Neighbourhood Review: Roncesvalles

Beautiful High Park

We’ve been living in Roncy for a few months now and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring our new neighbourhood.  It’s so nice having all of the restaurants and shops on Roncesvalles plus beautiful High Park all within a few blocks walk.  I’m so happy we moved to this area to be able to live in such an outdoorsy, green tree lined neighbourhood and also to have the city at our finger tips, easily accessible by subway or streetcar.

There are many gluten free options available in Roncy, both whether you’re looking to eat out or buy products to stock your fridge and pantry.  I was so surprised that one of the fruit markets even sells many of my favourite gluten free products – lentil crackers, tortilla chips, beans, nuts, as well as an assortment of other packaged goods.  Besides the below list there are also a lot of other good looking restaurants along Roncy that I think will have gluten free options, I just haven’t been everywhere yet.  I’ve got to continuing exploring!

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Neighbourhood Review: Port Credit

Beautiful Port Credit

Have I mentioned how much I love living in Port Credit?  It has a beautiful location is right on Lake Ontario, a large park, community feel, farmers market, plenty of bars and restaurants, plus the GO station here with only a 25 minute train into downtown Toronto.  Everything is here.  Ever since I’ve gone gluten free, I’ve discovered just how lucky I am to live here. It is gluten free paradise, with many gluten free options available.

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Playa Cabana Cantina – Tacos in the Junction

Playa Cabana located on Dupont St. has been rated the city’s best taco and they recently opened up another restaurant, Playa Cabana Cantina, in the Junction.  Ryan and I love tacos and so we had to go test them out on our recent excursion to the Junction.  There is a great vibe inside the restaurant; the decor seemed very authentic with its bright neon signs…much better than other over-the-top, tackily decorated restaurants I’ve been to with cactuses and sombreros!  There was a great bar area too!

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Neighbourhood Review: The Junction

The vegan and gluten free treats inside Bunner's

On a whim, Ryan and I decided to spend last Saturday in the Junction.  When our original plans fell through, we decided to explore a new area of Toronto that neither of us had been to before.  Since food drives most things for us, we decided to try this new highly rated taco joint in the Junction.  The restaurant is called Playa Cabana Cantina and you can read more about our food experience there soon.  So purely because we wanted to try these tacos, we decided to go to the Junction to spend the afternoon.  To my surprise, I discovered that the Junction is a wonderful area for people with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerances.  Almost every little shop that I went into had something gluten free to eat!

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A Heaping Plate of Tacos at Milagro Cantina

Delicious Tacos al Pastor

Mexican food is one of the most naturally gluten free cuisines in the world, which is great news for me since I LOVE Mexican food!  After an afternoon of exploring the CN Tower with two colleagues who were on business trips in Toronto (one from India, the other from Texas), we were on the lookout for food.  Since my colleague from India had never had Mexican food before, I couldn’t resist stopping at Milagro Cantina for a late dinner.  It’s a tacky decorated Mexican chain restaurant with three different locations across the city – but it serves good food and big servings.  I mean what’s a better dinner lineup when you’re starving than guac and tacos with a margarita?!  Yum!

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Girls’ Night at Sorrel – The Company Far Exceeded the Food

Insalta caprese

Earlier this week I had a romantic Winterlicious date night at Aria.  But on Friday night it was ladies’ night, no fellas allowed.  Word spread and it seemed like everyone was in the mood for a late night Winterlicious dinner at Sorrel followed by a night on the town.

It ended up being one of those nights where the company far exceeds the food.  My meal was pretty good, but by far nothing to write home about.  Thankfully the wine was delicious and flowing, and all night we laughed and had a great time catching up with amazing friends.

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Winterlicious at Aria

Flourless walnut cake with frangelico anglaise and espresso gelato

I have wanted to eat at Aria Ristorante since I read it was one of Toronto’s best new restaurants in 2012.  So I jumped at the opportunity to eat dinner there during Winterlicious.  I’m pretty new to the concept of Winter/Summerlicious, having only been to my first last summer at Toula.  My advice to anyone gluten free or with other food intolerances/allergies, do not be scared of the prix fix menus.  You’d be surprised at how many of the participating restaurants have at least one naturally gluten free option available for each course.  All it takes is a quick phone call to learn about your options, every restaurant that I have called has been more than willing to make me a safe, delicious meal.  Don’t let gluten hold you back!

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The Gabardine

This week I met my friend Lisa for dinner after work. Lately we have been in a habit of either eating in Yorkville or getting take out pizza from Magic Oven. But following my foodie resolutions, I figured it would be best to try something new. Once again, I found out about The Gabardine from Toronto Life. If you’re ever stuck trying to find somewhere to eat, check out their website – you can search by neighborhood and type of food amongst other criteria, which makes it so convenient! A quick search of the Financial District brought up The Gabardine and boy it did not disappoint!

Lisa and I both ordered the risotto. We happily exclaimed that it was the best risotto we have ate since Italy. The Gabardine offers a daily vegetarian risotto, priced daily and naturally gluten free of course. We lucked out and had cauliflower and artichoke – I never would have guessed roasted cauliflower would be such a superstar in risotto!

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Brunch at Barque

Delicious brunch of fried eggs, pulled pork, cumin spiced beans and guacamole!

Today Ryan and I went out for a delicious brunch at Barque Smokehouse. It was a mild winter day, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to get out and explore another area of Toronto. It was our first time in Roncy and not only did we thoroughly enjoy brunch, we also had a great time walking up Roncesvalles Ave. visiting cute coffee shops and health food stores. We actually managed to stop in at four places recommended by Toronto Life (getting a good start at my foodie resolutions!)

Barque Smokehouse was the highlight of our afternoon in Roncy. I was happy to discover that they offer several naturally gluten free dishes on their menu, including their dry rub ribs, brisket and pulled pork! Yum! Who doesn’t like smoked BBQ?! The staff was very friendly and explained that the dry rub used on their smoked meats is both gluten and soy free. They also kindly warned me against ordering anything from their fryer because of cross-contamination (that means I won’t be enjoying their fries, which look amazing).

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