Toronto, a bustling city along the northwestern Lake Ontario shore, has attracted many tourist from Michigan due to the convenience of the Ambassador Bridge connecting to Detroit, Mi. Many people are familiar with Toronto because many famous celebrities are from Toronto, such as, Jim Carrey, Drake, Mike Myers, and Keanu Reeves.
After researching more about Toronto before our last trip to Niagara Falls, we learned that Toronto has a lot more to offer, besides talented celebs. Culture, unique cuisine, art and theater, and monumental attractions are just a few of the reasons why we wanted to explore Toronto!
One of those monumental attractions, is the CN Tower. The CN Tower is one of the most fascinating free standing structures. At 553.33 meters (1,815 feet and 5 inches) tall, the CN Tower held the record as the tallest building for more than three decades. In 1995, the CN Tower was designated a Wonder of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Other wonders include Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, Panama Canal, Channel Tunnel, Itaipú Dam, and Delta & Zuiderzee Works.
For $39 (Canadian), we were able to go to the top of the CN Tower to look over the City of Toronto. This was perfect timing as the sun was just setting. It was beautiful! As the sun dissipated into the background, the busy city lights soon lighted the beautiful Toronto skyline. After getting out taste of history and magical sights, we decided to take a walk around our hotel to explore.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, located on King St. We LOVED this location. It was so close to different kinds of restaurants, a 15 minute walk from Chine Town, and a 15 minute walk from the CN Tower. As we strolled down a couple blocks, we found this unique ice cream bar called, Cool N2. Nitrogen ice cream is perfectly safe to eat. The Nitrogen causes the cream to rapidly freeze, which causes the fat and the water particles to stay very small. This gives the ice cream its creamy, smooth texture. Yum!
The next morning, we woke up with quite the appetite. We had heard amazing reviews about a local breakfast spot, so we walked from our hotel to the neighborhood of Liberty Village. Since the wait was a crazy two hours, we decided to have some drinks at this cozy tavern next door. The Barcelona Tavern is passionate about utilizing locally made goods from farms, bakeries, and growers. Everything from Barcelona Tavern is made in house, from scratch. We had the most refreshing drinks while we waited for our table next door, that we felt so guilty for not enjoying brunch at Barcelona! This fun tavern offers brunch, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy yourself inside or on their outdoor patio. We will definitely be checking this place out again during our next trip to Toronto!
Ladies and gentlemen! The wait was finally over. We headed next door to Meldreds Temple Kitchen. Right in the heart of the village, this popular (and super busy) brunch hot spot features their famous Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes (pictured above). Tip: Order a side of their rosemary infused bacon. Seriously addicting!
After a filling brunch, we took a 20 minute Uber from Liberty Village to the Distillery District. This place got it’s name because of the 19th century buildings that once held large whiskey distilleries. Today, this unique neighborhood houses hip restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Art lovers can enjoy the different art sculptures that are stationed throughout the district.
When we first arrived, we walked into the first distillery we had seen, the Spirit of York . The inside of this distillery was gorgeous. The exposed brick, the glamorous chandeliers, and the wrap around marble bar screams class and elegance, while enjoying their fine gin and vodka. Both spirits are made with 100 per cent rye and spring water from none other than the Ontario township of Spring water—home to some of what’s been called the purest water in the world.
The creation of their spirits is very unique, as they use stills that were made by fifth-generation copper workers in Germany, and assembled on-site piece by piece.
We enjoyed a Rose Martini – or two. After exploring the Distillery District, we headed out to enjoy an authentic Italian dinner at Gusto 101. We highly recommend their kale salad, any of their pizzas, and their cacio e pepe pasta.
After dinner, we walked down two blocks to see if we could get into the Cloak Bar. Well, that’s IF we could find the entrance. This basement speakeasy is always locked when the doorman isn’t around. We had called a phone number that was listed on a sign, plastered on the entrance door. Soon, the doorman was there to assist, and sneak us into the basement. As we entered into the basement, through a velvet certain, we could see couples dining in a candle lit room, laughing over cocktails and bottle service.
Rated as one of Toronto’s highly rated Speakeasy bars, we were so excited when we could be seated without a reservation. Their craft cocktails and late night bar snacks are something to rave about. I highly recommend their Midnight Oil Fries, which are russet potatoe fries, seasoned with their magic dust, and served with ranch. As for their cocktails, there is something for everyone. I had ordered the Jalisco Sour: 17 A decadent sour combining dark fruits and spice with the earthy sweetness of agave. Cazadores blanco, Sombra mezcal, blackberry shruh agae syrup, grapefruit bitters, and egg white.
My friends and I were hoping to visit Toronto again for my 29 birthday, but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As our list for our most “go to” restaurants and bars has grown since this last trip, I am going to leave you with our “ever growing” list for now, with hopes that you might take a trip to Toronto sometime soon.
- The Lockhart – A Harry Potter themed bar
- El Catrin – Mexican tapas in Distillery District with Tequila Bar
- Gusto 501 – A new Italian restaurant by the team that brought Gusto 101
- Omni – Enjoy afternoon tea and dessert
- Versus Coffee – Colorful Lattes
- Rittle Room – Escape Room and Cafe
- San Remo Bakery and Cafe – Printed Latte art
- Le Gourmand – The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in Toronto
- Melrose on Adelaide – Cocktail Bar
- Figures – Comic Book Bar
- Starving Artist – Amazing waffles
- Her father’s Cider Bar
- Cocoa 70 – Dessert Bar in the Distillery District