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The Danforth Review
Once English-settled, this area along Danforth Avenue named after Asa Danforth, an American contractor who cut a road into the area in 1799, has a dynamic ethnic mix, although it's primarily a Greek community. You'll now find bright organic juice bars, boisterous patios overflowing with late-night revelers, and some of the best souvlaki this side of the Atlantic.
The western end, between Broadview and Chester subway stations, is a health nut's haven. Juice bars, vegetarian food emporia, yoga studios, and stores devoted to holistic healing, naturopathic medicine, and environmentally friendly clothing and cleaning products abound.
East of Chester subway station is the area referred to as "Greektown." Late-night taverns, all-night fruit markets, and some of the best Greek food in North America keep this neighborhood busy at all hours. A number of bakeries offer mouthwatering baklava, tyropita (cheese pie), and touloumbes (fried cinnamon-flavored cakes soaked in honey) if you prefer to snack and stroll. lSummer is the best season to visit, as most eateries have patios open and are busy until the wee hours of morning.
Every August the Taste of the Danforth (416/469-5634 www.tasteofthedanforth.com) pays tribute to the little nook of foodie paradise here. More than a million visitors come to sample the fare—mainly dolmades, souvlaki, and other Greek specialties—for C$1 to C$5 per taste. The festival motto—"Don't eat for a week before coming"—is helpful advice.
But it's not just about food. Between bites, you might want to check out the independent, original boutiques in the neighborhood that offer everything from fair-trade gifts to funky kitchenware. For those who like to live on the edge, there's even a shop that sells nothing but hot sauce, with samplers ranging from mild to "smack my ass."
- Address: Broadview Ave. to the west and Donlands Ave. to the east, Danforth, Toronto, ON
- Metro Broadview (west end of the neighborhood), Chester or Pape (heart of Greektown), or Donlands (eastern end).
- Location: Greater Toronto
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