The best new restaurant on Dundas West is an Argentine grill house called Branca—a hedonist’s dream of woozy cocktails, swish service and perfectly charred slabs of meat
1727 Dundas St. W., 416-519-8165
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For a couple of years in the early 2000s, I shared an apartment on the Brazilian strip of Dundas near Dufferin, which felt like the middle of nowhere, nary a Starbucks for miles. Every so often, I’d awake to the sound of drag-racing Civic hatchbacks. Dundas West always seemed gentrification-proof. Only soccer bars, auto garages and funeral homes thrived. Today the street is so trendy it’s surpassing Queen in DJEBs (deejays, espressos and beards) per block. Somehow the neighbourhood’s roughness has become a virtue—the decaying storefronts impart authenticity to a speakeasy-style bar or a Japanese streetwear boutique.