You don't have to go far to get a taste of Filipino culture in Toronto - The city is overflowing with it, thanks to a massive Filipino community which comprises of over 200,000 people. Together, they've made their presence known through the several restaurants and establishments they've opened across the region.
But of all the Filipino hotspots in the city, one restaurant stands out for its admirable execution of bridging Filipino tradition with modern themes. Dolly's Mojito Bar and Panciteria demonstrates the eccentricity of Filipino culture through authentic plates and by honouring the island country's historical connection to rum.
The Philippines' abundance of sugar canes allowed it to become a powerhouse for rum production, after Spanish colonists introduced it to country in the 1800s. Today, it remains one of the world's top exporters of rum and related products.
Dolly's taps into this heritage with its offering of five types of mojitos, which range from $7 to $9 a glass:
Cubano - Bacardi Maestro white oak rum, fresh pressed cane juice, fresh pressed lime juice, mint
Filipino - Flor de Cana 5 year, fresh pineapple juice, cane juice, calamansi lime, mint
Mestizo - Havana Club white, Havana Club dark rum, coconut rum, cane juice, coconut juice, lime juice, mint
Mojado - Tromba tequila blanco, Mount Gay, cane juice, lime juice, mint
Hinebra - Dillon's gin, fresh squeezed lemon, cane juice, mint
It also features stellar rum flights menu that features unaged, spiced, mestizo and ballers collections for the die-hard rum fan.
Of course, no Filipino experience is complete without the food - Dolly's whips up all the classics - lumpia, pancit bihon, siopao, garlic fried rice, fried chicken Adobo, turon, longanisa-based dishes, pusit and much more are all on the menu. If you ask, they'll even add in some banana ketchup to your meal.
And although it may seem more geared towards Filipinos, it's actually intended for everyone to enjoy. As long as you like sweet, salty, fried and sour, you'll be satisfied at Dolly's.
The restaurant itself has very relaxed vibe as well. Neon lights, tin ceilings graffiti walls and a vintage boombox creates a laid-back atmosphere that's perfect for after work drinks with friends.
Overall, if you're looking for delicious food, great drinks and good music, Dolly's is the place for you.
Visit Dolly's Mojito Bar and Panciteria at: 1285 Bloor St.