Sunday Somewhere: October 2020
Struggling to find inspiration for your long weekend plans? I’ve got you covered with Sunday Somewhere. So read on, and go spend your weekend in the Middle of Somewhere.
Please note: Just because the post is titled Sunday Somewhere, it doesn’t mean all locations are necessarily open on Sundays. The intention is to inspire your future adventures. Please remember to check each businesses’ website for opening hours – some are closed on certain days of the week or have altered operating hours due to COVID-19.
EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH A DIY FOOD HOP
Since you may feel a bit uneasy eating inside restaurants, what better way to feed your soul and support local businesses than taking your food to-go on a DIY food hop! You’ve probably already heard that Kensington Market is popular for food tours, so below you’ll find three lesser-well known areas for food hopping inspiration. I’ve also included some watering holes and coffee shops, in case you decide you want to stop to rest your feet or your appetite! It’s worth noting that many cocktail shops are currently offering wines, beers and liquors to go, in the event that you don’t want to sit but you still want to show your support. Alternatively, grab a drink from a coffee shop instead! Be sure to wear layers so that you can capitalize on patio options and stay warm while you wander.
I strongly encourage you to try to restrict yourself to small portions at each spot so that you can visit more locations and sample more food. Better yet, split each item with a friend!
There are so many great eateries along Ossington, and plenty of places that offer to-go options. Last winter, I somehow convinced my boyfriend to do this food hop in the middle of one of Toronto’s biggest snowstorms of the season. We had a great time regardless, but fall weather sure would have been more ideal!
Food To Fill You Up:
- Bobbie Sue’s Mac & Cheese for some of the city’s best mac & cheese. My recommendation is to always start with the classic, but they have plenty of variations with great toppings, so eat your heart out!)
- Blondie’s Pizza (you can get individual slices at this location!)
- Burgers N’ Fries Forever for a burger, fries, poutine or all of the above! I haven’t been here yet, but if you go, please let me know what you think.
- Head to Downtown Winery for wine tasting or alternatively, head west on Queen St. and sit down at Après Wine Bar (they also have excellent bites if you’re still hungry & they’re currently running a Japanese food pop-up!)
- Stop in at Pastiche to pick up some boozy freezies to-go (my friend told me about these and I was skeptical at first, but I can attest they were delicious! Pastiche also has a number of other cocktail kits that you can order to-go. Check their website for pickup hours & details!)
- In the mood for something non-alcoholic? Head east along Queen St. to Forno Cultura for what’s said to be fantastic coffee.
- Of course, you can’t miss the famous Bang Bang Ice Cream for an ice cream sandwich.
- More into pastries? Forno Cultura has you covered.
Corktown is definitely a quieter, lesser-explored area of the city, often overshadowed by the neighbouring St. Lawrence Market & Riverdale. However, there are some great hidden gems that are certainly worth checking out.
Food To Fill You Up:
- There are so many options at Terroni Sud Forno Produzione e Spaccio (Spaccio) on Sackville St. that you could probably do your entire food hop inside the sprawling 13,000 sqft space. Spaccio opened earlier this year and provides visitors with the ability to be mesmerized over bread & pasta production and of course, pick up amazing bites while inside (pasta, pizza slices, desserts, gelato and more – you can even take some fresh bread or fresh pasta to make at home!).
- If you don’t fill up at Spaccio, pop over to The Esplanade for Cluck Clucks Chicken & Waffles for fried chicken & waffles (duh!) or Mom & Pops for jerk chicken, sandwiches and Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.
- Henrietta Lane is a great coffee shop & cocktail bar on King St E.. Stop by their patio or pre-order pantry items and meal kits to take home (check out their website for more info).
- Oldtown Bodega is another patio option that is a couple of doors down from Henrietta Lane on King St E. They’re serving cocktails, beer, wine and small bites.
- Alternatively, stop at the Spirit of York in the Distillery District for some patio flights
- Coffee shops: Tandem Coffee (King St E.), Spaccio (above), Rooster Coffee House (King St E.)
- Roselle Desserts on King St. E. for beautiful European pastries. Check their Instagram for the latest hours.
- Brick St. Bakery for pies, cookies & more. Visiting the bakery also provides a great excuse to wander through the Distillery District.
- SOMA chocolatemaker for artisanal chocolates, also in the Distillery District.
A couple of years ago, I went to The Junction specifically for Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken, and I have since found myself continually returning to the neighbourhood as it’s filled with great food, cute shops and beautiful heritage buildings.
Food To Fill You Up:
- Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken is a must if you love spicy chicken sandwiches. It’s one of the best in the city and is truly reminiscent of the famous hot chicken sandwiches from the famed country music city.
- When The Pig Came Home Delicatessen for highly reviewed sandwiches, including a whole slew of breakfast sandwiches and their popular smoked meat sandwich.
- Honest Weight for a great fish sandwich, burger, and more seafood options. It’s also worth picking up some goodies to take home to cook for dinner.
- Baguette & Co. for Banh Mi, a French Dip & other sandwiches and salads.
- Maiz for tacos, burritos & bowls. They are a sit-down restaurant, but you can order for pickup online.
- Cafes: Full Stop Cafe or UB Social Cafe & General Store (they both also have several food options)
- Indie Ale House for beers to take home from their bottle shop (they also have food options – you can call in or order online for pickup).
Fall offers stunning vistas, farms to explore, warm drinks and the perfect excuse to cosy up at home. The activities below will help you make the most out of the long weekend.
Visit A Farm
Get Lost in a Corn Maze: During a previous Autumn, my boyfriend and I drove out to The Hanes Corn Maze. It was a great way to get out of the city and enjoy the outdoors on a crisp fall day. Plus, The Hanes Corn Maze also has an associated bakeshop (The Tiny Bakeshop) that has some unreal desserts. Worth noting that you can also pre-order pies (they make 30 different kinds)!
Note that you must book a slot ahead of time through their website. This year, the Hanes Corn Maze is a whopping 20 acres! They expect it to take ~2 hours to complete, but they also offer mini mazes if you are looking for a shorter option.
- Pringle’s Corn Maze (8 acres with challenges along the way; they estimate it takes ~1 hour to complete) *book in advance
- Cooper’s CSA Farm & Maze (10 acres & you can bring your dog on Saturdays with the purchase of a dog ticket!) *book in advance
- Stonehaven Farms (6 acres & are also offering wagon rides on the farm) *walk-ins only
Walk Rattlesnake Point & Visit Springridge Farm: In an earlier post on the Best Activities to do this Fall (you can read it here), I highlighted Rattlesnake Point as a great place to take in fall vistas. Make the day even more exciting by popping over to nearby Springridge Farm for picking up pumpkins, apples, cider or indulging at their delicious bakery (they’re open daily, 9-5).
If you’re looking for more options, you can check out nearby:
- Bousfield’s Apple & Cider for pre-picked apples, pears and grapes and other great organic products
- Applevale Orchards for pick yourself or pre-picked apples (currently open daily 10-5)
Apple Pie Trail
Yes, there’s such a thing as an Apple Pie Trail, and you’ll find it just north of Toronto, in the lovely towns of Blue Mountain, Thornbury, Meadford and Beaver Valley. It was created to celebrate South Georgian Bay’s apple-growing history. It isn’t an physical trail, per say, but instead the ‘trail’ includes a collection of businesses (bakeries, cider houses, galleries, orchards and more) that you can choose to visit, on a design-your-own-adventure kind of day through apple country. You can browse through the four regions (here) or the brochure (here) to build your own adventure. Alternatively, if you are looking for more of a packaged experience, the website provides pre-made itinerary recommendations, including a self-guided sticky bun tour!
Cosy Up Inside
Write A Letter: Take some time during the long weekend to relax in the comfort of your own home. Cosy up with a warm drink and write a letter to someone you care about, just because. Want to surprise them with a beautiful card? Check out cards from local Canadian artist, Niki Kingsmill. She even offers a program where she will hand write your message and send your card directly to a recipient.
Try A New Recipe: If you haven’t yet tried the homemade basil ricotta recipe that I posted earlier this year, the long weekend is the perfect occasion! Alternatively, dust off an old cookbook and spend some time making a delicious long-weekend brunch or fall-inspired dinner.
Have a puzzle or games day: Spoil yourself with a new game or puzzle, and take it easy with a games day. Currently, this Gray Malin puzzle is my favourite – it’s double sided and features two of the photographer’s incredible aerial shots. As for games, my current favourites are Sequence (requires a combination of strategy and luck), Codenames (all about connecting with your partner with one word) and Telestrations (merging pictionary with broken telephone).
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Armed Jewelry is a Toronto-based jewellery brand with a focus on making affordable pieces that don’t tarnish over time. Their pieces are meant to be worn through wherever the day takes you – including in the shower and at the gym. Read on for an interview with the awesome founder, Desiree Girlato.
Take a peek at my favourite monthly finds in the September 2020 edition of Somewhere Spotlight.
Escape to the Middle of Somewhere this fall. Read on for how to elevate the best activities to make them even more exciting.