[Toronto] The places in Toronto that you visit over and over again

I’ve mostly become a takeout and bakery person over the past 2 years, so I’ll give a shout out to the places I’ve been supporting. I’ve am someone that keeps trying new places and new things, so it says something about a place if I visit more than 3 times in a year. It’s either good or convenient :slight_smile:

Emmer on Harbord, the sandwiches, the pastries, the breads.

Think Italian, the small Italian Café across the street from Emmer. Very good focaccia, the coffees, Italian imports , wine. For people who like fruit jelly candies, they sell some nice Italian ones. The prepared sandwiches look good but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ll post a photo since I took it.

Harbord Bakery. I mostly get the challah, but they have jarred soups, breaded cutlets, lots of prepared food, as well as breads and cookies.

Rustle and Still. The Vietnamese coffee, iced or hot, the sandwiches, the meatballs. I buy their coffee for home.

Fika in Kensington Market
I like the cardamom latte and various baked goods. All high quality, the Kannelbullar, brownie, semla, cookies. Nice open-faced sandwiches. Too many people who loiter with laptops, so I go more on weekdays than weekends. I found out that Fika uses Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters in their cardamom latte. I bought a bottle at Cocktail Emporium ($28ish, but it lasts forever), and now I add cardamom bitters to my pour over coffees at home.

Sanagan’s Meat Locker (butcher shop with cheese, eggs, spices)
I’ve been buying most of my meat and poultry at Sanagan’s since it opened. I’m not in Toronto all the time these days, so I don’t get there too often. Last week, I sent my friend some chicken vegetable soup from Sanagan’s, that was delivered, for around $10. I have sent people Tourtières and Harmony at Xmas. It’s become my way to send comforting food I can’t drop off in person.

Ezra’s Pound. All the coffees, the blueberry scones.

Good Behaviour Ice Cream. I was working my way through Good Behaviour’s ice cream flavours last summer. I had tried at least 6. All winners. I haven’t tried their subs yet.

Prairie Boy Bread. Nice breads and pastries, some interesting nut butters, Scout canned fish.

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@elvisahmed , @DrJohn , @magic , @Kare , @Nyleve , @Estufarian , @THECHARLES , @glenna187 , @WinoInTraining, @herby , @Highlyunlikely , @SteveR , @pavlova , @caviartothegeneral , @jammy , @GoldenMole, and anyone else, I look forward to hearing about current favourites in Toronto/ the Greater Toronto Area. Of course,

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I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a restaurant in the last two years - so I don’t have many recent or new recommendations to make.

I finally tried Actinolite (last September?) and it lived up to the hype. I hope to get there again this spring/summer when the patio opens.

Lucia in Junction Triangle has a great patio, very good food, friendly service. I can’t specifically recall what I had but it was pasta, it was good and I went twice.

I am still fond of Pukka on St. Clair and I wish they would deliver to my area (Roncesvalles) because I am getting a bit tired of Banjara (though it’s still good). Frankly there don’t seem to be many good delivery options around here, though admittedly I haven’t really done a lot of research. I usually end up ordering from Banjara - or Nana (Thai on Queen) but it’s been a bit hit or miss lately. I would be very grateful for some recommendations for new delivery places in the west end!

Prima, speaking of Kannelbullar, there used to be a guy on Roncesvalles who made delicious bread and Kannelbullar - he had a stand outside a pub on Roncey but I see he has now opened up a bakery on the Danforth, Johnson Family Bakery: https://www.johnsonfamilybakery.ca, which is quite far from me but lucky for those that live in the east end.

On my ‘to try’ list: Gia, Bernhardts, Lake Inez, Seichi, Viaggio, Dreyfus, Twenty Victoria - I think there are a few more but will need to update this (I also had Skippa and Crosley on the list but I see they’ve both closed)

On my ‘to try again’ list: Giulietta, Wynona, Edulis, Favourites…and I need to get back to some other of my favourites, ie. The Oxley, Queen and Beaver, Enoteca Sociale… and lots more!

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Nice list!!
I’ve been procrastinating all day, so I’ll respond in more detail later. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip on the Bakery. I will check it out. I rarely travel east of Eataly these days, after 2 decades of visiting the Danforth a few times a month.

I have been getting takeout from The Oxley over the past 2 years. Before March 2020, it was a place I’d go while on my own, to eat at the Bar. I also brought @linguafood and her SO to The Oxley when they visited TO a few years ago. The sticky toffee pudding has its sauce packaged separately, which I thought was smart.

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Our problem is that we both want to try new places and there are lots of places that merit going to over and over, so there is never enough time to do the latter as much as we might like to. I’ll list the places that we have gone to repeatedly over the years and have never tired of.

In terms of places fairly near our Broadview and Gerrard neighbourhood:

  • Dova - lovely Sicilian-focused food
  • Dumpling House - the best northern Chinese place within two blocks of us; haven’t disliked anything on the menu yet
  • Hanoi 3 Seasons - Vietnamese more of a northern focus; love the clams, the calamari patties with dill soup
  • Tabule - everything, but especially the garlic tomatoes
  • Bonjour Brioche - also everything, but especially the tarts and the sour cherry clafouti
  • Brick St. Bakery - love the bread, but also the Eccles cakes; the ginger cake used to be great and then they changed the recipe
  • Descendant - the best Detroit-style pizza we have had, given we have only had it here; love Electric Avenue (jerk chicken, pineapple, curried lime aioli)
  • Pizza Pide - particularly love the lahmacun (nicely spiced ground beef) and the sebzeli (mixed vegetables with cheese)
  • Pizzeria Libretto - still great Neapolitan pizza
  • Queen Margherita - also great Neapolitan pizza
  • Astoria - been going since the 70s
  • Rendez-vous - one of several favourite Ethiopian places

Elsewhere:

  • Swatow - shrimp dumpling noodle soup, every fried noodle dish, the cornstarchy and yet still delicious clams in black bean sauce
  • Mother’s Dumplings - particularly the pork and pickled cabbage dumplings
  • Grey Gardens - a bit less elaborate during the pandemic, but still great food and wine
  • Banh Mi Boys - the fried chicken bao
  • Kinton - still my favourite of the many ramens
  • Country Style - a dependable Hungarian diner
  • United Bakers - wonderful soups
  • Patisserie La Cigogne - especially the mirabelle plum flan

I’m sure I’m forgetting places…

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Nice list, @DrJohn !
@Bev , @DrJohn is the man to watch. He has been dining out and getting takeout and/or delivery from some very special places in Toronto.

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Anything in North York?
Or North of Eglinton?
Retired and prefer not to drive in downtown Toronto these days

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@juno hasn’t posted yet. I’m glad to see he signed up. He might have some ideas for north of Eglinton.

I tend to stay south of St Clair and west of Eataly. Dr John tends to be East York-centric, but he ventures in more directions and further than I do in TO.

Well there’s So Hungary, which used to be Honey Bear, a Hungarian deli on Sheppard. They have very good hot dishes on Saturdays (don’t know about weekdays as I can only make it up on weekends). The palascinta are also very good as are some of the other desserts. It’s my main reliable place for good quality Hungarian paprika and a Hungarian version of elderflower syrup which I use to make sodas.

Coppi is a longtime favourite for the porcini risotto and the fish baked in salt.

There’s a Buk Chang Don Soon Tofu on Yonge north of Sheppard. Love them, though usually eat at the Bloor location.

J-Town has lots of great take-out meals from Heisei and Famu. I’ve enjoyed many baked treats from Nakamura. Niwatei and Green Tea Cafe are also pretty good.

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I sympathize with you not wanting to drive downtown - it’s not worth the aggravation - though that’s where the more interesting restos are. (If necessary, I simply take the subway.) If I recall a recent newspaper article about your retirement, you’re now lodged in condo land near Yonge and Sheppard, not all that far from my humble abode. There are a few joints just a short drive away that I favour - though keep in mind that I haven’t entered some of them for quite awhile (though I’ve done takeout which is, in my view, never satisfactory). So who knows what changes there’ve been in the interlude. For Italian, I like Paese, on Bathurst St. just north of Wilson Ave. I’ve been going since it opened about 25 years ago. Parking in the lot in front of the resto and, if that’s full, park on the first residential street north of the resto running east off Bathurst. Well-run, good staff, pleasant atmosphere, a couple of cuts above most Italian restos in north Toronto. I like mushroom calamari as a starter, Cornish hen or calve’s liver as a main. Good wine list, though you can bring your own for no corkage whatever six nights of the week. For Chinese, there’s Sun Star, a family-run Cantonese joint in an all-Asian strip plaza on Finch Ave. between Bayview and Leslie. Good mid-level nosh, popular with the discerning local Asian community. Not much English spoken, but you can usually make yourself understood. Once again, I’ve been going for years, and am often the only non-Asian in the place. Favourite dishes: Taiwanese style spicy mixed; chicken with dry onion; bitter melon with olive and minced pork. Easy parking. I’ve also had good experiences at Cafe Landwer, an Israeli chain on Avenue Rd. south of the 401. Park on Avenue Rd. or nearby residential streets. For sushi, there’s Shinobu, on Yonge St. south of York Mills Rd., which hasn’t yet reopened for indoor dining, and, about a block south of there, The Sushi Bar. I lean towards Shinobu, with a more interesting menu, though the other is quite satisfactory. Coppi, mentioned above, is solid, though more highly-priced than I like. There’s a branch of Asian Legend, a well-run chain, in the all-Asian mall at Leslie and Finch, where I go when Sun Star is full and the wait for a table too long. Note: there’s a very, very good French and Asian pastry shop in the same plaza as Sun Star, the name of which eludes me at the moment.

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Since the January lockdown restrictions were lifted, I’ve gone back to several of my local haunts. Here’s a short list of recent visits and dishes:

Barberian’s - a decadent steak dinner that hit my wallet harder than it used to, what with beef price inflation, but was most enjoyable

Biff’s - coq au vin, the French bistro version of comfort food

La Bettola di Terroni - superb beef short rib with Milanese-style crispy risotto pancake (“riso al salto”)

Carbon Bar - smoky beef brisket with a side of collard greens (delicious)

Looking forward over the short term to visiting Richmond Station, Bar Isabel, The Keg, and going back to La Bettola.

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Up north, in or near my hood of Richmond Hill/Markham:

DUO ( Richmond Hill ) - French pastries
TONG HA ( Scarborough ) - Cantonese roasted & BBQ meat
LUCULLUS ( Richmond Hill ) - Hong Kong style baked goods and rice dishes
FRILU ( Thornhill ) - Nordic/Japanese fusion fine dining
VERY GOOD CONGEE & NOODLES ( Markham ) - Hong Kong style street food, won-ton noodles, rice
congees and more ( best won-ton noodle in town! )
BEEFING WITH 7 ( Richmond Hill ) - Hong Kong style cuisine with focus on beef briskets and innards
PHO TAI BAC ( Richmond Hill ) - Vietnamese Pho
CHO-SAN ( Markham ) - pristine fresh take out sushi and sashimi
RITZY PALACE ( Markham ) - Good value, quality Cantonese style fine dining. (Peking duck special )
O’MEI (Richmond Hill ) - go-to place for Giant Lobster/King Crab multiple-ways
WEI’S KITCHEN ( Markham ) - excellent Cantonese wok-hay stirred fry. Worthy ‘Maple-Yip’ replacement

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Ty Dr John
Good to be back
Now Bayview and Sheppard
Miss old haunts downtown,
But take out fromPho Metro
In my opinion great Pho
Don’t miss Golden Turtle and great delivery

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I can do the Yonge corridor in North York! This list is far from exhaustive. In my opinion this is the best area in the whole city for a food crawl.

Sang-ji - Known for their partially fried dumplings, which are delicious. But for me I’m all about the Yibin style hot dry noodles. Best version of that dish in the neighborhood for sure, and maybe the whole city.
Woodhouse BBQ - North Western Chinese, lots of skewered meats. Not as mala as some of the other options for this style of cuisine, such as Chat Bar.
Miss Durian - It’s all durian, you can’t go wrong.
Dakgogi - Korean style fried chicken, which in my opinion is the superior form of fried chicken. There are a lot of great options for fried chicken in this area, but Dakgogi is my go to for their consistency, and plethora of options.
Torch - Focused on torched sushi, but it’s the handrolls that keep me coming back. The way they package the handrolls leaves the seaweed so crunchy, I love it.
Joy Noodle Cafe - Cha chaa teng with all my favourites. So fattening, but so worth it. I prefer it to the Good Luck Cafe up by Finch only because this spot is quieter and more chill.

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Not sure if aware but Sun Star as we know it will soon (in a year or 2 probably) be no more. Kind of sad because it (and Maxim’s Cafe too) has been there forever, but that strip plaza will be torn down and be replaced by a large Condo/Retail complex.

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:cry: :cry: :cry: So sorry to hear that!!

Thanks for the info, of which I wasn’t aware. I hope Sun Star will relocate nearby.

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Hello Tom!
Small world! Fancy seeing you here! Ha! :smiley:
Staying safe?!
Recalled Sun-star is one of your favourite go-to place for Chinese nosh?! Guess now you have to travel further east or north?!

Thanks Juno and Dr John
Tried Sun Star…pleasantly surprised
Passed it many times…never ordered
We still won’t eat in so missing good crispy food
Looking for delivery of Peking Duck with crispy skin
Any suggestion for delivery to Bayview and Sheppard?

Returned to Emma’s Country Kitchen this morning. Still fantastic. I got breakfast sandwiches to go and donuts.

For walk- ins, it was around an hour wait on a Sunday at noon . I placed my takeout order online, and it was ready 45 minutes later.

Now that indoor dining is open, they don’t plan to have a patio on the sidewalk this summer, but they do gave 2 2tops in front of the restaurant for people to have coffee outside.

They also sell frozen Tourtière, chicken pot pies and pea soup, which I hope to try soon.

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