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So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

Hereford, United...
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So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

We're looking forward to our short break. It's my first time in Canada let alone Toronto. I love my food and drink - junk and fine dining; so what should we sample that sets Toronto out from somewhere in the States, like Boston, that we've visited a few times. Are we going to find something different from Bacon & Pancakes for breakfast? What should I try in the Bars? and is there a quintessential Toronto dish?

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

I can't think of a special Toronto dish. You might want to consider eating atop the CN Tower. The restaurant there is better than most revolving restaurants and the view can't be beaten....

Toronto
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2. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

I'm sure I'll upset some people by saying this (and I'm personally not even a fan of it), but I don't think you've visited Toronto unless you've gone to Tim Horton's and had either a "double double" (coffee with 2 cream, 2 sugar I believe) or an "ice cap" (ice cappuccino). While Tim Horton's is definitely not unique to Toronto (or even Canada any more), Toronto is where they truly seem to be the most popular (i.e. an institution)....they're on every street corner, and it seems everyone is always walking around drinking one (esp. ice caps in the summer) Be warned: I'm not saying it's great (the coffee is very weak; the ice cap is very sugary and fattening). What I am saying is that when I travel, I try to also seek out whatever sets the city apart (i.e. famous/unique/popular etc. food/drink), be it junk or fine dining, and if I were coming to Toronto as a visitor with that particular plan in mind, because of it's insane popularity here, Tim Horton's would be on the top of my list.

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto
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3. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

Tim Hortons is very Canadian or North American, but it is so in that old fashioned way where, say, Europeans would have thought decades ago that one could not find a decent, strong coffee in town or locals drink Coke instead of wine. Toronto has grown up a lot since then.

A lot of people would say you have to have a peameal (or "Canadian") bacon sandwich at St Lawrence Market and I can't argue, ot rocks! (especially with some fried onions and honey mustard). Toronto to me is much more than that. While eating your sandwich, look at the patrons of the market. All ages, races, creeds, incomes. That's my Toronto. Rare to see just anywhere else where a place like a "gourmet" market is often full of a smaller, higher income demographic in other cities.

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
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4. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

We'd definitely agree with both previous posters.

To the Tim Horton's comments we'd add: try a donut or two; or even more quintessential, get a box of Tim Bits, the donut holes.

urbanfoodie alluded to this, but Toronto is a real microcosm of the global community- rather that give the world a particular cuisine, we have brought the world to our table. If there is any type of "ethnic" food you love or you've always wanted to try, let this forum know & you'll get great advice on where to find the best.

If you want to taste our "terroir" try eating in one of the many "locavore" inspired restaurants, and absolutley have some wine from Niagara.

Toronto
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5. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

poutine...not really toronto, more quebec, but still delicious and canadian. the brst poutine downtown is from the blue chip truck at nathan philip square.

Toronto is a food city. because there is so much multiculturalism, you can great indian, chinease, vietnamease, ethipoean, italian...the list goes on. i would check out restaurant reviews on http://www.torontolife.com/restaurants/ and see if anything catches your eye.

the cn tower restaurant isnt that good...its kind of a ripoff for the quality of food.

bacon sandwichs at St. Lawrence market are amazing

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

How about trying some:

Canadian beer & wine,

Ice wine from the Niagara region,

Laura Secord chocolates,

Smarties (candy coated chocolates),

maple syrup (on top of pancakes or french toast),

maple fudge,

east coast oysters,

butter tarts.

This list should get you started...

Edited: 10 November 2010, 02:41
Hereford, United...
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7. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

Thanks, thats given us a good heads up on the food. Never heard of Tim Hortons before. We're down near the St Lawrence Market for a few nights so I'm looking forward to the peameal(?) bacon sandwich. What about the hard stuff - I presume that I shouldn't be walking into a Canadian bar and ask for a Bourbon which I assume is basically from the US.

I guess you guys are the ones that will reply to my succession of posts over the nest few days so thanks for your info and your patience. Just off to post again!

Toronto, Ontario...
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8. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

Speaking about hard stuff: there's a Canadian rye whisky you should try. It is not as strong-smelling as a Bourbon, and is a real Canadian tradition. If you're into beer, there're several decent midsize/microbreweries. Avoid Molson (even though they have beer named Canadian) and Labatt, those are our beer behemots and the beer is as inspiring as Budweiser, i.e. totally standard. However, Steam Whistle, Rickard, Alexander Keith and others supply a decent product.

Speaking about food: you can have some of the best and most authentic Chinese, Korean and Indian food in North America here in Toronto, as we have huge immigrant communities here. Try Chinatown (Spadina between Queen and College) or Markham for Chinese, Little India (Gerrard) for Indian and Koreatown (Bloor West) for Korean.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

Does anyone know if Steam Whistle brewery still gives tours. If so, that might be something the OP could do. Afterward, maybe head over to the "Bier Markt" for dinner..

Edited: 10 November 2010, 17:54
Toronto
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10. Re: So what should we eat/drink to know we've visited Toronto

I would suggest checking out The Distillery District. Its within walking distance of the St. Lawrence market. Has some good restaurants, cafe's, bakery and there is the Mill Street Brew Pub there (Microbrewery with some good beer!)

http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/