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Ah, the Ossington strip. Known for hipster coffee shops, eclectic bars, and ethnic restaurants, you can spend a full day on this west-end enclave. And, you’ll find everything within a 1 km walk.
Spanning from Dundas to Queen Street, the Ossington strip is quickly becoming a culinary hotspot. From cheap eats to high-end indulgences, the strip brings multicultural dining options to satiate any urbanite’s desire. And, this rapidly changing culinary mosaic is only growing in popularity. It’s attracting the attention of both foodies and restaurateurs alike.
Here are some of our must-try stops for your next culinary adventure on the Ossington strip.
A neighbourhood favourite, the Böehmer is a top pick for hosting a party. From private parties to bridal showers and brunch celebrations, Chef Paul Böember has hosted some of the city’s most exclusive dining events in this former mechanic’s garage. Now a large, open concept dining area accentuated by sensuous wood chandeliers evoking that of a deer’s antler, and adorned with delicate hanging crystals, this indoor/outdoor venue is perfect for any gathering. You can expect a well-orchestrated menu of French influence in addition to a exceptional selection of unique side dishes. The serene setting and attentive service makes this a perfect spot for your next date night!
[Image via Böehmer Restaurant]
Pro Tip: Take advantage of their Tuesday specials where you can enjoy buck-a-shuck oysters and half-price wine and lobster.
Boralia features historic Canadian cuisine inspired by natives and early settlers. This restaurant offers a creative, one-of-a-kind dining experience that aims to please even the most discerning of foodies. With menu options ranging from pine smoked mussels to pigeon pie, all the way to bay scallops in bechamel, you’ll leave more than satisfied. Yet, you’ll still want more! But, the one caveat? It’s closing on November 10th, so be sure to grab a table before then!
[Image via Boralia]
Another delicious addition brought to you by the renowned Food Dudes, you’ll find Omaw on the Ossington strip. This is the perfect place for small bites, southern classics, and expertly crafted cocktails. Both food and drink selections will warm your heart like a mother’s love. This rustic snack bar is perfect for accommodating those with food aversions or dietary restrictions. Omaw offers plenty of vegan plates and comfort dishes that no one can pass on.
[Image via The Food Dudes]
Côte de Boeuf is your go to Parisian neighbourhood butcher shop. At night, this place transforms into a romantic French bistro that will make you feel like you’ve travelled from Toronto to France in just a few small steps. Their Bar a Vin service offers a full menu of French inspired classics. Here, you’ll indulge in oysters, charcuterie, french cheese, steak frites, great wines, and more!
[Image via Côte de Boeuf]
Pro Tip: The owners have curated a family-style tasting menu for groups of six or more in the back of the restaurant at their “butcher’s block”. This is where the day’s prep is completed. For $85 per person, you’ll get a full tasting menu complete with charcuterie and dessert. And, the best part, your meal will pair well with their full selection of French wines. This is a must consider if you are looking for a new spot to plan a birthday dinner.
La Cubana is a retro diner-style cafe that’ll give you the authenticity of Cuba in the heart of Toronto. With one complete menu throughout the day, you can grab a Pressed Cubano for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And trust us, you’ll want to! If you’re a brunch person, get over to La Cubana on a weekend and add their perfectly cooked poached egg to any of their menu options. Our advice? Go for the Cuban Medianoche and add an egg. When that juicy egg yolk bursts in your mouth, it’s like a small piece of heaven that will give you all the warm and fuzzies for the rest of the day.
[Image via Daily Hive]
If you’re looking for comfort food in the cheap eats category, you’ll want to go to Rua Vang. This neighbourhood staple is always buzzing with people whether it’s a cold winter night or a hot summer day. While this family-run Vietnamese restaurant features an array of menu items, most go there for their sizeable and delicious Pho. There is a long-time debate for the best Pho in the City, with a competing restaurant just a few doors down. But once you choose a side, you stay loyal and most are on team Rua Vang.
[Image via Eater]
A favourite on the Ossington strip, Bellwoods Brewery offers the perfect setting for catching up with friends on a hot summer day. Grab a glass of their flavourful and thirst quenching beer, and you’ll quickly go onto seconds. With a sizeable and iconic white picket fence patio, this local brewery is always busy. Bellwoods offers patrons some of the best tasting beer in the City. And, excellent small food items to boot!
[Image via Bellwoods Brewery]
Pro Tip: Order their sour beer favourite, the “Jelly King”.
The newly opened Pilot Coffee Roasters at the base of the recently completed 109OZ lofts offers expertly crafted coffees. Pilot uses their own cultivated beans and offers grab-and-go food items, fresh kombucha on tap, cold brew cans, and greenhouse juices. This centrally located cafe is great for dropping in on a weekend while your pup watches you from the window bench out front. Or stay here for those long study/work sessions.
[Image via Daily Hive]
Long lineups aside, Bang Bang Icecream is definitely worth the wait. With distinct, unique flavours like “Bellwoods Beer and Brown Bread” and coconut mango pudding ice cream, these perfect scoops sandwiched between two fresh made ginger cookies will bring out the kid in all of us! This is a must-try for those sweet cravings.
[Image via On The Grid]
Loving our guide to eating and drinking on the Ossington strip and looking for another neighbourhood to explore? Drop us a line to let us know where you’d like to spend your next 24-hours! We’ll keep this in mind for the next FM Neighbourhood Guide.
This article is written by Urban enthusiast and food/travel junkie, Jessica Elizabeth Spillas. As the firm’s multi-talented Business Development Manager and Sales Representative, she is able to pair her passionate approach to buying, selling and investing in Toronto Real Estate with her flair for design and digital marketing. With this in mind, Jessica delivers unparalleled service with every interaction and works hard to keep her clients and colleagues organized and working at top-notch efficiency.