If you know me, I live for aesthetically pleasing restaurants. I strongly believe visiting restaurants for that very reason, and then the next important thing on my list is that the food must also be appetizing. In the last week, I had the chance to get out of the house and take a break from brainstorming business ideas, and visit a few lovely downtown Toronto restaurants.
Fresh on Front is a modern plant-based restaurant. I’ve visited this location about 2 years ago and for the life of me, I cannot recall what I had. Upon entering, you will notice right away the beautiful floor black and white tiles at your feet and the gorgeous pink velvet chairs which basically are a dream to gawk at. My girlfriend and I shared the crispy dumplings and ahhh it was SO good. The combo of spinach, shiitake & pine nut dumplings, taberu rayu mayo, green onion, chili oil, sesame seeds, and lime were perfection. I would order 5 more and treat it as a whole meal if I could. We each had a salad, the Cobb and supergreen Caesar; they were beautifully presented and got us feeling full pretty quick. It helped us feel “healthier”, as we ingested a lot of greens for lunch 🙂 We were seated where the beautiful teal velvet booth chairs were and the washrooms were a pretty pink all over. If only my house could look like that…though my husband will never approve of that haha.
Holts Cafe on Bloor is a chic eatery that focuses on Canadian dishes. The decor is contemporary art deco and features vibrant coloured furniture. It is not my usual favourite colour combinations, but I can most definitely appreciate beautiful interiors like this. My sister and I brought my kids along with us; baby Mila is always so well-behaved and our little mister Aiden was tolerable 😉
We made reservations ahead of time to ensure we would be seated right away. This is an important factor for me when I have the kids along, so that we are not waiting around long enough for the little ones to cause trouble. We visited during the weekend, so we were able to order from the brunch menu (there was also a kid menu too!). We ordered the Duck Hash, Holts Burger, and a side of Holts Home Fries. They were SO GOOD. Even looking at the photo of it triggers sweet memories of how tasty it was! The Duck Hash’s meat bursted with flavour, The Burger had a mouth-watering juicy beef patty, and the Fries were approved by my picky 2 year old, which is a huge win! It is a little on the pricier side, but taste wise, it was worth it. The service was genuine and lovely. It is also kid & stroller friendly – ample of space to push my Uppa Baby Vista stroller without fear of hitting something or someone. I requested a corner booth ahead of time and was able to park my stroller right next to our seats. There was also a designated space for private dining; so fancy right?!
Following brunch, we visited A-OK at Aritzia for a coffee fix. We tried a London Fog and the Double Shot Espresso Latte. I decided to try the London Fog, as the girls at work used to have it and would rave about it. And now I completely understand why; the taste of Earl Grey tea mixed with milk, vanilla, and sugar is caffeine perfection. And the latte with the double shot of espresso gave an extra jolt of energy, while the steamed milk and light layer of foamy goodness provided a subtle creaminess to this caffeinated potion. Do you understand why we obsess over coffee?!
There are so many cute brunch places in Toronto. I find that most of them are in downtown Toronto and I’m still in search of ones in North York and Markham. I have a couple more exciting brunch dates planned for later this month and look forward to sharing more pretty & deliciousness your way 🙂