Gluten-free neighborhoods in Toronto are on the agenda for this year. I thought I'd start closest to home. I live in the Junction - which is north of High Park. The Junction has been "up and coming" for many years now. It looks like we are in the sweet spot where there is lots of creative energy, but we are not gentrifying towards shopping mall mediocrity. Starbucks arrived a couple of years ago, but so far, it's stopped there. We still have a high ratio of used appliances and indy dollar stores gracing the hood.
What's most interesting to me, is that even in this tiny little hipster grotto there is a SELECTION of places where I can get not only a safe gluten-free meal, but some devine treats too. My top 10 Junction spots for a gluten-free fix are:
The Beet: I cannot say enough about rice wraps at this place (see a past post HERE). Lots of gf options and a staff that just "gets it". In the summer we are regulars on their patio. Super healthy, tasty, affordable and SAFE!
Bunner's Vegan & Gluten free Bakery: When they opened across the street from my home I could not believe my eyes. They just celebrated their 2nd birthday. Celebrate yours with a custom made red velvet cake - or just pop in for cupcakes or cookies. It's hard to walk by.
North of Bombay: I'm crazy about Indian food. Go here for the best pakora in town. Curry Twist: Another Indian restaurant, with tangier butter chicken and slightly more refined offerings. There is typically a line up in this little place - and it's worth waiting for. Read more about Indian gf food options in general HERE.
Cantina: New to us as of December 2012. Sophisticated, handmade soft tacos with rice and beans are the gf offering. Be warned, the staff like to make a point of letting you know that they are cooler than you. Yes, even you. Your bill will be higher than what you'd expect to pay for Mexican. The tacos almost make up for this. La Revolucion: Also Mexican, but cheap and cheerful for when you need a fix and want a decent gf meal that isn't posed over.
Little Fish Bakes Good: A cafe with an excellent brunch which includes an option of white or brown gf rice toast. They sometimes have other goodies like gf brownies too.
Gabby's: One must recognize a sports bar that puts out an enormous sign that reads "try our gluten-free menu!". This is not a culinary place - you go there to watch a game. I've tried the burger so far, which I was happy to enjoy on a gf bun.
The Sweet Potato: An organic food market with a wide selection of gluten-free staples like bread, crackers and cookies, much of which is produced locally including Organic Works and Gaga for Gluten free.
Crema Coffee: Aside from making excellent coffee... they also carry a selection of gf goodies including cookies from Bunners and treats from Queen B Pastries.
Finally, we have an organic farmer's market here on Saturday mornings during the summer. Sounds like a pretty good hood for a celiac eh? If you think I've missed something worth noting - please let me know!