Exploring Toronto – Roncesvalles

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I woke up this morning thinking about my blog and how much I have abandoned it since the summer started. The winter here was so long that since the temperatures rose, I’ve been out and about browsing the city  and exploring every single thing that is new to me.. and believe me, in Toronto there is a lot since I moved to live in Toronto about 1.5 years ago. Since it is well known that Toronto is one of the most livable cities in the world, why not take advantage of the fact and just dine, shop, walk and meet new people. I wondered what would be a good start for my lifestyle category of my blog and decided that this would be Roncesvalles, Toronto’s Polish Neighborhood, famous for its family owned shops and restaurants and amazing European atmosphere. This area definitely needs attention and whoever is from Toronto and has not spent time to go it is a shame and whoever visited the city and did not walked south on Roncesvalles Avenue would regret it. My first impression about this area was that it is a very organized small neighbourhood going along Roncesvalles Avenue (South of Bloor when you get off at Dundas West Station). It seems that the people there care about the area being clean and retaining the European nuances. I definitely love it because it reminds me of what I am used to seeing in my home country Bulgaria. I’ve been there dozens of time and I already have a few favorite places that I recommend to all of my friends and I always come back to when I have guests in town.

1. Pizzeria Defina – I die for their Margherita Pizza ala Napoletana and Draft Beer and oh, I forgot their season grilled veggies.  I have tried other pizzas than the Margherita such as their Spinach and Pine Nuts as well as the Kalamata Olives one but the Margherita stays on top of my list. All of their pizzas are made from scratch, are hand stretched, and baked in a fire oven. There is a male server who is Italian and always makes us feel welcomed. The atmosphere is rustic, very cozy and friendly. They project sports games on their exposed wall which I find pretty cool. Defina Pizzaria Dining Roncesvalles Here is my best friend Elena (it’s not an accident my best friend’s name is also Elena, that’s how I selected her – just joking) who I brought to Dafina Pizzeria on Canada Day right before she left back for her home town Chicago.

roasted veggies

Defina Pizzeria – Roasted Veggies Appetizer

2.   Ed’s Real Scoop for a delicious ice cream in a sugar cone. Don’t get scared from the line that forms every single day. That’s because trying it out is really worth.  The girls behind the counter are very friendly and always ready to give you a sample so that you can easily select an ice cream and with so much to choose from, tasting spoons help a lot. The last time I went there, I tried the Praline and Caramel Ice Cream and it tasted different than what I have ever tried and I ‘ve tried a lot since I have a sweet tooth just as the owner’s mom who was his inspiration for homemade sweets. ice cream in Roncesvalles Toronto
The prices are on the higher end ( I pay $3.10 for a kid’s size)but the taste is truly amazing. Here is a quote of how they introduce their ice creams to the world copied from their website: ” Our ice cream is rich, creamy, and dense.  It is made from Ontario milk and cream and churned at the same low speed as our gelato and sorbet.  Unlike most other ice creams, because of the low speed at which it is made, it is very dense and contains a minimum amount of air.We make over 100 different flavours of ice cream, so you will see the selection in each store change almost every day.” I agree with this statement – their ice cream is very rich and creamy which is why I also get the kid’s cup, especially after dinner. Doesn’t it sound awesome – I now want to have a scoop! Ed's Real Scoop Ice Cream Roncesvalles 3.  Lit Espresso Bar for an almond milk latte. Lit Espresso has pretty good espressos, although a bit more expensive than coffee shop chains like Starbucks, sharing the extra quarter is worth when you know that you are supporting your own community. What I love about this coffee shop besides the drinks is the interior design that is a mix of exposed brick, wooden beam making the espresso bar  and the fact that the crowd is pretty young and kind of different than the Starbuck’s one – I barely see people staring at their lap tops. LitEspresso Cafe Roncesvalles 10410988_10152582223823919_8572232366264907505_n

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These pictures are taken at Lit Espresso Cafe at the bar by the windows which I love so much.

Overall, Roncy Really Rocks!

What are your favorite places in Roncesvalles? The next places I wish to visit are Barque Smokehouse, Workshop By Latitude and La Cubana.

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