Art Square 334 Dundas W, at McCaul, 416-595-5222. Part gallery, part café, this elegant space across from the AGO offers a short card of crepes both savoury and sweet, like the Serendipity Afrodisiac spread with organic honey, bee pollen, ginseng, chocolate and edible gold. Closed Sunday, holidays.
Chinese Traditional Buns 536 Dundas W, at Kensington, 416-299-9011. Downstairs from popular Sang Ho, this bare-bones basement specializes in northern Chinese dumplings and dim sum. Don't miss the jellied bean curd! Unlicensed. Cash only.
Island Foods 275 Dundas W, at McCaul, 416-599-9339. Offshot of Toronto's longest-running roti resto offers quick Caribbean grub in the food court of Village by the Grange. Also: 1182 King W, at Dufferin, 416-532-6298; 1310 Don Mills, at Chipping, 416-487-7717. Closed Saturday, Sunday, holidays (Dundas); Sunday, holidays (King and Don Mills). Unlicensed.
Jumbo Empanadas 245 Augusta, at Baldwin, 416-977-0056. Meal-sized South American turnovers stuffed with meat or veggies, hard-boiled egg and raisins. Send them into orbit with the house's killer hot sauce. Closed holidays.
King's Café 192 Augusta, at Baldwin, 416-591-1340. Offbeat ovo-lacto vegetarian eatery in Kensington known for its hearty meat-free noodle soups, crustless quiche and spring rolls stuffed with veggies and soy 'ham.' Unlicensed.
King's Noodle 296 Spadina, at Dundas, 416-598-1817. Although the decor's been upgraded, this Cantonese cantina's card of barbecued meat atop inexpensive noodle soups remains the same. Open nightly till 1 am.
Kom Jug Yuen 371 Spadina, at Nassau, 416-977-4079. Zero decor, gruff service and the cheapest Chinese food on the strip. Don't miss the house's super barbecued pork fried rice for $3.75!
Mother's Dumplings 79 Huron, at Dundas, 416-217-2008. Low-key northern Chinese take-away with limited seating and nearly 20 styles of dumplings, both steamed and fried. House-made noodles, too. Unlicensed. Cash only.
Beaver 1192 Queen W, at Gladstone, 416-537-2768. Trendy brunch 'n' lunch café by day, arty queer-punk lounge by night owned by Vazaleen scenesters Will Munro and Lyn MacNeil.
Cameron House 408 Queen W, at Cameron, 416-703-0811. Toronto's original art bar, this Queen West tavern has been packing them in since the 80s. Music and theatre events in the back room, tasteful tunes and witty repartee up front.
Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen W, at Dufferin, 416-531-4635. Recently renovated Edwardian hotel-bar complex famed for its insanely popular karaoke extravaganzas Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Grossman's 379 Spadina, at Cecil, 416-977-7000. Divey wateringhole favoured by starving artistes and cash-strapped bon vivants. Retro jazz and blues most evenings.
Hot Box Cafe 191A Baldwin, at Augusta, 416-203-6990. Located at the back of Kensington's Roach-o-Rama head shop, this pot-smoker's paradise permits ingestion of the herb on its secluded backyard patio. Lots of edible vegetation like sandwiches and salads, too. Unlicensed.
Last Temptation 12 Kensington, at Dundas W, 416-599-2551. One of Toronto's first island-style restos (anyone remember Spider's?), this relaxed JA joint hasn't changed since it opened 20 years ago: Asian Caribbean pub grub and imported beer quaffed to reggae riddims.
Village Idiot 126 McCaul, at Dundas, 416-597-1175. Directly across from the AGO, this laid-back local grooves to a soundtrack of 40s, 50s and 60s jazz while pouring 18 domestic and European draughts.