Downtown/midtown favorites? [Toronto]


Newbie here. We’re visiting Toronto, and staying in the midtown area.

I’m looking for recommendations for restaurants that serve great food… any cuisine except Indian. Casual, not too stuffy or formal.

To give you an idea of what we have enjoyed in the past:
Pisac, Founder (thoroughly enjoyed both of these, and would recommend both), Black Crow, Vos, Fet Zun
Maru, Koyoi, Kintaro, Sue Fung’s Dimsum, Bone Soup Malatang (on Yonge)

We also recently drove out to the Hockley Valley and ate at Black Birch.

What else would you recommend?

Thank you so much!

Union on Ossington
Little Sister
Enoteca Sociale
Richmond Station

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Thank you so much! Union sounds very much up our alley!


Here are a couple brief posts after brunch at Union.

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Thank you so much! Are there any hole-in-the-wall type places you would recommend?

I’m a big fan of Little Sister on Yonge St(midtown) but they also have a location downtown.
Swatow on Spadina for great Chinese and the new Rol San for dim sum
Grandma Loves you for excellent subs(Rosedale)


Thank you! I intend to eat my way through this city :grinning:


Thank you!

A couple of Michelin star Japanese restaurants are located mid-town…YUKASHI & SHOUSHIN.
Omakase dinner pricing for the latter is pretty steep!!
Famed local chef Victor Barry has opened up a branch of his Italian-forte ’ Piano Piano ’ on Mount Pleasant, midtown.
For decent Cantonese fare and excellent Cantonese Roasted meat, ’ Congee Queen ’ has a midtown branch at Lawrence/Don Mills
Have fun and enjoy!
PS: Oops!! did not notice the ’ casual ’ part!..may be can give the Japanese a pass?!

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By midtown, I am guessing you mean somewhere from St. Clair-ish to Eglinton-ish, ranging a bit east and west of Yonge? If I am wrong, please correct me.

Little Sister has already been mentioned, for tasty Dutch-Indonesian food and fun cocktails. Make sure you get the vegetable dishes, which are some of the highlights.

Tabule’s original location on Yonge, north of Davisville remains great for Lebanese. The garlic tomatoes are a must.

I can’t think of many truly hole-in-the-wall places in the midtown area. Downtown in the east and west stretches there are more. Swatow as mentioned above. Chinese Traditional Buns is another in that Chinatown. See the Kensington Market thread for many others, particularly for Latin American (e.g., Jumbo Empanadas). Heading east, there’s Pizza Pide for Turkish pide, White Lily Diner, GB Hand Pulled Noodles, Hastings Snack Bar for Polish, Lady Marmalade for brunch, Completo for great Chilean steak sandwiches, and so on.

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All suggestions are welcome! We were actually considering Yasu, so Yukashi I think would be similar?

In toto, I am thinking of the square described by Ossington, Jarvis, St. Claire/Eglinton, and King. We’re staying on Ossington, very near the station (and Actinolite!) and I am thinking of midtown as north of that up to eglinton. Thank you for these suggestions - all inputs are welcome, but I love finding little unassuming places where the food is honest and the vibe unfussy.


Zezafoun is excellent, and a cozy little restaurant. I think it’s more of a mom & pop restaurant than a hole-in-the wall. I like Tabule a lot , but I also like Zezafoun a lot!

Lots of neat stuff on Geary Ave, which is pretty close to where you’re staying.
Parallel Brothers for modern Middle Eastern

Check Out these Restaurants :

  1. Aloette: This French-inspired bistro offers a casual atmosphere and delicious menu options such as oysters, steak frites, and a burger.
  2. Fat Pasha: This Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant offers a variety of dishes such as shakshuka, hummus, and falafel. The atmosphere is casual and lively.
  3. Bar Begonia: This French-inspired restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious menu options such as steak tartare, mussels, and duck confit.
  4. Terroni: This Italian-inspired restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere and delicious menu options such as pizzas, pastas, and salads.
  5. Pukka: This Indian-inspired restaurant offers a casual atmosphere and delicious menu options such as butter chicken, lamb curry, and samosas.

Bar Begonia has been out of business for several years. Fet Zun operates the space where Bar Begonia was. Why does a bot want to recommend restaurants that no longer exist?

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If Union appeals, I’d recommend Le Baratin as more ‘hole-in-the-wall’ – i.e. about half the price (OK technically outside your target area – but MUCH closer than many recommendations so far).

Also check out Luna Junction (Portuguese) and Dotty’s (casual – no reservations) – I’ve eaten at all of the above this year.

I also endorse Aloette (whether bot recommended or not!).

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Agree about Geary - line up for Famiglia Baldassare for weekday pasta lunches to take out.

Of the Ethiopian places on the Bloor stretch near Ossington, Nazareth is great (but slow) and Lalibela is also very good.

A bit further west on Bloor is Burdock, which has lovely beers and some tasty comfort foods to go along.

East into Koreatown, I really like Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu. Get walnut cakes at Hodo Kwaja. Get the custard filled taiyaki at Kevin’s in the PAT store. The mochi-wrapped hot dogs are fun at Chungchun.

South to Harbord, Flock has some nice salads and a nice chicken sandwich. Emmer is much discussed on other threads.

In terms of fancier places, Actinolite is a must. Bar Isabel is down on College as is Giulietta.

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This is why ppl were recommending restaurants outside her area, Ossington isn’t “'midtown” in my books.

You may want to consider Grey Gardens in Kensington Market. Good crudo/carpaccio/vegetable sharing plates, inventive pastas, and typically a couple of interesting mains. Also an excellent wine list.