BY BROCK SUTHERLAND
1 Kinton Ramen is one of the big names of Toronto’s burgeoning noodle-house scene, with lineups often stretching out the door. Rich aromas waft from the open kitchen while diners slurp up big bowls of soup filled with tender pork slices, crunchy bean sprouts, scallions and more. 51 Baldwin St., 647-748-8900; kintonramen.com.
2 A longtime neighbourhood staple, Wah Sing Seafood Restaurant is famous for its two-for-one lobster special, while also offering assorted Chinese dishes such as Szechuan chicken, braised duck, seafood chow mein and more. 47 Baldwin St., 416-599-8822; wahsing.ca.
3 Noodles, naturally, are on the menu at Noodle Face Co., but you can also scoop up the likes of handmade dumplings and burrito-style beef pancakes. Scribble a postprandial note on the blackboard before you leave. 41 Baldwin St., 647-761-1355; noodleface.co.
4 Boasting house-roasted beans and a pleasantly collegial atmosphere, Bicerin Espresso Bar is the neighbourhood’s go-to coffee shop. 37 Baldwin St., 647-352-8550; Facebook page.
5 Originally a revered Kensington Market take-out spot, chef Francisco Alejandri’s Agave y Aguacate recently became a full-fledged restaurant, serving up a full carte of Mexican fare—from Alejandri’s famous flank steak salad to a poblano pepper stuffed with guacamole, pickled veg, pineapple and gooseberries. The lower-level bar is loaded with tequila. 35 Baldwin St., 647-748-6448; Facebook page.
6 Undoubtedly the most elegant dining room on the Baldwin strip, Bodega serves up classic French cooking, including steak tartare, seafood bouillabaisse and braised rabbit leg with veal sweetbreads, alongside an extensive wine list. 30 Baldwin St., 416-977-1287; bodegarestaurant.com.
7 Taking cues from the tenets of Buddhism, Vegetarian Haven is a local standard-bearer for creative Asian-fusion vegan and vegetarian fare. The long menu includes everything from a kale and quinoa salad—rich in calcium, iron and protein—to eggplant and tempeh in spicy coconut curry. 17 Baldwin St., 416-621-3636; vegetarianhaven.com.
8 Asian food is common on Baldwin (it’s effectively part of Chinatown, after all), but Asian gelato? It does exist; you’ll find it at Kekou Gelato House, which uses traditional methods to make icy-creamy concoctions in flavours such as ginger milk, jasmine tea and black sesame. 13 Baldwin St., 416-792-8858; kekou.ca.
9 Pick up a unique piece of Japan at Cubeshops, a gallery-like design boutique featuring office supplies, kitchenware, small home decor items and more, curated for their cultural significance. Select North American- and European-made products following a modernist, minimalist aesthetic are also available. 11 Baldwin St., 416-260-0710; cubeshops.com.
10 True to its name, Yakitori Bar specializes in Japanese-style skewered-and-grilled meats, poultry and vegetables, as well as interpretations of classic Korean comfort food. In a rush? Grab some toothsome takeout from the restaurant’s adjoining sister space, Seoul Food. 1 Baldwin St., 647-748-0083; yakitoribar.ca.