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Foodie moving to Danforth and Greenwood

Hello, my wife and I are moving to Danforth and Greenwood. We are not at all familiar with this area and would love some foodie suggestions.

- Good local bar to catch a drink
- Local in-the-know restaurants

I appreciate whatever suggestions you can offer. The site of the many cheap pizza joints along Danforth near my new place depresses me.

Best,
Foodiesmith

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  1. Bibiche Bistro
    Niche Cafe
    Sarah's for beer, not food
    3's Company
    Ten Feet Tall (drinks, too)
    Little India restaurants, on Gerrard btwn Greenwood and Coxwell
    Sakawaya (Japanese) at Jones/Dforth
    Relish (at Woodbine)
    Hargrave pub

    1. I used to live in this area, and there are a few places to eat. I would caution against Ten Feet Tall (mentioned above) for food, as when I went there the food was nothing inspiring and overpriced.

      Agree with Little India, Sarah's (again for beer, not food), 3's company.

      If you like Carribean or Trini food, there is a place called D&D Trini Style on the North side of Gerrard, just west of Greenwood. They have amazing doubles, and their goat roti is very good too.

      You are also not to far from the Danforth. A few restaurants there, obviously.

      4 Replies
      1. re: neuf

        i always drive by sarahs, is any food there worth getting?

        1. re: hungryabbey

          If it's food you're after, go to Ten Feet Tall (despite neuf's opinion). I've eaten there a ton of times and never been disappointed, or felt that the prices were out of line. Yes, the food is simple, but it's also well-prepared and fresh, something that can't be said for Sarah's.

          1. re: Sweet Pea

            I seem to be in the minority regarding Ten Feet Tall. Perhaps I owe them another chance. I've only been once, and I ordered blackened catfish, which was OK, but I was kind of thrown of when I saw the same thing pre-made at Loblaws.

          2. re: hungryabbey

            The best thing I can say about Sarah's was that when I pointed out that the fruit salad accompanying my brunch was fermenting they walked to Jerry's and bought some grapes and strawberries and made me a new salad.

        2. Danforth Dragon, Danforth and Jones - Hakka Chinese.

          1. Lee's Thai Spring Rolls (just past Coxwell) is good, and as depressed as you are by the pizza joints you are now in the delivery region for Bona Pizza which is delicious.
            I like Europe Planet (also just past Coxwell) for their pastas and pizza but find them really slow so if you order take-out add 15 minutes to the time they tell you it will be ready. The food isn't innovative but it is yummy comfort food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hoagy294

              Beside Europe Planet is "Columbos" which makes a really damned good veal sandwich! Cheap, and they deliver. Last weekend a pal and I tried the "rice ball" from there which was also cheesy goodness!

              1. re: Joshman

                I'd have to second that. My boyfriend used to live around the corner from Colombo's. He used to live on their veal sandwiches and rice balls when he was a 'bachelor'. Very hearty and absolutely delicious. They also have huge panzerottos. There used to be an amazing Thai/Malaysian place called Jean's Fine Food Catering which was my 'gold' standard but very sadly they are no longer in business - i still have cravings for their authentic pad thai and lakhsa.

                I also agree with Danforth Dragon - the chili fish is yummy but hot! And we always order the Spicy egg rolls which has a curried ground pork filling with peas - a hakka dish.

                For bars - the 'Court Jester' is a great neighbourhood pub near Danforth and Pape. They have good service - for example, they will automatically divide the bill into sections when you are in a group. The food is surprisingly good for a bar - sweet potatoe fries with wasabi mayo, specials like prime rib or roast duck at a reasonable price. They have darts in the back which is a fun way to while away a Friday night.

                You can also travel down to Queen - into Leslieville (my neighbourhood). For the occasional brunch - Eddie Levesque's Kitchen is a fun and funky place (just east of Queen and Leslie). They have gourmet twists on classics with a retro/trendy type interior.

                A good bet for hearty home cooking we go to is Tulip's - just east of Coxwell on Queen. It's a no frills steak place/diner/family restaurant but be prepared for a bit of a lineup during busy periods. Steaks are a good value but don't expect fancy sides or good wine. Their daily specials are always good - but some sell out if you go too late. The hot sandwiches are also delicious and huge - the hot beef sandwich and the open faced turkey.

                Also - don't forget 'old' Chinatown on Gerrard/Broadview. It's not what is used to be but you can still get some decent dim sum on the weekends and we are regulars at the Vietnamese restaurant on Gerrard (Xe Lua with the Train on the sign). For $20 you can get dinner for two - try the vermicelli dishes with grilled beef/pork/chicken, spring rolls, etc or the rare beef rice noodle soup. The rice dishes with grilled meat are also good. There are also the old standby Chinese BBQ takeouts on the Broadview strip below Gerrard if you are fans of BBQ / roast pork / soy sauce chicken.

                Welcome to the neighbourhood and don't be afraid to try something a little different!

            2. I know this place has been slammed a few times, but we've eaten at Gerrard Pizza (just west of Coxwell on the north side of the Danforth) quite a few times. The service can be pretty slow at times, but I do enjoy their Insalata Mista salad. Their pizzas and pastas are hit and miss regarding quality, but I've generally enjoyed what I've ordered.

              1. Djerba Ladouce is a Tunisian restaurant on Danforth, just west of Coxwell. Have eaten there twice and enjoyed meals on both occasions.

                Coco Banana is a West Indian place east of Coxwell. I had some of their food at the Hot N Spicy Food festival at Harbourfront. Really enjoyed it and hope to get to the shop for more from their menu.

                1. There's also El Sol, one of the best (ok, only) truly authentic Mexican restaurants in the city.

                  It's on the north side of the Danforth, between Monarch Park and Parkmount.

                  You must. Must. Must start with the guacamole, studded with cheddar cheese. My other favourite appetizer, which isn't always available, is the marinated cactus (called Napolitos, I think).

                  I've only had the vegetarian mains, but they're uniformly excellent. And the refied beans? The way mamma made. Assuming your mamma was from Punta Cana.

                  And don't forget the margarita(s). I usually go for the frozen variety, but ask for "just a little" ice. Although sometimes the Slurpee quality they attain when they have too much ice can be refreshing as well.

                  A word of warning: Some call it "El Slow." The service can be, how shall we say, indifferent? We've had to bus our own table more than once.

                  But make a night of it, so you're not feeling rushed, and I promise you'll enjoy.

                  1. Bibiche, El Sol, and Djerba Ladouce are outstanding and the others mentioned are okay (except Sarah's -- go there for your after work drink but don't bother with the food.) I would also rate the Bus Terminal (NE of Coxwell and Danforth) and Tiny Thai Kitchen worth a try or two.

                    1. Check out the latest posts for Batifole Gerrard, east of Broadview.
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                      Also, if you consider Broadview close enough, try Lily for very good Japanese.

                      1. For a real deal on breakfast try the Bus Terminal Grill just below the Coxwell subway station on Danforth. Doesn't do the trendy stuff and it's kind of funkiesh, bordering on a greasy spoon kind of place. But the grub is decent and the service prompt.

                        1. Thank you all so much. I'm looking forward to trying all these suggestions. Maybe I should re-post, but what about a nice romantic to bring my wife to in the hood? Are any of the above what you would call "romantic"?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Foodiesmith

                            Lily has a lovely decor and is quiet enough to be considered romantic. If you want something more dimly lit and out of the way, I forgot to mention Lolita's Lust. I've always had good food there, the tables are more private than most places on the Dforth. I also forgot to mention Pop Bistro, which is out your way, but down on Queen St. Very good food, small, quaint, good service.

                            I guess it depends on your definition of romantic. My hubby and I get the most out of a dining experience when the food and the service are so good that the evening is without distraction and we get to just have fun and enjoy. Even the most "romantic" restaurant can ruin the mood if the service and/or food are sub-par.

                            Enjoy your new hood.

                          2. Some good suggestions - I quite like Relish, it's got an interesting menu and good service.

                            Sarah's is fine for a drink or bunch, not quite serious dining.

                            We've had one too many quesitonable meals at 10 feet tall - either bad service or bad food - to return.

                            Babiche is nice with huge portions, inventive menu and really friendly service which makes up for the really poor wine list and lack of atmosphere/decor.

                            If you have kids, 3s company is a very family friendly spot.

                            Lee's Thai is great - a go to takeout spot for us as is the aforementioned Bona Pizza (if you're cool with pick-up, Danforth Pizza at Donlands and Danforth is even better).

                            1. I used to live at Danforth and Jones - by far my favourite local bar is The Only, at Donlands. Massive beer fridge, tiny place, lots of knicknacks and weird pictures to look at.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: capiscum

                                They also do a great brunch given that they don't have a kitchen but instead cookwith a toaster and plug-in griddles.

                              2. If you want romance, head due south of your nabe on occasion.
                                One of Batifole's French Martinis is pretty romantic by candlelight; his cuts of steak are unique and incredibly good, and the wine list will please a discriminating palate. Tomi Kro on Queen near Leslie for foodie fusion, Vervine, or if your romance likes a party, Gio's (Queen,& Leslie, n/w corner). It is not haute cuisine but with gorgonzola-stuffed figs with proscuitto, it's pretty close.

                                1. go to little india on gerrard street (btwn coxwell & greenwood) there is an indian restaurant "MOTI MAHAL" very very good indian food, and cheap too! more of a fast food type setting

                                  1. There's a new Italian place opening up across from Sarah's - I can't wait! For years, we've said that we need a good Italian place.

                                    If all else fails, we live at Danforth and Greenwood and I'm a great cook! No, seriously.

                                    1. Although its a little further up, theres a new restaurant opening up around broadview and danforth called Globe Bistro. Dont knwo much about it, but I checked out their website and I guess there will be an open kitchen concept with a 'party room/lounge' on the second floor. Im crossing my fingers for something different (not greek)

                                      1. Try The Auld Spot at 347 Danforth. It's closer to Chester than Greenwood, but it may be worth the trip. I went there by chance early in the summer and I thought it was wonderful. A really friendly local pub with good food. Have been wanting to get back.

                                        1. The Sidewalk Cafe is also quite good with great Expresso etc and also the best veal sandwiches around and great gelatos too ! Ask for Tony or his wife great service and they're licenced too .

                                          1. Beanies - a new coffee shop - just opened today at the corner of Danforth and Bastedo. It's all fair trade organic coffee and the interior is quite cozy. It's also open on Mondays, unlike Niche.

                                            1. Hello: Does anyone remember the name of the small, mostly take out pizza joint on the north side of the Danforth west of Pape. It had about two tables and four chairs as a "restaurant". They also used to serve a great spaghetti and meatballs (the size of baseballs. They moved, probably about ayear and a half ago and I would like to know their new location. They made a thin crust quatro fromaggio that was the best ever. Thanks,

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: spoonfood

                                                Bona?? It was actually east of Pape. They moved to Donlands and O'Connor

                                                1. re: embee

                                                  If it was Bona, they do make a mean 4-cheese with gorgonzola and dill. Also grateful to the hound who posted their website because they never leave us a menu.

                                                  http://www.bonapizzapasta.com/

                                                  Who knew this thread could get so many replies? Can the area really be called a restaurant wasteland anymore? It's not as trendy as Queen East but I like the mix better.

                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                    A Bona pizza is a life changer. My favourite is the large, thin crust, with porcini mushrooms, roasted peppers, green olives, fresh tomato, sun dried tomatoes, leeks and gorgonzola. Yowzah.

                                              2. 3s Company (Danforth/Greenwood)
                                                This is an excellent brunch spot in the area. Friendly people (patrons included) and great food and coffee makes this a cozy spot to spend many Saturday mornings. This is a very family/child-friendly location.
                                                Don't miss trying: pancakes, any version of their eggs benedict, and their seasonal specials (mmmm pumpkin french toast)

                                                The Only Cafe (Danforth/Donlands)
                                                A trendy place to hang out and enjoy one of many varieties of beer and great club sandwiches. It's not a sports bar by any stretch - but it's a nice little place to hang out on the patio with a small group of friends and have a beer.

                                                Romantic Options
                                                Sorry! Honestly, we haven't found any places that feel all that romantic in the area. We define romantic as quieter atmosphere and service manner, relative privacy from other patrons, and menu selections interesting enough that we have not or probably would not make this at home ourselves. So far we have had to travel away from the Danforth for this. Granted we have not eaten everywhere along the Danforth - if anyone has suggestions that fit our idea of romantic, we'd love to hear from you!

                                                About pizza..
                                                If you must order in pizza you have to try Bigman's. They deliver into the area and have a restaurant in the Bayview Village. They have an amazing selection of gourmet pizza. There are no 2 for 1 deals, but this pizza is outstanding.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: shazzle

                                                  Does anyone know if the Only Cafe on the Danforth is affilated with the Only Cafe in Peterborough (popular Trent student hangout)? The decor of both places is similar, which makes me wonder.

                                                  1. re: Ivriniel

                                                    I also have been curious about this.. I used to live in Ptbo, and when I moved to the danforth that was one of the first things I noticed

                                                    1. re: hungryabbey

                                                      The Only in Peterborough was opened by the original owner of the Only Cafe on Danforth. If I recall the legend correctly, he decided to chuck the big city life, sold the Only in Toronto, and went all Green Acres with the new Only (now definitely not the Only) in Peterborough...

                                                      1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                                                        Yes, Gerrard, (I believe his name was) used to be my next door neighbour when he owned the Only. They moved to Peterborough a long time ago, maybe in the late '80s.

                                                        Memories of him riding his bike home from the bar and we would find it crashed in our garden the next day. Lots of fun.

                                                2. Romantic options in Danforth/Greenwood area for you. As a former resident, I think the area itself is very romantic and I miss it soo much... anyway, here are a few tips:

                                                  Secret spot (if still there): Paul's Spaghetti on Cosburn (quaint spot PERFECT for an honest and somewhat upscale dinner date)

                                                  Caribbean/Roti eat-in place (forgot name) across from McDonalds on Danforth east of Coxwell).

                                                  Since you mentioned pizza, I would avoid Gerrard Pizza and Bigman's Pizza (not in the area) - neither are all that tasty. Pizza in the area is best at Colombo's. I think theirs is in fact the best in town, and anyone living in the area is super-lucky to have them nearby.

                                                  Though I haven't been, I hear that Lee's Thai Spring Roll is very good - it's atmosphere appears inviting and quaint.

                                                  Hope this helps.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: sweetspotlee

                                                    mmm i have been SOOO curious of this cute little pauls spaghetti. Is it inexpensive? Any stand out dishes?

                                                    1. re: sweetspotlee

                                                      Yes.. we've been to Pauls Spaghetti - love it there. The food is reasonably priced and depending on the evening it's quiet/quaint.

                                                      1. re: shazzle

                                                        what do you guys order there? anything really good?

                                                        1. re: hungryabbey

                                                          It's been awhile since I've been there, but Paul's Special spaghetti is very excellent...

                                                          1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                                                            mm thanks for the tip. seems like such a cute little gem

                                                            1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                                                              My husband and I went to Paul's Spaghetti tonight. The Caesar salad was nothing special: It smacked of bottled salad dressing and packaged croutons. (Il Fornello's version with anchovies puts their Caesar salad to shame.) The minestrone soup was fairly good, but the "parmesan" was of the dry and powdery variety, more likely coming from a plastic shaker instead of a fresh block of cheese. I ordered the "Paul's Special" spaghetti with meat sauce, and my husband ordered spaghetti with meatballs. Both were good, but not superb. I was hoping to order the tiramisu for dessert, but, alas, they were sold out. We contemplated ordering the French vanilla cake, one of the other two "made in our kitchen" options--as listed on the dessert menu, but when the waiter fumbled for words to describe it, finally telling us it's made from a cake mix, we decided to go withour dessert! Overall, though, it is a cute little place, and they seem to have loyal customers, so they must be doing something right.

                                                      2. I had some wonderful lamb shanks at Pan Mediterranean Cuisine, which is 3 blocks west of Pape station on the north side of the Danforth.

                                                        I don't remember what the other people I was with had, but everyone was very happy with the food.

                                                        Here's the website: http://www.panonthedanforth.com/

                                                        1. These all all great, you are all so helpful. So happy that I'm a chowhounder! Paul's Spaghetti sounds interesting, have been to Pan's and enjoyed it very much. Since this posting, I have also tried Ten Feet Tall which was just OK, will give it another try as it may have been what I ordered...

                                                          1. Ten Feet Tall seems grossly overrated to me (yes, the yam frites were good, though). But I also don't like Bibiche Bistro, so I'm probably due to be lynched by the Chowhounders.

                                                            Pan's Sea Bass (if they still have it) is politically incorrect but very good.

                                                            Bona Pizza rocks. I order my own: pesto, thin crust, no tomato sauce, zucchini, sundried tomato, mushroom and maybe eggplant or chicken. Fantastic!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Ice Queen

                                                              I love Ten Feet Tall but for very specific reasons and I would not call it a chow destination. They have a thoughtful local & Canadian tap list. They have a high chair and the staff are always great with my baby. And I like the atmosphere/decor that isn't pubby or greek. I think the food is decent for what it is; for example, their hollandaise appears homemade. But there is nothing special about the food really and the selection is not exciting. I'm not sure I'd call it overrated because I don't know that people have raved that much about the place, but I can see someone being disappointed if they were expecting greatness.

                                                            2. i'm shocked that nobody mentioned one of the cheapest, and best greek places to grab a bite: SQUARE BOY!!! it's at jones/danforth (across from the TD banks and starbucks) it looks like a place straight from the 80's or something with the old-school pac-man video game.
                                                              the food there is cheap, cheap, but SO good. i believe they sprinkle crack in their tzatziki b/c it is really addictive. i reccomend the greek salad, chicken or pork soulvaki in a bun, or their half chicken (which is usually sold out). the guys who work there have a great sense of humour.
                                                              service is quick!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: chalenegirl

                                                                Agreed, I love those guys there. I really love their burgers and onion rings too! mm.. I think I'll take a bike ride down today haha

                                                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                  yes! i almost forgot about their burgers. very good!
                                                                  their fries and gravy also have a nostalgic quality to them, not hand cut but good still.

                                                                2. re: chalenegirl

                                                                  If time and place are key in life events, then the souvlaki or gyro on a bun sandwiches are just about perfect late at night on the way home when hungry.

                                                                3. Makkah @ Danforth & Donlands is very inexpensive Pakistani food . A meat Thali with naan is about
                                                                  $7. It's not much to look at , it's just a local place where cab drivers and people from the mosque across the street eat. But I love it . Try the Chicken Tikka Masala.

                                                                  1. We've ordered in from Makkah before. Never seen the place (and maybe I don't want to), but the takeout is pretty good.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: SusanB

                                                                      We really like Makkah, esp since we live 5 mins away. Nicely cooked simple and authentic Pakistani food. Our favourites are the tandoori quails, also the paya (trotter) stew and nihari (a thick beef/marrow stew) - they have paya at weekends - these are winter morning dishes in India and Pakistan but this being the diaspora they are available all day and I am not complaining. You can also try haleem - a thick lentil/cracked wheat/beef dish which somewaht resembles porridge in texture. I find the Tuesday special chicken biryani to be a good deal for 3 bucks. The nan bread is excellent. As are the prices.

                                                                    2. Batifole is fantastic for dinner at Gerrard and Logan.
                                                                      Delicious french food great wine list.
                                                                      For coffee I suggest Beanies on the Danforth at Coxwell great atmosphere, huge couches, stroller friendly and the best muffins Yum!!!

                                                                      1. Rendezvous Cafe (snuggled between Jerry's and the Money Mart, on the north-west corner of Danforth and Monarch Park -- look for the blue awning and lettering on the windows) has delicious, authentic Ethiopian food. Tibs, vegetarian platters, injera, coffee ritual, and more. It's a cozy place, FILLED with local Ethiopians so you know it's authentic. Caution: If you are allergic to perfumey incense, don't go! They burn a lot of incense. It's almost gagging. But the food more than makes up for it.

                                                                        1. My favourites from the ones that have been listed so far are:
                                                                          -Batifole
                                                                          -Relish
                                                                          -Lee's Thai Spring Roll
                                                                          I've always had great, consistent meals at these 3, you can't go wrong.

                                                                          1. Just found Chowhound and what a great site for exchanges on my favourite topic - FOOD.
                                                                            There are some great places in my neighbourhood and many mentioned above deserve the praise. But I must disagree about two of them.
                                                                            Ten Feet Tall is spectacularly underwhelming and way to pubby for my liking. I understand this may be a personal thing but I really don't think they do anything that is above average.
                                                                            El Sol is so so...and so so slow. Much of their fare tastes quite similar and at times, pretty mediocre. I don't understand why it has a reputation for being one of the only truly 'authentic' Mexican places in town.
                                                                            Now there are a number of Ethiopian places that have opened and the area is becoming more diverse in choices.
                                                                            Anyway, my first posting and my two cents worth!

                                                                            1. Great posts everyone! Very helpful.

                                                                              Not sure if I missed it, but Chino Locos is a great little spot at the corner of Greenwood and Queen (4 Greenwood Avenue). They sell burritos with an Asian twist. The burritos are HUGE and delicious. I would recommend getting the chow mein rather than the rice. You can call ahead and order.

                                                                              (They have two locations. The other one is located @ 459 Church Street).

                                                                              http://chinolocos.com/
                                                                              647-345-LOCO

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Chino Locos
                                                                              459 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA