Top 5 Café’s in Toronto, Canada

One of the main arguments today is if having an increasing rate of café’s opening in one area a sign of success? In most cases, the answer to that question is yes. Many of the frequent Top 5 Café’s in Toronto have the leisure time of doing so, meaning in most cases they are financially stable enough to spend time in café’s along with having the freedom from their daily jobs, even if only for a short period. While other café patrons use the open and relaxing environment as a workspace due to the constant scent of coffee and aroma from the pastries that cafés are known to frequently serve. Though on the other hand, the café owners themselves play a major part as they are the ones who must sit in these areas, determine if opening a café would be profitable, and start their business.

In the ever growing and lively area of downtown Toronto, there has been an equally growing amount of independently owned cafes spots that are known for their coffee and pastry mixtures. An array of some of the most popular cafes in Canada, such as Crema, Dark Horse, and Jimmy’s have become successful enough to spread their business across the entire city. Though, there are even more delicious café’s that that should be considered the next time you happen to visit downtown Toronto. Listed below are our favourite 5 cafes in the city that has created loyal customers out of us due the delicious and fresh coffee brews and their scrumptious array of snacks to east on the side.

1. Snakes and Lattes


While this café may seem like it serves snakes on the side – you couldn’t be further from the truth. This cozy café is known for its delicious and unique Nutella lattés, scrumptious sandwiches, and its long menu of delicious meals for adults and children alike. The real kicker is that this café features wall filled with bookcases with a multitude of books all from different genres. Moreover, the café has over 3,000 board games that can be played during your stay. Its no wonder why this is such a recommended café for the socialites of Toronto.

2. Manic Coffee

This café is known for starting from a Kickstarter, along with other cafés in the early 2000’s. Since its grand opening, it has become a popular café to stop by due to its friendly and quiet vibe. Many indie lovers always flock to this café due to it resembling a café that would been seen in the previous decades, but with a modern twist. Along with its delicious coffee and homey environment, Manic Coffee is known for their delicious house-made gelato that serves as the perfect side during the summer and spring.

3. The Tempered Room


The Tempered Room is known for an array of things, one being the critically acclaimed pastry chef Bertrand Alépée serving his delicious and stunning desserts to complement your coffee, or maybe for the classic and comfortable atmosphere of the café that features a detailed brick wall, and sometimes even for their freshly brewed and famous coffee.

4. Fahrenheit Coffee

Even though Fahrenheit Coffee may be a smaller scale café, tier drinks and pastry combination packs a punch. This personal café features a lovely high bar seating area so patrons can enjoy the calming environment along with enjoying the scents of the array of freshly brewed coffee flavours and the sweet scent of their pastry collection.

5. De Mello Palheta


If you’re looking for the perfect combination between having a high-quality café along with a lively but perfect setting to sit down and do some work – then De Mello Palheta is the café you should go to. Due to the array of single or two-seater tables, patrons will be able to focus on their work while enjoying a nice side of fresh coffee to give them that much needed energy boost. Plus, their modern and interesting interior makes this café stand out from the rest.

How to Make Poutine

Poutine has to be THE dish of Canada, and it is not only delicious but also very easy to prepare. It is a pretty basic dish make of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy. There are many variations of the dish that can be made but don’t call it a Poutine unless it has these three ingredients.

1) Pick the Poutine you want to make: the classic way to make Poutine is the French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, but you can make variations. You can add other things such as bacon or ham and make with mac and cheese and add anything you really want. As long as you have the main three ingredients you are set and then go from there.

2) The fries are key:
One of the nice things about Poutine is that you can use, pretty much, any types of fries from the basic straight cuts ones and wedge ones to frozen ones and even tater tots. No matter what type of fries you use the ones that are on the crispy and not soggy side will work the best considering you are lathering it up with gravy.

3) Cooking the fries: I mentioned in the last point that the crispier, the better, as Poutine can be the tastiest when the fries are crispy on the outside and then a little soft and fluffy on the inside. If you make fries and they are on the softer side all the way around the gravy, and the cheese curds will make this more so and make for a dish that is a little on the soggy side with no crunch. If you are in a hurry or on a budget, frozen fries can be a great option, like many restaurants, cafes, and even McDonalds uses them so why can’t you?

4)The Cheese Factor: the best cheese to use when making Poutine is cheese curds that are on the squeaky side. However, if cheese curds are hard to find then you can also use mozzarella cheese, but the flavour will be different. Just like adding things to a Poutine dish you can use different cheeses from brie and Swiss to cheddar and gouda it is all up to you. However, the easier the cheese melts, the better it will be for this classic Canadian dish.

5) Have your additions ready: Before the main preparation for Poutine get your additions ready before adding the gravy. If you want bacon or ham make sure you have it ready for the final step. Have some onions or another veggie you want to throw in? Have it chopped, so they are ready to throw in when it is gravy time.

6) The Gravy is the last hill to climb:
Ok, so adding gravy to a dish is not really a hill to climb, but when making Poutine it is the last step. Heat up the gravy, so it is hot enough to melt the cheese. You want to melt the cheese and mix in with the fries, or anything else you may add, without all if it going to the bottom of the dish. Never add the gravy first, as the fries, cheese, and the gravy should be added to make it a more balanced dish to enhance the flavours. Just know that no matter what you put in your Poutine the gravy is the last thing to put on top.

Top Tasty Canadian Dishes

Canada has their fair share of great cuisine from sweet and salty dishes to their version of the Bloody Mary in the Caesar. Here are some of the top tasty Canadian dishes from Canada.

Poutine


Poutine is a dish with origins in French Canada and has become known as the countries signature dish. It made up of peppery meat gravy smothered on top of cheese curds and French fries. The famous side dish was thought to be invented in 1950, and several small towns in Quebec claim to have invented the dish. You will find Poutine at most restaurants in Canada, and they even have it on the menu at McDonald’s.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon is known in Canada as pea-meal bacon but called Canadian Bacon in the rest of the world. This type of bacon comes from lean pork loin that has not only been brined but also rolled in cornmeal as well. This is different than typical bacon, which comes from the belly of a pig. Around 1900 pork was exported from Canada to England and to preserve the meat on the voyage it was rolled in yellow peas, but now it is rolled in cornmeal.

Split Pea Soup


Split Pea Soup has an interesting story as for 400th anniversary of the travels of French explorer Samuel de Champlain chef Marc Miron was interested in what the early explorers ate in their new land. Back in the day, the explorers would use things that could last on a long journey such as cured meats and dried peas. Vegetables were added and out came split pea soup, which is still very popular these days not only around Canada but in the United States as well.

Tourtière

Tourtière is a French-Canadian dish that dates back hundreds of years. It is a flaky pie, and the name of Tourtière is thought to be derived from the ship that it was made in. Usually, the pie has ground meat, herbs and spices, and potatoes. Different kinds of meat can be used to make the dish, and on the coastal regions, some will even use fish. Tourtière is very popular during the holiday season.

BeaverTails

BeaverTails are basically a doughnut that does not have a hole and has been flattened. This is a very popular Canadian treat, and while invented by Graham Hooker’s family, who had the recipe for decades it was not introduced to the public until the late 1970’s. In 1979 Hooker opened the first BeaverTails outlet in Ottawa. The tasty treat can be topped with several things such as sugar and Nutella.

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts are very rich and sweet and very popular throughout Canada. The origins of the tar-tar thought to be around 1900, and it is a delicate tart that crumbles easily and has a cream filled centre of butter, sugar, and eggs. Many places that serve butter tart also add raisins, and you can find them at most bakeries and coffee shops.

Caesar

The Caesar is the one drink on the list and was invented in 1969 in Calgary by restaurant manager Walter Chell. It is kind of like a Bloody Mary, as the ingredients are vodka, a salt rim, Worchester sauce, and Clamato juice. Motts is the company that makes Clamato, and they have claimed that Canada makes in excess of 350-million Caesars annually.

Gourmet Cuisine – A Breakfast for Kings

Forget gourmet cuisine, Michelin-star food adventures. Forget about being served a few carrot strips with a bisque and pumpkin flavored ice cream, all for the not-too-paltry sum of a couple of hundred notes. There are greasy food adventures to be had. Most Brits love a traditional English breakfast. In fact, the Full English is one of the most popular breakfasts in the world. As it spreads across the globe, largely via expats and hotels/restaurants catering to expats, the Full English Breakfast is also becoming the focal point for a lot of health nuts. Health experts are telling Brits what they should and shouldn’t eat for breakfast, and how much of it to eat. The owners of greasy spoons up and down the country aren’t paying any attention to that, though. In fact, the Full-Full-Full English is now one of many food adventures that die-hard fans of this breakfast can now enjoy.

What’s in a Full English?

Lacking a proper name, what we call the Full-Full-Full English is a monster meal. Enough food for 2 or 3 days (sometimes more), these behemoth breakfasts are seen as more of a challenge and competition than a true food binge. So, what is the challenge and what kind of adventure are you likely to have taking it on?

For starters, the average Full English will have a few rashers of bacon, a couple of sausages, a fried egg (or two), hash browns, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, fried tomatoes, and possibly some black pudding (blood sausage) if you’re so inclined, typically costing under a tenner. Not bad for a breakfast worth over 1,500 calories. This hearty meal should see you through most of the weekend, which is when Brits tend to eat it. However, the Big Breakfast has now become the focus of many restaurants who aim to fill their tables with eager and food-loving competitors who swear they can take down a monster.

The Breakfast Adventure

There are many restaurants across the UK which will hand you a spot on their Wall of Fame and possibly the chance to eat for free, if you can finish their own take on the Full English. Before you think that this sounds easy, though, have a listen to this…

Four slices of fried toast, four large eggs, six pork or beef sausages, six strips of bacon, hash browns, slices of black pudding, baked beans, mushrooms and fried tomatoes. Britain’s Biggest Breakfast. The cost, £20, and the venue? The Wonder Café in Hillingdon, near London. If you can eat the whole lot in 45 minutes, it’s yours on the house.

Believe it or not, it has been done – once. Emma “the Human Hoover” Dalton managed to wolf down the 4,000-calorie behemoth live on This Morning, in a cool, calm and collected twenty-one minutes and thirty-four seconds.

Other venues offer similar challenges up and down the country. There is even a 9,000-calorie beast known as The Monster available in Rochdale’s Castle Café, although admittedly that offers up burgers and chips/fries, too.

Whilst many doctors will tell you to forget about this food adventure, it is something that many people find fascinating. Why stuff your face with red-hot chilis and spicy sauces in competitions, when you can eat your favorite breakfast (possibly for free) in one of Britain’s most loved and delicious food adventures?

Top Five Must Have Sandwiches

 

The joy of finding the perfect sandwich is one that makes your taste buds come alive with pleasure and delight. There have been many a wonderful culinary creation that fits the bill when it comes to sandwiches and many that quickly become staples in the thousands of sandwich shops that are found in cities, towns and tourist locations.

To honour these tasty creations, we thought a list of our top five must have sandwiches might be just what the doctor ordered.

French dip


The French Dip is an infamous delight of thinly sliced ribeye streak created in Los Angeles in the early 20th century. It has become a staple for many restaurants and sandwich shops throughout the U.S and Canada.

The best part to the French Dip is its au jus, a wonderful blend that adds flavour and pleasure as you engulf mouthful after mouthful of tender beef housing in a banquette style bun – a must have for any sandwich lover.

Philly Cheesesteak

Ahh yes, the Philly Cheesesteak, made famous in Philadelphia, it makes our list and the list of many others who love a well-constructed and hearty sandwich. In its short 20 year history, the Philly offers steak lovers a sandwich made for kings with a blend of cheese and other delectable toppings such as onions and mushrooms. Served most often on a toasted sub roll, it is heated to gooey perfection and is known for its heartiness.

Po-boy


The Po-boy was first invented back in 1929 during a streetcar strike. It got its name as a result of its creators calling it the “poor boys” sandwich. It is a wonderful concoction that can see its fillings spanning shrimp, oysters, steak and other tasty delights. Adding to it comes tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, special sauces, mayo and a large 24-inch roll.

Reuben


The Reuben has long been a favourite for many people, and rightfully so. It is a tasty mix of corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese with Russian dressing and served on rye bread.

It is not hard to find a local restaurant or sandwich shop offering the Reuben as a staple in their menu. It can be found in a number of different varieties when it comes to the bread used to house this tasteful joy, but the basics always remain the same. If you have yet to try one, you are missing out!

Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese is an American tradition that has crossed oceans and seen it become sandwich creators for producing art to a culinary canvas. Served between two slices of bread, it traditionally is offered with cheddar cheese and served with a side of tomato soup.

Yet, for those with a taste of flair, the grilled cheese has a taken on many a creation with other goodies added to its cheesy filling, whether that being multiple cheese varieties or created using gourmet ingredients to make it something special. Either way, you look at, the grilled cheese brings back memories from our school days when Mom would make it for lunch, or when in need of some comfort food, the grilled cheese simply can’t be beaten!