Please help a visitor get oriented. I'll be attending meetings at Eaton Centre. Any suggestions for nice dinner restaurants w/in walking distance? We're a bunch of academics, so no big expense accounts. Asian or eclectic food is popular.
Lunches we should wander in Chinatown, or am I lost?
I would recommend Salad King which is at Yonge/Gould, steps from the Eaton Centre (the upstairs, esp for dinner: www.saladking.com). Ethiopian House is a bit of a walk north on Yonge at Irwin (north of Wellesley) but well worth the trek, be sure to have the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, served with popcorn. East of the Eaton Centre on Dundas at Jarvis is New Bilan, a Somali restaurant which has wonderful food but certainly not fancy (I like the laid back atmo which attracts a very mixed crowd) Fancier & more expensive places can be found, but these are my votes for "Asian/eclectic". T.O.'s downtown Chinatown can be a bit daunting if you're new and it's difficult to recommend a good restaurant when there are far superior ones uptown (Richmond Hill, Markham).
For lunch, in addition to Chinatown, even closer to the Eaton Centre are the tons of noodle house-type places opening on Yonge north of Dundas. I haven't tried most of them. Lantern is cute but often dishes are too sweet. Ginger 2 is a decent Vietnamese/pan-Asian spot for a cheap lunch on Yonge. I prefer it to the typical Cantonese lunch places in Chinatown (personal preference for Vietnamese).
Walk over to Spadina, in the block north of Dundas on the west side, for a $1 Vietnamese sandwich (2 is more than enough for lunch for me).
I had a superb feast this week at Lee Garden on Spadina south of College. Highlights included: filet mignon with avocado and cashews; grandmother roast duck; steamed west coast oysters; mixed seafood hot plate.
The people were friendly, the decor was basic and clean, and the food was out of this world.