I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog where I share with everyone my top picks of restaurants or activities in Toronto for those that may not be living in the city. As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I want to share with everyone my top 5 go-to restaurants I crave for most weekend mornings for the past year (in no particular order):
1. The Green Wood
If you’re ever in the Leslieville area and want a simple and hearty brunch – this is your spot. We discovered The Green Wood at the end of last year and we’ve been loyal customers ever since. This cashless restaurant produces some of the freshest burgers and piping hot shashukas. All our visits have been very consistent in terms of food and service. They can get quite busy at peak hours so remember to make a reservation before heading out! Luckily enough for us, we’ve either visited them super early and super late and didn’t mind grabbing a spot for 2 at their bar.
2. Konjiki Ramen
E and I decided to finally brave the line of this Bib Gourmand restaurant at the beginning of the year. Since then, we’ve been frequent visitors (on a weekly basis to be exact) at Konjiki Ramen. The key is to arrive 10 minutes before the restaurant opens on the weekend or just come at odd times during the week. In fact, on weeknights, we’ve even arrived just before 6pm and only waited 5 minutes for a 2 person table.
Konjiki Ramen is known for their signature clam broth ramen – so don’t leave without trying their shio (mild) or shoyu (intense) ramens. We’ve tried a different bowl of ramen at every visit and our verdict is still their shio (mild) ramen. To top off your experience, remember to add an egg and extra pork belly to your deliciously truffle oiled bowl of ramen!
3. Shiso Tree Cafe (has now opened again!)
Located in J-Town, Shiso Tree Cafe serves up your not-so-traditional Italian pasta with Japanese inspired influences. I recommend visiting during lunch service because they offer lunch sets where you can add a soup and Japanese cake (from Nakamaura Bakery) for a few more dollars. They used to offer this as well for dinner service but they stopped offering the sets and also changed their pasta options when they changed their menus in December 2017.
When you visit at lunch service, Shiso offers a wide range of delicious Japanese pasta such as this Unagi Don pasta and my favourite Shrimp Okonomiyaki pasta. For those that want something more traditional, they also offer staples such as carbonara and napolitan pastas. And if you want more than pastas, they also offer delicious curry chicken katsu rice, udons, sandwiches and salads!
4. White Lily Diner
White Lily Diner serves up THE best patty melts and bacon maple syrup pancakes in my opinion. It’s pretty much the only thing we order here. Their patty melts consist of 6oz beef, American cheese sauce, Poblano relish – its really a must try! The best time to visit White Lily Diner is unfortunately right at it opens. The restaurant isn’t too big so it does fill up quite quickly and you’ll end up waiting for a bit but its totally worth it 🙂
5. Joey’s Restaurant
When I’ve been lacking greens the entire week, I actually look forward to Saturday mornings to indulge in Joey’s infamous Yellowfin Tuna Salad. Besides the fact that the salad looks like a piece of artwork itself, the salad is actually quite the refreshing and crisp dish that is much needed on days that I want to be healthier. For me, its the small touches like the cilantro ginger dressing with a sprinkle of peanuts that heightens the salad (coming from someone that rarely opts for salad at a restaurant).
Please let me know in the comments where your favourite weekend lunch spots are! Cheers & hope everyone has a great long weekend 🙂