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Jul 26, 2006 12:43 AM

Portuguese (But not too expensive please)

I'll be coming to Toronto next week for a visit (from NYC) and would love to get some great Portuguese food. I see that most folks recommend Chiado, but it's a little bit out of my price range. Are there any more reasonably priced restaurants? I wish I could afford Chiado, but it's just not in the budget this time. Thanks.

(ps. I'm staying in the Annex if that helps with suggestions)

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  1. If staying in the Annex you are quite close to Little Portugal.

    I would suggest just taking a stroll down along college (one main street south of Bloor).

    There is a Portugese in Kensington Market called Amadeus that was good.


    1. In the same block as Chiado, but further west is Cataplana. It's owned by a former maitre d' of Chiado. The food is good as is the service, although not quite up to the very high standards of Chiado. I'd certainly return (although it's been a while since I've been).

      1. If you want the best, try Costa Verde BBQ Chicken at 2537 Eglinton ave West (Keele) Take out and a small sit down area. Not fancy but good food. I love that fish they serve.

        7 Replies
        1. re: NewtonSquare

          Costa Verde has another store/restaurant on Oakwood at Rogers from which we take out frequently. Their grilled chicken and potatoes are great. We've never eaten in the restaurant side.

          An easier to get to option is Piri Piri on Dupont. It's a short drive or one bus ride from the Annex. Do a quick search on the board for reviews on it or someone can chime in on it.

          1. re: mikeb

            I also like Piri Piri. A great family restaurant. I particularly like the mix of clientele - some of the most varied in T.O. families; retired couples; first dates; Portuguese 'characters'. Mostly locals and all there for good food, amiable service and relaxed atmosphere. But a bit inaccessible if you don't walk or drive.

            1. re: estufarian

              Went to Piri Piri last night to ease my grilled chicken craving... ugh... I was so disappointed! We used to go there a lot a few years ago... now the chicken is bland and tough! So sad.

              From now on, only Costa Verde on Oakwood, for me! They never disappoint.

                1. re: Snarf

                  No, I hadn't thought of that. There were 3 of us and we all ordered the chicken. Each of us had the same issue: tough meat (the breast was rock hard and difficult to cut with our knives) and bland (totally underseasoned). We were really so disappointed.
                  If we ever go back to Piri Piri, I'm going to stick with the bitoque.

                2. re: Hondapendragon

                  It's possible that things have changed since my 5 year-old review!

            2. re: NewtonSquare

              I second Costa Verde! Their hotsauce is delicious, and their potatoes are divine! I would suggest take-out as well. Also, they are closed on Mondays and open each day at 11:00am, closing around 8:00pm.

            3. Two other nice options are Sintra, also on College St., and Adega, on Elm. Adega is owned by the same person as Chiado, and has a slightly more Mediterranean flair to it. It's a beautiful restaurant with great food, and it's not as expensive as Chiado.

              For really old school Portuguese, I would second Amadeu in Kensington Market.

              Oh... and if you really want to check out Chiado, sit at the wine bar and order from their bar/tapas menu. You can have a great meal of small plates and a glass of lovely Portuguese wine for $40 - $50.

              5 Replies
              1. re: TorontoJo

                What would you recommend at Amadeu?

                1. re: phoenikia

                  Hmm... I must admit it's been a few years since I've been there. But I would stick to the tried and true Portuguese dishes. Pasteis bacalhau and a salada mista to start, and a bifteca for dinner -- your basic inexpensive cut of steak covered in a yummy sauce and topped with an egg. Served with fries that soak up the sauce and steak juices. Mmmm....

                  I can't recall whether their carne do porc Alentjana is any good. That's the classic pork and clam stew.

                  Oh, and my apologies to everyone for butchering the Portuguese language. My spelling is totally from phonetic memory and based on my limited experience with the language!

                2. re: TorontoJo

                  What a mindblowing great idea. I often want to go to Chiado, but don't always wanna pony up. THANKS TorontoJo!

                  1. re: Googs

                    Gee, you're welcome! My all-time favourite Portuguese nibbles are pasteis bacalhau (cod fritters). While they do not have them on the bar menu, I have asked for them a couple of times and the kitchen has always been kind enough to make some for me. Those, some grilled sardines, Chiado's amazing blood sausage and some delish Portuguese corn bread with a glass of wine makes an amazing meal.

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      Chiado totally turned me (and my Portuguese SO) on to the blood sausage. I have had it in lots of stews (particularly octopus) and hated it; but when grilled to the point where the skin blisters, it is amazing.

                      It is $8 for maybe a quarter serving each of blood sausage and linguica at Chiado. Pick the stuff up at the market for a fraction of the cost and throw it on a hot BBQ; delish.

                3. Has anyone tried Estrala de Mar? It is just west of Chiado on college.

                  I haven't tried it so I am sniffing around for the low down.