Last week I convinced a friend it would be more fun to hang out with me than return to work and we hopped on our bikes and headed to the Ossington strip for lunch. I don’t know about you, but I never seem to make it to Ossington before 10pm. I then wander aimlessly oooing and aahing over the window displays of closed shops, find myself annoyed by the no reservation policy and 2 hour long waits at the street’s various teeny tiny restaurants, and ultimately, wind up swilling beers at Sweaty Betty’s. Not so on this particular fine day.
First stop: Hawker Bar for a wait free lunch of Singaporean street foods. Our choices: the son-in-law eggs (raved about in the twitterverse, but paled in comparison to the rest of our choices), the daily special prawn and ginger dumplings (the sweet/spicy flavours and fresh ingredients almost made up for the too-high price tag on these babies), the chilli salt tofu (magical exploding pillows of flavour and texture), and finally, the vegetarian Laksa Lemak (like perfectly spiced vegetable curry poured over fresh rice noodles, but lighter (relative to heavy cream curries) and better). My date spent some time living in Singapore and proclaimed the flavours authentic and the Laksa the best he’s had since.
Second stop: The Academy of Lions– Ossington’s answer to cross-fit. Since staying with friends in Vancouver who refer to their cross-fit gym as “Church” I’ve been curious to try it out, but there’s never been a facility close enough to make it convenient. This one is not only close, it’s also home to an espresso bar and general store. I’m a touch concerned I might not be cool enough to work out there, but when the day comes that I’m feeling brave enough to attempt a pull up, that’s where it will be.
Third stop: Pit stop for coffee at Ideal Coffee. This small chain roasts their own beans and the coffee is not only delicious, but also certified organic and fair trade. Although still full from lunch on this particular occasion, I vowed to return to sample one of their rosemary and sea salt (!!!) scones.
And finally… Vintage shopping. The strip between Dundas and Queen has about a dozen vintage shops, ranging from highly curated designer shops to the casual and affordable. If accessories, sequins and beautiful high end clothes are what you’re after, check out I Miss You and Rescue Vintage. Emporium by I Miss You is full of gorgeous vintage leather bags and boots that I know will be calling me back once the temperatures start to drop. For colourful retro dresses, cheap scarves, casual men’s clothing and surprisingly inexpensive vintage designer bags, Vintage Mix 1 is the place to be (as seen in the image below).
Any other favourites I’ve missed?