99 Blue Jays Way
Toronto, ON, Canada M5V9G
"This is my new favorite restaurant," one 7-year old exclaimed after the waitress mentioned the 10-layer chocolate cake on the dessert menu ($14.99 - sharing recommended). Good food means even non-hockey fans will love this spot owned and frequented by its hockey legend namesake. The fact that its close to all the big sports arenas is icing on the cake.
- Hockey Heaven. From the easy-to-spot life-sized hockey player cutout on the roof, to the penalty box timekeeper in the middle of the dining area and case after case of trophies, hockey jerseys, pictures and cereal box cover all belonging to the Great One, the experience will be memorable even before the hockey stick stirstick arrives in their glass.
- Save room for dessert. The range of hockey-themed-but-instantly recognizable deserts are bound to tempt. The chocolate tart hockey puck with a side of chocolate ice cream and bearing the signature 99 is a popular choice. As is the stone mill chocolate chip cookie, baked to order and served warm in a cast iron skillet with ice cream and fudge sauce. Most cost about $6.50.
- Beat the rush. A prime location, which puts it close to the Rogers Centre (baseball, football) and the Air Canada Centre (basketball, hockey) means that it can be particularly busy when there's a game on. Keep an eye on the sport schedules in time (a good hint will be the rise in parking fees at privately owned lots!) and aim to be there a few hours before or after.
- Everyone has a place. The dining room for the restaurant requires a walk past the bar area which is usually an adults-only zone, but, before 5 p.m., kids can make use of the 14 HDTVs, as well, which may be a less expensive way to take in an afternoon game.
- Grab a souvenir. Miniature hockey sticks and pucks with telltale Gretzky imprints are $9.99. And a 50-percent-off stack of caps andT-shirts (on the bench made of hockey sticks in the corner) is filled with bargains.
- Shoot for the square. The round bench seats in the middle will immediately catch your eye, but if your party is more than three, opt for a square table or booth which has a bit more room for the kids to color their placemats and eat their dinner.
Just the Facts
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sundays and holidays, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.