In our City Guide series, we fill you in on the best places to eat, drink and be merry in whatever pocket of Toronto you may find yourself in.
You may know The Annex for its feature role in the Scott Pilgrim comic book series, but for everyone else in the city, The Annex is best known for being a great student-friendly neighborhood. Don’t believe me? Then you can check out this 2011 Census polling which has all the stats. With lots of great culture and cheap places to eat, The Annex is always an amazing destination no matter your age and we’ve got some recommendations coming right up.
408 Bloor Street West
After having several locations throughout the city, The Common has finally sprouted up in The Annex. Like its other locations, it’s small, cozy and inviting offering all the basics you’ll need: coffee, tea, espresso, and pastries. There is limited seating inside, but when you do get a seat, it makes for amazing people watching on a bright sunny day. We suggest ordering a flat white from here, it’s super tasty.
Snakes & Lattes
600 Bloor Street West
Hands down, this is one of the best places to come on a date or as a group of friends! Snakes & Lattes offers unlimited board game usage for $5 per person. With board games like Carcassonne, Cards Against Humanity or Axis and Allies available (just to name a few), it will be hard not to get caught up playing. Fear not – they offer a full food and drinks menu and it’s actually pretty decent. But be prepared, there is almost always a line to get in.
Insomnia Restaurant & Lounge
563 Bloor Street West
If you’re looking for a great brunch place in the area, there is no better place to go than Insomnia. With great prices and huge portions, you can’t go wrong. Plus, they serve up $5 mimosas every day from 11am-3pm. But if you’re looking for more of a night time space, then the cocktail list at Insomnia is outstanding. From signature to seasonal to martini specials and $4 drink specials every night from 10pm-2am, you can’t go wrong stopping by here.
Sushi On Bloor
525 Bloor Street West
Even if you’re a casual sushi fan, you’ve probably been to Sushi on Bloor once in your lifetime. Even though the prices are cheap, the quality is very good and because of that, Sushi on Bloor always has a lineup. But don’t get too upset because the food is worth waiting for. With big roll sizes, fresh sashimi and great appetizers – you’ll always leave full and satisfied, quite possibly with a bag of leftovers too!
372 Bloor Street West
We know that the ramen divide in Toronto is very real, but trust us on this one: Kenzo Ramen is where it’s at. Always greeted with a warm welcome, the selection comes in three soup bases for basic ramens: sho-yu, miso or shi-o. From there, you can choose a noodle thickness and toppings and you’re good to go. Their garnishings are superior to most other ramen joints. Don’t sleep on Kenzo.
Tacos El Asador
690 Bloor Street West
This is undoubtedly one of the best places in Toronto for tacos. A cute and cozy set-up with lots of decor set-up, the space has picnic tables for communal eating. Tacos range anywhere from $3-$3.50 and you’ll find al pastor, chorizo, fish, and chicken. The tacos are old fashioned and simple, you’re getting no frills here but for under $15, you’ll walk out feeling full and satisfied and that’s what matters, right? Plus, they have lots of other great El Salvadorian and Central American cuisine on the menu.
Dance Cave and Lee’s Palace
529 Bloor Street West
Dance Cave is the quintessential establishment of many Toronto hipster’s youth and well, it still is. Upstairs from Lee’s Palace is Dance Cave, the dance club that is home to many university students dancing the night away. Lots of 80s dance music, alt-rock, and cheap drinks can be found here. If you ever feel like reliving your youth, then Dance Cave is the place to be. We hear that Pyjama Man can still be found each and every weekend and if you get that reference, then you know what’s up.
White Brick Kitchen
641 Bloor Street West
Looking for well-done comfort food? Well then look no further than White Brick Kitchen! Best known for their fried chicken, which has been compared to The Stockyards‘, this kitchen’s menu is straightforward and tasty. The space is cozy and comforting but be prepared to line up for their brunch offerings (which include Banana Bread french toast and Scotch-ish Eggs). Prices are reasonable and the service is exceptional. You’ll be wondering why you hadn’t come here before!
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.