In our City Guide series, Vv Magazine’s Ama Scriver fills us in on the best places to eat, drink, and be merry in whatever pocket of Toronto you may find yourself in.
Are you an avid fan of Degrassi? Well then, heading to visit Riverside may seem like the natural fit for you considering that it’s the home of the beloved street. But Riverside is more than just a street. At the gateway of the Queen Street Bridge and Don Valley, the neighbourhood is full of exciting changes (ahem – The Broadview Hotel anyone?) and cool hangs. So why aren’t you getting out here more often? Don’t know where to head to? Well not to fret, we’ve got you!
Rooster Coffee House
479 Broadview Avenue
This location of Rooster Coffee is one of the most fantastic locations! Just overlooking Riverdale Park, grab a latte and a baked good and go out to enjoy the Toronto skyline. The cafe has lots of seating space both inside and outside, with an adorable patio facing the park. It has a very chill neighbourhood feel and well, the coffee is a nice added bonus.
807 Gerrard Street East
If you have not made the trek out to Saturday Dinette, you are missing out. Suzanne Barr is the chef and owner of Saturday Dinette and she cares about her customers. Most of her comfort dishes have a healthy twist that won’t turn your nose up. While everyone goes on about the brunch, this restaurant has a great assortment of dishes that will keep you content and happy. Bonus points: Barr worked with the YWCA to hire and train local women looking to enter the restaurant industry. She is officially our woman crush!
Aft Kitchen & Bar
686 Queen Street East
For a small restaurant, Aft Kitchen’s barbecue offerings are mighty! Although there are many barbecue joints in popping up in Toronto, there is just something about the smoked ribs here that we can’t resist. With an excellent (and semi-hidden) outdoor patio to enjoy a tasty bourbon cocktail on or the indoor cozy, chill environment – Aft Kitchen has everything going for it. The menu might be small but its offerings are wonderful and its barbecue done right.
Tabülè Middle Eastern Cuisine
810 Queen Street East
Words cannot describe just how much I love it here. It’s quiet, romantic and well, the food is just great. First and foremost, the menu is extensive and offers a bit of everything. From hummus to juicy lamb skewers to tabbouleh – no matter what you’re craving, you’re bound to find something on here. My recommendation? Get the sampler appetizer and split it with a friend. It’s a very good life choice! Also, if you’re looking for a spicy evening – make a reservation for a Saturday evening. They’ll occassionally have a belly dancer performing, so check ahead.
Dora Keogh Irish Pub
141 Danforth Avenue
Looking for a no frills pub? Well then consider Dora Keogh your diamond in the rough. I was taken here by some east-enders who considered this their go-to bar of choice. They said what they loved was that it didn’t get too busy and it wasn’t pretentious. From my visit, I agree! This is your typical Irish pub, offering the same on-tap beers and same pub food. Plus: they have sports on the TVs so that’s a big bonus!
753 Queen Street East
Looking for a hip place to go for cocktails, bar snacks, and some games? Well, you’ve come to the right place – Hi-Lo has them all. With a pinball machine for folks to challenge themselves to, a boozy cocktails list and delicious snacks (note: Chef Dave Mottershall of Loka use to run his pop-up out of here) that are damn near on point. It’s a great neighbourhood bar where you can sit and make new friends and who doesn’t love that?
Did we miss any of the best places to eat, drink or party in the Annex? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.