Toronto: Following with a Faves List

I’ve already rambled about my quick weekend in Toronto in my previous post, Toronto + Niagara Falls, but I felt like I missed something in my attempt to keep the entry short and sweet. Given that I have now visited Toronto twice this year (which prompted some of my friends to think that had moved there), I now give myself an excuse to make a second entry for the purpose of listing my Toronto faves.

Dineen Coffee

  • What: This is a nice coffee shop in downtown. There is ample room for seating, beautiful interiors, and great tasting coffee — my fave brew in Toronto. The coffee shop is easily accessible and draws a crowd of locals and visitors.
  • Location: Downtown TO
  • Website:

Boxcar Social

  • What: I am trying to make sure I don’t confine this into a single category. Boxcar Social serves a variety of food and drinks, so it feels like a neighborhood spot for just about anything. Want beer? Wine? Coffee? Yup, they have those and more. They’re open morning ’til late, and they have nice outdoor patios — what more can you ask for? (Bookish Plug: The vibe is reminiscent of the cafe where Ernest Hemingway’s short story, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, takes place.)
  • Locations: Multiple, including Downtown TO, Harbourfront, & Summerhill
  • Website:

Trattoria Nervosa

  • What: Italian restaurant that serves excellent pasta and dessert. We had the truffle pasta twice and are still not tired of it yet. It seems the dessert menu changes from time to time, so it’s not the same experience each time — provided dessert is ordered. I didn’t notice changes to the main menu, but that’s mostly because I was adamant about ordering the truffle pasta and polipo dishes again.
  • Location: Yorkville
  • Website:

Graffiti Alley

  • What: A strip that features graffiti/street art. That’s it, really. I enjoy looking at street art (when it isn’t straight up vandalism, but it seems there’s a fine line between street art and vandalism), so this was a point of interest for me. The surrounding neighborhood is pretty cool, too, (OK, it’s my fave) so there are definitely more spots to check out in the area to make the trek there worthwhile.
  • Location: West Queen West

Finally, I’d like to cap my list with two bookish references to TO:

  1. Margaret Atwood is based in Toronto!!! Obviously, I didn’t run into her while I was there. If I had, there would be a picture. In any case, it was an interesting fun fact to know as I walked the streets of Toronto. Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale (now also a show on Hulu), Oryx and Crake, and more recently, Hag-Seed. I haven’t read Hag-Seed though it looks interesting.
  2. In The Revenge of Analog, David Sax mentioned the rise of vinyl record stores in Toronto. That was no lie. I saw many vinyl record stores around the city; it was such a blast from the past, I loved it. I also felt that there were more vinyl record stores than there were indie bookstores, but that could just be me.


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