If you’re new to Toronto or visiting in the Spring, the Sakura tree cherry blossoms in High Park are a sight to see and have become an annual attraction for both tourists and residents alike. In 1959, 2,000 Somei Yoshino Sakura trees were given to the city as a gift from the Japanese ambassador and planted along High Park trail. Peak time for the blossoms is usually around mid-April to early May, but with winter lingering around so long this year, the trees have been ‘late bloomers.’
The cherry blossoms are a big deal in Toronto, so if you find yourself heading out that way to spend some time in the park, here are a few recommended places to stop for lunch.
At the corner of Bloor and Keele sits a cute and colorful spot called Lunch Box. When you want something simple and unfussy with perhaps a bit of a twist just for novelty’s sake, this is where you go. Sandwiches, smoothies, pies, daily specials…health food and comfort food are done well here, and at an affordable price. Come for breakfast or brunch and enjoy traditional eggs benny done right and cooked perfectly, with a generous side of plump, crispy home fries. Vegetarians can get into the grub here too, with a wide variety of delicious options like a veggie BLT with avocado and sprouts. Fresh fruit is always on display, as well as baked goods.
Dundas Park Kitchen
This is more than just a kitchen; it’s Chef Alex Tso’s kitchen, and he has done a fine job of creating the perfect spot for hearty feel-good food like roast chicken, chicken pot pies, grilled goat cheese sandwiches and more. The highly acclaimed Roncesvalles resto is a great pick for hot eats before or after a lovely stroll through the park to see the cherry blossoms. Bonus note: the breakfast sausage comes with chimichurri sauce on an English muffin – mmm!
Ed’s Real Scoop
It’s not a day in the park without ice cream. While it’s true that there are ice cream trucks camped out right across from the fabled cherry blossoms, flavors are minimal and prices are always, well, maximum. If you’re going to splurge, why not splurge on the good stuff? Ed’s Real Scoop has now opened its doors in a brand new location in Roncesvalles/High Park, and their assortment of flavors is as big and delicious as ever. They even have ice cream pies, their best seller being pumpkin. Frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato and handmade candy are also on the menu. Oh, did we mention Oreos dipped in Belgian chocolate? Enough said.
If you haven’t seen the cherry blossoms yet, it’s not too late yet – but it will be soon. Get out there and grab a bite while you enjoy the beautiful Springtime weather!