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Dining Alone in Toronto

I will be in Toronto next Tuesday on business. Staying downtown. I prefer to sit at the bar and have a good meal and maybe strike up a conversation, rather than sit by myself at a table. I enjoyed Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar last time I was in town, and I am looking for additional suggestions. Thanks

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  1. Are you an oyster fan? If so, try the bar at Starfish. You can watch Patrick shuck the oysters and chat with him and the other patrons sitting at the bar. Of course, they have options other than oysters, but mostly in the seafood category.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      i have had a fantastic time at starfish before and patrick will not disappoint if you sit at the bar. you can check out this post for some pictures of the food: http://tongueandcheek.ca/2006/06/12/a...

      one place that you might find interesting is beerbistro at king just east of yonge. they don't have a large central bar like jkwb or starfish but they have a sort of "chef's bar" to the side of the kitchen that's a touch quieter (the place is definitely boistrous). the food is quite nice there and the beer options great! i cannot get enough of their flourless chocolate cake. actually, the place is split up into bar and restaurant but you're likely able to order the menu at the full bar as well.

      if you're into sushi i might suggest omi (on church st) or hiro (on king w) and reserving a spot at the bar. the general feel is more subdued but can still provide an entertaining evening as well as lovely sake options.

    2. You might also want to consider Smokeless Joe on John St. between Adelaide and Richmond. They're mostly known for their insane beer selection, but they also have good oysters, nice quality sandwiches, and a few other dishes on the menu. The place is very small, and is dominated by one long bar that most people sit at. The staff and other visitors tend to be pretty chatty, and there are usually a few other out-of-towners there as well, so you won't feel out of place as a solo diner.


      1. Try Blowfish at King and Bathurst and sit at the long bar..Good sushi and fun atmosphere..

        1. Cava at Yonge north of St. Clair in the Delisle Court has a wonderful chef and a Tapas type menu. You can sit at the bar.

          1 Reply
          1. re: faijay

            I loved Cava's food BUT I would not recomend it for a lone diner as it is a bit hidden away with no interesting view and the people behind the bar tend to be rushing around not really condusive to conversation.

            Try Shanghi Cowgirl on Queen West had a great time there chatting with the girl behind the bar and the food was simple but good. and the neighbourhood is "eclectic".

          2. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I will report back next week.

            1. I really like The Pasta Bar at Scaramouche ( 1 Benvenuto Place)
              off Avenue Rd just South of St Clair. I prefer sitting at their bar for dinner and the food and service are great and the price much less than Scaramouche proper.

              1. I wound up having an early dinner at Starfish. It was terrific. I started out with an assortment of oysters, which Patrick shucks personally. Followed by New Zealand Tarahiki(?) which was served over new potatos and beets in a lobster broth. Delicious. Creme Brulle for dessert was also good, and the biggest portion I have ever been served. This was just the kind of place I had in mind.

                The next morning I went to Rol San on Spadina for dim sum. I ordered five different items which were cooked to order. All were very good. The chicken feet were the largest I have ever had. The total bill came to $13.28. I like cart service for dim sum when a place is busy, but on a slow weekday morning, I find the selection is better and the food is fresher at a place where you order what you want.

                I can't wait to return to Toronto to eat at these places again.

                1. I dont know if you are in to this but if you are then you should go to the Brant House. It is a cool place, good design, good food and the seating is communal so you will have an excuse to talk to a bunch of people and meet a bunch of people while enjoying your meal. As Chatto said (something along the lines of) it is like being at a familiar chic dinner party in house, search toronto life for it.

                  1. Brant House is a corporate chain restaurant that I would avoid, Rodneys Oyster Bar is just across the street. That is where I would go if you liked Starfish.