THE BEST OF TORONTO

I recently spent 6 months in Toronto doing an out-of-town tryout for a new play. Aside from the winter (which is 100% BRUTAL) I fell completely and totally in love with the city. And you will too, @sam! Here's some of my favorite places to eat & drink, and cool things to do while you're in town:
  1. 416 Snack Bar
    Great, intimate place to go out with girlfriends or to bring a date. Everything on their tapas-style menu is small, shareable & meant to be eaten with your hands. Side note: best Manhattans I've had anywhere!
  2. Khao San Road
    1,000+ Yelp reviews aren't wrong! Best authentic Thai in the city. Don't leave without trying the Khao Soi curry with short-rib!
  3. Free Times Café
    Jewish/Mediterranean restaurant with an INSANE weekend buffet brunch. Complete with funky live music & great people-watching!
  4. The Painted Lady
    This Ossington bar is the best place for cheap drinks and live music. aBabe Music, a local artist collective, has a long-time residency here and every Tuesday and Saturday they host a lineup of killer local bands. Some of my favorites: Bad Dad and the Pool Girls, The Celebration Army and Lobü.
  5. Foxley
    Don't be deterred by its appearance! Absolutely fantastic Asian-Fusion. Small plates, a lot of fish on the menu. They always have great specials!
  6. Bahn Mi Boys
    One of Toronto's most popular (cheap!) lunch places. You'll probably have to wait for a table, but it's worth it. My favorites are the Kalbi Beef Taco (huge for $4) and the Pork Belly Bahn Mi (garnished with tons of fresh veggies & cilantro!)
  7. Forno Cultura
    Local, family-owned Italian bakery. Get literally ANYTHING (it will be good), but I can highly recommend the Italian cookies and focaccia.
  8. Nazareth
    Best Ethiopian food in the city. There are only 5 people working at any given time (including the chefs) so customer service is a mess, but the food is worth it.
  9. Meli's
    Tiny shop tucked into a market on Queen Street, this place sells the best baklava I've ever had. You can buy by the piece, or purchase one of their beautiful pre-packed boxes.
  10. Bar Hop
    My favorite bar downtown. Great atmosphere, great food, reasonably priced drinks. Look for their daily deals!
  11. Try poutine
    Because you're in CANADA! Top favorite places to get it: Smoke's Poutinery, Poutini House of Poutine and Lakeview Diner.
  12. Have dim-sum in Chinatown
    Toronto has a huge international district, and is home to some top-notch dim sum restaurants. I'd recommend Rol San, Asian Legend, Dim Sum King and Mother's Dumplings.
  13. Take a walk through Trinity-Bellwoods Park
    The leaves will be beautiful (I hope)!
  14. Kensington Market
    One of my favorite areas in the city! Indoor and outdoor markets, boutiques, restaurants & coffee shops - all with a funky, local vibe.
  15. Explore Queen Street West
    Named one of the hottest new neighborhoods in North America, Queen Street has great restaurants, boutiques & bars.
  16. Ripley's Aquarium
    I KNOW, but sincerely, this is the best aquarium I've ever been to! If you have half a day to kill and find yourself downtown, this is an A+ option.
  17. Go to a hockey game
    I never got to do this while I was there, but a couple of other castmates did and had a blast. Definitely worth looking into!
  18. Bar hop in the Distillery District
    Super-hip area, great bars and warehouse clubs. During the day, boutiques and brew houses.
  19. IF YOU'RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS: Axe-throwing at BATL!
    The cast did this on one of our days off and it was so much fun! Once they teach you the basics and you have some time to practice, you get to compete in a traditional "Round Robin" tournament...throwing axes. It's BYOB and badass!