Toronto's social media influencers are changing the way residents view their own city.
With thousands of followers, a group of local Instagram elites are seriously shaping the way Toronto lives, eats and explores. Jodi Blk is one of those influencers.
With 71.5 thousand followers, the fashion & lifestyle blogger is a self-made Insta celeb who shares Toronto's best places to eat, drink and snap photos, all while looking like she just dropped off of the front cover of Vogue.
Luckily for the rest of us, she's shared her secrets.
Here are Jodi's favourite places to hang out in the city:
Where is one spot in the city where we can always find you?
I drink a lot coffee so you can find me at Safehouse way too often. The owners are super chilled and the vegan peanut butter banana muffin is super addictive.
Name a cafe/restaurant where the staff knows your order by heart.
The staff at Lady Marmalade in Leslieville know my order by heart because I've been going there for years and always order the same thing without needing a menu - Heuvos Rancheritos (no cheese + no tortilla), coffee with almond milk and they know to bring me their homemade hot sauce. I go during the week to avoid the line-up that wraps down the street on the weekend. This isn’t a place I would go to take photos for my IG feed, it’s a place I go when I’m hungry and want a healthy delicious brunch.
What's your favourite Instagram-worthy place in Toronto?
The most Instagram-worthy place in Toronto is Kost, located on the 44th floor of the Bisha Hotel. As soon as you walk out of the elevator the panoramic views of Toronto are breathtaking and the interior is beautiful too.
Name somewhere (or something) at the top of your Toronto bucket list you'd love to try/go to buy haven't yet.
I constantly keep a list in my phone of new places I want to try. Right now my ‘Places I want to Eat & Drink in 2018’ list include: El Ray for Mexican, Wish for brunch, Bacchanal and Charbrol for a Parisian experience.
What's your favourite spot in the city to meet up with your friends?
This changes depending on the season but right now I love to meet friends for coffee at the Broadview hotel diner or upstairs for dinner and drinks because the view is fantastic.
What's your all-time favourite order and where is it from?
That's a really hard question because I really love food. I love to try new places but I'm a creature of habit and have a thing for authentic Italian style pizza and pasta so I go where I know the food is amazing every time and that's at Terroni on Adelaide. It's pretty much a Toronto institution in my opinion. I stick to their margarita pizza.
Name an underrated place you've been that's so good you'd recommend it to anyone.
I would be confident recommending La Palma to anyone because they have a gorgeous interior but the Dundas West neighbourhood makes it feel approachable and not intimating. The food + cocktails are amazing. I actually just recommended LP to my friend who’s planning a birthday brunch. I think it’s a great place for a celebration.
Do you have a favourite bar in the city?
This is also a tough one because I'm currently searching for my favourite bar. I'm at stage in my life where I still love to go out for drinks but want nothing to do with line-ups and nightclubs. I go for dinner and drinks with my girlfriends once a month and we’re still looking for ‘the one”. We're looking for a place we can have a delicious dinner and then stay to have a drink afterwards so we can catch up with each others busy lives. We went to the Bisha hotel lobby bar last month, it has a very cozy vibe, we got to sit down on their comfy lux sofas and they served us popcorn. We just sat back and people watched all night. It was insanely entertaining. It felt like a night at the movies. This month we went to Le Banane because we like the laid back Ossington vibe. It's super cute there and we'd totally go back. Bar Ravel has hands down the best cocktails in all of Toronto but you can’t sit down comfortably with a group of girls and chat so I typically go there with my husband Jose.
If you had to eat dinner at the same restaurant every day for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
I would go to the Restoration Hardware restaurant at Yorkdale Mall because it’s the most visually stunning space I’ve come across in Toronto. I feel transported and inspired when I’m there. There’s truly magical.
Name your favourite place to shop in the city.
I do a lot of shopping for my job so I need to be super efficient when I shop. During the winter I go to Sherway Gardens because there's parking, it's a quieter mall and they have all the stores I need in one place. I live in the west end of Toronto so it’s very easy for me to jump onto the highway to get there. I swear it's only a 12-minute drive from downtown when there's no traffic. In the summer I like to walk around Yorkville, grab coffee and then walk down to the the CF Toronto Eaton Centre because I love to see and experience the city.
Where can you go in Toronto for a perfect Instagram photo without fail?
The Thompson Toronto because you have options. You can shoot inside of Collette or head up to their rooftop for an epic shot of the city skyline.
Do you have a secret spot you'd love to tell us about?
The thing I love most about traveling is feeling super anonymous and free, so I’ve kind of fallen in love with going to speakeasy bars when I’m in other cities so I tried to find some here in Toronto. I’ve been to The Gift Shop on Ossington and it was really cute inside, super intimate and the cocktails were amazing. I guess it’s not my secret spot anymore ;)