A recent work trip to Toronto (my latest city fave within the picturesque country of Canada) spurred on today’s post for my new restaurant recommendations abroad on eatoutmoore.com.
Travelling across to the province of Ontario got me thinking about the array of restaurants I could not wait to dive into; a girl’s gotta eat especially when it’s such a long journey for business 😉
From Eggs Benedict for brekky, hearty cheeseburgers for lunch, Thai cuisine (notorious for being done well in Canada!) and the famous ‘New York’ steak for dinner, this post should have something for everyone.
Of course, I immediately tried out some true Canadian Maple Syrup of which Canada produces 71% of the world’s PURE maple syrup; Ontario being a main region of which this is produced. I also tried out their ice white wine specialty; notorious for sampling at the famous Niagra Falls. Ice-wine is a rare dessert wine produced from the juice of naturally frozen grapes that have been picked in the middle of a cold Canadian winter; delicious for those with a sweet tooth.
With Toronto being a multi-cultural city I was very open to trying out various international cuisine such as Thai food being my ultimate recipe inspiration.
1. Pai Northern Thai Kitchen
Counting down my top 5 ‘Tastes of Toronto’, let’s start with my best Thai experience to date, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen.
With Toronto being made up of several districts to visit, Pai Thai is situated in one of my favourite downtown areas of the city – the Entertainment District. This entire area consists of the city’s best bars and restaurants, along with major theatre productions and great hotels for ideal tourist attractions.
Heading down the steps into the Pai Thai restaurant on Duncan Street, I instantly felt a warm welcome from the authenticity of the place which exuded positive vibes.
From tasting true, local Thai food in the streets of Thailand a couple of years ago, I’ve been gunning for an experience just as good as where I first tasted the origins of Thai cuisine. Not to give too much away too early in this post, but this restaurant sure delivered!
From the friendly service, to spicy and flavoursome dishes, to Asian styled decor, it felt as if we were in our own Thai bubble. We were given the option to sit in the ‘snug’ area where we had to take our shoes off and sit on cushions at the table – soaking up the atmosphere in style.
Now for my favourite part – the reveal of the anticipating wait on what unique dishes are offered on the menu…
A well priced menu as you can see from the mouth-watering meal options above, my colleague and I just had to start with the Spring Rolls.
The spring rolls consisted of deep fried vegetarian rice paper wraps, mushrooms, glass noodles, carrots and sprouts; all served with sweet and spicy Thai chilli sauce.
All washed down with an Asian Lager – AKA Tiger Beer.
Next on the appetisers we ordered was Kung Tawt; deep fried breaded black tiger garlic shrimp which came with sweet and spicy Thai chilli sauce.
Very tasty and surprisingly filling – perhaps the side of Thai Prawn Crackers was a little too much… As always, my eyes are bigger than my belly, but I shall NEVER leave a meal with food still on my plate.
The menu at Pai Thai offers an array of authentic dishes from the massaman curry, to the traditional Pad Thai noodles. I wanted to try something a little different and couldn’t resist the Khao Soi dish as recommended from the friendly waiter.
*Oh, that’s another important point to note, all service in Canada is phenomenal and a 20% tip is usually the minimum expectation subject to delivery; trust me, when you first experience this high level of service you won’t be weird about giving a larger tip than usual…
Back to the Khao Soi! This dish was made up of fresh egg noodles, golden curry, crispy noodles, coriander, green onions and shrimp. Absolutely delicious! It also came with the choice of replacing the shrimp with either braised beef, chicken breast or chicken drumsticks.
We were left two very happy ladies and could not recommend this place more! Turns out that even Tripadvisor agrees with me with an outstanding 1.5k reviews of which a majority of customers have voted EXCELLENT 🙂
Mon-Thurs: 11:30AM to 10PM | Fri-Sat: 11:30AM to 10:30PM | Sun: 3PM to 10PM
As Pai Thai was my favourite dining out experience in Toronto, I’ll briefly touch on my next four recommendations which I feel you cannot miss when visiting this city.
2. KOS Cafe, Kensington Market
One of the coolest places to hang out in Toronto where all the locals seem to love the most. A very quirky, casual vibe and perfect location for grabbing breakfast and having a snoop around the markets.
All served with home fries and fresh salad; the Classic Bennie ($12.95 Canadian Dollars) photographed above consists of Pan fried Peameal Bacon, poached eggs, Toasted English muffin & Hollandaise Sauce.
A heads up KOS Cafe is purely recommended for food and location. The cafe isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing restaurant to go to; nevertheless, it has maintained its great reputation based on its location within the Market and quality of food and service, perfect for a brunch stop.
Kensington Market vibes;
3. Amsterdam, The Waterfront
Next on the list – you MUST visit the harbour front and treat yourself to a hearty cheese burger for lunch.
The Menu & Specials
The Specials Menu offered delicious croquettes with bratwurst in light of celebrating German food for Oktoberfest.
The Smoke House Burger
The picture below speaks for itself! Classic cheese burger, smoked cheddar, bacon, fresh cut fries and one HUGE onion ring to top it off.
4. Nota Bene, Queen Street West
A slightly pricier more formal dinner choice – we were treated to this delicious menu for our final night.
As I was feeling exotic I went for the ‘Quebec Foie Gras Torchon’; this plate included Duck prosciutto, brioche, plum compote, balsamic and truffle.
Probably not the best order being not the biggest Fois Gras fan in the world…
Now for a pasta dish which was much more up my street – the ‘Cavatelli Pugliesi’; truffle-scented mushroom Bolognese pasta with added shaved truffle. Very tasty and satisfying.
No meal is complete without a tasty side dish (…or two!) We all ordered pommes frites with shaved truffle and extra Parmigiano to keep us going.
Another delicious side dish was the shaved onion rings, coated in chili-lime dust ❤️ An ingredient I must now sprinkle on my chips at home!
5. The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Financial District
Now this place has a special feel to me as my other half strongly recommended this restaurant as his ‘local’ from living in this city for a whole year before we got together. Fascinating to think this was ten years ago and The Keg is still very much one of the most popular and liveliest venues for a hearty steak and fantastic dining out experience…
New York Steak – The Tender New York striploin, AKA The King of Steaks
New York Steak – The Tender New York striploin, AKA The King of Steaks
Again loving the side dishes, we went for the Keg Fries and Garlic Mashed Potato. This was complimented well with their best-selling (and highly recommended) bottle of red.
Sight-seeing in Toronto!
Lets end this post with a few cute cocktail bars to finish the perfect trip – from mine, to yours…
Cocktails Place in Toronto:
1. Canoe – Best rooftop bar in the city!
2. Cluny – Cute yet chic venue in the Distillery District.
3. Rebel Club – best views of Toronto!