A small ethnic neighbourhood called Koreatown may be located in Seaton Village in Toronto. It is situated along Bloor Street and runs roughly from Christie to Bathurst. It should not be mistaken with Koreatown North, which is larger. Similar to Toronto’s other ethnic communities, the area is teeming with unique eateries and shops.
One of the coolest places to hang out in Toronto has to be Koreatown. Anyone who loves k-dramas has been an avid k-pop follower, and loves trying out cuisines, should not be missing this place. Koreatown lies between Christie and Bathurst. One of the easiest ways to reach the area is to take the Line 2 subway, get down at Christie, and ta-dah, you have reached Koreatown without any hassle.
Hello from K-Town
Like Toronto’s Little Italy, the people of Koreatown gradually moved away from the neighbourhood. Many of the initial Korean immigrants started relocating to North York and away from the city, and it appeared that fresh immigrants followed them.
Because of the large Korean community in Willowdale, Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch is now called Koreatown North. While Koreatown may not be what it once was in the 1970s, it is still a fantastic example of Korean culture.
What to do
One of the best things about Koreatown is that it feels homely. It is always better to go with someone who has explored the place well. If you are a foodie who eats anything and everything- Koreatown is a box full of surprises for you. As someone who has explored the place- here are my two bits. Please do carry a mat. Let’s go over places one by one:
Christie Pits Park:
There’s a beautiful park right outside Koreatown. You do not want to miss the chance to spend some time there, have a nap, look at kids playing or skating, hear someone play Mozart’s famous tune from the Sonata at a distance, watch people playing basketball or even enjoy the beautiful sun. One can enjoy quality time with family, friends, or loved ones. What better place to have a picnic? Restaurants, bars, and cafes are within a 2-4 min walk.
Take a deeper look: Christie Pits – Christie Pits PARK, a Recreational spot for families.
I am super biased with restaurants, and here are my favourite ones- Jin Dal Lae, Kimchi House, Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, and Tofu Village. The famous k-drama fried chicken, kimchi jigae (pancakes), the go-to- comfort food, Kimchi rice, japchae (glass noodles), bibimbap (hot stone bowl), rabokki (ramyeon and tteokbokki-rice cake), you name it, they have it. Something to note about the restaurants is that they have the facility that allows customers to grill their meat in case of Korean BBQ or even let the customers cook their ramyeon the way they like it. Almost all these restaurants have Korean drinks like Soju and Makgeolli (rice wine), enjoyed with the food served.
It would be unfair if I missed out on this. While K-food is in demand, famous, and very well-loved by people, there are also things that people who are new to the Korean culture don’t know. One of those things, the sweet delicacy that melts in your mouth, is the Hodo Kwaja (walnut cakes). They look like walnuts but are made with potatoes and almonds or walnuts. The fillings also include the famous red bean, which makes everything better. The cakes and pancakes are tasty, not too sweet, pocket friendly, and addictive. https://www.instagram.com/hodokwaja/?hl=en
Before we get onto other things, this famous Poop Cafe attracts many customers. The Cafe, unlike its name, is known for its cute interior and Korean desserts like Bingsu, etc. It is a unique experience, which is better experienced firsthand than by reading it here. Poop Cafe
You know that place that looks aesthetic, fits your mood and has the best dessert and drinks…Clinton’s is that place. The bar is over 80 years old. They have k-pop musical nights and retro parties and even conduct drink parties on special occasions like Canada Day. They keep upgrading their menu. My favourite treats that aren’t a part of the menu have been Soju-topped Blueberry Cheesecake and Caramel Sticky Pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They also have a tent set outside to give the Korean street-styled theme. You can sit there, watch sports, and enjoy the food with your loved ones. clintonsto.ca
Considering our times, many people have different kinds of allergies. Imagine being lactose intolerant or having a gluten allergy. That takes away all the chances of enjoying desserts. Nope. Grandmama’s waffle has gluten-free waffles. Desserts for everyone, how cool is that?
Snakes and Lattes
The perfect place to spend an evening eating and playing board games with your friends. It could also be a good place for the first date or birthday parties. They have many options for vegetarians and those with gluten allergies. You pay $8/ per person as the game fee and can have a good time playing all sorts of board games. They have new arrivals coming in now and then.
Well, it just keeps getting better. Shops where you find your favourite k-pop groups’ posters, albums, plushies, and even anime merch. Pikachu to Shooky to Gojo, you name it, they have it all. They also have cushions, stationery, fridge magnets, etc.
My favourite place in the entire Koreatown. The only place you find Korean snacks and chocolates, ramyeon in different flavours, different types of homemade Kimchi, glass noodles, watermelon popsicles, Taiyaki, and much more under one roof. There is nothing not to like about this grocery store.
Overall, Koreatown has a lot more places. A perfect place to spend your special occasions, eating corn dogs, visiting a book store, having a trending bubble tea, enjoying k-pop here and there, eating good authentic Korean snacks and food, and creating lots of beautiful memories. Koreatown is pocket-friendly and comes with so many surprises – Worth a visit.
Author: Prathiusha P, Digital Marketer by day and an avid K-Everything fan by night.