Day 1 – Our Road Trip to Toronto
X had Good Friday and Easter Monday off and my birthday was right smack on Easter, so we decided to go away for a short weekend break. After throwing around a few options, we settled on Toronto and Niagara Falls. It has been at least 15 years since I’ve been to either of those – and X had never been to the Falls before.
We started our journey on Friday morning and arrived around noon. We had lunch reservations at Kinka Izakaya Original, which offers amazing lunch sets featuring your choice between three rice bowls, a side salad, and a miso soup. I thoroughly enjoyed my Salmon Don. They also serve one of the best takoyaki dishes I have ever had outside of Japan!
After lunch, we drove out to Scarborough for a visit to Scarborough Bluffs. Scarborough Bluffs, also known as The Bluffs, are essentially a very steep cliff located above the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
At the top of The Bluffs, at Scarboro Crescent Park, there are fences and signs warning visitors not to go near the edge. But, of course, we saw a bunch of people – at least 5-10 at each spot we stopped at – just hop the fence and walk right up to the edge for their pictures.
After visiting Scarboro Crescent Park, we decided to drive down to Bluffer’s Park, which is the park that runs along the Bluffs and has direct access to the lake. This was a nice walk and allowed us to see the Bluffs from the bottom up. There are a ton of nice picturesque spots along the walk and it’s not a hard walk at all.
There are also a ton of picnic benches and park benches all around if you want to take a break. I can imagine this place being a hit during the spring and summer months!
After visiting the Bluffs, we checked into our AirBnB in the Church & Wellesley area. We hung out at the AirBnB for a bit before heading out to dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. It should come to no surprise that I am a huge ramen fan. There are some really good ramen spots in New York City, but none of them serve tsukemen. Tsukemen, or dipping ramen, features cold, al dente ramen noodles that you dip into a hot broth, which is served on the side. The tsukemen at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka was really good.
After dinner, we walked over to Yonge & Dundas, which is the unofficial center of downtown Toronto. Think Times Square. We stopped by Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake and Pablo’s and decided to do a Japanese cheese tart tasting back at our AirBnB.
The verdict? They’re both good – but we liked them for different things. Pablo had a better crust, but the filling for Uncle Tetsu’s was better.
We also strolled by Nathan Philips Square to check out the illuminated Toronto sign! We drove by the Square another time during the day and it definitely had a very different look. If you’re time restricted and can only visit once, I would definitely recommend visiting at night instead of during the day.