I’ve grown up near the Bloordale area for the past 15 years, and despite being one of my favourite neighbourhoods in the city, it's often overlooked.
Bloordale is classified as the area along Bloor St from Lansdowne Ave to Dufferin St.
It's a thriving neighbourhood brimming with art, eclectic small businesses, and great food & coffee! Despite being a short walk from one end to another, Bloordale is somewhere you could spend all day in. Here’s how:
Grab coffee at Propeller – Tucked away just north of Lansdowne Station (~2 minute walk) at 50 Wade Ave is Propeller Coffee, an old industrial building turned coffee shop, roastery & event space. With lots of seats and a wide range of menu offerings, it’s the perfect place to fuel up before your Bloordale crawl. My suggestion: one of their rotating pour overs.
Brunch at Baddies – Not only is Baddies one of my favourite brunch spots in Bloordale, but also one of my favourite in the city. Their menu is filled with local ingredients, and their plating is the epitome of “almost too pretty to eat”. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Plus, they serve killer coffee and drinks.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) – Slightly more south of Bloordale is the MOCA, Toronto’s newest modern art museum. Every few months a new exhibition is debuted (to find out, click here). If you happen to visit with an exhibition on display, don’t miss out! At $5-$10 a ticket, the museum is worth a stroll through!
If you love coffee as much as I do (& the previous 1-2 cups were not enough), there is a café in the museum, and Ethica Coffee Roasters across the street.
Get a tattoo at Ink & Water – Looking for a more permanent piece of art? Since Ink & Water’s opening in 2017, it has quickly become one of Toronto’s best tattoo shops with 3 shops across the city (the OG location is the one in Bloordale!). Check them out here.
Grab a slice at Chito’s Pizza – You have not experienced Bloordale unless you’ve had a greasy $3 slice of pizza topped with shawarma from Chito’s. Sketchy on the outside, but a west end gem.
Thrift shopping – With large chains, such as Value Village & The Salvation Army, to small independent shops, Bloordale is a great place to go thrifting. Some of the best spots to include Final Touch Vintage, Odd Finds General Store, 96 Tears Vintage, & Siberia Vintage.
Along with thrift stores, there are a lot of small businesses in the area, so don’t be shy to look around! One of my favourites in the area is The Monkey’s Paw (1067 Bloor St W, slightly east of Dufferin) - a rare bookstore with a book vending machine.
Dinner – Bloordale has a wide variety of ethnically diverse restaurants. All delicious & all fairly affordable. You can’t go wrong with any restaurant you stumble upon, but some standouts include: Sugo (casual Italian fare with big portions), Latin World (no-muss authentic Mexican), Bar Neon (Greek small-plates & cocktails), and Duffy’s Tavern (classic pub food & a neighbourhood staple).
Grab a drink at Burdock Brewery – What better way to end a busy day than a cold glass of beer? Burdock is a casual craft brewery with an extensive menu of rotating brews that you can get on tap or bottled. This spot is especially great in the summer months with their outdoor seating & live music.
Don’t want the night to end? Head a little more east from Dufferin & Bloor, and try to catch a late night flick at Paradise Theatre (1006 Bloor St W). A brief history of the joint: Paradise was a staple in the neighbourhood from 1937-2006, closed, then renovated for a 2019 reopening. Along with film screenings, they also host a range of special events.