Eating Out

Toronto's restaurant scene is extremely diverse and diners can expect a bevy of culinary adventures. As a starting point, travellers should remember that certain cuisines cluster in distinct areas.

College Street, better known as Little Italy, is naturally home to the city's best Italian restaurants and trattoria. Danforth serves up Greek food, while authentic Chinese establishments are abundant in Chinatown. Visitors should also check out King Street West for excellent Indian, Japanese and sushi eateries.

Otherwise, Lai Wah Heen, Bangkok Garden, 360 and Canoe are among the titans of Toronto's restaurant scene and definitely worth visiting. Tips of 15 to 20 percent are expected for good service.

Shopping

Toronto is undoubtedly Canada's shopping capital, offering top international labels and enterprising local brands. Its most famous mall is the Eaton Centre, which brims with brand stores, restaurants and entertainment all under one roof.

But visitors are far better off seeking out local stores that are unique to the city. Lovers of haute couture should try Canadian labels such as Ross Mayer and Linda Lundstrom. St Lawrence Market has an amazing array of local arts and crafts, and excellent food. Kensington Market is the place to go for vintage clothing and other eccentric paraphernalia, while the Heritage Antique Market has an amazing selection of retro items.

Queen West, which has the best that young and trendy Toronto has to offer, is an essential stroll for serious shoppers. Bathurst Street has small, independent art galleries, where discerning buyers can pick up a souvenir or two, while Yorkville, along Bloor Street, is the city's most exclusive retail district and is home to boutiques and jewellers from Milan, Paris and London.

For travellers on the hunt for mementos, the obvious choices are some good Toronto maple syrup or gifts emblazoned with Mounties or maple leafs. Alternative choices would be Native American art, dream catchers or moccasins.

Nightlife

From swanky clubs to cosy bars, the nightlife in Toronto has something for everyone. Visitors can expect an action-packed cosmopolitan vibe in this big and energetic city. Little Italy has a number of trattorias that double as bars, while Greektown has its own flair and party atmosphere. Broadly speaking, bars and pubs close around 2am, while dance clubs stay open till dawn. Late-night buses pick up afterhours commuters when the subway shuts down.

Clubs come and go fairly quickly in Toronto, so visitors should check out local nightlife guides for the hottest spots. The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19 and is strictly enforced at most venues. Dress codes tend to be relaxed, but many will refuse entry for people wearing jeans or trainers.

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