Best of the City 2011

It isn’t easy, discernment. How, for instance, does the professionally picky person make the impossible choice among the six excellent bakers who sell whoopie pies—those homespun, pillowy cookies that have supplanted macarons as the city’s favourite sweet? We had to taste them all, and taste them again, and once more for good measure. Later, saturated with sugar, we had to take a nap. This risky job of eating and drinking and shopping and sitting for manicures invites diabetes, liver damage and new enemies galore (since many candidates don’t make the cut). But we did it for you. Here, the indispensable list of all that’s excellent in Toronto in 2011.

By Denise Balkissoon, Andrew D’Cruz, Vanessa Farquharson, Lia Grainger, Matthew Hague, Rachel Heinrichs, Chris Johns, Emily Landau, Chris Nuttall-Smith, Peter Saltsman, Maryam Sanati, Courtney Shea and Stéphanie Verge

See all of our choices for the Best of the City 2011 plotted and colour-coded on one interactive map.

Patio chair Camera Axe Reclaimed wood furniture Vintage Curios Fresh-cut flowers Guilt-free makeup Soil for a veggie garden Kids’ furniture Kids’ sheets Gold faucet

Plain white T Bargain Bespoke suit Custom shirt Espadrille Raw denim Summer loafer Sun hat Sunglasses

Ten-pin Queue Spot for a bachelor party Spot for a bridal party Yacht rental Saltwater dip Exercise craze

Whoopie pie Wings Ice cream Fries Marshmallows Cask-conditioned ale

Baguette Pasta Fad Hot Sauce Lobster reinvented Carnivore cure Roast chicken Devilled eggs Patio for dessert

Game Fish Farmers’ market

Rooftop drink Cocktail class Ice Blood orange margarita Wine by the glass

Spray paint removal Beard maintenance Canine workout Bedbug exterminator Personal shopper Tattoo removal Artful mani Cleaver care Bicycle repair tips Sole saviour De-clutter