The Bibs of Toronto

Tangent from the main Toronto Michelin thread.

I find a few of these places to be It Spots with tables that are too close.

  • The Ace (Canadian)
  • Alma (Modern Hakka Chinese)
  • Bar Raval (Spanish)
  • Campechano (Mexican)
  • Cherry St. Bar-B-Que (American Barbecue)
  • Chica’s Chicken (Fried Chicken)
  • Enoteca Sociale (Italian)
  • Fat Pasha (European Jewish)
  • Favorites Thai BBQ (Thai)
  • Fonda Balam (Mexican)
  • Grey Gardens (Wine Bar)
  • Indian Street Food Company (Indian)
  • La Bartola (Mexican)
  • Puerto Bravo (Mexican)
  • R&D (Canadian-Chinese)
  • SumiLicious (Montreal Deli)
  • Wynona (Italian)

Out of the Bibs, which do you like best?

I have been a big fan of Bar Raval since it opened, usually visiting in the morning back when they opened early enough for breakfast. Their patio is too packed for me, with tables too close together, and too many people, even on a Monday evening, so I haven’t been in over a year. I will try it again midweek, mid afternoon before winter, I hope.

I like the food at Enoteca Sociale a lot.

I like Fat Pasha, but I haven’t been in a few years.

I like Favorites but haven’t been since 2019.

My meal at Campechano was meh.

I haven’t been to the rest.

I will order Alma takeout one of these days and will do brunch at The Ace soon.

Which places do you like, that you think would deserve a Bib, but were overlooked?

I like The Haifa Room. Haven’t tried enough on the menu yet. I thought the food was as good as Fat Pasha or Fet Zun.

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Hmm I didn’t enjoy a few of those listed here
Enoteca Sociale
Cherry street BBQ quite bad
Fat pasha meh

Raval is good


Have only tried some of these:

Love Bar Raval, drinks, food, and design. Haven’t been in a bit though.

Cherry St. was only OK. Beach Hill was better.

Enoteca Sociale was very good, though perhaps not as good as Giulietta at the outset or Dova, Ardo.

Really like Fat Pasha and also haven’t been in a bit.

We liked Favourites, but didn’t find it a notch up from many other very good Thai places.

Love Grey Gardens and going again tonight. Great wines, often more idiosyncratic. Delicious and fun food. We signed up for their wine delivery service too, which has been great.

Indian Street Food was good and fun, but not something we would prioritize. Pukka was more interesting for us.

We also love Wynona as a great neighbourhood restaurant, with lovely pastas and starter dishes.


Have a nice dinner tonight!

I loved my first meal at Giulietta. Found my 2nd meal just okay. For some reason their social media person blocked me on their IG account. Trying not to take it personally. LOL.
I haven’t been to Osteria Giulia yet because they don’t have a patio.

I still haven’t managed to visit Dova or Ardo, mostly because I don’t often dine east of Yonge these days. Thanks for reminding me.

I haven’t tried Cherry St BBQ. I found Beach Hill mostly okay but not fantastic, so I’m unlikely to try Cherry St, unless I’m agreeing to visit with someone who has their heart set on it.


The beef rib at Beach Hill (not a regular option) was the best thing. The brisket was only OK. We have yet to be wowed by a BBQ place in Toronto (perhaps because our bar has been unfairly set by our experiences in Central Texas, Tennessee, and the Carolinas).


Fwiw Never been to Cherry St BBQ in Toronto. However their brisket was a standout winner at a brisket competition in Brooklyn several years ago. I called them as the winner even before the results were announced, they stood out that much for me.

And yes I realize Brooklyn/NYC is not renowned as a BBQ destination, nonetheless a respectable showing by Cherry St imo.


Ok maybe I was spoiled by franklin’s BBQ in Austin I found cherry street BBQ to be below average


The brisket at Cherry St. was unmemorable for us, not bad, but nothing that made us go “we should have this again”. I agree with elvisahmed that brisket in Ontario does not approach what we had in Texas. The brisket there was smoky, tender, still moist, well seasoned. What we have had here tends to be not that smoky, often quite dry, and underseasoned (or some combination thereof). The best brisket we have recently had in Ontario was at Crowsfoot Smokehaus in Conestogo, which was pretty good.


I admit from experience, competition BBQ results does not always translate to a larger scale retail operation. Perhaps the case with Cherry St.

Yeah TX Hill country BBQ is in a league of its own.


I think you’re probably right.

Consistency can vary more at a small place, too, depending on who is working.


Like Dr John I’m also a big fan of Grey Gardens, although as pointed out in the initial thread, I think it’s too pricy and fancy to count as a Bib. (Agg posed a jokey challenge on Twitter to try get out of GG for under $60 pp).
I liked SumiLicious a lot on my one visit but it’s too far from home for me.
I’m not familiar with the Mexican places on the Bib list and am intrigued by them — see that Puerto Bravo is on UberEats with very reasonably priced menu items.


I’ve had drinks at GG. So, 1 or 2 cocktails, tax and a nice tip, for less than $60.

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Eating at Grey Gardens now. Great as usual. Will report anon.


As for the Bibs:

Instead of Grey Gardens, I’d go to FK restaurant at a similar price point.

Instead of R&D I’d go ‘anywhere’! But I do go to Orote and Mineral (both of which seem to me to be too highly priced for a Bib - but not more so than R&D)

At Bar Raval I found the best dishes came out of a can – so I buy these at retail and eat at home.

I do like Favorites – but prefer the (lower-priced) food at both Khao San Road and Nana (similar ownership).

For ‘Indian’ – I MUCH prefer Pukka.

Cherry Street BBQ – I didn’t return to after my only disappointing visit. Sadly, nearly all BBQ in Toronto is inconsistent. For beef, I prefer Carbon Bar (less expensive than Grey Gardens, but still pushing the envelope for ‘reasonable’ pricing). For pork, Stack (although that’s slipped a bit).

Can’t comment intelligently on ‘Japanese’, ‘Mexican’ and ‘Italian’ as I don’t frequent these regularly. I did visit the 1 star Quetzal – good ingredients, spoiled by disappointing preparation and pacing.


Good to know about FK - was not even on my radar.

I much prefer Nana to Khao San Road. I like Nana a lot.

I didn’t enjoy Pukka much the 2 occasions I visited, and haven’t been to Indian Street Food.

And they have a patio! (with a retractable covering)


I’ve been to FK twice in the past two years. First time, very good. Second time, the same dishes, not up to much. I’ve decided it’s a crapshoot there. But then, inconsistency is a problem most everywhere now. Nice patio, though. And good service.

But no inconsistency at Nana. Nana is the tastiest. Solid, every time out.

Pukka, neither here nor there. Respectable enough, I suppose. And hell to park nearby. Much prefer the more modest Indian Street Food, on Bayview Ave., where parking is easier on nearby side streets, and the nosh is quite good. Except for the desserts, which lack taste (and ain’t worth the price).

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I thought of you when I saw meat loaf on the Tebrl House menu, @juno.

I’m always game to add another meat loaf to my must-try list in Toronto. But Tebri House? Where is that spot? My search comes up empty. At the moment, my favourite meat loaf is served up at Rebel House, on Yonge St. near Rosedale’s subway station. Though, alas, the portion size has been almost halved the past couple of years. The loaf at The Pickle Barrel, on Leslie St. south of Steeles, remains a close second, and the portion size is still pretty much the same as before. (Neither place gets a Bib rating, though.)

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