Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a “ladies (or gents) who lunch” crew? You know the ones… the immaculately dressed, designer bag clad, Prosecco drinking bunch who spend their daily lunches flitting between trendy lounges and gourmet restaurants eating only the finest fare with no apparent rush to be anywhere and every reason to stay for “okay, just one more” glass of wine. Yes, that would be lovely. But alas, this daily ritual is intended only for schmoozing CEOs and The Real Housewives of Vancouver. We ‘normies’ are faced with a daily lunch-hour mission to bolt out of the office and hunt for some half-decent grub that will adequately nourish – but, you know, not be so light that your colleague four doors down can hear your mid-afternoon grumbles nor should it be so heavy that the same colleague can hear you snoring, face first, into your keyboard. The all-important midday meal is also required to be worth savouring as it can often be the highlight of the day – particularly on a Monday when the weekend is just so far away.
Lucky for us there appears to be a new trend in town. Gourmet grab ‘n go spots are popping up all over the west end in order to provide fast and delicious sustenance for busy Torontonians. So next time you’re thinking of running across the street to McD’s for a big mac and fries, take a minute to check out this list so that you may spend your precious lunch moments indulging your inner foodie…
So before you wander into this delectable bakery it is suggested that you have your self-control on high as it is otherwise likely that you may leave with a lot more than you bargained for. You may have every intention of ordering just one of their generously stuffed sandwiches with freshly baked focaccia, but unless you have the self-discipline of Rocky don’t be surprised if you find yourself laden with authentic biscotti and perfectly chewy cookies. You have been warned.
It’s All GRK
Although they may not be a fan of the letter ‘E’, this new west end addition is a fan of offering upscale Greek fare on the fly. The authentic yet simple menu means that you won’t spend one unnecessary minute pondering your order, leaving you with ample time to quaff down a gyro or two.
Saffron Spice Kitchen
You may think you need to steer clear of Indian food at lunch time in order to avoid the dreaded desk-coma later in the afternoon. Not so at this place. The cooks at Saffron Spice do not use ghee, butter or cream in any of their dishes thus lightening the load and enabling you to enjoy amazing Indian flavours without your digestive system paying the price. With offerings including salads, soups, wraps and roti, this is sure to become an office favourite.
Bolt Fresh Bar
Here’s one for the health nuts and those who may have overdone it a tad the night before and need to reverse the damage. Bolt offers oodles of takeout options that are jam-packed with nutrients and goodness to make your gut happy again. House-made smoothies are full of natural ingredients and they even have a chocolate one if you need your sweet fix. Oh! And PS: They massage their kale with lemon juice and avocado oil. That is one lucky leaf.
In case you have been living under a rock for the past few months you should probably know that the west end of Toronto is the middle of a war… a burger war. And of course it makes absolute sense that the team behind the meat-centric Parkdale staple ‘Parts & Labour’ have stuck their flag in their Silverstein bun and are coming at us, burners a-blazing. Okay… it’s a tad dramatic, but if you want a damn good burger to mix up your work day, this is it. With minimal seating and the attitude of an old-school burger shack, these guys aim to pump out the patties so you can get some good eats in without pissing off your boss. In fact, bring one extra back to the office and you might be the boss’ fave for a few days.