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A little help for a newbie please!

Hi folks,my girlfriend(English) and I(Irish) are spending Christmas and New Year in Toronto and would appreciate any advice you seasoned chowhounds could offer first time visitors re restaurants not to miss during our stay,we are staying at the Intercontinental on Front Street and our taste is pretty eclectic so anything goes really also any advice on where to find a good pint of Guinness in the downtown area would be much appreciated,thanks,slan.

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  1. My fiancé and I always enjoy a meal at Lee. http://www.susur.com/ It's the cheaper sister restaurant of Susur that features a tapas style fusion menu and always has some fantastic flavour combinations. Be sure to make a reservation or if you're in the neighbourhood you can usually get a seat at the bar area by just dropping in.

    1. For a pint of Guiness, try the Irish Embassy (Yonge & Wellington) or Allen's (Danforth & Broadview). The food at the Irish Embassy is really quite good too. However, you're probably not looking for Irish food here in Toronto. I'll leave it to the rest of the 'Hounds on this board to recommend restaurants to you. :-)

      1. Both PJ Obrien and the Irish Embassy are Irish owned and run http://www.irishembassypub.com/ Either are a 1 k walk from your hotel. They are both quite loud, but worth a visit. PJ Obrien is a little quieter when there's no band playing and has a few more expats. The crowd there is a touch older as well. BTW You will find that the Guinness is poured a little colder than at home.

        1. Susur is a good suggestion (but keep in mind no guiness there)
          Irish Embassy is just around the corner from you and a great pub overall.

          Around Front and Church, you'll find quite a few 'chic' restaurants that are worth checking out

          Foundation room
          Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar
          Spring rolls for asian.
          Korean Bistro

          1 Reply
          1. re: Suresh

            Front and Church is a great area. Just my $.02 on your list:

            - Foundation Room is best for drinks only. Food... meh.
            - Love JK Wine Bar. If there is a long wait for a seat, give them your cell number and go to Foundation room for a drink until they call you.
            - Izakaya food is only ok. Nice atmosphere, though. And if you like sake, go there for a drink instead of Foundation Room.
            - Spring Rolls is terrible. Avoid.
            - "Korean Bistro"... I think you mean Ninth Gate. Respectable Korean food in a nice atmosphere. Fine if you're already in the area, but if you want more authentic Korean food, go to the Koreatown area.

            I haven't been to Trevor or Pravda, so can't comment.

          2. Thanks a million folks,we will check out as many of your reccomendations as we can during our 10 days,go raibh mile maith agaibh.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tippboy

              I second Trevor. Best meal I've had in Toronto in ages.
              Also, Terroni (Victoria and Richmond) for fantastic pizza.

              1. re: tippboy

                If you want a good pint of Guiness and a grittier atmosphere, go to McVeigh's on Church and Richmond.

                1. re: tippboy


                  Tá fáilte romhat, I'm looking forward to your reviews (and opinions on Toronto dining). :-)

                2. Hi Tippboy,
                  With a few weeks until you get here, you'll have a chance to look around this board and get a few ideas about where to go and what to eat. Toronto is an amazing city for food with a lot of ethnic cuisine that you don't find in most cities, and it's easy and safe to get around by taxi, public transit or by walking. If you find a post on the board that sounds like a promising restaurant to check out, but you aren't sure where it is, post a question -- we're always happy to give directions and an opinion ;-)
                  And in my opinion, if you want to try some fine Canadian brews and excellent food, check out the Beer Bistro and the Rebel House. The Beer Bistro is kinda fancy, but has an excellent and well-described menu of local micro-brew beers; the Rebel House is more of a tiny neighbourhood pub, but also with excellent local beers and one of the best examples of Canadian cuisine -- poutine! Poutine is french fries, swimming in gravy under heaps of melting cheese. It's a heart-attack on a plate and it's amazing.
                  Hope you and your honey have a great trip

                  1. If you are a beer drinker, and staying in that area, you should also check out cest what. Just one more place with good food (in my opinion any way) and good local beers.