Tag Archives: patio

Let the Season Begin…

It is finally springtime here in Toronto, which means we are but one season away from my favourite: SUMMER!! And the warmer weather means that another season is upon us: patio season!!! There is just something about sitting outside, in the fresh air, fending off bees, that makes fooding all the better. We never finished off the list of best patios last year. I was extra psyched about our first patio outing for many reasons. We were celebrating that I have been accepted to the Book History and Print Culture collaborative program at U of T. We were going to (finally!) go to Queen Margherita Pizza on the way. And we were going to stop in at Wanda’s Pie In the Sky in Kensington Market for the best cheesecake. All of this on the way to Cocktail Bar! What a day we had planned. Oh and we were going to get best salad in the city from The Goods. This one I was less psyched about as I vehemently oppose salad. Except fruit salad, that one is OK.

Turns out cheesecake fever is hitting the city. Maybe it was the hype about being voted best cheesecake or maybe interest in cheesecake is on the rise (thanks to the new Japanese cheesecake place with multiple-hour-long line-ups). Either way, the cheesecake was sold out- again.. This was our second attempt.


Up next was Queen Margherita Pizza. I was excited about this as I enjoyed the pizza from FBI Pizza, another of their operations. This was much fancier, a sit-down restaurant rather than take-away slices. In a moment of hunger, we wound up ordering two pizzas. Brent’s pizza looked like someone dumped a salad on it. On top of the pulled pork and onions was a massive pile of greenery. My pizza was much better: spicy sausage and cheese, can’t go wrong. The best part however was the crust. They easily have the best pizza dough in the city.


Full of pizza we made our way over to The Goods for the city’s best salad. Thankfully for me, ever the salad hater, they also had smoothies. I had a bite of salad, but I was picky and so I purposely left out the tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage and other greeneries. I mostly just ate some quinoa and tahini salad dressing. The smoothie was delicious, it tasted like liquid carrot cake crossed with spicy hot chocolate. It sounds weird, but it was delicious. We sat in the park finishing off our food, realizing it was a good thing that the cheesecake had been sold out. We were stuffed as it was.


Our last stop of the day was Black Hoof’s Cocktail Bar. From the street the patio looked small and I seriously questioned why it had been voted one of the best. Glancing over the menu I quickly understood why. It was not so much about the patio itself (which was ok, it was kind of small though). It was about the epically amazing drinks menu. They really do live up to the name Cocktail Bar. The drinks were artfully crafted and delicious. We tried both their takes on traditional cocktails as well as some original ones. The menu was far too long to stay there and try all the different drinks.    I felt so fancy sipping my special cocktails on the patio. It was an amazing kick-off to start the warm patio season.



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Brew With A View

Last weekend was the first nice weekend of the year, when you could go outside and not wonder if you should bring a scarf or sweater. As if we needed an excuse to go out for lunch on a best patio? It was so warm (hot really) that we went down to Against The Grain which is right on the waterfront. We were a little bit worried that the patio would be full, given the whole city was out and about, both for Doors Open and the weather.


Thankfully we were seated in the shade, I had had just about enough of the sun frying my face. The patio had a nice view of the lake and even of the Toronto Islands which were surprisingly close. To start we split a plate of pork tacos. They were the overall winner. The turkey club sandwich was ok, but for some reason they did not heat up the turkey. The bread was crunchy and still a bit warm from over-toasting, which was a stark contrast to the cold (!) turkey. I did enjoy the mountain of fries though.


Brent summed the patio up nicely: brew with a view. Against The Grain’s patio is best for lounging and sipping, the food wasn’t outstanding. The Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea), now that was outstanding!




Best Diner Patio- Take 2

Continuing in our trend of revisiting restaurants after our first attempt at eating on the patio fails, I managed to convince Brent to go out on a Tuesday instead of Wednesday, the sky was clear blue and it was boiling hot outside. Or I was still very out of it from having been sick all weekend (20+ hours of sleep and all I wanted was to sleep the next day). Plus they were calling for rain and thunder on the Wednesday. It was settled, we would go back to the best diner patio: Rosedale Diner (which is not as far as I had thought, turns out we took the long way last time by going down to Bloor).

I had been torn between getting the duck poutine and steak frites last time, leaving little question as to what I would order this time, steak frites, duh. We traded halfway but I was not having Brent’s bison burger. The meat was too bland, we traded back for the last few bites. For some reason there were shards of onion in my fries. The only good thing about the steak was the bites with sundried tomatoes (I know right, me? Liking tomatoes? Finding something improved when with them?!?).


The patio was nice and secluded, it almost seemed like someone’s backyard. You could not hear the traffic of Yonge St back there. I wish we had somehow known to just order the hummus and pitas, that was the best item on the menu.


I really hope patio season improves because so far the patios have been better than the food.


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