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Beyond the following recommendations, there is a wide variety of food to suit all tastes in Toronto. You'll find everything from Argentinian to Ethiopian to Lao cuisine. Don't be afraid to ask your innkeeper or concierge for advice and do try Canadian wines, especially the unique Ice Wines pressed after the vineyards freeze. Lastly, remember that many restaurants in the business section are closed on Sunday so plan ahead.
Gay Village Dining
None of the top-rated restaurants are in the Village, however these should hold you over:
O'Grady's Tap and Grill (518 Church St; 416-323-2822; C$9-18) has a huge patio that's packed on summer nights and a kitchen that's open until at least 2 a.m. 7 days a week.
The chic Byzantium (499 Church St; 416-922-3859; C$16-27) gets raves for its martinis and mixed reviews for the food, which includes the most impractically designed Caesar salad ever to grace a plate. They boast that it's being copied by restaurants in New York City and L.A.
Saturday is theme night at Zelda's (542 Church St; 416-922-2526; C$9-15) and the waiters are dressed accordingly, but dining out is always festive at this "trailer trash" joint. The casual cuisine and cocktails have names like, "Zeldarama Lunch Pad Thai Supreme" and "Jose Can You Believe Our Chicken Burrito?"
Fire on the East Side (6 Gloucester St; 416-960-3473; C$9-30) lures local gay men and lesbians with an array of Southern-influenced dishes and a wonderful off-the-main-drag patio.
Slack's (562 Church St; 416-928-2151; C $12-21) is a combo restaurant/bar popular with the lesbian crowd. Their "upscale pub fare" includes the DLT sandwich with duck confit, grilled chicken and smoked bacon. They also have dancing and live entertainment.
Hair of the Dog (425 Church St, 416-964-2708; C$10-20) offers homemade veggie or beef burgers, seared tuna steak, and a variety of curries.
The House of Parliament Pub (456 Parliament St; 416-925-4074; C$9-15) is a warm and cozy upscale pub in Cabbagetown with a full menu and good wine list. The clientele is mostly mixed.
Centro Grill and Wine Bar (Uptown: 2472 Yonge St; 416-483-2211; C$18-40) typifies the Canadian cuisine of the moment -- New World Continental with Asian overtones. For example, a starter of Yellowfin tuna tartar followed by Ontario-farmed ostrich tenderloin served with cape gooseberry chutney, accompanied by a local wine makes for a delicious meal. The wine list includes 600 labels. Downstairs the more casual lounge features sushi and dim sum.
For more Canadian fare in a business setting with a spectacular view from the 54th floor try Canoe Restaurant and Bar (Financial District: TD Bank Tower, 66 Wellington Street West; 416-364-0054; C$29-44) where broiled B.C. sablefish, truffle ravioli and Springbank bison tenderloin can make you as giddy as the view. Bonacini favors local ingredients.
Part One | Part Two