I still cannot even believe how quickly this summer went! I feel link I blinked and it was over. I planned a trip to Toronto for our Labor Day weekend. We made sure to use our time wisely as we walked, ate and drank our way through the city. I have to note that Toronto is alive with culture, we met so many people from all over the world.
We left on Friday night and drove straight through. We stopped in Corning, New York for dinner….it’s a charming city, relatively close to Watkins Glen State Park. Hand + Foot is one of our favorite restaurants, we’ve never ordered anything that we didn’t like.
I planned this trip somewhat last minute so I had an interesting time trying to pick something that was in a neighborhood that allowed us to walk to most destinations rather than drive. Usually my go-to when planning a trip is Airbnb or VRBO.This trip, I was unsuccessful in finding one that worked for us, so I went with a boutique hotel. I love finding independent hotels or unique places to stay. As long as it is clean and within my price range, I usually trust my gut and book it. I ended up using hotels.com where I was greeted by a very helpful customer service rep that helped me pick a room at bE SixFifty. Located in downtown Toronto, we were able to easily get to everything that we wanted to do.
We began our Saturday at St. Lawrence Market. Everything about this place reminded me so much of our own Reading Terminal Market here in Philly. Filled with people and so many good places to eat.
Word on the street was that the peameal bacon breakfast sandwich at Carousel Bakery was the best, so naturally we each had to get one!
Across the street was Greenhouse, an organic juice company…was just what I needed after overindulging at the market. We found a convenient parking spot near Berczy Park, which had just been opened.
We left the market and made our way to the Waterfront Artisan Market. There was tons to look at and the view of the water was gorgeous.
Distillery District was next on my list so we decided to leave my car where it was parked and walk along the water to get there. On top of a handful of unique shops, Artfest filled the sidewalks with about 75 local artists.
I picked out the perfect gifts for my nephews at Mini Mioche. I wanted to buy everything in the store! If you are looking for some handmade local goods for babies/kids, this is the place. When picking out gifts to bring home to my mom and sisters, earrings are always my go to. Distill had the perfect selection. There were a couple of really cool looking restaurants in the District. Cluny Bistro is a delicious french spot that we picked for dinner the one night. El Catrin was packed no matter what time of the day. We indulged in their fresh guac and chose not to add crickets to it…I was told that they get ordered at least once a day. The atmosphere was fitting and their margaritas were spot on.
I had always wanted to do my own “love lock” so after leaving lunch, we put one up. The locks are taken down every two years as they fill up. An artist comes and will use the locks to make different things. Pretty cool!
Spirit of York had the complete boozy experience. Worth the walk around and the money if you decide to take a bottle home.
The Abnormal Beauty Company was an Esthetician’s dream come true. So many fabulous products. I opted for one of their serums, which has made my skin feel great since I’ve been home. While we were not at all hungry, we walked upon Cacao 70…a chocolate lover’s fantasy. Order the fondue, thank me later.
That night we made our way to Queen Street which was close to our hotel. Toronto was one of the safest feeling cities I’ve ever been to as well as the cleanest.
We stopped at Barhop for a drink at their rooftop bar. 416 had the most outrageous “snack” menu. Perfect for a small bite in between drinking. The korean fried chicken was out of this world and their drinks were pretty dang good as well.
Bovine was our last stop of the night. Don’t be deterred by the full name. Their bartender was super friendly at the rooftop tiki bar. And she made a killer daiquiri.
The next morning we picked Mildred’s Kitchen for breakfast. OH. MY. GOSH. I will forever be dreaming of their blueberry pancakes until we meet again. Topped with Canada blueberries and fresh whipped cream, these cakes are magical. The rosemary bacon was a great compliment to the pancakes. The staff at Mildred’s was beyond accommodating, we actually went back again the next day. The tip here is, ask to sit at the bar, otherwise the wait is pretty extensive. Worth it, but if you’re tight on time, the bar seats are a great option.
I don’t have any pictures, but I do have plenty of videos of the Air Show that was going on while we were there. It was outrageous. The jets would get so close to the buildings it was actually really overwhelming. We did enjoy it when they were flying at a distance.
Queen Street is also great for shopping during the day. There were a bunch of store names that I recognized, but some unique storefronts as well. Yummi Candles had castile hand soaps that made great gifts. Kinton Ramen was our pick for lunch for noodle bowls. Early Bird had a charcoal latte that hit the spot. I did order a shot of espresso to add to it, which ended up being a great idea.
The graffiti was super impressive.
We picked up the car and drove to Kensington Market. Cocktail Emporium had the finest cocktail accessory assortment. Witches Brew was the place for fresh Kombucha. Kensington Brewery had good local brews.
Yes I have a sweet tooth. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Ask Matt how many bakery lines I made him stand in while we were in San Francisco. While I didn’t do it to him this trip, I did make sure to stop at Eva’s Original Chimneys. The Grasshopper S’mores is Instagram worthy.
We covered tons of ground in Toronto in a short amount of time. Distillery District, Kensington Market, Queen Street and King Street come highly recommended. Two things that we didn’t get to do were CN Tower and Toronto Island Park. If you have more time than we did, go explore!
Our final destination was Niagara Falls. I had always wanted to experience it and was told the Canada side was the better one. We didn’t do the New York side so I can’t vouch for that, but I will say it is a must see if you’ve never been.