Treat Your Taste Buds to Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
Wine, cheese and chocolate are three of life’s greatest pleasures. A full-bodied glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, a creamy wedge of aged Gouda, a rich bittersweet chocolate truffle – just thinking about it is enough to make your mouth water.
Gain a new appreciation for the finer things in life while treating yourself at one of Toronto’s numerous specialty wine bars, cheese markets, and chocolatiers.
Wine connoisseurs in Toronto have access to some of the world’s finest vino – whether imported from Europe or produced right next door in Niagara.
Crush Wine Bar (455 King Street West) is hands-down one of the premier locations for wine in Toronto. Browse a list of over 600 wine labels, including 45 from Ontario. Order a bottle or select from more than 60 wines available by-the-glass. Feeling overwhelmed? Sommelier and General Manager Tiffany Jamison-Horne will gladly help you choose the perfect flavour profile to pair with your meal. Highlight: 1999 Henry of Pelham Riesling.
If you’re looking for Ontario wines exclusively, FRANK Restaurant at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West) has more than 80 bottles to choose from and 11 by the glass. Drop in for a delicious meal paired with one of Ontario’s top whites or reds. Afterward, explore the world-class art collections at the AGO. Highlight: Cave Spring Riesling Reserve 2007.
For arguably the best selection of wines in the east end, head to Allen’s Restaurant (143 Danforth Avenue). This Irish saloon boasts a cellar of over 100 VQA wines that has won the Ontario Wine Council Award of Excellence and the Royal Bank of Canada Award for the Best Ontario VQA wine list. Its cozy tree-shaded patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of Canada’s finest in the summer. Highlight: Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2004.
And of course, no connoisseur’s trip to Toronto would be complete without a tour of Niagara wine country – twenty-eight distinctive wineries in one unforgettable place.
Gouda, cheddar, provolone, okra – Toronto’s specialty cheese shops feature more cheeses than you could eat in a lifetime.
Located in Kensington Market, Global Cheese (76 Kensington Avenue) has one of the best selections in the city. The friendly staff will happily help you find what you’re looking for, while telling you everything you could ever want to know about cheese. Mix and match a variety of flavours to craft a delicious cheese platter – all for very reasonable prices.
Heading to the east end? Be sure to drop by the quaint Leslieville Cheese Market (891 Queen Street East). Choose from their delightful selection of cheeses from all over the world or try the critically acclaimed grilled cheese sandwich. Ask about their Cheese & Wine classes, gift baskets, and catering services too.
Appealing to foodies and chefs alike, the Cheese Boutique’s (45 Ripley Avenue) enormous variety of cheeses and other specialty foods will have your mouth watering the moment you walk in the door. With over 10,000 square feet of delicious dairy and deli products, the Cheese Boutique is heaven for cheese lovers. They even offer multi-layer custom cheese wedding cakes, giving a whole new meaning to the term “cheesy wedding.”
If you’ve worked up an appetite exploring Toronto’s many events and attractions, there’s no better way to recharge than with some melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.
Part boutique, part lounge and all chocolate, MoRoCo (99 Yorkville Avenue) in chic Yorkville blends hip ambience with a serious assortment of gourmet chocolatey goodness. MoRoCo handcrafts more than 15 different truffles and a wide variety of chocolate confections using Valrhona dark, milk and white chocolate. This is chocolate like you’ve never experienced before.
SOMA (55 Mill Street) in Toronto’s historic Distillery District offers visitors a glimpse into the workings of a micro chocolate factory via its viewing windows. One of the few artisan chocolate makers in North America to make chocolate in small batches directly from the cacao bean, SOMA has been voted “best chocolate” in both Toronto Life and NOW magazines. Watch the chocolatiers busy at work, or head straight to the café and boutique to get your fill of truffles, pralines, gelato and hot chocolate.
Over in Little Poland, The Chocolateria (361 Roncesvalles Avenue) offers a wide variety of chocolate treats, from standards like confections, truffles and artisan chocolate bars, to more unique offerings like their famous chocolate-dipped potato chips. For $75 you can even sign up for a chocolate making class to start crafting your own tasty treats at home.
For the ultimate chocolate experience, visit Toronto from late October to early November to catch the Toronto Chocolate Festival – a city-wide event where chocolate is featured in all its magnificent and tasty forms. Check the festival website for this year’s dates.