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Oct 25, 2006 12:22 AM

Is there any hope for carless Hounds near Pearson in Toronto?

Help (just did a search and found nothing recent or helpful on this topic) -- I'm spending 4 nights at the Sheraton Pearson International Airport without rental car or unlimited taxi fare budget (maybe up to $20 per night RT) -- any recommendations for houndish dinner options? Is public transport an option that won't add hours to dinner? Thanks!

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  1. You are in luck if you have a bit of time. The Sheraton Gateway is right at Terminal 3, right? There's an express bus that goes from the airport to the nearest subway station, Kipling, from where it's a short subway ride to decent food. The bus runs fairly frequently, at all hours of day and night. More here:
    The nearest real neighbourhood is the Kingsway, just two subway stops away, at Royal York. Here's a restaurant listing:
    (Sorry, can't recommend any - I never go out there - but Merlot has been well reviewed:
    )A few stops further east is Bloor West Village, a popular upscale (i.e. yuppie) residential neighbourhood that still maintains a bit of its old Ukrainian/East European character. To stroll around there, get off at Jane or Runnymede. I don't know that neighbourhood very well either, but am fond of Amber, a little Polish place that makes good pierogies and other such things.

    13 Replies
    1. re: estragon

      Le Castille and Black Angus are two steak houses in Etobicoke, the westernmost part of Toronto, not very far from the subway mentioned above - suggest you contact them for specific directions. They are not outstanding, but better than any meat you'll find near the airport.

      1. re: Bigtigger

        La Castille is connected with Zorro's, which is off Airport Rd. on Torbram, very close to the airport. Simpler menu than La Castille, but same food, with lower prices.

        1. re: Anna B

          I would have to say that Topiarys is far better than Zorros.

      2. re: estragon

        If you take the subway to Royal York, check out Casa Barcelona (great Spanish tapas). If you get off further east at Jane or Runnymede, my sister says Bloom and Dr. Generosity are great. For snacks/take-out, I like the smoked chicken at Astro Deli near Runnymede and pretty much everything at Max's beside Pius X church (near Windermere). The Coffee Tree near Jane has a good selection of fair trade/organic coffee and tea.

        1. re: Food Tourist

          Just wanted to correct's actually Astra Deli, not Astro, and today, the smoked chicken was really dry for the first time ever. All of their hot food looks fantastic (prepared perogies, crepe rolls, meats, etc.)

          Coffee Tree stocks 3 kinds of Jumbo Empanadas from the Kensington Market eatery. They also roast all their coffee right on site and have extremely knowledgeable staff.

          Avoid Le Petit Paris' croissants and head to Patisserie Saint-Honore instead if you are craving french snacks.

        2. re: estragon

          Thanks very much for the help and recs -- anything more on Ukrainian options in Toronto would be really great -- my wife is Ukrainian-American and I love that food culture -- of which there is NONE in Boston...average Polish fare and bad Russian is the closest approximation.

          1. re: rlh

            One problem is your lack of transportation; however, if you can get to Roncesvalles area (not on the subway line, but somewhat close to the Dundas West station), there are plenty of Polish bakeries and delis for a food tour.

            Pravda on Wellington (downtown) touts itself as a Russian bar with some Russian food.

            In Bloor West, at the Jane subway station, you could try Amber European but I doubt they have a lot of Ukrainian or Polish food judging from this review:

            I doubt any of the above are "chow-worthy" -- they might be on par with your Boston experience.

            1. re: Food Tourist

              Amber definitely has an extensive eastern european menu, including several varieties of perogies. Still haven't eaten there, but plan to!

              1. re: Food Tourist

                Can confirm that Amber's food didn't offend my 80+ Polish guest (she makes pierogi for a senior's home every week) and the tripe soup was pretty good, although Polonez's tripe on Ronces is better.

            2. re: rlh

              There are a few Ukrainian delis on Bloor between Runnymede and Jane, but but no restaurants left that I can think of. For a Polish take on Eastern European comfort food, get off at Dundas West subway, and take the streetcar south about five stops. That's the Polish strip.

              Recent immigrants from Russia and Ukraine congregate in North York and Thornhill. There are lots of delis and restaurants (of mixed quality), and getting out there really would require a rental car if you're staying near the airport.

              1. re: estragon

                Thanks -- I'm now looking into rental car options for a night or two -- any other specifically Ukrainian recs, regardless of neighborhood?

                I'd like to score a great dinner (a la Veselka in NYC if that's familiar to anyone)-- and my wife would be really thrilled if I brought home some real "kohlbasa" and "veriniki" -- smoked sausage and pierogies -- the best of which most frequently originate in church basements with groups of elderly women...I know it's a long shot.

                1. re: rlh

                  You may have problems bringing meat across the border.

                  1. re: Teep

                    Good reminder -- thanks -- she'll just have to come with me -- and the dumplings will have to be potato/onion or mushroom...

          2. I would definitely take a taxi to Kwality Sweets on Steeles, a few blocks from Airport Road. Their Indian food is amazing especially the Haandi chicken ($9)! Great chowfind for a reasonably-priced dinner in a fast-food atmosphere.

            Or take a taxi to Drupati's for roti and doubles at Islington/Albion.

            Perhaps mapquest the taxi ride so that you are certain of distance before you set out!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Food Tourist

              It was a bleak few days of being stuck at Pearson (how many meals can YOU stand at either a hotel dining room or Suisse Chalet in Terminal 3?) without a car and without the patience/free time/exact change necessary to navigate the shuttle bus to the subway ... that said,

              one night we paid the $30 taxi fare to (and $12 return fare) Kwality Sweets on Steeles and were rewarded with a delicious Indian meal (vegetarian combo, samosas, awesome garlic naan, and a really good goat vindaloo special) followed by interesting milk and coconut pastries/cashew-based candies -- grand total $27. Thanks very much for the great tip.

              The dinners at Graffiti's and Lone Star near the airport (yes, we walked in the rain without sidewalks and at times in peril from very fast-moving traffic) were completely forgettable -- except for the margarita at Lone Star -- probably the worst I've EVER had -- artificially-flavored sugar water with a trace of tequila and a failed shot at redemption with the side of Grand Marnier.

              I can't wait to actually come to Toronta and eat in the real spots I've read about on this board...thanks for all of the help.

              1. re: rlh

                Sorry to hear about your horrible experiences...but glad you enjoyed Kwality Sweets!

                1. re: rlh

                  Got a craving for Kwality after reading your report and got take-out earlier this evening, but it seems to have been an off day -- both haandi chicken and goat vindaloo were overcooked, roti and naan were so-so, and dhal makhani and eggplant dishes were really oily. I ate dinner relatively soon after arriving home, but I'll dine in next time to check if that makes a difference somehow.

              2. Think about renting a car for a day. With a cheap meal of amazing Indian food in Brampton, the cost of the car rental won't seem like too much, and you'll save a bunch of time. This place is one of my favourite, and regularly receives rave reviews:


                1. For a classic and excellent steak and/or BBQ rib dinner go to Topiary. The rib steaks are excellent! It is short cab ride from the airport.

                  1. If you have time, take the bus to Kipling station. There are lots of places along the Bloor Subway line. Runnymede station in Bloor West Villiage has lots of places mentioned. Christie station is in the heart of Little Korea and the strip between Bathurst and Spadina stations on Bloor (The Annex) has a lot of funky places. As there are a lot of students there are many inexpensive places. And it's a great neighbourhood to walk around.