Get up-close and personal with this charming west-end Toronto neighbourhood.

A junction is a point where two things are joined. And with its winning combination of great food and easygoing nightlife, the Junction is a west-end Toronto neighbourhood where two people can enjoy joining up for an evening out. 

Whether you’re making quality time with a partner of many years or getting to know the latest prospect served up by a dating app, you can create your ideal Junction date itinerary by mixing and matching from the possibilities below. 

The pre-dinner meetup 

For a casual start to date night, get together at one of the neighbourhood’s most bustling gathering spots. A pint and a nibble at Indie Alehouse will help you start to get to know someone—starting with: are they an IPA fan, or more of a porter person? 

Or, for a date kick-off that goes beyond the tried-and-true of a drink and conversation, book a pair of spots at an adult art class at ARTiculations or Pinot’s Palette. If you’re already a couple, getting creative together might paint your relationship in a new light.

The main event: dinner

The Junction is the kind of neighbourhood where you could just pick a spot at random and eat pretty well. These three restaurants, however, offer certain advantages for a date night.

Seafood: Show ’em you’re the catch of the day at Honest Weight, a restaurant that doubles as a fishmonger—undoubtedly the most romantic fishmonger around. 

By candlelight, feast upon the bounty of the sea, from braised Newfoundland eel with polenta to okonomiyaki (a savoury Japanese pancake topped with bonito, aka thinly shaved skipjack tuna) to a whole fish, simply but expertly cooked. While you’re far from any foamy seashore, there’s a terrific little selection of bubbles. 

Eclectic: Dig into comida casera (Mexican homestyle cooking) with a side of live jazz and blues at the cozy resto-performance space, La Rev. Traditional pozole is on the menu every Thursday per Mexican tradition, alongside crowd faves like tacos, burritos, dorados and churros for dessert. 

Italian: If you’re not sure what kind of cuisine your date is into, play it safe with something the whole world enjoys—Italian. The dishes at Nodo run the gamut of popular Italian cuisine, from Sicilian-style arancini to classic tiramisu for dessert, all of it prepared with simple panache. 

After-dinner entertainment 

What to do next? It all depends on your mood … 

Luck of the draw: If you’re feeling like going with wherever fortune takes you, pop into the cavernously proportioned 3030 Dundas West. It’s a bar with a stage and kitchen, where a millennial crowd might be gathered for anything from a band to a DJ to trivia night. Kitchen takeovers by local chefs ensure a consistently fresh menu. 

Cocktails: The lighting is sultry and the drinks stiff at famous last words (392 Pacific Ave.), a classic cocktail bar with a literary theme (which nicely complements this bookish neighbourhood). 

If your date carries into Sunday afternoon, consider a hands-on cocktail class where you can recreate classic cocktails associated with the likes of Ernest Hemingway or Jane Austen.