Leslieville: The First Food Tour

We are now on month 3 of living in Leslieville, and both my boyfriend and I agree that it’s such an amazing neighbourhood. Certainly lively and full of surprises. Now that we have had a chance to try out some great food spots in the area (with, admittedly, still so many left to try), I wanted to share my Top 5 Food Spots in Leslieville (for now).

1. Lady Marmalade: I don’t need to rehash how amazing this place truly is. So worth the wait. But just in case you forgot…

Baked french toast is the cat's pyjamas...

2. Ed’s Real Scoop & Bobbette and Belle:

Both of these spots make me all sorts of happy when it comes to dessert/snacks. Grabbing ice cream at Ed’s Real Scoop has now become my favourite passtime on warm summer nights (maybe a little too much…dangerous stuff!), and Bobbette & Belle makes nothing short of incredible desserts. My recommendation? Get a macaroon from them, pair it with the cookies ‘n creme ice cream from Ed’s, and call it a day.

3. Rashers & Leslieville Pumps:

I talked about the amazingness of Rashers way before I even lived down the street from it. Their sandwiches are still delicious. A new favourite we recently learned about is the Leslieville Pumps – on its face, this spot is merely a run of the mill gas station. But inside you will find more than just candy bars and chips. They have sandwiches with smoked meat, BLTs, pulled pork, poutine, coleslaw and deep fried pickels. Yum! Perfect hangover or late night food (while Rashers closes at 8pm, The Pumps is open 24h!)

Simple grilled cheese? Not these sandwiches!

Rashers’ goodness…

4. Paulette’s Chicken and Doughnuts:

Freshly made doughnuts (like, my favourite, the s’mores doughnut) + fried chicken + your choice of sauce makes this place a fun spot to have an unhealthy but utterly delicious snack. We recently tried their deep-fried macaroni ‘n cheese balls, too…can’t say you would be wrong in doing the same. I love this spot because it’s one-of-a-kind in the area and offers a fun alternative to fast food. If you’re feeling like something bad for you, but oh-so-good, this place delivers.

5. Prohibition Gastropub & Riverside Public House:

Riverside was the first place we tried upon moving in. And Prohibition has now become the “go-to” when meeting friends for a drink. They have great beers on tap, a fantastic happy hour, prime location at Queen and Broadview plus their food is  pretty damn good. My favourite dish that I’ve  had so far is their “Pulled Pork Grilled Fromage” – exactly what it sounds like: pulled pork +grilled cheese. But the kicker is that it comes with fries and a slightly tangy raspberry flavoured dipping sauce. It shouldn’t work, but it certainly does. Definitely work a try.

We fully intend on trying more places this summer (like Ruby Watchco/Ruby Eats, “The Nose”, Swirl Wine Bar, among others), and I will be sure to get more on he list.

The new 'hood!

The new ‘hood!

A Night Out: Bacon! (and wine)

There’s nothing that makes a girls’ night out better than greasy food and/or beer. So last night, my friends and I decided to blend the two in a new part of town. There’s a lot to be said for the simplicity of restaurants that feature one ingredient and we went to a place that happens to focus on my preferred ingredient: bacon! Rashers in Leslieville is a new spot that takes bacon to a whole other level.

Rashers! Bacon!

Rashers! Bacon!

Their whole premise is centered around bacon sandwiches. They have delicious (and pretty local) bacon products, everything from Canadian back bacon to plain ol’ strip bacon. We tried two grilled ones while we were there: one was a delicious grilled cheese with bacon and a slightly tangy mustard, while the other was a grilled maple-apple-bacon combo that tasted almost like dessert rather than dinner (in that it was sweetly delicious).

Simple grilled cheese? Not these sandwiches!

Simple grilled cheese? Not these sandwiches!

They have a small menu with feature sandwiches, including a signature Hogtown Sandwich with peameal bacon and an optional egg on top, which makes this a great place to go for a quick bite after a night out (i.e. greasy breakfast the morning after).

Since Leslieville is an area we have been looking at, I wanted to see what a night out would look like if we were to ever live here. So, after bacon, we headed to Skin and Bones, a new(ish) wine bar on the Queen East strip.

skin and bones

While this didn’t knock my favourite wine bar in the city off its podium (Caren’s Wine Bar – the back patio alone is worth it, especially in the summer), we had a really fun time. The selection of wine and mixed drinks was good and the cheese plate we shared definitely hit the spot. While the wine and cheese was great, it was really the company that made the night. More specifically, the people watching.

There is certainly a unique vibe to the Leslieville area, something you don’t find anywhere else in the city. I’m looking forward to exploring the east end more as the weather gets better – we passed a ton of great restaurants and bars on the way to our final destinations tonight. In the meantime, though, I will just dream of bacon sandwiches…mmm…