Torontonians - any recs?


#1

Yes, I’m committing the food board sin of asking, “hey, I’m visiting your fair city; where should I eat?” Gone are the days of mounds of research prior to our travels as my leisure time is inversely proportional to the age of my spring onion (not to mention my freelance workload).

There is sadly little chatter about Toronto here. Can anyone help out a fellow Onion? We leave tomorrow afternoon from Boston and there until July 4, when we fly to Chicago. Any special Canada Day things to eat? As always, I will report back.

Anything toddler-friendly, we almost always do lunch out while traveling (breakfast at our Air BnB in the Beaches neighborhood, maybe early dinners out). No car, but can go anywhere in GTA. No budget limitations - just good food + adult beverages in casual settings (ie, pub-like). Definitely no fine dining, which is ok by us since we’re not very fancy people.


#2

I think Charles at chowhound is still pretty active and gives good recommendations especially if you care for more Chinese recommendations.


(Jan) #3

Hi there. Rushing this answer and hoping you see it! I don’t live in the Beaches but it’s got some great options from what I hear. One place we go as a family is in Greek Town, on Danforth Avenue - Pappas Grill. Not difficult to reach from that area. http://www.pappasgrill.com. A place I’ve been that is also casual and famous for its steaks is Tulip tulipsteakhouse.com - not at all fancy and right in the Beaches area. I love Terroni, which is Italian - closest one to the Beaches (but downtown) is on Adelaide Street East terroni.com. Chinatown (Spadina or the East Chinatown on Gerrard Street) are very obviously family-friendly. I’d recommend House of Gourmet 484 Dundas St W, or Swatow 309 Spadina Ave although the latter is small and extremely casual. I am not so familiar with Gerrard Street Chinatown. La Carnita downtown is casual but fun Mexican http://www.lacarnita.com/ - and nicely placed next to Sweet Jesus www.sweetjesus4life.com/ which has ice creams which your children would love - very fun choices. There are other places I love but you can’t really sit to eat or at least not with a family or they are noisy trendy places with great food (like Burgers Priest) so your kids wouldn’t thank you. If you have a favourite type of ethnic cuisine, yell and I’ll try to oblige. Let us know what happens!


#4

The Beach isn’t a great neighborhood for food, but you’ll be close to Leslieville and Gerrard E which have good options. Lots of neat new places near Gerrard and Pape.

White Lily Diner on Queen E is good for breakfast.

For Greek, I prefer Megas or Mezes.

My favourite Italian spots lately are Bar Buca, Enoteca Sociale and Campagnolo (west of where you will be)

Pizzeria Libretto and Queen Margherita are some Neapolitan pizzerias with locations closer to you.

Descendant Pizza is a popular Detroit style pizza place fairly close to you.

Ed’s Big Scoop, La Diperie and Wong’s are ice cream choices in East York I’d choose over Sweet Jesus. Roselle has unique softserve (Earl Grey past week), but usually only 1 flavour.


#5

Well, I’m rather embarrassed to report back with little of note. Very poor planning on our parts resulted in spending too much at time at one spot then being stuck in food wastelands, dangerously close to meltdown territory (our spring onion, unlike us, would rather play than eat to the point of forgetting to eat, then once he’s stopped playing, he is suddenly starving). We had several mediocre or just ok pub lunches (near ROM; in our Beaches neighborhood, which prima was quite correct in saying that it’s not great for food; a chain pub in Distillery District; slogging through leftovers from lunch for dinner at our poorly-stocked AirBnB). At least the french fries were good everywhere.

Our two good meals were at Ramen Isshin (the richest veggie ramen I’ve ever had and cold tsukeman for B on a 32C+ day, plain noodles and rice for spring onion, which he happily slurped up). Cold beer. The second was at La Cocina Economica. We had moved to a really cool loft at Queen West and Ontario for our last night and the owners had some great recommendations for us but we had only 1 meal left so we did something close by. Cute tiny place. We sat on the pleasant patio with a couple of cocktails. Street corn (elotes) was decadent and B declared his pulled chicken tostadas as homey and hitting the spot.

Despite our self-induced food disappointments, we are already planing on a return trip, hopefully this fall. Now that we have a lay of the land, we can plan better and hit up some of the places I had on my list. Thanks to all who replied to my original query.


(:@)) :@)) ) #6

I drank a lot of craft beers in Toronto, but did not really eat so much. Ate Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and made 3 meals myself. Why do they always say the kitchen is “fully equipped?”, though? I think they mean fully equipped to boil water. I have stopped believing and now bring my own knives and a few things with me.

I prefer Quebec City, and even Montreal. Anyhow, what did you think of the craft beer scene in Toronto?


#7

Oy - I realized I never responded. I can’t drink much beer these days (if I want to eat, which I always want to do). I get filled up too quickly with beer! B had several over the course of our trip, most bought at LCBO. He made it a point to drink only Canadian beers that he’d never seen. He’s a high-octane IPA guy in the vein of Dogfish Head so while he found most of the beers he tried pleasant, nothing knocked his socks off. However, I’m sure he’ll happily increase his sample size next time we’re up North.


(:@)) :@)) ) #8

Ah, OK. That happens to me sometimes but I tend to drink between meals.

I’m a “hophead” and I’m no man. Almost no bitter IPA is bitter enough for me yet. I mean bitter and good, not bitter and disgusting. Had a good time drinking in Canada, we hardy/almost never get their stuff over here.