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Where to eat at the Toronto Fling

A walk along Front Street makes dining spots easy to find.

Toronto has no shortage of good restaurants. If you like to eat, no matter what you like to eat, you’ll find it here. Every ethnicity, meaty or meatless, raw or cooked to perfection. You name it.

You can use an app like Urban Spoon or Yelp or the search features on the Toronto Life magazine or Now Magazine websites. Part of the search will be choosing a “neighbourhood” – FYI, you’re in the Financial District at the Royal York. Other easy-to-get-to nabes downtown will include:

The Distillery Historic District – an interesting walk or short cab ride east of the hotel King West – we’ll walk or ride the streetcar past this, a little north and west of the hotel Harbourfront – along the lake at the foot of Bay and York Streets; includes waterfront patios

Just a tad further north, never far from a subway stop, are:

Greektown – almost in my neighbourhood, along Danforth Ave. between Broadview and Pape Yorkville – the “see and be seen” village just north of Bloor between Avenue Road and Bay Streets

But if you want to make dinnertime easy, simply walk east along Front Street, turning left at the Royal York’s front door. You’ll find three large, well reviewed restaurants five minutes away in the block at Yonge and Front, all with large patios – or head further east for more options.

Breakfast is another thing that Toronto does well.

Here are some of your choices (besides room service, which for me is always a temptation – nothing beats breakfast in bed!). The Hotel’s own breakfast place is York’s Café, which opens at 6:30 am:

On the west side of the hotel:

The Royal York’s awnings in the background. Timmie’s is close!

Tim Hortons, an American-owned Canadian tradition, Timmie’s is cheap and cheerful and about a minute’s walk north of the hotel’s west exit. Get breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, bagels and donuts for just a few dollars “to go.” A Canadian coffee with two creams and two sugars is a “double-double.” This is coffee for people who don’t like Starbucks. I find their tea “bag in” vs “steeped” (that’s hot tea, to our American friends) to be quite drinkable. Tim’s opens at 7 am.

York Street Café, just across York Street at the Strathcona Hotel, has both a breakfast buffet and à la carte menu. Opens 6:30 am weekdays; 7 am on weekends.

East of the hotel:

Marché in Brookfield Place

Marché, in the Brookfield Place atrium – which is a cool piece of urban architecture – accessible via the entrance just this side of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Self serve; lots of options. Opens at 7:30 am.

Over Easy at the Hotel Victoria on Yonge Street, a few doors up from Front Street. Opens at 7 am

Big brekkies are a block away at Fran’s

Fran’s, a modern outlet of a classic, big breakfast Toronto diner (check out one of the originals on College St. west of Yonge sometime), is just a block east of Yonge on Front Street. Opens at 6:30 am.

Remember our early-morning walk to St. Lawrence Market for breakfast on Saturday. Meet me in the lobby, ready to leave at 6:45 am – it’s a 15-minute walk. Bring cash to make your life easy. Let me know if you’re coming! Here are just some of the options there – pictures = 1,000 words.

All raw, all vegan!


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