Sunday, 8 September 2013

A Girl's Gotta Eat: Toronto Edition

I officially survived my first week of medical school. And although I already feel completely overwhelmed, I also feel a calming sense of knowing that I made the right decision. I feel right at home with my classmates and can’t wait to start learning more and more about naturopathic medicine. It’s hard work, but I know all this information will be of great benefit to my patients one day. While I’ve been living in Toronto since May, a lot of my classmates have moved here for the first time. Since I LOVE exploring and try new restaurants and food, I though a blog post on some of the best hole in the wall and hidden treasures would be a great choice.

Best sushi lunch special- Sushi on Bloor
This is not my own opinion, but the opinion of several other blogs and critic reviews online. There is a reason Sushi on Bloor has a line up at lunch every day. Their sushi is cheap, fast, good quality and incredibly delicious. My fav, #S7, hold the spicy mayo. There are vegetarian option as well.

Best dine-in sushi- To-ne Sushi
To-Ne Sushi on Queen west is the place to visit for sushi downtown. The restaurant (and bathrooms) are clean and nicely decorated, the staff friendly and the green tea is always hot and comforting. They have a good menu with lots of interesting roll combinations and appetizers. I love their seaweed salad, always beautifully presented and twice the size of most other restaurants. Prices are slightly higher, but 100% worth it for the quality and portion sizes. Try the Blue Jay Roll or Boston roll.

Best Korean- Ka Chi (St. Andrew Street location) 
This little restaurant is both the best Korean and my favorite restaurant to visit with my special guy. We discovered it walking around Kensington one afternoon, and now make weekly visits to the friendly staff at Ka Chi. The prices are ridiculously cheap; we still don’t understand how they can serve such good quality filling meals at small prices. Unlike some Asian restaurants that are rice (read carb) heavy, their dish actually contain huge quantities of fresh and flavorful vegetables, meat and seafood. I love the grilled mackerel and spicy stew combo, and the spicy stir-fried squid with vegetables. Be adventurous and try all the side dishes as well.

Best Indian- Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest on Bloor makes me feel like I’m back in Nepal whenever I visit. Their food is cooked from scratch and they will modify menu items (ie. no added cream) if you ask. The service is slow, but the food is worth the wait. My favorite is their lamb vindaloo, perfectly tender cooked lamb and great spice. The Himalayan Hunting platter is also great for sharing and one order of rice is PLENTY for two people.

Best Vegetarian- Fresh
Fresh has two convenient locations in Toronto, one at Bloor and Spadina and one at Spadina and Richmond. They have an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu that even true meat eaters will enjoy. Their ace of kales salad, and soup, salad, cornbread combo are two of my favorite items. They have tons of GF options, and really interesting combinations of veggies and sauces. Try their sweet potato fries for a yummy indulgence.

Best GF friendly lunch spot
Arepa Café located on Queen west is a celiac’s haven. Their sandwiches are all made on grilled cornbread, and they offer a variety of meat and vegetarian fillings. The meat is fantastic and the sandwiches are huge enough to fill you up for the afternoon.

Best Dessert
Menchies in the Annex beats out all other fro-yo places in the city. Their frozen yogurt simply has more flavor, and they have tons of different healthy (fruit, nuts) and less healthy (chocolate, candies) toppings to choose from.

Still to try
There are two restaurants in Kensington market that are on my radar. Hibiscus Café is vegetarian and GF friendly, offering huge buckwheat crepes with sweet and savory fillings. Seven Lives apparently has amazing tacos with creative fillings and long line-ups to match.

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