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What I 8: Toronto’s Best food finds by Date Night YYZ (@datenightyyz)
Date Night YYZ (@datenightyyz) has almost everything you need to get a good idea of what can make a perfect date night — luxury roses, bespoke jewelry and, of course, romantic dinners.
Started as @torontodateideas in 2017, the account was rebranded recently to what it is today as part of ItsDateNight.com. But it’s not only content on camping under the stars and sunset sailing tours that have earned the account 70K+ followers to date. Date Night YYZ features delectable food finds such as handcrafted Swiss chocolates, halal charcuteries, and Fried Chicken topped with Vanilla Ice Cream — all zany recommendations perfect whether you’re clueless on where to eat after a visit at an immersive Van Gogh exhibit or an afternoon at a baby goat yoga adventure (yup, there’s one in Ontario!).
In this What I 8 interview, Kaley and Selena of Date Night YYZ share with BestPlaceFor.com the best that the Toronto food scene has to offer.
What’s the key to growing a great food account, and give us a tip for taking a good shot of your favourite food.
Consistency is so important for growing an account. We’ve been consistently posting for years and like to share a healthy mix of original content and amazing photos and videos from our followers or pages we personally are fans of. We focus a lot on giveaways, which has definitely helped in terms of growth. It’s an organic way to benefit both a business, and the people who support you at the same time (and everyone loves free stuff)!
The foodie community in Toronto is very warm and welcoming and they share a lot of opportunities with foodies to try out amazing spots and have their content recognized. They’ve played a huge part in the growth of our account.
For taking shots of your favourite foods: Lighting! We know everyone says this but natural light truly is key for the best shots. Content will reflect passion and if you genuinely love doing this, people are going to see that and appreciate it.
Pick one of your favourite food categories, and tell us what you look for when you’re looking for the best there is in that category.
Kaley: Caesars count as a good category, right? The more fixings, the better in a Caesar; the more over the top, the better; the spicier the better; the more seasonings and sauces, the better! Also, a place that offers Caesars with different spirit options to choose from.
Selena: I’m gonna go with brunch foods. To be a top brunch spot on my list, it has to have a mix of delicious brunch classics, dishes with a unique twist that end up REALLY working together, and not be too insanely expensive. Also, a place with a good variety of breakfast sides.
List the top 5 places you’ve eaten that dish or food, with a little insight into why each one is great.
Kaley: 1. Score on King at King Street East- Just ‘cause it’s so over the top while tasting actually amazing at the same time. You can’t beat their monster meals on top of their The Checkmate Caesar. (5 out of 5)
2. Hunters Landing on Fort York Boulevard – Perfect for hangover Saturdays with a whole Pizza slice on top of the Caesar! (4.5/5)
3. Brazen Head Irish Pub at Liberty Street – You can customize your Caesar. During brunch times, it was on special, unlimited fixings, which is amazing. (4.5/5)
4. Cherry Street Bar-B-Que at Cherry Street- They have a Rib in the Caesar, which puts them up there for sure. (4/5)
5. Reds Wine Tavern on Adelaide – Their brunch menu is amazing and has the perfect Caesar. (4/5)
Selena: 1. Oretta at King Street West- This was one of the best brunches I’ve had, plus bottomless Mimosas. The brunch even included amazing Bombolones at the end. (5/5)
2. Panagio’s All Day Grill on Lake Shore Boulevard- They have a location close to my house and have been going religiously for years. The best Pancakes I’ve ever had and probably will always be. I’ve never had a dish there I didn’t like. (4.5/5)
3. STK Steakhouse on Yorkville Avenue – Their brunch dishes are out of this world delicious. I dream about the Tater Tot Breakfast Hashbrown often. Not a place you can go to often unless your pockets are deep, but worth it when you do. (5/5)
4. Old School at Dundas Street West – Some of the best inventive brunch dishes like their Blueberry Pancakes stacked with Bacon. Also their Milkshakes are amazing. (4.5/5)
5. The Morning After on Fort York Boulevard – Definitely more modern and creative with their dishes, but it pays off. The whole vibe is amazing and they have some of the best drink options I’ve seen. (4.25/5)
What is something you’ve eaten that just blew you away because you did not expect it to be that good? It might have been an out of the way place or an unexpected flavour combo.
Kaley: Anything from the food truck Get Your Own Taters! We haven’t had any gourmet-topped Tater Tots before and every combination they have is to die for. I haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t.
Selena : The Grandma Loves You at Yonge Street serves French Dog (5/5) that’s in between a croissant, and topped with brie cheese and blueberry jam. It works so well together!
A pandemic lockdown kicks in but there’s a new rule, you can visit one restaurant only for the next six months. Where do you pick and why?
Is it bad if we say McDonalds LOL? We couldn’t think of anything else we wouldn’t get sick of for six months. It’s so bad, we know.
Which other foodies do you love to follow and why?
We’re big fans of @everything_delish! Her pictures are always amazing and we always save her recipes to try out.
We also like @eatfamous and @brunchbabesto. Their posts are awesome and 10/10 times we’ve loved trying their recommendations!
Let’s now go to Quick bite questions: Where and what the best dish was in these categories:
Best Dessert/Sweets? Cereal Milk Kookie from KyKy Kookies (an online shop in Toronto) (5/5)
Best Breakfast? FARE by The Food Dudes on Karlaw Avenue is their breakfast in bed delivered to your home. (5/5)
Best Ambiance? Bar Reyna in Cumberland Street. (5/5)