Welcome 2015! The best way I thought to welcome the New Year is by doing a brief recap of my favourite “Meet and Eats” experiences of 2014. There are plenty of more dining experiences awaiting my seating in 2015, I am definitely excited for what this year will bring. This list may be biased because of the wonderful company that I had by my side, but do take my word for it, you will wholeheartedly fall in love all the same!
1. ELECTRIC MUD BBQ | 5 Brock Avenue, Toronto

$$ – 6PM~11PM – BBQ, Bar
With great regret, I haven’t made a single visit to this place until I moved far, far away from it. Rolling up on a Monday, helloooo $2.50 pints. It definitely surprised me. I thought that it would be obnoxiously loud and cramped. The complete opposite. Get in early! Dishes like Crack Rolls await your nibbles! An adventurous dining experience, you simply want to try everything on the menu!

2. BAR BUCA | 75 Portland St, Toronto, ON 

$$ – 8AM~2AM – Italian
Tapas are the true way to my heart. Incredibly well done Crispy Pig Ears and the godly Foccaccia Sandwich topped it all. High tables, chairs and industrial ceilings and the most knowledgeable (and forgiving) service. The menu struck me as a gastropub – it’s beautifully utilizing bits and bobs of the animal many wouldn’t think twice enough. I fell in love with the communal dining and how well executed each dish, although incredibly unfamiliar, was created (yes!!! my post, here).

3. ZAKKUSHI | 193 Carlton Street, Toronto 
$$ – 5:30PM~1AM – Japanese Grill
Zakkushi was my very first introduction to “izakaya”. For this very reason, Zakkushi holds a special place in my heart. I let my friend take the lead this round and I can vividly remember the very mind-blowing feeling of first diving into their fresh and exquisitely flavoured dishes along with their grilled skewers. The very first dish was Takowasabi. I’ve never had such a delightful combination of mild, cold and firm, all in one nibble! I fell in love cold dish after cold dish and skewer after skewer. The atmosphere is an absolute charm, it’s so open, but feels so cozy and private. The service has never failed to please and is incredibly prompt each time as well.

4. BAR VOLO | 587 Yonge Street, Toronto
$$ – 12/4PM~2AM (Fri & Sat, Mon-Thur) – Bar
Endless, endless praise goes out to Bar Volo. Their Monday $5 pints are what kicks the week off just right for me. With 25+ rotational craft pints just to your reach and D.I.Y charcuterie boards to order, your tastebuds are never left dire. Dieu Du Ciel is always a must when it’s available. My favourite time to frequent this bar is during the warmer seasons; while everybody elsr is hitting up the bars with an ample outside patio, I’m happy to kick back here, there’s much less noise, an amazing selection of music blasting, and you are still able to enjoy a beautiful summer’s breeze by their front open windows.
5. CAFE BAR PASTA | 1588 Dundas Street West, Toronto
$$$ – 8:30AM~11PM (Tues-Sat) – Cafe, Italian

From that point on, I learnt to only pretend to enjoy my pasta dishes. Any risotto that I devour is absolutely incomparable to the housemade, heavenly goodness that I experienced at Cafe Bar Pasta. An interesting menu regularly switched up and sure to please. I wish them all of the success that they deserve! Incredible service and amazing food – everything was incredibly spot on.

Electric Mud BBQ on Urbanspoon Bar Buca on Urbanspoon Zakkushi on Urbanspoon Bar Volo on Urbanspoon Cafe Bar Pasta on Urbanspoon