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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. http://www.piripiri.com/menus.html 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.


                  1. Hello again,

                    Cataplanan is closed for a month I just found out last night so you won't have any luck there.

                    Also, I actually walked along the Portugese area of College street. I suggest you just do the same walk because there are a million Portugese restaurants.

                    One I have heard to be very good is Barrida Chasquierra (sp??). It is jus East of Dufferin on College. It has also been recommended in a book I just picked up called 'Cheap Eats Toronto'.


                    1. Churrasco Villa Toronto's Original at 254 Eglinton Ave East at Mt Pleasant
                      the food is great price not bad

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: storeman

                        food is awesome at the Villa. best piri piri chicken and potatoes in toronto.

                        1. re: torontoeh

                          Have to disagree with this recommendation. I find the restaurant more fast-food than dining. I've had FAR better Churrasco at Costa Verde at Rogers and Oakwood (this is a take-out; but the restaurant next door (same name) doesn't really match the take-out). And the churrasco is really the only choice at both. Again, for a meal with menu choices I recommend Piri-Piri and, not surprisingly, the best dishes there are the Piri-Piri, but there are planty of other menu choices too.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            First of all, I didn't mean to imply that Villa is fancy dining, but nothing about it smacks of fast food. It is sit down dining with table service and the food doesn't sit around. They have specials all the time that include pork chops, buffalo ribs, fresh fish. I have never had dried chicken there. I have been eating there for over 4 years and the chicken is always spiced and juicy. The same can not be said for any place I have visited on St.Clair. I hate getting dried out white meat and it happens all the time at so many restos. As well, the potatoes are always perfectly cooked. My opinion is shared with many others, so I highly recommend that readers find out for themselves. Their apple strudle when it isnt sold out is also perfectly made. There is a lot of attention to detail at this place. I will try Costa Verde as it is much closer to my home and hope that it is as good!

                      2. I second the suggestion of Bairrada Churrasqueira on College just east of Dufferin. The food is good, not expensive, lots of locals and families, and one of the nicest backyard patios in the city. I ate there recently....had the grilled halibut and a glass of red. With tip it was about $25.

                        Here is the website:


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: happybelly

                          That's my favourite. Much prefer it over Amadeu's in Kensington (although the Kensington atmosphere is a plus). Patio at Bairrada is great. Fab fish.

                        2. For the budget minded, but still excellent food. Try Verde Minho, it's on the west side of little portugal, but worth the hike or street car. I believe it's at the corner of Dovercourt and colled.

                          Very cheap, very good, and always full of portugese. Enjoy

                          1. Bairrada on college, I'm behind that suggestion. Portuguese people love this place, so if it's good enough for them, its good enough for me. If you go there on the weekends, they shave fresh bbq from the spit.

                            The shrimp is also great, and its a fairly large portion.

                            1. Bairrada only in the summer. It gets reeeally hot inside and it's just not that nice - food is good but not good enough to justify the atmosphere inside.

                              It's cheap, though; grab a beer and an awesome bifana sandwich for around $10.

                              Last time I was there with the inlaws, we wanted to sit outside and the waiter seemed absolutely pissed off; kept insisting it was going to rain. "You can't come in if it rains! No room! Don't say I didn't warn you!" ...Not a drop hit through dinner, a couple glasses of wine and an espresso spiked w/ Maceira.

                              1. One of my favourite restaurants in Toronto is "Banaboia Restaurant".
                                It's a small little family run Portugese restaurant that has excellent grilled meats.
                                My favourite dish is the Grilled pork and clams dish.. so yummy.
                                The service is excellent and at about $25 per person, it is a hit in my books.

                                It's located at 501 Rogers Road (Rogers and Hillary - which is east of Rogers and Keele).

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Hondapendragon

                                  Oh! Is that where they went?! Banaboia was one of the first Portuguese restaurants that I ever ate at (with my Portuguese ex :o) and I loved it. Back then it was on College St. Thanks for unearthing this little gem for me.

                                  1. re: Hondapendragon

                                    I just had a friend go to Banaboia, she loved the food, but thought the service was horrible. They convinced her to order the special that was way too much food for her. She was unable to finish more then half of the meal, and when she asked to have it wrapped up to go; they said they couldn’t give it to her to take home, stating they had no take away containers or even some foil. Even thought they supposedly offer take-away. I guess if you should decide to go and you can’t eat everything on your plate, make sure to bring your own to go container.

                                    1. re: sawan

                                      Hmmm... that REALLY surprises me. We go at least once a month, each and everytime I get my leftovers packed to go. So much food... it lasts me at least 2 days.

                                  2. My family and I go to Bloor Village Grill at 1184 Bloor Street West (on Bloor, West of Dufferin) for very no frills yet good portugese cuisine. Good portions. I love the meat and seafood there.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: TOchowgal

                                      I second the rec. for Bloor Village Grill. I lived in Portugal for several years and I find it to be the closest to the neighborhood restaurants I loved in Lisbon. Solid food, cheerful service, and extra delish Portuguese desserts. All this and affordable, too. Two thumbs up.

                                      Bloor Village Grill
                                      1184 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H1N2, CA

                                    2. I still miss the old Imperio, whatever good that does me. It was a very pleasant place,on College right near Augusta. Folk-art dishes, live Portuguese music, and an excelent menu - delicious codfish and pork and clams.

                                      It seemed to go downhill, however. The Portuguese dishes must have eventually broken, to be replaced by ordinary restaurant china. The Portuguese music was superseded by some rather talentless rock musicisns, and the place eventually closed, or went elsewhere.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: ekammin

                                        I noticed a new restaurant in Vaughan (corner of Major Mackenzie and Weston Rd) called Costa Verde. Is this any connection to the others of the same name? I

                                        1. re: dory

                                          An offhand tip on another thread on this board - I think it was Davwud, who seems to know good downscale eatin' - got me to Churrasqueira Estrela, a mainly-takeout Portuguese chicken joint in a small, dreary strip plaza on Keele St. south of Lawrence Ave. W. Not my usual haunt, but I happened to be driving by and thought I'd give it a shot. Busy basic takeout spot, takeout lineup of seemingly knowledgeable Portuguese chicken connoisseurs who don't speak much English but know what they want, with a few unadorned tables for lone eat-inners like myself. For $10.50, I inhaled one of the the tastiest Portuguese chicken dishes I've had in years in Toronto - and I've been to just about all of them. The half-chicken dish includes rice, boiled potatoes (a.k.a. starch overkill), salad, olive platter and fresh bread, all just as tasty. Just to make sure it wasn't a lucky fluke, I'll get back there in a week or two to see if it still stands up - and add a visit to the Portuguese bakery/pastry shop next door for dessert. The takeout menu informs me that they do other things at Estrela - ribs, steak, various fishies, assorted specials like pork and bean stew and rabbit - but BBQ chicken is clearly the star there. Note: the plaza's parking lot badly needs repatching - resurfacing might be too much to ask for in that low-rent part of town. Almost lost my car in one of the potholes. Worth it, though.

                                          1. re: juno

                                            Ha!! I just stumbled across this much like you did with Estrala.

                                            A good tip for ya Juno is to buy a container of olives and park them in the fridge for a couple days. They get better and better every day. I've never made it past 3 days.