One Day in Toronto: singer Andrea Ramolo

The folk singer's favourite spots in Toronto

Photo by Jen Squires.

Despite a successful career that spans back to 2008, multiple Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, and four critically acclaimed EPs, Toronto-based singer Andrea Ramolo is constantly pushing her creative boundaries in an effort to continuously evolve as an artist.

Her forthcoming project, Quarantine Dream, was written and recorded during the pandemic, and her newest single, "Italian Summer" offers a nostalgically upbeat departure from the understated sound of her previous two albums, Nuda and Homage.

And while Ramolo has never shied away from her Italian roots–often performing overseas in the native tongue of her Italian-born parents–"Italian Summer" takes her passion a step further by combining all of her favourite things about the country into one energetic track. 

"The song sort of reminds me of a great 80’s dance hit. I needed some joy and I needed to escape into this wonderful world of the Italian summer with fresh energy," explains Ramolo. "Like all the songs off the new record, this is just one of the many dreams that helped carry me through the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic. Italian Summer is a good dream though… a bright dream."

We recently had a chance to catch up with Ramolo, who took some time out of her busy schedule to share some of her favourite Italian food and drink destinations in her hometown of Toronto.



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I love a good bacon and eggs, and even an eggs Benedict every so often, but for the purpose of celebrating my new single “Italian Summer” and in lieu of this really fun Instagram blog I run, I’m going to pull from my favourites in Italian cuisine.

Nothing makes me more nostalgic than a fresh cornetto or a few biscotti and a really great espresso or cappuccino in the mornings. That’s how we breakfast in Italy. And we usually eat and drink standing up at a bar. It’s not a real sit-down situation…. probably because the other two meals of the day usually last a few hours each. Sud Forno on Queen West or Coco Espresso Bar on Bellair Street in Yorkville are both great spots for this. 


There are so many sweet spots in the city where you can get a really authentic Italian hot table or even a sit down meal at lunch time. Up on Corso Italia where I used to live, Tre Mari Bakery is one of my favourites. Their hot table is always fresh and full of variety from veal sandwiches to melanzana all parmigiana to fresh pizzas and focaccias. And let’s not forget the cannoli.

Centro Formaggi up that way is great on Fridays for their fresh frittura mista (fried squid and seafood). And they are only open from 12-2pm with only a few dine-in tables, but if you can make it out to Famiglia Baldassarre on Geary you are in for a treat.

I grew up with the owner Leandro who studied authentic pasta-making in Italy and they’re small but mighty and delicious menu is as authentic as it gets. They’ve inspired many of my homemade handmade creations and you can place pasta orders for the whole family and larger events for pick up.


I love what chef Roberto Marotta has done with Ardo on King East, which is truly an authentic Sicilian experience but also with a flare of contemporary. Their Panelle (chickpea fritters) are to die for, and they have an incredible selection of pastas, seafood, and meat entrees.

I am also in love with Osteria Rialto in my hood. They’re attached to the Paradise Cinema which used to be an old Italian movie theatre in the 50s before it transitioned into a porn theatre. Now, it’s a gorgeous venue attached to an equally gorgeous fine-dining Italian restaurant.

Executive chef Basilio Pesce is really creative with his menu. He honours his roots but is also really eclectic and creates these quaint and satisfying dishes that always get me salivating. Their focaccia is also the best in the city. He’s shared the recipe with me, but I’ll never tell. Really great ambience too. 



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Bar Biltmore right above Osteria Rialto. It’s a swanky, cool art-deco inspired upper-level bar with incredible cocktails, sexy bartenders, and a great wine list and snacks. Plus, they have an amazing selection of digestivi which you can’t always find in Toronto. I’m getting thirsty just thinking of it. 

Watch: Andrea Ramolo - Italian Summer (Official Music Video)