Dive into this new lakefront ’hood
What was once lightly inhabited land is now on the up and up. Here’s where to nosh and sip in the new harbourfront.
Between Sugar Beach east of Yonge and the new Queen’s Quay on the west side, Toronto is starting to establish a waterfront that we can be proud of. While the weather is sunny and warm, this is the place we’re drawn to for a Blue Jays game, aweinducing aquarium visits or leisurely rides along the waterfront bike trail.
Stay well-fed — with both food and excellent beer — at these five harbourfront gems.
The food at this over 700-seat behemoth is inconsistent, but the trad pretzel and charcuterie are bright spots.
Here “Adventure Series” is code for the “astonishingly high-quality creations by Iain McOustra and his team of brewers — some of the best beers in the city.” They can be sour, barrel-aged or especially hoppy — but they are always top-notch.
Try to arrive at an off-hour to snag a seat on the lakeside patio, offering a surprisingly relaxing view of planes landing at Billy Bishop Airport. 245
Queens Quay W., 416-504-1020
“Have dim sum from a cart.” This advice probably makes every short list penned by Torontonians for their foodster friends visiting our city. Combine the rolling service with a knockout view of the harbour, and Pearl is the area’s best bet for this staple.
Keep an eye out for the Pan Fried Hockey Pucks ($6), shrimp and scallion dumplings that taste intensely of green onion. The steamed scallop dumplings ($6) are also a strong suit and are a welcome change from shrimp har gow. 2, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-203-1233
INDIAN ROTI HOUSE
This bare-bones lunch counter survived years of construction, based on the strength of its food. The veg or meat rotis are generous portions and well spiced, but a favourite — especially for a multi-stop crawl — is the samosa chaat ($4.95). The crispy pastry of the three triangles balances nicely against the sweet and sour notes from the tamarind sauce and yogurt dressing.
If you’re not taking away, skip this stop if it looks like rain. The patio is an absolute necessity: inside, it’s as hot as Chennai in June. 256 Queens
Quay W., 416-260-6666
The classic steak house is back in style, and this venerable restaurant has long held a reputation as one of the finest in the city. Located in the historic Harbour Commission Building, Harbour 60 serves fine cuts of steak but also a surprisingly vast selection of seafood, both as entrees or as smaller plates for nibbling including halibut ceviche, as well as an iced shellfish and raw bar. 60 Harbour St., 416-777-2111
Long a midtown favourite for South Asian cuisine, Jaipur Grille has recently opened up a second location on Queen’s Quay.
The harbourfront location’s menu includes many Indian favourites, such as chicken makhani and shrimp vindaloo, as well as a wide range of offerings from the tandoor beyond the usual chicken, such as king prawns, grouper and seekh kebabs. Jaipur Grille, 208 Queen’s Quay W., 416-368-7272
AGAINST THE GRAIN
Billed as an urban tavern, Against the Grain offers up a menu filled with comfort food classics as well as a number of interesting sharing plates such as sake beef tartare and beef cheek tacos served at their restaurant inside the Corus building and beside the popular Sugar Beach Park. Against the Grain also has a fine craft beer and wine selection, perfect for whiling away an afternoon on its massive lakeside patio, which includes both table seating and comfortable couches. Against the Grain, 25 Dockside Dr., 647-344-1562
L–R: Charcuterie at Amsterdam pairs well with brews; Pearl tackles dim sum