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Archive for the ‘Annex Restaurants (Foodie)’ Category

Toronto: July: Festivals Galore

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Summer in the city means plenty of exciting festivals and events showcasing everything from athletes and jazz music to gelato, movies and dance. Here’s a look at what July has to offer:





This July-long yum-fest featuring Toronto restaurants allows you to sample diverse and innovative cuisine at a fraction of the regular cost thanks to prix-fixe menus. See here for more info about participating restaurants.

Toronto Fringe Festival







Running until July 12, this event is a potpourri of odd, inspiring and poignant performances that can centre on everything from Shakespeare to Oreo cookies. This year’s line-up boasts over 60 comedy shows, 14 dance and physical theatre shows, 30 dramas, 13 musicals, 20 national and 12 international companies hailing from around the globe. For details, click here .

Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games






Cheer on your fave aspiring Olympian as the best athletes from 41 countries and territories compete. Tickets start at just $20. Get your tickets here.

Beaches International Jazz Festival






From July 10 to 26, groove to a kaleidoscope of cool musicians in this 27th annual event featuring four stages of international talent. See website for more info.

Toronto Summer Music Festival

Marking its tenth year, this international classical music festival and academy brings world-renowned performing artists to Toronto for an unparalleled combination of concerts, guest lectures and master classes. See website for more information.

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival






Three weeks of Caribbean music, cuisine, visual and performing arts and revelry are up for grabs this month at this international event, the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. For more information, click here.

Open Roof Festival

This not for profit, outdoor music and film festival highlights independent filmmakers and artists from Canada and around the world. Profits go to Canada’s independent film production and music communities. For details, click here.

Play the Parks

From June to September the Yonge BIA is offering a free concert series and wellness program. Various downtown parks such as Trinity Park and College Park Courtyard offer an array of musical performers during various times. Click here for more.

Christie Pits Film Festival

Sundays at sunset is the date and time to take in this year’s theme of films about great villains. Enjoy classics such as Nosferatu, The Birds and There Will Be Blood. There’s nothing like an al fresco film to celebrate summer. For more information, see website.

Sunday Serenades

Running every Sunday until August 16, is big band, jazz and swing acts at Mel Lastman Square from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. For details, click here.


To experience the rhythms, sights, sounds and delicious aromas of Brazil be sure to check out this 12th annual event on July 19 at Earlscourt Park. Go to website for more.

Pan American Food Festival

if you enjoy the culture and flavours of the Americas – North, South, Central and the Caribbean – this one’s for you. The free event takes place from July 30 to August 3 at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. See Pan American Food Festival for info.




Koreatown offers Culture & Commerce

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Kimchi is just one of the many flavours of Koreatown, a vibrant commercial strip located in the family-friendly neighbourhood of Seaton Village.

Koreatown – also known as Little Korea or K-town – untitled1is located on Bloor, just west of the Annex, between Bathurst and Christie Streets. untitled2Characterized by a combination of good Korean restaurants, high-end fashion stores, acupuncture clinics and aesthetic boutiques, Koreatown is a magnet for the city’s Korean immigrants, students and explorers who wish to discover the sights and sounds of Korean culture.

Established in 2004, Koreatown offers visitors a vast arra y of flavours, from pork bone soup and bibimbaps to walnut cake and Korean BBQ. The city’s foodie elite have been making Koreatok1wn their favourite go-to dining destination as Korean food has earned a top spot on trending culinary lists for a number of years now.

The Korean Grill House, Arisu, Sunrise H ouse and Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu are all great options. Don’t forget to sample bulgogi, a marinated beef dish, or bibimbap, an assortment of rice, veggies, raw beef, fried egg and spices. Getting used to kimchi can be something of a test because its strong smell puts people off. But many say once you get over the initial aversion you can become addicted to the stuff. Kimchi is cabbage that has been fermented in salt then spiced up with a strong chili powder mixture so it tastes kind of salty, garlicky, spicy and sweet all at the same time.

If K-town’s kimchi doesn’t grab you, maybe the karaoke will. Nestled away in the basements of many retail shops, Koreatown is known for its lively assortment of karaoke bars, some of which operate into the wee hours. But if your vocal strains aren’t on par with Adele or Sam Smith you can still sing to your heart’s content minus the embarrassment of doing so in front of an audience. That’s right. You can hire your own private karaoke room. BMB Karaoke and Music Studio on Bloor West is one of the largest karaoke bars in the city. Get a private room and sing your heart out. They’ll also serve you noodles if you ask.images9XDGLC9O

Of course, Koreatown is a relatively new Toronto neighbourhood with roots that trace back about 50 years thanks, in part, to more liberal immigration policies the Canadian government helped pave the way for an influx of Korean immigrants to Toronto. According to the 2011 Canada Census, Toronto has the country’s largest concentration of Koreans, numbering nearly 65,000.

The past hundred years have not been kind to Korea, which was annexed by Japan in 1910 and later divided by civil war in the 1950s. Today the country is split by the communist north and a republic democracy in the south, which is where nearly all Korean immigrants come from.

Christie Pits Park is home to the DANO Spring Festival, an annual Koreatown signature event thimages04FB32YWat features martial arts demonstrations, exotic dancing and music and attracts as many as 200,000 visitors. The 22nd DANO festival will take place on the first weekend of June.

Interested in moving to the Koreatown area? Check out some of the current homes and condos for sale near Koreatown!


Winterlicious Starts this Friday!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

A Wintertime Culinary Celebration


Winterliscious 2014 Image

Let your palate take a stroll though the many yummy culinary flavours Toronto has to offer in February as part of the two-week-long Winterlicious festival for foodies.

The 11th annual event sponsored by the city features prix fixe menus from $15 to $45 and reservations are strongly recommended. Winterlicious runs from January 31 to February 13.

While visiting all 200-plus participating restaurants would be an impossible feat, we thought it better to narrow our focus to the Annex and Seaton Village neighbourhoods near Freeman Real Estate. Let’s look at those eateries that are within walking distance. That way, we can either work up an appetite on the way over or burn off a few calories on the way home.

Arisu at 584 Bloor Street West offers patrons a blend of modern and traditional Japanese and Korean cuisines with a vast array of menu choices. Order sushi with your bulgogi and you’ve covered the best of both worlds. Be sure to check out the Korean BBQ, a fun table-top grill that lets you be the chef.

Bistro Tournesol at 406 Dupont is an intimate restaurant, a favourite for Tarragon Theatre goers that serves a prix-fixe menu all year round. Classic French food at good value is what you get in this 30-seat restaurant. Be sure to check out the wine list.

The Corner House at 501 Davenport has been turning on the charm for 15 years in an unpretentious, relaxed atmosphere that combines a cozy French décor with moderate prices and great service. Expect nothing but deliciousness as former Jump chef Herbert Barnsteiner runs the kitchen brigade.

Led by celebrity chef Massimo Capra Mistura at 265 Davenport Road offer patrons upscale contemporary Italian cuisine with ingredients that reflect each changing season. The atmosphere is elegant yet relaxed, perfect for a night out with friends, sweethearts or business associates.

Get a psychic reading while waiting for your chicken gumbo at Southern Accent, a New Orleans inspired establishment that features Cajun, Creole and soul food in the warm hospitable embrace of fun and funky décor. Listen for the strains of zydeco and Louisiana music as you nosh on hush puppies and piquant sauce. Located in Mirvish Village at 595 Markham Street.

Splendido at 88 Harbord Street is a classic Toronto restaurant that mixes modern and traditional cuisines, incorporating fresh locally sourced fruits and veggies in addition to drop-dead gorgeous plate presentations. Consistently ranked as one of the city’s best.

Bon appétit!

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