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.
It’s no secret that Roncesvalles is one of Toronto’s predominantly Polish neighborhood. The neighborhood, which is tree-lined and cozy, has the King streetcar coasting through it on the regular and has its streets populated with cute pups and young families. But Roncy has a lot going on besides cute pups, although it’s a great selling feature. Lots of coffee shops and tasty bakeshops as far as the eye can see. Check out some of our recommendations below:
Reunion Island Coffee Bar
385 Roncesvalles Avenue
If you’re looking for a space to work out of that has good coffee and great vibes, then you’ll want to head to Reunion Island. Awarded the top Macro Roaster Award in 2015, Reunion Island has been doing a lot of great work in the third-wave coffee scene and they use this cafe as sort of their testing grounds for their beans. All the baristas are super friendly and know the products inside and out. If you feel like trying something a bit different, go for one of their cold brew and tonics – it’s super tasty!
Dundas Park Kitchen
2066 Dundas Street West
Bakery and Sandwiches, $
I absolutely adore Alex and Melanie of Dundas Park Kitchen. They put their heart and soul into everything they do here and it shows. The service inside the shop is always on point with the staff ready, willing and able to make recommendations. If you work in the area, this place is a great lunch option with so many incredible sandwiches and soups to choose from. The one they are known for though is the roasted chicken sandwich. There are not enough good things that I can say. Also, please pick up a seasonal galette while here. It’s game changing.
333 Roncesvalles Avenue
I had never heard of this place until a friend invited me one day. She told me the sandwiches and baked goods were to die for and I did not believe her. Well, wow – was I wrong. This place is legit one of the best bake shops that I have been to in a long time. During the fall they had a pumpkin-cinnamon brioche and on their regular menu, they have the best chocolate croissants. Everything here is freshly baked and can be enjoyed on-site. Be warned, there is no wifi – so don’t plan to work there!
325 Roncesvalles Avenue
With half of my family from the East Coast, it’s no wonder why I have a soft spot for Hopgoods Foodliner. Chef Geoff Hopgood (formerly of The Black Hoof) has made this dark and cozy restaurant his ode to all this Nova Scotia and the coast with a seafood-heavy menu. The place is always packed with people who are digging into the East Coast donair or the homemade toffee candy bar. The menu changes seasonally but it’s well worth revisiting. They’ve also got a cozy backspace that’s perfect for larger parties (it fits 12 seated or 18 standing). The Oyster Shack can be booked with a custom tailored menu which includes anything from caviar service to punchbowl cocktails to lobster luges.
100 Sorauren Avenue
Looking for a cute brunch place? Well, look no further than Mitzi’s! Tucked away from the strip, the sun-soaked room is quiet and quaint. The place is small and sometimes there can be a wait, but trust me it’s worth it. The service is welcoming and the menu has many of the classics with their own spin on them. I cannot get over their barbecued-ish hashbrowns. They are off the chain. Also, try their ever-changing french toast options. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
299 Roncesvalles Avenue
How could we make a Roncesvalles list and not mention Barque? All the staff here are incredibly awesome at making people feel so welcomed. But the food, oh – let’s talk about the food! From the chicken wings to the brisket to the pulled pork – it is beyond perfection. Barque takes their barbecue seriously and it shows. They have a very loyal following from everything from brunch to lunch to dinner. The prices are on-par with most other barbecue places in the city. If we could make one recommendation prior to coming here: make reservations! You’ll thank us later. But if you can’t get in, you can also try their sister retail store/butcher/restaurant, Butcher Bar, just a few doors down the street.
Did we miss any of the best places to eat, drink or party in Roncesvalles? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.