With welcoming restaurants, cozy, independent cafés and specialty boutiques, this short strip offers a bit of small-town charm in the big city.
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CAFFEINE FIX Award-winning barista Sam James has long been a driving force behind Toronto’s indie java movement. His eponymous Sam James Coffee Bar is known for its personal service and superior beans. Order a classic espresso, find a new favourite like a soy or chai latte, or select the science lab–style siphon coffee for a true artisanal experience.
CREATIVE CERAMICS Clay Design has offered its high-quality, Canadian-crafted wares at the corner of Harbord Street and Brunswick Avenue since 1980. From mugs to vases and everything in between, pottery lovers are certain to find that perfect piece for the kitchen or dining room. Resident artists are pleased to offer knowledge on different styles, shapes and functions.
TREAT YOURSELF Chef Donald Duong has catered to the Queen of England, Pope John-Paul II and Barack Obama; his talents are evident in the delectable creations at DT Bistro. Take your pick of numerous sweet treats including cakes, tarts, strudels and parfaits, or savour brunch, lunch and dinner in the bistro’s casual-chic environs.
CASUAL GOURMET Childhood friends Jean-Charles Dupoire and Sylvain Brissonnet pair well as the respective chef and sommelier at Loire. Named for the region once called the “garden of France,” this restaurant nods to French culinary tradition, but its dishes are thoroughly modern and utilize many Ontario-sourced ingredients.
CROWDED HOUSE The diminutive Harbord Room pays homage to Canadian-style cuisine in bar bites and contemporary staples made with seasonal, organic products. The formula must be working: the dining room is often packed with enthusiastic foodies enjoying chef Cory Vitiello’s favoured fare. As the weather warms up, request a table on the secluded back patio.
PREMIUM VENUE One of Toronto’s top fine dining destinations, Splendido specializes in locally flavoured delicacies that are sure to excite the senses—chef Victor Barry’s offerings include a foie gras parfait, liguine with mussels and clams, and suckling pig boudin noir. It’s a great special-occasion spot, and groups can reserve the private “Cellar” to dine amongst the restaurant’s collection of wines.