Bill and Amy Wesolowski were no strangers to barbecue when they opened their restaurant. After all, they'd been grilling up mountainous platters of ribs, pulled pork, and grilled chicken at local parties and special events since 2008. Within their cheerful, sunlit joint, the seasoned caterers and skilled barbecue chefs whip up their signature dishes, along with southern-style sides of barbecue beans, collard greens, and coleslaw. The duo even accommodates vegetarians with meat-free menu selections, unlike other barbecue venues that require vegetarians to wear an itchy wreath of string beans around their necks. Plates pair with bottles of beer as they sit atop the white-cloth tables of the casual dining room, where colorful photographs and drawings of jazz instruments adorn the walls.
The smell of fresh-baked bread is ever-present at Artisano Bakery Cafes. Thousands of loaves are handcrafted each and every morning here, and you can enjoy them with a coffee and a variety of other fresh, healthy foods. From ciabatta to nordico to fig and walnut loaf, the café’s 25 bread varieties match nicely with its selection of freshly sliced meats and cheeses to form gourmet sandwiches, paninis, and makeshift forts. The selection of meal items also includes made-to-order signature salads, as well as pasta and pizza that follow family recipes. Artisano emphasizes healthy ingredients and preparation, using fresh meats and herbs and extra-virgin olive oil and eschewing deep frying for in-house baking and grilling.
CJs Cafe in Bronte calls people to gather together. They gather at arts events, such as live music performances, authors' readings, craft-making lessons. They gather to admire the ever-changing art on the walls, made by local artists and lending a whimsical air to the high-ceilinged, cozy space. They gather to break bread, choosing from a menu of healthy sandwiches, salads, and wraps, including options for those who eat vegan or gluten-free. They gather over steaming cups of organic fair-trade espresso, made the old-fashioned way, with a pull-method machine, rather than the more modern method of squeezing beans with a vise.
As Sid, the founder of The Great Canadian Wing King, once observed, nobody orders the second best of anything. So when he started building his brand, he was determined to create the country’s best chicken wings. Today, patrons can order Sid’s wings in one of 10 sauces, including Jamaican hot, honey garlic, and Thai. The menu also boasts half and full racks of ribs and a diverse lineup of sides such as poutine, caesar salad, and mac ‘n’ cheese wedges.
The cooks at Hillbilly Heaven smoke meats for hours over the billows of burning hickory wood, then ladle pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket, and ribs onto trays covered with wax paper. They also serve up fried chicken with waffles and Southern Comfort–infused syrup and sides such as creamy coleslaw or macaroni 'n' cheese.
Since putting the finishing touches on their first burger in 1984, Spot 1 Grill’s chefs have been sating growling stomachs by whipping up traditional bar fare for lunch and dinner. Amid a dining room bathed in the glow of athletic tidings transmitted by 11 large-screen plasma TVs, servers ensure that tables remain piled high with the kitchen’s hearty concoctions such as baby back ribs and their signature chicken wings. To further bolster the restaurant’s convivial atmosphere, Spot 1 staff hosts a weekly lineup of events including karaoke evenings, performances by live cover bands, and NTN trivia nights that make the hours spent memorizing trivia answer keys worthwhile. A fleet of 17 dartboards enables eaters to engage in handheld target practice between quaffs of draught beer, and a free WiFi connection facilitates unfettered postmeal web exploration.