Although Little Italy is now demographically more of a mix, the atmosphere is still very much Italian. This lively neighbourhood is packed with trattorias, trendy restaurants, cafés, pool halls and some of the best bars in Toronto. Little Italy’s sidewalks are humming with activity on weekends – especially in the summer, with locals and visitors alike sipping espresso on outdoor patios.
The Italian trattorias, known for their family-style, casual dining, are as much about the social atmosphere as the food itself. If you’re not that hungry, but still craving good company, head to one of the traditional Italian coffee shops or billiard halls. These “social clubs” are filled with conversation, laughter and many passionate discussions about soccer.
And your visit would not be complete without a bite or a sip at Café Diplomatico. This popular destination has become a Toronto institution for coffee lovers. Affectionately referred to as “The Dip” by locals, the café is often used as a set by filmmakers. There might be a line-up just to get a seat, but the savoury Italian dishes, reasonable prices and people-watching opportunities make it well worth the wait.