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This is the first of a series of eating east Asian cuisine in Toronto by flashbracket.

Kingyo Toronto
51B Winchester Street
Toronto, ON M4X 1R7
(647) 748-2121
www.kingyotoronto.ca

Where do I start with Kingyo? In a market full of excellent east Asian cuisine — Toronto that is, and definitely not Montréal — I often feel a bit overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the great restaurants serving Chinese dim sum, Korean barbecue, and Japanese ramen. I travel back to my hometown of Toronto whenever I can, and each time I’m back in town my family and friends are holding a list of places that we need to try, or restaurants they really want to go back to and know that I would be down for some good eats. Kingyo, a Vancouver inception, opened their Toronto outpost at the end of 2012 but I only made my way over to its Cabbagetown location earlier this year. So I am about a year late in the game. But I am glad that, since my first visit, I kept coming back to this restaurant serving Japanese bar food just about every time I was back in Hogtown. And every time I’m back on the train headed to Montréal I still think about my favourite meals and Kingyo is always one of them.

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Le Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins
4807 St Laurent Blvd.
Montréal, Québec H2T 1R6
(514) 844-8467
www.comptoircharcuteriesetvins.ca

Montréal does food well. There is a reason Anthony Bourdain has a love affair with this city and its chefs, and poutine is the fast food darling du jour. My American relatives wax on about flying in to eat foie gras, nevermind dropping by Toronto to see my dad. And yes, I agree that the gourmet experience is excellent here despite my common complaints that Asian food in Montréal generally sucks and how difficult it can be to find vegetarian food.

But of course, I get to eat the best baguettes my heart desires, and am spoiled with various boulangeries (bakeries) and patisseries (pastry shops) in my francophone neighbourhood. All I have to do is walk around the corner to get to the neighbourhood fromagerie (cheese shop), and a charcuterie (preserved meat shop) is just on the other side of the street. Not to mention a poutine spot at my disposal that features the aptly named poutine, Le Vladmir (after the Russian President Vladimi Putin — get it?).

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Montréal is a city that likes to party.

Even in the dead of winter, we have events like Igloofest where revellers congregate around ice bars and DJs bundled in parkas pump out night beats. We always want to go out, and are drawn to spectacles, music or liquor. Whether it is in the dead of winter or a beautiful summer day, Montréalers love their cinq à sept (5 to 7, or “happy hour”), and fill watering holes that the city offers: bars, pubs, breweries, and wine bars. And of course, the city loves clubs — both music clubs and strip clubs, but this bachelor/bachelorette party series has only music clubs to recommend. (A little bit of background on the city’s strip clubs can be found in the first post of this series found here.)

First: Some tips for bar-hopping or clubbing in Montréal
1. Legal drinking age is 18 years old.
2. Bars and clubs in the city close by 3 am.
3. Last call is typically around 2:30 am.
4. There are a few after-hours clubs in the city that run from around 2 am to 10 am (more on that below).
5. Ordering bottle service for your table may make sense if you are a relatively large group. With the right number of group members and by ordering bottle service, you may also not be charged cover. Call the club or bar ahead for pricing and details, and be prepared to show up a bit early for a club night to secure your table.
6. Check music listings in websites such as Nightlife.ca (mainly in French) and Montreal-Nightclubs.com (English) to see see if your favourite DJs and musical acts are in town, and other club events in the city.
7. Clubs are mainly found around Crescent street (downtown) or Saint Laurent street (Plateau).
8. Bars are found mainly around Crescent, Saint Laurent, Saint Denis Street (Plateau), and the Old Port.
9. For LGBT bars and clubs, hit the Village located on Saint Catherine street between St. Denis and Papineau.
10. Make sure you check the dress codes for each venue and if in doubt, no running shoes and wear clean, tailored clothing to secure your way in.

So with these tips in mind, here are some of the bars and clubs recommended by flashbracket for bachelor and bachelorette party planning.

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