In the heart of it all, King and Queen embody the all-day energy that’s necessary to keep up with the festival. Here are the trendiest spots to drink, dine, dress up and recoup from morning to night.

By Anna Cipollone

BOTANICAL HEALING


Planta Queen is the newest addition to chef David Lee’s plant-based restaurant revolution. In celebration of food that echoes a commitment
to environmental sustainability, Planta continues to redefine animal- free cuisine with chef Lee’s upscale vegan dishes. In what was once the home of Nota Bene, Planta Queen’s unparalleled menu spreads its wings with meat-free and dairy-free dishes– this time with an Asian twist. Featuring shareable plates to be enjoyed amid the soft ambience of lanterns and indoor Japanese maples, the restaurant doesn’t cater to vegans per se. Instead, its hopes are hung on carnivores embracing more plant-based foods.

CAFE CULTURE


Housed in a beautiful corner brownstone on Dovercourt, the third location of the Good Neighbour coffee shop is ideal for maintaining a steady daytime caffeine buzz. A key partnership with nearby Flying Books means a small library is on hand for those in search of fine reading material that comes with the owner’s handwritten Coles Notes. The patio is shady and equipped with free Wi-Fi for those in need of a focused work session, and all of the custom roasts by Detour are available for purchase. High ceilings, sprawling hardwood flooring and brass accents make this fine little cafe a definite must.

EVENING AT THE OPERA


For an evening of elegance beyond the silver screen, the Four Seasons Centre remains a sight for sore eyes — the first theatre in Canada with acoustics built specifically for opera and ballet. Puccini’s masterpiece Turandot opens September 28 and runs until October 27, reimagined by renowned director Robert Wilson for the Canadian Opera Company. The story explores the beautiful yet cruel Princess Turandot, whose gruesome game of riddles lands most of her suitors on the executioner’s chopping block—until the right one can step forward with a riddle of his own.

HOME COMFORTS


Escape the frenetic energy of the crowds to recharge at Hoame meditation studio—a 5,000-square-foot wellness centre designed to feel like home and focused on mindful movement and guided meditation. “Mi casa es su casa” takes on new meaning here, whether you choose a light room for meditation, an uplifting space with a living green wall and a skylight for sun basking or the dark room, a cozy restorative space to ground you beneath twinkly lights. Book time in the infrared sauna to soothe stress and improve circulation, or immerse yourself in healing trace minerals in the Himalayan pink crystal salt cave.

ON TARGET


Make Lemonade is Toronto’s workspace in prime proximity to all the moving and shaking of the festival. It’s a community co-working studio offering everything from day passes for those on a deadline to permanent desk space and meeting rooms for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Boasting a driven community of ambitious members who draw energy from collaboration, this expansive space is both inspiring and practical for today’s out-of- office employees.

DRINKS AL FRESCO


The King West brew bar Mascot Brewery Beer Garden boasts the perfect pints for patio season — and it just opened its doors this summer. Here, 21 craft brews and cocktails are on tap while an expansive beer garden beckons drinkers outside. A sophisticated space with an upbeat vibe, the new Mascot is central to all things TIFF.

NATURAL WINE BAR


The sister spot to Canis, Apres Wine Bar raises a glass to natural vino. In a crisp, contemporary space with terrazzo floors, banquette seating and a summer patio, sommelier Adam Ashukian is intent on selecting organic wines produced through ethical farming practices. The basis for the entire experience is rooted in this dedication to sustainability — and chef Jeff Kang has crafted a menu of small plates intended to be paired with wine. Try the Fogo Island snow crab alongside a variety of refreshing imports from Austria, South Africa and Australia.