notch fresh fruit and vegetables and many other staples on hand for that much-needed stop on the way home from work.

The Healthy Butcher is the place to go for ethically-raised meats and poultry.

Kensington Market has a plethora of organic and conventional fruit and veg places and smaller, full service organic grocers.

The best “big” grocery store is Fiesta Farms up Grace Street, north of Christie Pitts Park.  Must drive there, but it’s worth it.  Excellent selection of local and organic fresh fruit and vegetables.  Also well-priced organic meat from the best suppliers, like Fenwood Farms.

Provenance Regional Cuisine- a carefully curated home delivery service of the best quality meat, fish and fowl in the city.  Also offers organic and seasonal veg, dairy and many delicious prepared dishes (soups, stews, ice cream and desserts).  Check out the bricks and mortar local grocery store on Palmerston at Dundas.

Bye for now! See ya real soon... Photo by DJ Cam

One Response to “Trinity Bellwoods Extended Mix”


  1. […] updated my neighborhood profile of C1 with the Trinity Bellwoods Extended Mix, featuring fabulously in-depth kernels of wisdom care of a very special Housefly who has a PhD in […]

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