West Dundas West (Little Portugal)

Signy Roland

What was once Little Portugal is now one of the hottest strips of the city. Spilling over from the resurgence of the Ossington Strip, Dundas west of Ossington is now home to some of the most unique shops, best restaurants and coolest bars in the city.

Churchill — Opened by two bartenders from other great spots in the city such as the Beaconsfield, Churchill combines elements of the upscale bars of the city with the cozy ‘watering hole’ elements of others. What that means is you can sip $4 PBR, shoot back $5 rail shots or splurge on a $14 cocktail any night of the week.

Penny Arcade Vintage — This is one of the city’s favourite vintage spots, thanks to its cozy feeling, amazing owner and great selection of clothing and accessories for both men and women. You can check out purses, ceramic knick-knacks, end tables, great tacky 80’s clothing and super rare classic jewelry. If you get tired, relax on their couch where you can simply read a book and eat some jellybeans.

Get WellThis quirky bar capitalizes on the mismatched, vintage look of many restaurants and bars west of Bathurst and then steps it up a notch by adding in a cluster of old-school game machines. Space Invaders, Tetris, pinball and more are available to play as you sip on the craft beer of your choice. Plus, just this month, North of Brooklyn pizzerias opened their third location right inside the bar. Pizza and beer and video games. You’re welcome.

Milk Glass Co. — This modern art gallery on Dundas West hosts a wide-range of art-based exhibits and events. If you’re looking for unique custom framing, this is also the place for you. Check their website frequently for awesome exhibits and/or some great DJ fueled dance parties.

Junked Food Co. — This late night spot is the classiest version of 7/11 or a hot dog standard you will ever need after a night out in this area. Open until 4 am on weekends, Junked Food Co. is serving up some pretty gross yet pretty amazing late night eats. Mini deep dish pizzas, tater tot, savoury waffle sandwiches, cake cups and the smash bag. What’s a smash bag? Try a bag of Doritos, mixed with sour cream, cheese, chicken chili that you smash together and eat right out of the bag.

Midfield Bar This is one of the true wine bars that has opened in Toronto, with knowledgeable staff, an amazing list and an atmosphere where you can actually enjoy your wine and conversation. Despite sticking to its wine bar roots since opening, Midfield has added in some excellent and eclectic food to their menu such as deep fried cauliflower with za’atar.

The Dock Ellis — If you thought the west end was just full of hipster bars, the Dock Ellis defies that notion with draught beers, gastropub style food, large-screen TVs and of course, foosball and pool tables. It’s relaxed environment is a great spot to get together with friends, but it benefits from its west-end location by the amazing menu of food it serves up.

Easy Tiger — Blog TO said it best when they described Easy Tiger as the kind of shop those in their twenties go to purchase birthday gifts for their friends. It sells a mishmash of goods for both men and women, yet it really works. Plus Easy Tiger offers up coffee and treats to keep your blood sugar pumping while shopping. If you’re in need of a gift for anyone, you will be sure to find one at this west-end shop.

Blue Button Shop — This unisex clothing store aims to bring a bit of Japan to Toronto. In particular the “Otona” style — which is not what people typically think of when they think of Japanese style (hello Harajuku!). This clothing is mature, refined and has subtle yet fun details. This shop carries almost 30 brands straight out of Japan, so you’ll be hard pressed to walk out empty handed.

Noble Hop — If you’ve even dreamed of being your own brewmaster, this store sells everything you need to begin creating your own beer. Owner Dave Crum is the true gem of this shop, as he could teach anyone to make a good beer. Check out over 60 kinds of yeast, 75 kinds of hops and a selection of tubes and flasks that Walter White would be proud of.

Art Metropole — Art Metropole is one of Canada’s pioneering non-for-profit artist-run centres that has been open now for our 40 years. It is renowned for its dedication to collecting, archiving, selling and lending artist’s books, videos, postcards, prints, catalogues, drawings and more.

Toronto Experience & Learning Lab

Your friendly guide to Toronto

    Signy Roland

    Written by

    Toronto Experience & Learning Lab

    Your friendly guide to Toronto

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