Hotel Blog

July
25

Best Alternative Neighborhoods to Explore in Toronto

posted by: Best Western Plus Travel Hotel Toronto Airport on: July 25, 2018 12:24:33 AM
woman stands in front of mural

Photo taken by: Grace Walzel

If you’re not the touristy type of explorer, then you’ll want to spend at least a day looking through the neighbourhoods that give Toronto the character that we at Best Western know and love. Whether you’re in the mood for food, shopping, concerts, or pool halls, these special pockets of the city are sure to please!
 
Little Italy
Little Italy is a charming neighbourhood which, much like the Chinatowns of the world, is not unique to Toronto, but it is always welcoming and full of character. Toronto’s version has all the Italian favourites - espresso, gelato, and family-style trattorias, but has also incorporated movie theatres, musical entertainment, bars, and clubs too. One spot you won’t want to miss that encompasses the whole area in one spot is Cafe Diplomatico- Often used as a film set for it’s authentic Italian vibe, it boasts mouth-watering classic Italian dishes, good prices, and a relaxed atmosphere perfect for people watching, or catching up on the latest soccer game! Be sure to get there early though, as space is limited and it can sometimes be tough to get a seat.
 
Little Portugal
In this friendly older pocket of Toronto, you can still get the authentic international experience - businesses will play music from a local radio station with all genres of Portuguese music, and the traditional restaurants even serve Portugal’s famous rotisserie chicken, called churrasqueiras! There are Portuguese-owned bakeries, grocers, and jewelry shops lining the neighbourhood since the 1960s that you shouldn’t dare miss! If you’re looking for excellent shopping, you can also stop by the Saudade boutique for all kinds of imported artisanal goods from Portugal, such as home decor, purses, clothing, rugs, beauty supplies, canned food, and jewelry. The store is quite bright and refreshing, and sells the most beautiful souvenirs - we guarantee there is something there for everyone!
 
The Annex
If you’re the artsy type, then you’ll need to discover the Annex neighbourhood downtown! It’s a bustling student-filled creative space bordering the University of Toronto, with a flower-child vibe. The Annex is a vibrant place to be at night too, with people either winding down or turning up at the numerous bars and restaurants of the area. Everywhere you look, there is historic architecture, hippie-cafes, cinemas, and bookstores. If you’re in the mood for something leisurely, take a stroll along the ravine at Philosopher’s walk. Alternatively, if you are craving something upbeat, grab some cheap tickets to a show at the eccentric indie/alt-rock venue; Lee’s Palace!
 
If you’ll be in Toronto this August, make sure to book with us so you can indulge in our luxurious indoor swimming pool, then fuel up at our casual-fine dining Postcard restaurant and bar! When it’s time to catch your next flight, we offer a convenient hotel shuttle for your service too! All you have to do is reserve a spot at the front desk. We hope you have fun exploring the neighbourhoods that characterize our wonderful city!
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