The Mogo Blog

Toronto's Vodka Bars - A clear drinking guide

Swing a cat on the streets of Toronto these days and you’re bound to hit a vodka bar. The bars are all the rage among the suited denizens of the financial district and come replete with communist era decor. Vodka bars in other cities tend to be insufferably stuffy and like to pretend that Russia had nothing to do with it. But here in Toronto, we celebrate the struggle, the endurance and the borscht that it took to make vodka the breakfast of champions. Pravda – provides some of the best ‘value’ This bar is truly dedicated to the enjoyment of vodka. Even if you are not a fan of vodka, you will be once you have had the drinking experience that its uncannily large vodka selection offers. Oh and they make food too. The decor is Stalin chic and it will leave you feeling like an undercover 007 agent deep in enemy territory. There is a “Gulag” style jail cell for larger groups and for functions, you can order an ice bar with ice shot glasses which is just a brrrrrilliant way to enjoy vodka. Add a side of caviar to that and you’re partying like its 1969.

Neighbourhood spotlight: Toronto's Chinatown

Step off the Spadina street car and you may just feel like you have been through a wormhole and ended up in an alternate universe, but fear not… welcome to Chinatown! Toronto’s Chinatown is a vibrantly, lively and authentic neighbourhood that is filled with interesting shops, great restaurants, relaxing spas and really great bargains. Restaurants From dim sum to bubble tea, you are sure to find much to whet your appetite in Chinatown. Hit Somerset road for the best choice in restaurants. So Good is great eatery with a huge menu. If you get spoilt for choice, try the crispy beef. Wander a little further down to Royal Treasure, Jadeland or Yangtze for equally scrumptious offerings. If Chinese food isn’t for you, there are a plethora of Vietnamese noodle joins, Japanese sushi restaurants, Korean barbecues and fusion restaurants on offer. If you need a cuppa tea to fortify you for all the shopping you’re about to do, then Ten Ren Tea Company on Dundas is the place to go. They serve delicious bubble tea and have a very wide selection of teas on offer. Ask any of the knowledgeable staff for the most delicious varieties or teas

The best $50 worth of fun in Toronto's Koreatown

Go TO! Things to do in Koreatown, Toronto when you’ve got a set budget. Finding quality shindigs in Toronto need not be an expensive endeavour. There is a plethora of fun to be had for under $50 that will leave you date with no option but to pony up for that goodnight kiss. The delightful Toronto neighbourhood that is Koreatown has something for everyone. Dinner and a movie for under $50? Sounds too good to be true! Well, it’s possible if you venture down to Koreatown. This stretch of Bloor near Bathurst is packed with delightful Korean, Japanese and Thai eateries that serve great meals for under $15. Look out for the ‘meal for two’ specials that can get you great grub at discount prices. Bloor Cinema is a gem of a place. Stepping onto the flowered ‘vintage’ carpet is like stepping back to the ’70′s. Ticket prices are as low as $6 for members and $11 for non-members. Check the schedule for golden oldies, art-house movies, zombie fests and new releases. Cosy up on one of the end-aisle double seats for a particularly fun-filled viewing (cuddling; chicks dig it!) If movies aren’t your cup of

Hey Toronto: Come on down to Little Italy

Are hipsters ignoring you? Are the grey skies and black slush underfoot making winter unbearable? When life in the big city starts to get you down, then you need to go where everyone knows your name. OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you certainly will feel like part of the family in Little Italy; a taste of Europe in the heart of Toronto. Running along College Street from Euclid Avenue to Shaw Street, Little Italy is a warm and friendly place sprinkled with a touch of trendy and claims to be the largest Italian community outside of Italy. There are an abundance of Italian restaurants, coffee shops and shops with a distinctly European flair where you can browse. From the Vespa shop, to the trendy Italian boutiques to the fabulous Italian bakeries and supermarkets, Little Italy is a great place to spend an afternoon shopping. For the more adventurous, the numerous nightclubs in the area offer a more festive atmosphere. Little Italy follows the age-old tradition of Italian hospitality; making it a warm and inviting area which is best suited to meeting friends over a delicious meal. One of its greatest claims to fame is that Sophie Loren

The best kid-friendly dining experiences in Toronto

A good meal or a cup of decent coffee is hard to come by when you have kids. Nice restaurants are filled with couples who give you the death stare when your kid starts wailing because they are not going to get a toy with their meal. Not to mention the hipster brush off you get at trendy coffee joints; it’s enough to send you running to the embrace of fast food restaurants with ball pits. But fear not, parenthood no longer relegates you to a lifetime of plastic meals and an early cholesterol-induced grave. Now parents can have their cakes and eat them too. Playful Grounds is a new kid-friendly coffee shop on College. Come and enjoy all the luxury and leather seats you find in a regular coffee shop with the added convenience of stroller parking, kid-friendly bathrooms and as many toys as you can play with. The mom-friendly menu is kid-friendly too and your wee ones can enjoy healthy snacks served in sippy cups and bowls with suction while you sip a latte and relax. The Rainforest Cafe in Yorkdale Mall is like a fairytale wrapped in an adventure wrapped in an Indiana Jones movie. The