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The Dish

Restaurants

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Flavour of the Month: eight sublimely sloppy breakfast sandwiches

Toronto chefs are reimagining the McMuffin with house-made breads and luxurious ­ingredients

Flavour of the Month: Morning Glory

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Must-Try: gourmet doughnuts we’d devour by the dozen at the Harbord Room

Must-try: Slam DunkChef Cory Vitiello at the Harbord Room likes to change the menu every couple of weeks, but whenever he tries to take his Sicilian-style doughnuts off the dessert card, there’s a backlash from diners. Blame it on the ricotta batter, which makes them as fluffy as the Twilight novels, along with orange zest and pistachios, which elevate them way above the lowly Timbit. Three of them arrive fresh from the fryer next to a little bowl of velvety espresso-caramel pot de crème topped with tapioca pearls, whipped cream and crispy shards of meringue. It’s tempting to inhale the ethereal fritters first, but we recommend saving one to soak up every last ­remnant of sweet pudding. $9. 89 Harbord St., 416-962-8989.

The Goods

Shopping

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: our guide to living the good life for less

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | 2012

One problem with living here is how easy it is to part with a loonie. The temptations—exotic cocktails that cost as much as a gourmet locavore dinner, gourmet locavore dinners that cost as much as a designer dress, designer dresses that cost as much as a German sedan, etc.—multiply by the minute. Even our cheapskate mayor couldn’t resist upgrading his business cards with gold filigree. The safest way to avoid following in Greece’s footsteps is to swear an oath to cheapness: never buy full-price, always be on the lookout for a bargain, and haggle when appropriate. Here, our annual shortcut guide to the good life for less.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: a pimped-out sandwich, the ultimate bargain gourmet meal

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Sandwiches
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Sandwiches

Waldorf chicken salad
Bannock
401 Bay St., 416-861-6996
The excellent sandwiches at Oliver and Bonacini’s new downtown Canadiana spot Bannock epitomize the high standards and unfussy elegance of big brother Canoe, at grab-and-go prices. A savoury Waldorf salad—the classiest vehicle for mayonnaise and chopped chicken—arrives on a perfectly buttery, flaky croissant.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: bar snacks that are as lip-smacking as they are cheap

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Posh Nosh
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Posh Nosh

Gourmet junk food
Toca Bar
181 Wellington St. W., 416-585-2500
Done up in corporate neutrals and colonized by Seven Sisters partners, the Ritz-Carlton bar serves the kinds of cocktails that come with lotus root garnishes and elderflower infusions—and cost $16 each. Sounds steep until you factor in the freebies delivered with the drinks: sticky, maple-glazed bacon, pan-fried capers and corn nuts. It’s gourmet junk food that’s impossible to stop eating, which is okay because the bartender replenishes the supply without judgment.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: 14 foodie finds, from family-style feasts to cut-rate craft beer

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Food

Family-style dinner
The Queen and Beaver
35 Elm St., 647-347-2712
The Sunday feasting menu at Elm Street’s authentic British pub is aptly named: for $22 a person, chef Andrew Carter will brine a loin of Ontario pork for two days before slowly roasting it and presenting it whole, bones included, for the head of the table to slice and serve. A bevy of seasonal sides—like golden beets, roasted root veg, mashed potatoes, heirloom carrots and green beans—is included, along with homemade apple sauce. Reservations are required by Thursday to give the kitchen time to prepare. Minimum five people.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: four exercise regimens that will help you drop pounds, not dollars

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Sweat it Out
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Sweat it Out

Spynga
Spynga South Studio
1415 Bathurst St., 416-588-7796
Work up a sweat while improving your inner chi at this hybrid exercise class that combines a high-intensity spinning workout with the restorative benefits of yoga. An introductory offer of two classes for $20 means you can sample the goods for a steal.

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The Goods

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: 10 services that help you live the good life for less

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Help

Best dance class for Gaga wannabes
Lindsay Ritter Dance
National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis St., 416-817-5460
Learn to vamp like a music video star in Canada’s best pop-jazz classes—basically mod­ern dance with a few kicks and turns thrown in. Artistic director and instructor Lindsay Ritter emphasizes what’s new and hot in her 90-minute classes, where so-you-think-you-can-dancers learn a routine set to the biggest pop hits (including Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”). All sessions are drop-in and just $14 each, which means you’ll have plenty of extra money to buy that meat dress you always wanted.

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012

[mappress mapid="21"]

    
HomeFashion cont’d
 
Edison Bulbs
Eclectic Revival, 3075 Dundas St. W.
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A-line dress
Robber, 863 Queen St. W.
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Condo sofa
Morba, 667 Queen St. W.
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Shampoo
Beauty Supply Outlet, 1568 Yonge St.
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Desk
Queen West Antique Centre, 1605 Queen St. W. | read more
Shaving cream
Toronto Barber and Beauty Supply, 100 Dundas St. W. | read more
Coffee table
Smash, 2880 Dundas St. W.
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Parka
Planet Kid, 87 Roncesvalles Ave.
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Bathroom accessories
Ginger’s, 95 Ronald Ave.
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Toque
Kol Kid, 674 Queen St. W.
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Knobs and pulls
Addison’s, 41 Wabash Ave.
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Hoodie
Mini Mioche, 795 Queen St. W.
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Room divider
Industrial Storm, 1106 Queen St. W.
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Home theatre
Sound Designs, 55 Mill St.
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Help
Indestructible luggage
Evex Luggage Centre, 1911 Dundas St. E.
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Best dance class for Gaga wannabees
Lindsay Ritter Dance, 400 Jarvis St.
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Custom bookcase
The Pine Store, 248 King St. E.
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Best Beckham hair
Vidal Sassoon Academy, 37 Avenue Rd.
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Crystal chandelier
Lighting Originals, 109 Cartwright Ave.
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Upscale alterations
Stychin’ Tyme, 2502 Yonge St.
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Farm pendant
Universal Lamp, 121 Cartwright Ave.
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Eyebrow expert
Avalon Esthetics, 541 College St.
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Patio furniture
InsideOut, 1280 Castlefield Ave.
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Pooch bathing
Soggie Dog Company, 1054 Queen St. E.
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VOC-free paint
The Zero Point, 1590 Queen St. E.
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Louboutin rejuvenation
Nick’s Custom Boots and Shoe Repair, 169 Dupont St. | read more
Discontinued wallpaper
Primetime Paint and Paper, 299 Queen St. E.
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Snow tire storage
Tire Source, 141 Queen St. E.
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Fabric
Robert Allan, 170 Bedford Rd.
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Spynga
Spynga South Studio, 1415 Bathurst St.
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Pasta maker
Consiglio’s Kitchenware, 1219 St Clair Ave. W. | read more
Squash
St. Lawrence Community Centre, 230 The Esplanade | read more
Cast iron pan
Cayne’s Housewares, 112 Doncaster Ave.
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Boxing
Bloor Street Fitness and Boxing, 2295 Dundas St. W. | read more
Coffee siphon
Green Beanery, 565 Bloor St. W.
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Global knife
Tap Phong, 360 Spadina Ave.
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Food
Pepper mill
Degrees Kitchen Store, 2588 Yonge St.
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Family-style dinner
The Queen and Beaver, 35 Elm St.
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Mixing glass, Ice Tray
BYOB, 972 Queen St. W.
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Raw fish fix
Agave y Aguacate, 214 Augusta Ave.
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Rubber caps
Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave.
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Timbit alternative
Little Nicky’s, 375 Queen St. W.
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Cocktail recipe book
Type, 883 Queen St. W.
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Locavore dinner
Zocalo, 1426 Bloor St. W.
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Southern feast
Acadia, 50 Clinton St.
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Fashion
Pre-theatre prix fixe
Nota Bene, 180 Queen St. W.
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Tote
Studio Biba, 2583 Yonge St.
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Gourmet lunch
Sense Appeal, 96 Spadina Ave.
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Fur
Act Two, 565 Mt. Pleasant Rd.
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Craft beer
Bar Volo, 587 Yonge St.
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Maxi-coat
Lorne’s Coats, 101 Spadina Ave.
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Korean tofu soup
Tofu Village, 681 Bloor St. W.
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Vintage couture
Thrill of the Find, 1172 Queen St. E.
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Souvlaki
Folia Grill, 1031 Pape Ave.
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Knits
Line Knitwear Sample Sale, 15 Apex Rd.
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Noodles
Kenzo Ramen, 372 Bloor St. W.
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Boots
B2, 3401 Dufferin St.
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Cantina platter
Milagro, 5 Mercer St.
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Sports coat
Gotstyle, 62 Bathurst St.
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Barbecue for two
Barque Smokehouse, 299 Roncesvalles Ave.
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T-shirts
Artik, 314 Adelaide St. E.
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Waldorf chicken salad
Bannock, 401 Bay St.
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Peacoat
Stollerys, 1 Bloor St. W.
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Porchetta
Porchetta, 825 Dundas St. W.
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High-tops
New Balance Toronto, 1510 Yonge St.
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Fried chicken thigh
The County General, 936 Queen St. W.
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Merino tights
Precious Creations, 341 Spadina Ave.
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Gourmet junk food
Toca Bar, 181 Wellington St. W.
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Ski wear
Sporting Life, 2901 Bayview Ave.
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Sampling plate
416 Snack Bar, 181 Bathurst St.
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Leather gloves
Rudsak Sample Sale, 141 Tycos Dr.
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Oysters
Biff’s Bistro, 4 Front St. E.
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The Goods

Shopping

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: 14 fashion finds

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Fashion

Tote
Studio Biba
2583 Yonge St., 416-921-6780
It used to be considered a travel bag, but over the past couple of years, Longchamp’s iconic Le Pliage nylon tote has become an everyday standard—celeb fans include Pippa Middleton, Katie Holmes and Rachel McAdams. Studio Biba at Yonge and Eglinton offers a deal on the sturdy, chic shoulder bag, selling it in a range of colours and sizes for as low as $99.

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The Goods

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap: Bundled, winter-defying kids’ clothes that match stylishness with handmade durability

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Kids
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Kids

Parka
Planet Kid
87 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-537-9233
Multifunctional clothes are easy on the budget—and extra fun for little kids. This cozy, stylish hooded winter parka from 7 A.M. Enfant becomes a full bunting bag with just a couple of quick snaps. Available in lilac and navy blue.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: professional-quality beauty and grooming supplies at bargain prices

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Beauty
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Beauty

Shampoo
Beauty Supply Outlet
1568 Yonge St., 416-929-6533
While salons might charge exorbitant sums for a wash and cut, they make their real money selling product. The Beauty Supply Outlet isn’t technically wholesale, but salon-quality Goldwell shampoo sells for several dollars less than anywhere else. $14 for 300 mL of Goldwell Rich Repair.

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The Goods

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: everything you need for a cost-effective happy hour

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Happy hour
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Happy hour

Mixing glass
BYOB
972 Queen St. W., 877-989-8980
The classic Japanese Yarai mixing glass is large enough for making two cocktails at once, and its heavy glass frame looks good—but it’s infinitely more durable than similarly stunning crystal pieces (and infinitely less expensive, too).

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The Goods

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: what to cook with when you cook at home

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | No reservations
Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | No reservations

Pasta maker
Consiglio’s Kitchenware
1219 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-653-6622
Forget the pricy attachments for your KitchenAid Stand Mixer. To make genuine fresh pasta alla nonna—the rich, soft, eggy kind that’s the star of the dish instead of a mere sauce conduit—you want a stainless steel, made-in-Italy hand-crank device by Imperia.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap 2012: how to decorate your home for less

Where to Get Good Stuff Cheap | Home

Edison bulbs
Eclectic Revival
3075 Dundas St. W., 416-766-5500
When LEDs and compact fluorescents became the norm, decor radicals opted for replica Edison bulbs—the low-tech lighting equivalent of a turntable. The bulb’s distinct amber glow is produced by fragile carbon filaments; it’s a warmer, softer light than the tungsten coil on an incandescent emits. They’re becoming easier to find—Restoration Hardware carries them now—but the city’s cheapest source remains the vintage lighting store Eclectic Revival. $15 each.

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