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The Annex is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Toronto, Canada spread throughout Bathurst, Dupont, Bloor, and Avenue. Here are best spots to eat that will satisfy any appetite.
Who doesn’t love a really good slice of pizza? Za Pizzeria is one of the few places that barbecues their pizza using a pizza stone and oven top. This allows the sauces, cheese, and dough to meld together, creating a delicious masterpiece. Go for one of the classics like margherita or pepperoni, or opt for what the restaurant is known for — creative concoctions. The Oh Canada pizza, maple syrup, bacon and potato chips, is great for locals. The more exotic Za-vlaki pizza, garlic butter, roasted chicken, pico de gallo, and tzatziki, is also a fan favorite. The restaurant only has a few seats and caters more towards take-out and delivery service. So be sure to grab a spot early or take it home for a Friday night in.
Za Pizzeria, 402 Bloor Street W., Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 345 9292
Known for its freshly pressed juices and made-in-house vegetable bowls, Fresh prides itself on serving food made with only natural preservative-free produce. This pumps up that flavor profile, and allows guests to taste the freshness of the ingredients with every bite. All of the items offered on the menu are vegan — some even cater for gluten-free diets. But you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy Fresh. Head there on a weekend morning, and go for the pancakes, or brunch burrito. Can’t hang without getting your cheese fix? Not to worry — there’s the option for dairy add-ons to any dish.
Fresh, 326 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, + 1 416 599 4442
With summer fading and the number of warm-weathered days diminishing, be sure to put Big Crow on your list for spots to enjoy the outdoors while dining. Head to this woodsy outdoor patio, lined with communal picnic tables and encircled by trees that have created a private space. The food is served family-style — large dishes that are meant to be shared — and the baby back ribs and grilled corn are a must.
Big Crow, 176 Dupont St., Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 748 3287
There’s usually a line out the door for the weekend brunches at Fanny Chadwick’s, and it’s not surprising. Menu items like smoked beef brisket hash or Finnish pancakes for the breakfast crowd, and house-made sausage for the night-owls, means no one ever leaves disappointed. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and the food is always fresh. This cozy 1950s-style diner is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some comfort food, especially after a night out on the town.
Fanny Chadwick’s, 268 Howland Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 944 1606
Are you dreaming of springtime in Paris? Head to Le Paradis, a bistro near Dupont Street and Davenport Road, for an authentic French experience. Sip on a glass of cold Sancerre on the patio, and enjoy the serenity that accompanies this classy brasserie. The menu changes daily, keeping the selections interesting, and the food is something to be remembered. It’s even rumored that the servers speak French. Bon appetit.
Le Paradis, 166 Bedford Rd., Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 921 0995
Located in the heart of the Annex, this restaurant and lounge has something for everyone. Insomnia is open from 10am until the wee hours of the morning the following day. This means you can have their signature coffee and eggs Benedict at any point in the day or night. The kitchen offers all sorts of comfort food, including late-night snacks that go well with Old Ezra’s Rootbeer Float, a specialty cocktail, or the Toronto Sour.
Insomnia, 563 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 588 3907
Newly established in 2011, this restaurant is more than just a place to get your grub on — it’s also always a ball of fun. Formerly known as GuuSakabar, Kinka Izakaya specializes in tapas — think deep-fried prawns and beef carpaccio. There’s also Japanese beer and sake with a list that covers more pages than the food. Servers enthusiastically greet each patron with a smile, seating guests at the communal-style dining room filled with long wooden tables. Not a large party? It’s the perfect way to make new friends. Singles are encouraged to mingle with other Torontonians. Go for the fried brie cheese, and be sure not to miss the baked oysters — a fan favorite.
Kinka Izakaya, 559 Bloor Street W., Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 343 1101
For those looking for a sushi option that won’t break the bank, Sushi On Bloor is the place to go. Expect a line out the door, but know that the wait is well worth it. Go for the lunch special — a large portion bound to last you until dinner, or head here for some maki, sashimi, or chicken teriyaki for a price easy on the wallet. The atmosphere is casual, and is the perfect spot to go with a group, plus there’s free ice cream. Go for the grilled squid appetizer, or the red dragon roll, spicy tuna, green onion, shrimp tempura topped with avocado and eel.
Sushi On Bloor, 525 Bloor Street W., Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 516 3456
Every once in a while we all crave the comfort food of home. This small Hungarian diner on Bloor and Borden has people coming back again and again for a taste of the authentic schnitzel and breaded mushrooms. At Country Style Hungarian Restaurant, the tables are lined with checkered tablecloths, and the walls covered in wood paneling. The portions are deceivingly large, but perfect for sharing, so make sure to bring a friend.