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The Ultimate Food Tour of Toronto, Canada

Feast Through Toronto, Canada

There is no shortage of markets and restaurants to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to enjoy each one of the delicious cuisines that Toronto has to offer so that you can make the most of your Toronto “Food Tour.”

St. Lawrence Market

It easy to see why St. Lawrence Market has a reputation as one of the best food markets in the entire world! With over 120 merchants, you’ll find everything from the freshest seasonal produce to the most eclectic dishes prepared with care. Learn about cooking while you shop and taste all of the wonderful delights that are offered here. You can take lessons at The Market Kitchen, as you learn the basics of cooking, how to prepare delicious, mouth-watering desserts, or even take one of the ‘Secrets Of’ classes, where you will learn tricks of the trade that are used by some of the top chefs in the world. Learn how to cook with wine and also discover how to fine-tune your knife skills. Don’t forget to save some time for shopping! You’ll want to check out the Carousel Bakery, where you will find the peameal bacon sandwich that Toronto is known for. Also, stop by Buster’s Sea Cove, famous for the fried fish, grilled “catch of the day,” sandwiches, salads, and much more.

Chinatown

With it’s laid back atmosphere and wonderful cuisine, it is no surprise that every foodie who lives in or visits Toronto spends time in Chinatown. The neighborhood is small and straightforward, but with big, amazing tastes. You’ll be able to experience the finest in Chinese culture as you wander up and down the streets, whether you want to eat a full meal, or just pick up some of the best, most authentic herbs and spices that can be found. With a history that dates back well over 100 years, you’ll find restaurants such as Lee Garden, a delightful Cantonese establishment, the casual, Hong Kong style eatery, Swatow, Spadina Garden, offering over 200 Chinese dishes to choose from, and many other wonderful places.

The Chase

While spending time in Toronto, the occasion may arise when you’d like to have a romantic dinner for two with that special person! Head over to The Chase, for the Signature Roast Dinner. The Chase is located in one of the tallest skyscrapers in all of Toronto, providing views that are as amazing as the food itself. The dinner for two includes ricotta and stinging nettles, followed by a roast chicken stuffed with Foie grass, apples and chestnuts. Guest will also enjoy artisan cheese and homemade preserves. Have a sweet tooth? You’ll be delighted by dessert, with menu offerings that include lime cake, chocolate cake with ganache, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream, and more.

Kensington Market

Kensington Market is one place in Toronto that is not to be missed! The neighborhood has an abundance of small stores, restaurants, and bakeries that will simply delight any food lover. Start with a visit to one of the local coffee shops, such as Casa Coffee, where you can fuel up with your favorite java to be ready for your adventure. After browsing the neighborhood for a bit, you can relax at one of the many restaurants that are located here. Looking for a casual place to grab a quick, yet delicious bite? Consider stopping at Amadeu’s Restaurant for Grilled Chicken Breast, Seafood Rice for Two, or perhaps Spanish Style Paella. In the mood for a burger instead? Look no further than The Burgernator, located in the center of Kensington Market. Here, you will find burgers with astonishing names, such as the Atomic Burger, the Bulldozer, or the Big Bang. When the time comes to try an excellent bakery, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is surely where you want to be. Wanda herself has been baking since childhood, and her creations do not disappoint. Choose from selections such as Black Forest Cake, Wild Blueberry Pie, or Chocolate Almond Kisses. Every bite will leave you wanting more!

Little Italy

Every foodie must visit Little Italy, also known as College Street West. Here, you will find some of the best Italian restaurants in all of Toronto. You’ll want to try Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen located in Harbord Village. Be sure to try the selection of more than 100 ciders from all around the world, as well as food offerings such as Beef Short Rib Hash, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Venison Sirloin, and more. La Forchetta Restaurant offers the best in Italian cuisine, with a selection of pasta from both Northern and Southern Italy. You’ll find a rustic, warm, and cozy atmosphere and a menu featuring items such as Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Smoked Duck Breast Risotto, and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin. Dessert is nothing less than incredible, with offerings including Twice Baked Warm Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu, Poached Bosc Pear, and other Italian classics. Complete your visit by spending some time at The Hogtown Pub & Oysters, serving local craft beers and other classic favorites. You should consider cocktails such as Billy’s Old Fashioned, the Copper Cup Moscow Mule, the Noxx & Dunn Rum Swizzle, and many more. A full wine list is also available.
Toronto is the ultimate place to try any kind of food in a great environment! As a true melting pot of different cultures, Toronto certainly has so much to offer. You’ll find amazing tastes from all over the world, all excellently prepared with a personal touch. Every foodie will take delight in the wonderful neighborhoods and welcoming restaurants that line the streets of this amazing city!

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Four Great Companion Trips for a Niagara Falls Excursion

Niagara Falls remains one of the most popular destinations in the world, as the raw power of the falls and nearby entertainment possibilities create both an inspirational experience an ideal getaway. But there’s a lot more to the area than a host of great restaurants and night spots surrounding a natural phenomenon, as it’s also an underrated launching point for further adventure and exploration. Here is just a sampling of the nearby options worth adding to your Niagara Falls itinerary.

Go wine-tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake

The Niagara Peninsula squeezed between the Niagara River and Lake Ontario is where you can find an excellent collection of wineries and scenic areas. Either by tour or on your own, you can easily taste the vintages of a handful of acclaimed wineries in a single day around Niagara-on-the-Lake, including popular spots like Chateau des Charms, Konzelmann Estate Winery, and Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery. In warmer months, it’s hard to top biking through the lush green landscape from winery to winery, which is why biking tours have spiked in popularity in recent years.

In addition to more than two dozen wineries in the region, Niagara-on-the-Lake also is renowned for its restored Heritage District that is a window into the past. The 25 blocks at the heart of the town are highlighted by both colonial-style and mid-19th century buildings along with rows of quaint stores and restaurants, which are typically abuzz with both locals and visitors. From April through October, the popular Shaw Festival strings together a smattering of different plays connected to the famous namesake, playwright George Bernard Shaw. Operated since the early-1960s, Shaw Fest is more popular than ever and features an endless carousel of both classic and modern works.
With its proximity to the main features of Niagara Falls and wealth of activities and sites, Niagara-on-the-lake is a fantastic option for most of the calendar year.

Explore the scenic trails and state parks around the falls

The falls themselves aren’t the only awe-inspiring sites in the area, as the surrounding gorges offer spectacular hiking on either side of the Niagara River. At Devil’s Hole State Park on the American side, the calm gush of the water accompanies a snaking trail that cuts through lush green forests and rocky bluffs, with plenty of sensational river lookouts along the way. Particularly in warmer months, visitors sprawl out around the rocks down by the river for impromptu picnics, making for a peaceful transition away from the thundering rush of Niagara Falls. The state park also is also a hot spot for fishing for much of the year and is even a popular site during the winter, when locals come out for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the pristine white landscape.
Other parks and trails also impress as well, including the Whirlpool State Park just a little further downriver from Devil’s Hole. Whirlpool has both tranquil river scenes and spots with some pretty intense white water, capped by an enormous, naturally-occurring whirlpool that is a popular draw on its own. Keep going north – only 10 or so minutes by car – and you’ll end up at Fort Niagara, a 17th century stone fort with a front row seat of gargantuan Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes. Across the Niagara River, meanwhile, Ontario’s Niagara Glen Nature Reserve also showcases rich forests and more terrific views of the treacherous waters downriver from the falls.

Take a train to Toronto

Less than two hours by rail on the Canadian side, Toronto is an ideal add-on to any trip to Niagara Falls, whether as a day trip or an extended stay. The train ride – provided by VIA Rail – also shows off some nice scenery as you twist around Lake Ontario on your way up to Canada’s largest city. A true international city with an intimidating number of options, Toronto is particularly well-known for having a thriving concert scene along with a wealth of other live shows, fine-dining options from around the world, and premier sporting events that help cater to myriad interests.
Always near the top of the list, Centre (formerly the Air Canada Centre) is where many of the biggest events in Toronto happen throughout the year, including home games for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, and just about every iconic concert tour since it opened in 1999. A short cab ride away, Rogers Centre hosts Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays along with an impressive concert list of its own under its fully retractable roof, the first of its kind. Add in outdoor shows at the Budweiser Stage and RBC Echo Beach and it’s easy to see why catching a concert in Toronto has become a very popular companion trip to a honeymoon or romantic excursion in Niagara Falls.
For those looking for a fancier night out, the rest of Toronto’s famous entertainment district has a spread of top-notch restaurants and other live-performance venues to choose from. At venues like Ed Mirvish Theatre, patrons have caught some of the biggest plays and musicals in the world alongside an eclectic set of other live shows throughout the calendar year. Just down the street from Mirvish, Roy Thomson Hall is the backdrop for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is one of the main sites for the renowned Toronto International Film Festival. Whether you’re with a family, a group of friends, or looking for a romantic escape, Toronto is a no-brainer as an extension to any trip to Niagara Falls.
Transportation note: Although you likely want to book any train tickets in advance, there is also very regular and reliable bus services from either side of Niagara Falls to Toronto.

Check out Canalside in Buffalo

About a half-hour from Niagara Falls, Buffalo’s rejuvenated Canalside has quickly become one of the region’s most prominent hangouts for any age or demographic. Especially beloved by boat lovers, Canalside offers long waterside parks (e.g. Veterans Park) and walkways along with a revolving door of prominent festivals and outdoor concerts. Canalside is an ideal spot to hop on a calm boat tour of the harbor or to grab a meal from one of the popular local vendors, which range from quick and casual to plenty of more formal options.
A terrific hangout during the day, Canalside is also a great launching point for a night out in Buffalo’s entertainment district. Like Scotiabank in Toronto, KeyBank Center (formerly HSBC Arena) has some of the biggest concerts and live events in the region, including home games for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and is a short walk from the heart of Canalside. Some of the trendiest bars and restaurants in Buffalo are also nearby along Elmwood Avenue and Pearl Street, which are particularly popular during the summertime and early part of fall. For history lovers, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park has three retired naval vessels that act as floating museums while they keep watch over the harbor.
While Canalside especially flourishes during the warmer months, it remains a popular attraction at the coldest parts of the year as well. As the canal freezes during the winter, it’s turned into an enormous outdoor ice-skating rink, making it a favorite for both families and couples alike. No matter what time of the year you’re planning on heading to Niagara Falls, Canalside in Buffalo is a quick jaunt away that is well worth the effort.
Final considerations:
The neighboring regions surrounding Niagara Falls are filled with great options for both outdoors lovers and entertainment seekers, providing ample incentive to keep exploring once you’ve had your fill of the falls. While most will try to stick with warmer months, there is no shortage of wintry options in the area that can just as exhilarating. As long as you plan for the weather and keep a few backup options in mind, a trip to Niagara Falls and beyond can be a fun and unforgettable journey any time of the year.
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