Nestled between Chinatown and downtown this tree-lined, modestly bohemian block is the perfect starting point for an affordable gastronomic journey, with charming eateries and hidden culinary gems that serve fare from around the world. —Jessica Napier
Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.
SEAFOOD SPECIALS The spacious dining room fills up quickly at Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant (47 Baldwin St., 416-599-
8822), where crowds enjoy traditional Chinese dishes like Szechuan chicken and spicy pork chops. Discerning diners rejoice over affordable pricing on mouth-watering seafood items, including the buy-one-get-one-free lobster special ($28.95, $22.95 on Tuesdays).
EXOTIC EATS Sink into sumptuous ultra-suede seats and order up authentic Malaysian cooking at chic oasis Matahari Grill. Nibble on searing satays and house-made keropok shrimp crackers while contemplating the inspirational quotes inscribed along the walls. Try the spicy special Matahari curry chicken to awaken your palate.
DATE NIGHT The elegant dining room with a roaring fireplace at Bodega is the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous. Chef and proprietor Paul Biggs prepares such classic French bistro fare as steak frites and braised rabbit leg.
FARE FROM AFAR At Konichiwa (31 Baldwin St., 416-593-
8538), chef Kohei Matsuyama prepares sushi, teriyaki, tempura and bento boxes in the traditional Japanese manner. Patrons slurp up critically acclaimed shoyu and miso soups with udon, ramen and soba noodles, while a cold glass of Asahi beer is the perfect accompaniment.
VEGGIE DELIGHTS Creative cuisine of the vegan persuasion is plentiful at Vegetarian Haven, a cozy café owned by a couple who adhere to Buddhist philosophies. Sandwiches, salads and Asian-inspired dishes from the sizeable menu are prepared with vegetarian “meat” (think tofu pastrami) and a bounty of fresh veggies. Healthy herbivores can also indulge in vegan sweets like vanilla cheesecake and chocolate cookie crunch tofu ice cream. Don’t be intimidated by the abundance of veggie terminology on the menu; friendly servers happily clarify the difference between tempeh and seitan.
TEX-MEX MUNCHIES Stimulate your senses at Margarita’s Fiesta Room, where bold decor and fiery fare ensure a lively dining experience. Chili-pepper lights, sombreros and colourful knick-knacks adorn bright neon walls at this popular Mexican joint, which offers south-of-the-border favourites like cheesy chimichangas and sizzling fajitas. Generous margaritas rimmed with salt entice crowds to skip their siesta for a languid afternoon or evening.