Italian food and drink in the [Greater Toronto Area]

Post your favourites :it:

My current favourites:

Restaurants
Enoteca Sociale
Dova
Bar Vendetta

Groceries
Alimentari
Eataly

Pastries
Forno Cultura
Coco’s Coffee Shop (not Italian, but occasionally has cassata and other Italian sweets)
Sud Forno
Eataly
Tre Mari

Hot table
Alimentari
Tre Mari

Sandwiches
California
(Haven’t tried Lardo on College yet)

Pizza
Beast
Badiali’s

Places I want to try: d
Viaggio

I don’t get into the Authenticity debate.

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Restaurants:
Dova
Ardo
The various Terronis
Ascari Enoteca
Tutti Matti
Figo
Giulietta
Enoteca Sociale
Bar Vendetta
Coppi
Pizzeria Libretto
Don Alfonso (not sure if it really counts as Italian)

Pastries/Bakeries:
Forno Cultura
Sud Forno

Hot Table:
Famiglia Baldassarre
North Pole Bakery

Sandwiches:
California

Pizza:
Largely covered by the above restaurants

Places we want to try:
Osteria Giulia - going on Wednesday
Gusto 101
Gia

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Nice Barese sausage at Maselli’s in your neck of the woods, DrJohn.

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Also really good barese at Eddystone Meats. I have to go there again. On weekends, when it’s very busy, they come around with free espresso to make the wait more pleasant.

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For sandwiches, Boccone at Yonge and St. Clair was previously recommended to my by @Estufarian and he was right - they make excellent panini.

Downtown East of Yonge, I like La Bettola di Terroni, Ardo, and Carisma.

Want to try Giulietta and Bar Vendetta.

It’s funny how worked up people get over “authentic” and “traditional” when it comes to Italian food. For years I have been adding a little garlic and onion to my amatriciana and this is apparently an unforgivable sin:

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Lucia

Place I can recommend for Pizza and Sandwiches:
Mattachioni

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I like Carisma a lot. I haven’t been since 2019ish.

Noted!

We went to Lucia early in the pandemic and quite liked it, but maybe not enough to trek across the city for it when we have great places closer at hand.

We also liked the pizza at Mattachioni East.

A few other places we have liked as neighbourhood places, but maybe not quite something any of you need to trek across town for:
F’Amelia
7 Numbers
Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant
Gusto 501

I haven’t mentioned Eataly. We had two decent patio meals there earlier in the pandemic and then another at La Piazza last fall. So it’s generally good, but we don’t tend to make it a priority.

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For takeout, Bellagio Gelato on Kingston at Whites Rd, Pickering. This tiny Italian cafe is everything those words should mean. Great espresso, tasty generous sandwiches, and a short list of well-made pastas. Oh, and gelato though I haven’t explored those yet. So lucky they’re a) walking distance from home and b) located right next to the LCBO for easy-peasy pairing choices with what I feel like today.

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How is their gelato?

Ask me in the Spring.

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The northeast corner of Dundas and Broadview had long been the home of a dingy place that offered subs, fish and chips, and burgers. It was recently replaced by King Bolzano Restaurante, primarily a take-out place, although there are a few plastic chairs and counters. The menu is mainly pizza, more old school than modern. We decided to try their hot sandwiches for lunch. Each was about $10.

The veal was fried to order, so there is a bit of a wait. You can choose additions of roasted peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese. The sandwiches also get finished with a blast of heat in the pizza over, which means the kaiser is nicely warmed and the cheese melted.

The veal sandwich featured thin cutlets, fried so the coating was crisp but the veal itself was still tender. The tomato sauce was good quality. The peppers were excellent, but mushrooms seemed likely canned. Overall it was very good.

The meatball sandwich was equally enjoyable, with housemade meatballs and the same accompaniments as above.


Since this place is a 5-minute walk from our house, we’ll definitely explore some of the other options. Maybe a pizza or panzerotto.

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I hadn’t been to Terroni since 2019, and I wanted some take-out last night. Their website has user friendly online ordering. I ordered the fried calamari ($22.95 for 19 pieces, which were 16 rings and 3 tentacles). and Spaghetti al Limone ($22).

It was quick. I liked everything. The fried calamari was better than average.

It was a salt bomb meal for me. I had eaten half the calamari order, 7 rings and 2 tentacles, and all the pasta. I drank at least 1.5 l of water last night :joy:.

I also has half a chicken sandwich from the bar at the Four Performing Arts Centre in the late afternoon , which contributed to my cumulated salt intake yesterday. I mention it only because of the fact it contributed to my thirst in the middle of the night. I supposed it was Italian, a pulled chicken sandwich with red pepper spread and provolone on ciabatta ($12)

Holy hell that was too much salt for me, :joy:

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Terroni remains a favourite since I tried the Queen St. W. location in the mid-to-late 90s. The Funghi Assoluti is our go-to appetizer (and I’m sure is full of salt). Pastas are always enjoyable, particularly the Garganelli Geppetto and whatever cacio e pepe pasta they have. And they have had very nice pizzas long before the city had Libretto and others - C’t Mang (pear, gorgonzola, walnuts, speck, honey) is an example.

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Nice looking sangweech!

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I ate the 2nd half of my chicken sandwich from the 4 Seasons Centre yesterday, and I now think that was the source of most of the sodium overload. :joy:

Terroni became the go-to spot for ladies’ nights for a good 5 years. I think I’ve probably eaten at Terroni more than at any other Italian restaurant in Toronto between 2008 and 2019.

I don’t remember eating at Terroni before maybe 2006.

I was visiting Grano more frequently, between 2003 and 2008.

I like Funghi Assoluti a lot. Unfortunately, the Terroni version gave me hives several times from 2014-2019, so I no longer order it! I think it may be a vegetable wash that they use on their arugula and salads.

I also used to like their Nizzarda salad.

I stick to the cooked pastas. I usually choose pasta, gnocchi or risotto over pizza when I’m at a restaurant that has all of them on the menu!

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I also really liked Grano. Miss that one.

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I noticed that the once super-popular Thornhill Trattoria - ’ Tutto Bene ’ is still in business after 2+ decades!! …together with Richmond Grill and Terra, IMO, they form the best western food trio north of Steeles
I can still remember Tutto-Bene’s delicious and highly memorable dishes…Blackened Sea Bass with Golden Pineapple and Bouillabaisse emulsion plus Grilled Veal Chop with Vinmarchant sauce.
Has anyone been recently? Food as good as before? Considering a re-visit.

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