After filling up at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen for dinner, Sally and I headed to The Red Bench on Yonge Street for dessert. We pulled into a side street off Yonge to find parking and walked to the storefront with a red bench. They are known for their organic frozen yogurt, homemade cookies and ice cream sandwiches. The bright and narrow space has seating at the front, along the right wall, and at the back. Chalkboard menus hang above the prep and coffee station. The frozen yogurt machines and toppings are in a nook at the back. The staff move as quickly as they can to accommodate the orders of their customers.
Sally and I ventured east to Leslieville for brunch. We wanted to avoid the insane line-ups during this time of day and found Skin + Bones. With good reviews and no visible line outside the restaurant, we found street parking and got a table. The restaurant was brightly lit by the sunshine that was beaming through the windows. The white walls were a blank canvas for beautiful arrangements of industrial and wooden fixtures. The overall atmosphere was casual with a classy touch.
You’ll find Lamesa Filipino Kitchen at Queen and Bathurst, sitting beside the black facade of Kenzo Ramen. The storefront and the restaurant itself is quite small. Inside, you’ll find a few tables at the front and more near the back past the bar. The space is modern, fun and clean. They have $5 snacks and daily specials written on a chalkboard. The menu was quite simple, which was great for Sally and I because this was our first experience with Filipino food… plus the waitress was nice enough to explain and recommend some dishes. The atmosphere is chill and intimate with attentive staff.
I’ve never had a weirder dining experience than Hanmoto, and it’s a good-weird! The weirdness starts even before you step foot in the restaurant. How? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s hard to find but it wasn’t exactly easy – good luck trying to find a sign because you won’t find one. Just look for a building façade with 3 red lights and wood paneling. This Japanese izakaya is the sister restaurant to Oddseoul on Ossington.
I first found out about this restaurant when I was browsing my Instagram feed. What caught my eye were a few things: Korean fusion tapas, pretty-looking cocktails (even though I’m not a drinker), their beautiful light bulb sign, and their decor. What I didn’t realize was their location… not downtown Toronto. I started my mini road trip in Hamilton and made my way to downtown Toronto then to North York. The restaurant is relatively easy to find, only being 2-3 blocks north of the 401. They don’t have a sign outside in English phonetics, just a sing with Korean characters in orange. You’ll see their giant light bulb sign once you peer through the window or walk in the restaurant.
At the corner of Dundas and Palmerston, Old School is the neighbourhood’s newest BBQ eatery. They are also open 24/7, you just have to go around back to their General Store for take-out. Using local ingredients, the team at Old School cooks everything from scratch. Having culinary experiences from Recess and School Toronto in Liberty Village, Brad Moore’s food will blow your taste buds away. The restaurant’s vibe transports you to the mid-twentieth century era with feel-good music and optimistic mentality. Neon signs and old sayings plaster the walls while funky decor and black/white diner furnishings trickle throughout the restaurant – it’s also a space with refined taste.
Our night started off with a press preview of Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up to My Room 2015 exhibition. Local artists and students showcased their projects throughout the corridors of the artsy and funky hotel. After walking through and admiring the works of the local talent, we made our way to It’s ALL Grk to fill our hungry stomachs.
Sitting on the corner of Fraser and Liberty, the restaurant is easy to find with tons of parking nearby. The area has a lot of reclaimed industrial buildings with some big name companies, design firms and local restaurants. The neighbourhood also has a collection of stunning houses and apartments. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find black and white décor with chalkboard illustrations. Obviously there will also be books, pencils and apples throughout the restaurant. The kitchen is a semi-open concept, so you’ll be able to see the cooks put finishing touches on the plates. The seating arrangement is comfortable with 2 main dining areas.
My cousin and I started a monthly routine of getting brunch or dinner in Toronto. He recently moved to downtown Toronto and wanted to explore all the restaurants the city offered. As a foodie I naturally agreed to this monthly idea. We were planning on going to School Toronto for our first brunch outing but they stopped taking names because the kitchen was closing soon, plus the wait was about AN HOUR. This happened around 2pm! I had no idea Torontonians took their brunch and lunch game so seriously.
We headed to Mildred’s Kitchen Temple, hoping that they were still open. We were in luck! They were still taking down names and phone numbers but the wait was still… AN HOUR. We decided to tough it out and headed over to Kitchen Stuff Plus to pass the time.
This gorgeous restaurant is located in the TIFF Bell Lightbox building at the corner of King and John. It is a sit down restaurant as well as a canteen (grab and go). The atmosphere ranges from calm to busy depending on which dining option you choose. Our dinner experiences were pleasant and filling.