City Living: Toronto Bucket List

This time of year, Toronto gets a bit of a bad rap. We’re constantly whining about the weather
and all of those cool summertime to-do’s must wait until the spring. No patios to hit up on a sunny afternoon. Despite this, we consider ourselves pretty
lucky to get to live in this awesome city. Toronto is home to some great sports
teams (well, 
that may be up for debate ), excellent theatre, concerts, cool
neighbourhoods and restaurants. There are endless options for things to do any
day of the week.
 We’ve put together a
list of the things we’ve always wanted to do in this great city of ours – sort of like a guide to being a tourist in your own city. 


CN Tower EdgeWalk

A few of us want to conquer this crazy trip up the (former) world’s largest free standing structure.  Despite the high price, “Toronto’s Most Extreme Attraction” has been super popular and is now in its second season. The videos look crazy and this only for the bravest of the brave.
If you want to gear up and spend 30 minutes at the top of our city, try it out!
Season two lasts until this Sunday – it’s your final weekend!
Brave and stylish 😉
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Kensington
Market

One of the perks of being a publicist is getting to go to a lot of unique events around
town.  However, sometimes 
this doesn’t leave time for the obvious Toronto activities. It’s a
bit embarrassing but a couple of us have yet to explore
Kensington Market,
Toronto’s most vibrant and unique neighbourhood. Just west of Chinatown, with College Street to
the north and Dundas Street to the south, Kensington is home to great
vintage shops with spending-hours-hunting-worthy music, clothing and jewellery. On top of that, there’s a whole slew of spots to eat and drink. We love the new pub Thirsty and Miserable (wicked beer selection), the Bellevue and 
Big Fat Burrito (sometimes, you just need a big, fat burrito).

No shortage of character.
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Love the eclectic and colourful buildings in the market.
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Try some cool, new (or old) restaurants

For some of us, our weekends revolve around a new
restaurant or food trend that we’ve been dying to try. Next up for us? Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs.
Newly open on College Street, this unique place offers some “haute-couture”
hot dogs. A little something to remind you of your childhood, with a grown-up twist – especially with toppings like shrimp, lettuce horseradish mayo and hot sauce on their Po’Boy Gets Fancy or BBQ pork and cabbage slaw on the Southern Fancy. 

Even fancier than these dogs.
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Window shop on Bloor Street

We may love fashion, but that doesn’t mean we can afford
it! As
previously posted, we love Joe Fresh for affordable and stylish pieces,
but 
wouldn’t it be nice to purchase something from Chanel? Of course it would! With the holiday season around the corner, retail shops are dressing up their windows with extra-special displays, making it the perfect time to grab a hot chocolate and stroll down Bloor. Window shopping on Toronto’s version of Rodeo Drive is one of those things that we always recommend that visitors do, but rarely make the time ourselves. The holiday season is the perfect time to get on it.
Every girl’s dream.
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Yum, Yum: Taco Wars

If you live in Toronto, chances are you’ve eaten a taco, or at least thought about eating a taco, in the past month. With a plethora of options to enjoy these tortilla delights, we thought we’d give you a run down of the top spots in the city.


El Trompo (277 Augusta Ave.) 

Perhaps the only cactus grill in Toronto?



Pros: Located in Kensington Market, El Trompo offers the most authentic Mexican tacos of the group.  The menu also offers Quesos Funditos, which besides being fun to say is a clay pot filled with molten cheese. 

Yum. 



Cons: The fillings are pretty traditional, so don’t expect to be wow’d by innovation. Ditto for the cocktail and beer menu. This is a Kensington staple, but maybe not where you’d want to bring someone you’re looking to impress.


Taco tip: While their west-facing patio is often busy, table turnaround is quick so you’re never waiting long. Another bonus? El Trompo offers a Mexican brunch on the weekends, with huevos (eggs) done a few different ways. 


La Carnita (501 College St.) @la_carnita

Look at all that space!



Pros: If you ever had to wait in hour-long line-ups when La Carnita was just a pop-up, you’ll be happy to hear they’ve newly opened a permanent location. With a big dining room, guests are seated and satiated very quickly. We love that they’ve continued to distribute their signature artwork to each guest.

Amazing.



Cons: While we loved their Voltron fish taco, overall our tastebuds weren’t blown away by the steak and chorizo tacos. Plus, a taco joint that plays hip hop? Sounds remarkably similar to another place on our list. 


Taco tip: We got three words for you – Mexican. Sweet. Corn. We highly recommend starting off your meal with this tasty app. 


Playa Cabana (111 Dupont St.) @PlayaCabana

Cute and welcoming.



Pros: Reservations! Not only does Playa Cabana take them, but we highly recommend you make one. We seriously enjoyed the Ancho Braised Short Rib-Brisket Crispy tacos, but were also drooling over their Oaxacan cheese-wrapped chorizo tacos.

Tasty, but a bit pricey.



Cons: Playa Cabana is the priciest of the bunch. We had a bit of sticker shock after a recent dinner there, so be warned – tacos ≠ cheap. As well, vegetarians get a bit jilted on taco choices.


Taco tip: The extensive menu has a wide range of offerings outside of tacos. The Spicy Mole Enchiladas were delicious and we’ll definitely be ordering the Poblano Chile Rellenos the next time we’re in. 


Grand Electric (1330 Queen St. W.) @grandelectricTO

Simple, yet satisfying.



Pros: You may have heard some buzz about this Parkdale hotspot. And, well, the buzz is warranted. Tacos are nearly perfect – ultra-affordable at around $3 each, creative toppings/flavour combinations and the fish taco is one of the best we’ve ever had – Mexico and California included. We also dig the casual atmosphere, 90s hip-hop soundtrack and extensive bourbon list. Non-pretentious. 

Tacos come served on one big tray. Tough to decide which to eat first.



Cons: The wait. Lining up for 2 hours is worth it maybe the first time, but gets tired pretty quickly. Plus, sometimes you get booted out of your seat after having ordered, for another party that’s been waiting longer (true story). They also no longer take phone numbers when the patio is open so you can’t leave and come back, and definitely don’t take reso’s. Another “trend” we’re tired of. 


Taco tip: Come hungry. Very, very hungry, so you can order one of each taco, plus guac and any of the other non-taco menu options. They’re all amazing. Also, make sure to try whatever their daily special is, especially if they have their fantastic pozole on offer.


Tacos El Asador (690 Bloor St. W.)



Pros: Nostalgia! This Koreatown joint (yep, tacos in the heart of kimchi land) has been around for ages and is one of the original spots in the city for authentic Central American eats. It’s also cheap, so was a go-to date spot for those of us who did undergrad in the city. Cute and cheery inside, with tons of colour, picnic tables and Latin music playing. If you like spice, their salsas and hot sauces are muy caliente. 

Carne asada.



Cons: It’s small. But perfect for this heat – take them to Christie Pits. Sometimes the tacos can be a bit dry. 


Taco tip: If you love nachos, order them here to get a sense of how they should truly be served (sorry, Sneaky Dees. Yours aren’t so authentic). No sour cream, but they’re served with a ton of toppings – beans, fresh avocado, cotija cheese, jalapeños on the side, etc. Grab a Negro Modelo to go with.


There you have it: our guide to the best tacos in the city. Buen provecho!