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Jul 24, 2006 08:58 PM

Restaurant Recs for St. Lawrence/Old Town Area - $15-20 range

My partner and I are hosting his parents from out of town (and other family members) and we're looking for a good spot to eat that has great food and good value ie. entrees between $15-20 range.

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  1. You might want to check out Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar on Church if your crowd isn't that large, or Izakaya on Front Street for Japanese "pub" food. They can handle a larger number of folks at communal tables... good food at both.

    1. Some places in the neighbourhood where I've enjoyed meals in the past, that could probably accommodate slightly larger groups without too much trouble:

      I agree with the previous suggestion of Izakaya. The space is good for big groups, and the food and service are decent, though be forwarned that the owners are not Japanese and the food is less "authentic" than other places in Toronto, if that sort of thing is a big concern for you.

      The Beer Bistro near Yonge and King serves excellent quality food with beer playing a supporting role in most dishes. Needless to say they have a huge beer list as well. Nice decor, too.

      The Spring Rolls on Front near Church is very popular, and the concensus seems to be that it is of somewhat better quality than some of the other locations. Smallish patio.

      The Fionn MacCools location at Esplanade and Church has above-average pub food, and a great patio. It's pretty large and popular with larger groups, but it gets noisier later in the evening on weekends, especially when the musical entertainment starts.

      Hernando's Hideway is a Cali-Mexican place on Wellington just west of Church. Again it's not particularly "authentic" but the food is consistently tasty and the service is always friendly. The space has a fun vibe, and there are some nice tables by the windows that open and look down on to the street, if you're lucky enough to get one of those.

      1 Reply
      1. Check out the Sultan's Tent if you would like Moroccan or Le Papillion for Quebecois. Both are pretty good. If you are willing to walk a bit north, go to The Courthouse on Richmond. They are decently priced.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mtampoya

          I must disagree with the recommendations for Sultan's Tent and le Papillon. Sultan's Tent, IMO, is a tourist destination with mediocre, overpriced food. And le Papillon, in my experience, is remarkably bland... and has uncomfortable chairs to boot.

          I've never eaten at the Front St. Spring Rolls, but have never had a good meal at that chain.

          My votes would be for JKWB or Beer Bistro.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            keep in mind that you cannot make reservations at jkwb for dinner, lunch ones are accepted.

            eggplant has an interesting venue and toba gets great reviews.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              I have been to Toba and it is a great place! It is a small restaurant so I would recommend making reservations.

              I have been to JKWB and it is fabulous however, I think you will land up paying more than you may estimate for.

              1. re: mtampoya

                I lived in this nabe for several years and definitely agree that Toba is your best bet -- it's a small restaurant but the service is very good and the price point is just right for what you're looking for.

                As mtampoya indicates, JKWB is wonderful, but you will drop a fair bit more $ as the dishes are "tapas" like....larger than the usual tapas sized dish, but definitely not entree sized.

                Le Papillon has gone down hill and I don't remember when it was actually great. Sultan's Tent is a rip off, the food is generic and perhaps a good destination for non-adventurous foodies looking for something a bit unusual. As for Izakaya.....the only good thing about this place in an epicurean sense, are the drinks. There is very little genuinely Japanese about this place, although the vibe and the interior is happening.

                I haven't checked out the new Korean restaurant on the northeast corner of Jarvis/Front -- it's had good reviews....anyone been?

            2. re: TorontoJo

              Yes, give Papillon a miss. Their crepes and Quebecois food are bland and unappetizing. Did not enjoy the Cretons at all. Plus the atmosphere is very dour. You can find better elsewhere.

              I like the food a lot at Beer Bistro. Their ribs are great (and messy). Keep in mind it can be loud, especially if they have a band playing. Anyone in your party who's a beer nut will kiss you if you take them here.

              Skip Fionn McCools. It's just a corporate pub chain with the typical menu that goes along with it.