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Top 4 Eats in Toronto’s East Beach To Visit

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Toronto is an expansive place. I spent the first 20 years of my life living in North York where I comfortably tucked myself within the confines of Sheppard Avenue West to Eglinton Avenue West and Bathurst Street to Yonge Street. My family and I recently opened a new chapter of our Torontonian lives and took the ultimate hop. We moved to The Beaches. Previous to the move, my perception of this Toronto destination was limited to the few blocks of Queen Street East that had the Freshii, Hero Burger, the M Boutique (which definitely closed down) and the cozy Cole’s across the street. This block also houses the main entrance to Beaches Park with the long and winding trail that passes the playground – an ancient looking castle and a medium-sized field with a baseball diamond and bleachers. Emerging at the beach, you can faintly see the west-end of the boardwalk, but to the left – the east-end of the boardwalk fades into the horizon. We usually stuck to the west-end of the beaches anyway and never really considered taking the long left. 

To quote Julia Roberts as Vivian in the American classic, Pretty Woman: “Big mistake, huge.” 

We now find ourselves right at the end of the mysterious east-end boardwalk with Scarborough just a short two blocks away. Freshii and Hero Burger have absolutely nothing on the east-end of the beach. I hope your minds and stomachs are ready. Here are some of my favourite––and newly discovered––eats since moving to The Beaches. 

1. Garden Gate Restaurant, commonly known as “The Goof”

This Beaches landmark opened in 1952, and to this day, has not given up its status as a staple eating spot in the neighbourhood. The beloved restaurant has an unmissable neon sign out front that reads “Good” horizontally and “Food” vertically. At some point in its rich history, the d’s on both words gave out and what was left to shine down on that pocket of Queen Street East was “Goo Foo.” Community members bestowed the nickname “The Goof” and it stuck. With a few ownership switches and years of business later, the sign still hangs proudly and declares the restaurant as a site for remarkably good food. 

Now to the food part of The Goof. This eating spot features an array of Chinese and American dishes, including their famous all day breakfast. My family and I happened to stumble upon this restaurant during our first week in the neighbourhood. We sat down and glanced at the menu. Classic egg and bacon breakfasts and dim sum? Was I dreaming? Never before had I ordered appetizers at breakfast but it had to be done. The Goof is a truth teller: its food really is that good. By the end of the meal, I had stuffed my stomach to the brim. So much so that the only thing left to do was sit back in my chair and let out a loud “Goooof!” No other sound effects were acceptable at that moment. 

2. Tori’s Bakeshop 

Tori’s Bakeshop makes its mark as Toronto’s first plant-based cafe. They have gluten-free options, sugar-free options and nut free options (although not a completely nut free facility). The small bakeshop exudes an attitude of kindness and transparency where each customer is made to feel safe expressing their dietary restrictions, and each local ingredient used is treated as public knowledge rather than a covered up story. To go further, this brand has made it their mission to operate consciously with as little waste as possible. Each item sold is offered in a compostable or recyclable container. 

The elimination of animal-based products, gluten and refined sugar in their products is undetectable. Their vegan cinnamon buns top any other cinnamon bun that contains animal-based produce. They’re light, they’re gooey, they’re fluffy, they’re so good. Try a few of their gluten-free cookies that maintain a soft chewiness despite the absence of wheat. Plus, try out their Lavender London Fog. It’s like stepping into a sunlit field of fresh lavender in the rolling hills of the Netherlands.

3. Ed’s Real Scoop

Ed’s Real Scoop set up their shop 20 years ago in The Beaches and offers a deliciously wide selection of ice cream, gelato, sorbet and yogurt. Ed’s front step is recognizable for its loud-and-proud yellow and blue sign and the commonly seen line of customers patiently waiting for their scoop. Even as the weather has adopted a familiar chill, there is always at least one person standing stationary to purchase a cup or cone. They have spread out three more locations across Toronto over the years but have maintained their dedication to serving a range of classic flavours to obscure seasonal flavours. You know what – let me just list them for you: 

  • Burnt marshmallow 
  • Strawberry rhubarb 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Tahitian vanilla bean 
  • French mint 
  • Lemon sorbet
  • Maple walnut
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Creme Brulee 
  • Chocolate orange
  • Red hot chili chocolate
  • And many, many more 

4. Isabella’s 

Isabella’s is home of the longed-for mochi donut. They combine mochi––the dreamy Japanese dessert made of sweet, chewy, elastic rice dough (usually stuffed with ice cream or red bean paste)––with a donut. The result is an elegant dessert that embodies the texture of a memory foam cloud. Strangely, the mochi donut feels fresh when you bite into it, tasting like a sweet breeze and does not demonstrate the usual heaviness of a traditional donut. 

Admittedly, Isabella’s is stationed in the west-end of the beach but it is simply too iconic to miss. This Beaches staple prides itself for its fresh, preservative-free ingredients and its proclaimed status as the original and leading mochi donut of Canada.

Let your mind and stomach expand to the size of Toronto (figuratively, of course) and explore these infamous beaches destinations. Wear some good walking shoes to hit the boardwalk afterwards; snap a coveted picture of the eats you get and arrive with an empty stomach. I will see you soon!

Journalism/Fashion at Ryerson University in the Creative Industries program I'm here to write, share my perspective, and learn from others. My favourite things to do are read, watch some great TV, and laugh with my friends about Schitt's Creek. Also, if anyone needs a new show to watch, I recommend Schitt's Creek. You won't regret it