One Day in Toronto: singer-songwriter Barbra Lica

The Juno-nominated singer and songwriter's favourite food and drink spots in Toronto

Photo by Jen Squires
Photo by Jen Squires

Despite finding resounding success as a jazz musician at the onset of her career, the creative capacity of Toronto-based singer Barbra Lica could never be bound to a singular genre.

Shortly after receiving her first Juno Award-nomination in 2017, Lica began introducing elements of folk and Americana to her repertoire with the release of You’re Fine, resulting in almost 5 million streams on Spotify alone. 

Her more recent productions have continued to showcase her multifaceted musical capabilities, while maintaining her signature sense of humour. Her last two singles from her forthcoming album, “Girls Like Me” and “In 40 Years”, have each received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and if that wasn’t enough, the talented musician also recently founded the Toronto Chamber-Pop Orchestra, a 15-piece chamber orchestra with whom Lica has been performing since April.

With a new single out and a pair of upcoming performances on July 30 and 31, we decided it would be a perfect time to chat with Barbra Lica about her favourite food and drink spots in Toronto.


The brunch menu at Fonda Lola on Queen West is truly one of Toronto’s hidden treasures. Eggs and bacon have nothing on Hangover Chilaquiles or Mexican French Toast. Ever tried Mexican plantain bread? Run don’t walk.



A post shared by ThePokeBox (@thepokebox)

I’m all about a light but protein-filled lunch. The Poke Box on Toronto Street might seem like your average fast-food counter but they never skimp on the protein, their ingredients are ultra-fresh, and they have that medium sized box that’s not too big, and not too small. I feel like every other “lunch bowl” place has regular and large. Whatever happened to medium?!


My desert island meal is without a doubt the hot stone Bibimbap at Kimchi Korea House. Every meal comes with an assortment of little free appetizers and the portions are unbelievably generous. Nothing is more satisfying and heartburn-free than dinner at this beloved restaurant on Dundas. And it’s right next to a big ol’ movie theater!


This one is hard for me so I’m going to break it down into three categories. Best Bubble Tea: Encounter Tea on Spadina. Their selection is next-level and you can’t beat their real litchi pieces or chestnut chunk-filled beverages.

Best Matcha tea: Tsujiri on Dundas. Their ceremonial grade hot O-Matcha warms the cockles of my heart. It’s perfect.

Best Lattés: Neo Coffee Bar. Whether it’s an espresso, matcha or Hojicha base, Neo uses the highest quality beans and powders and is one of the only places in town where you can get your Latté with unsweetened cashew milk, the queen of milk substitutes. 

Watch: Barbra Lica - Girls Like Me (Audio)