Travel

Kawai’s Guide to TCAF Eats v.2 (updated April 2019)

It’s been many years since I wrote a food related post for TCAF so it’s about time for an update. 🌿 = vegan options; ♿ = wheelchair accessible (based on Yelp); please scroll down for more accessible restos.

CLOSE TO THE TRL (listed in order of walking distance)

Most restos listed below do takeaway, but almost everything is made to order, so there is a bit of a waiting period. Also, it’s worth noting that most restaurants in Yorkville are overpriced and I would recommend avoiding them even though some review quite favourably.

  • Yorkville Crêpes: sweet and savory crepes, made to order, limited seating, located across the street; fyi it’s not particularly filling $7-$12 (2 min) ♿
  • Sabai Sabai: Northern Thai/Laotian, vegan options, can take away; recommended you place order beforehand for takeaway $10-$15 (5 min) 🌿
  • Calii Love: breakfast, salad and poke bowls irritatingly named after emotions; the food’s healthy and decent but you are def paying an Instagram tax; vegan and gluten free options $15-$20 ($10 snack size bowls) (5 min) 🌿♿
  • Pi Co: Neopolitan style pizzas, made to order, gluten free options, limited salad takeaway options $10-$15 (6 min)
  • Planta: upscale vegan/vegetarian dining, listed here for those with dietary restrictions, $17-$25 (6 min) 🌿♿
  • Onnki Donburi: nothing mindblowing but pretty affordable/fast, $11-$16 (7 min) n.b. weird hours on Sat, closed Sun
  • Okonomi House: okonomiyaki, made to order; recommended you place order beforehand for takeaway $8-$15 (7 min)
  • Ravi Soups: wraps and soups, good combos, fast; call ahead for pickup $10-$14 (7 min)
  • Caplansky’s Deli: Jewish style deli, fast, can take away $12-$15 (10 min)
  • Yorkville Village food court: various vendors, affordable, swanky seating area. Vegetarian/vegan OK. Walk upstairs for Palm Lane or further into the mall for Whole Foods $6-$15 (10 min) 🌿♿ (offers wheelchair rentals)

CHINATOWN/KENSINGTON

Given that most TCAFers would like to save their hard earned ca$h, your best options for excellent dining on the cheap is concentrated in this neighbourhood. It also should be easy to find something for those with dietary restrictions and more upscale options (El Rey, Grey Gardens, etc.) are available. My personal budget recommendations would be:

  • NEW! Crimson Teas (offers a lovely selection of Chinese teas and tea-infused dishes/desserts) $
  • FIKA (lovely Nordic style café with good pastries) $
  • Hibiscus (vegan/vegetarian place, better than Urban Herbivore but limited hours) $ 🌿
  • NEW! Icha Tea (fancy Chinese teas and desserts with a large, gorgeous tea room in the back) $$
  • Jackpot Chicken Rice (Asian comfort food, although saltier than is traditional, n.b., chicken is “ethically raised” in Ontario and hormone free) $$
  • Kekou (avoid all the Thai rolled icecream places and IG whoring dessert trend shops, Kekou is where it’s at) $
  • NEW! Luscious Desserts (Asian desserts, savory snacks also served) $
  • Patito (bumping little Filipino place; their cheesecake is to die for) $$
  • Rasta Pasta (I’ve had the jerk chicken dinner here for $5 so many times) $
  • Seven Lives (fresh tacos, good luck finding seating) $
  • Veggie D-Light (a favourite at The Beguiling) $ 🌿

You’ll notice I didn’t mention any Chinese restaurants in the Chinatown section. This is because the best Chinese food is located in Toronto’s suburbs like Markham. Having said that, Chinatown does have a plethora of solid restaurants, just walk up and down Spadina.

LITTLE TOYKO (new section ^^)

I prefer eating in Chinatown but TCAFers might also wish to check out Little Tokyo, located on Dundas from University to Bay. This small strip packs a concentrated strip of Asian restaurants, cafes and bakeries downtown. Recommend you to just walk along the strip and see what you like. Standouts include:

PERSONAL FAVOURITES

The last couple years have been rough as I’ve seen some of my favourite restos close. Some places I love that are still standing:

  • Yasu (Annex; high end sushi, better than Kaji – yeah, I said it) $$$$
  • Buk Chang Soon Tofu (Annex; cheap, tasty and blisteringly fast) $
  • Boralia (Queen West and Ossington; pitch perfect meals, great with dietary restrictions, pricey) $$$
  • Awai (High Park; excellent plant-based food with a PWYC/barter model, though you should pony up) $$$ 🌿
  • NEW! Chabrol (Yorkville; Southern French cuisine that is to die for, recommended you pop in just for this apple tart thing) $$$$

INDIGENOUS CUISINE

Indigenous cuisine has been in the spotlight lately so if you want to try some regional cuisine aside from poutine (which is a Quebecois thing anyway), check out:

  • Nish Dish (Koreatown, just west of the Annex) $
  • Pow Wow Café (Kensington Market) $
  • Ku-Kum (just east of Yonge between Davisville and Eglinton stations) $$$

I’ve eaten at all three places and they’re all delicious, all recommended!

ACCESSIBLE RESTAURANTS

This link comes courtesy of Dan Seljak and the AccessNowApp: Accessible restaurants near TRL. Thanks Dan!

Yelp also has a list of wheelchair accessible restaurants in Yorkville.

For other TCAF related advice, tips and further food recommendations (just check to make sure the business is still operating!) read my posts tagged #tcaf and categorized under Travel.