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good places to go in the suburbs?

i live downtown but would like to take a trip to the 'burbs for some good food as my friend has a car this week. any tips for secret (or not so secret) spots that will make us happy? any kind of food is good, as long as there are some vegetarian options available.

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  1. Helenhelen..helen, in a city like TO, the burbs is a huge swath of land and the foodie options are pretty endless. Can you be more specific (ie, east, west, north of the city and some idea of the type of food).

    For some ideas, try reading gourmaniac's excellent post from last year:

    I highly recommend a trip to Samosa King for very excellent and vegetarian samosa's at 5 for $1. It was thanks to gourmanica's post that I found this place out at Finch and Middlefield. I usually pick up 30 or so and keep them in the freezer, if I don't eat them all in the car. I've always wanted to try their eat in offerings, but I am usually just passing through.

    But be a little more specific and you'll probably get lots of great suggestions.

    1. thanks for the tips dinin and dishin. i know it's a huge expanse of land but i really do mean anywhere. :) i rarely have access to a car and we are willing to trek anywhere the wheels will take us! :)

      1. just off the top of my head, you could do a pan-asian chowtour starting at yonge and sheppard, going north to steeles and then east towards kennedy.

        the strip of yonge between sheppard and steeles has a high concentration of korean restaurants, shops, bakeries. spring garden is a small street just north of sheppard on the east side of yonge is a great street to hit that is a little korean oasis. then further north, past finch there's a great bakery on the west side. i think it's called baro gung pang. btw, right across the street are 2 plazas with some middle eastern grocery stores that also serve food, if you're not sticking to asia :) then further north past steeles is a korean supermarket (www.galleriasm.com).

        then go back down to steeles and head east for some japanese. just past the 404, before victoria park is j-town (www.japantown.ca), a small mall with a great bakery, fish monger, grocery store and a few gift shops.

        and then continuing east there's now a huge selection of chinese plazas. almost any one has a gem or two. for example, the plaza on the north west corner of warden and steeles. this plaza has a t&t supermarket, and lots of eateries. then if you still have the energy you could cap everything off at pacific mall/market village which is at steeles and kennedy. there's the legendary food court inside (including the handmade noodle place). but there are also quite a few gems dotting the outside. for vegetarian, there's graceful vegetarian (www.gveg.ca) which is known for their dim sum, but their regular menu is great too.

        and you could keep going futher east! there's the whole silver star plaza, then at mccowan ...

        the above just scratches the surface, and only focuses on east asian chow. along that route, or not far off, there are SO many other places, like samosa king mentioned above. do a search on this board and you'll note that quite a few of the places people rave about and you'll see "steeles" or "kennedy" come up a lot.

        just pick a street and there's bound to be chow! hwy 7, lawrence east, hurontario . . .

        2 Replies
        1. re: num nums

          > just past the 404, before victoria park is j-town (www.japantown.ca), a small mall with a great bakery, fish monger, grocery store and a few gift shops.

          I second the trip to J-town, for take-out anyway, as there are no proper restaurants in that strip. It's got the freshest tempura shrimp in the GTA, and it's inexpensive too! I always pick up loads of unagi onigiri (rice balls with bbq'd eel) while I'm there.

          1. re: num nums

            Chinese food is definitely a good bet if you are looking for good suburban food, much of the best Chinese food in the GTA is in Markham now. There are numerous places, Dragon Dynasty (either for dinner or dim sum during the day) comes to mind. Don't know how much you were looking to spend.

            I haven't been there in years but Dante's (pizza & pasta) in Thornhill is (or was?) a hot spot of that neighbourhood, with fantastic down-to-earth, hearty pizza that is not thin-crust gourmet, but nothing like take-out pizza from the chains. Hard to describe but very, very yummy.

          2. For outstanding Indian food, check out Brar Sweets in Brampton. As far as I know, most (if not all) of their locations have gone to buffet-style dining. It's all-vegetarian, and the price is around $12 for dinner.

            Google will give you addresses.

            1. Although I haven't had a chance to go there yet, Kwality Sweets in Brampton is raved about by my Indian friends. http://www.kwalitysweets.com/

              You can avoid the buffet of Brar - I've never been there either but buffets gross me out.

              1. I live in North York, and we go to Asian Legend a lot and Congee King (first North of Mel Lastman Square on Yonge, second Norht of Finch by Food Basics), there's also VIP Sushi which is an All you can Eat Sushi place, if you want a less grandiose sushi place, Sapporo Sushi just south of Finch (yes I'm sorta sticking to Yonge street...) and then for great Persian food, there's a place opposite the Dominion South of Finch (I forget the name) that is related to Super Khorak I think that is by Centrepointe (lots of persian places there too...). Also, Mezza Notte, just north of North York Civic Centre on the West side, fairly reasonable, fairly romantic italian place with excellent service and then at Yonge and Sheppard, Purple rice has a killer pineapple fried rice. Tony's is good for at home Italian (around Yonge and Sheppard) but we had a bad service experience with them once...

                You then have Tako Sushi on Don Mills and Lawrence and Island foods (Caribbean food) in the same area.

                French foods, there's a little one on the South of sheppard(if you drive too fast you'll pass it) at Bathurst and Sheppard....then at Wilson and Bathurst there's a GREAT all day breakfast place...Sam's I think but am probably wrong about the name..it's really good though, very crowded on teh weekend...just north of Wilson on Bathurst (West side).

                Vinnie Zucchini's ...Italian Buffet Dufferin and Steeles (a bit quieter than Frankie Tomato's Steeles adn DVP)....there are a lot more.....

                7 Replies
                1. re: BuggySer

                  Asian Legend? The place is a pit and the food is below nmedicore. But the biggest problem is the absolutely horrible service.

                  1. re: BuggySer

                    i've eaten at Tako Sushi twice and was disappointed both times. i'd say if you're in that area, go right next door to Gonoe!!!!

                    1. re: sumashi

                      Gonoe is one of those hidden gems. Don't tell anyone ;-)

                    2. re: BuggySer

                      Steve's Restaurant is just north of Bathurst/Wilson. Great location, but the food has never been spectacular. In my old age, 20something, I've converted to Bagel World for a socialable breakfast bite.

                      1. re: BuggySer

                        Vinnie Zucchini's is terrible, IMHO

                        1. re: BuggySer

                          Just about every place you mention is dreck. Purple Rice is especially bad. Mezza Notte is so loud you need ear plugs just to sit there. Asisan Legend is the pits.

                          1. re: wordsworth

                            I agree. That's a sad little list you've formed there; why not throw in East Side Mario's while you're at it? (And forget Tako Sushi, go for Gonoe right next door, and get some protein for your money, not just rice.)

                        2. Oh and there's supposed to be a great tea place at Islington and Steeles, but I haven't actually been to it....and I don'tknow the name :( sorry.

                          1. How about a deli/middle eastern tour:

                            Centre Street Deli for breakfast or lunch at Centre, West of Bathurst

                            Tov Li for a very casual middle eastern lunch - Bathurst between Steeles and Finch, West side

                            Sababa for a great, cheap falafel - Steeles, West of Yonge, North side

                            As mentioned in other posts, Bagel World at Bathurst and Wilson for a great bagel and cream cheese, etc.

                            Not deli related, but there's a quaint little japanese restaurant on the Promenade grounds. It's in the plaza beside the mall, next to M&M Meats. I never remember the name of it, but I go there often. It's very well run by a nice family and the sushi is fresh. If you get there when it's not busy you can usually get a spot in one of the little booths.

                            1. Nice Bistro in Whitby is really good : http://www.nicebistro.com/

                              1. gonna bump this for new replies..

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: helenhelen

                                  This thread discusses Durham Region with several positive reviews for Burbs (which I also recommend)


                                  1. re: helenhelen

                                    Stoney's Bread Company in Oakville for great sandwiches
                                    Kori's Roti in Burlington for the best roti around
                                    Osmow's Grill in Streetsville for amazing schawarma
                                    Black Forest bakery in Oakville for their double chocolate cupcakes

                                    1. re: justpete

                                      That reminds me... it's not a restaurant, but if you're in Streetsville, head to Swirls Cupcakes for amazing soft, dense, cake-y cupcakes with whipped and fresh tasting frosting. They also have gelato (the pink grapefruit is bracing) and paninis that I have not tried. http://www.swirlscupcakes.ca/

                                  2. If you want to head up to my neck of the woods.


                                    As well as outstanding Lebanese (Cedar Grill) and Indian (India Time).


                                    1. Hi adale, have you been to Kaji?

                                      Has anyone else tried Nagomi?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: tjr

                                        I have not been to Kaji - do you enjoy it?

                                        1. re: adale

                                          It's the best Japanese food in Toronto.

                                      2. Congee Queen's congee was pretty darn delicious. (I *think* I was at the Thornhill location: http://www.congeequeen.com/)

                                        I also really enjoyed a Korean BBQ meal at Miga in Mississauga (http://www.migabbq.com/old/index.htm). It's grill-your-own, with quality meats in tasty sauces, and they switched the grill plate every 10 minutes or so, which was nice. They also grease it with a block of pork fat, which I'd never seen before. A nicer setting than a lot of places in Koreatown.

                                        1. Nagomi Sushi, Sababa, and Me Va Me within a 10 second drive of each other

                                          (NOTE: this place is very hard to Google. If you want to go, look up Sababa, which is 2 doors away in the same plaza, for directions.) Ever since my trip to Japan, Toronto's sushi has been subpar for me and borderline nauseating because of a lack of freshness. That being said, there is an excellent new sushi place in Thornhill near Steeles and Hilda (which is approx. midway between Bathurst and Yonge, a bit closer to Yonge). I find the fish to be extremely fresh and smooth (especially the tuna and salmon) and the chefs usually throw in some free toro (fatty tuna) for me when I ask! In addition, you normally get a free house special soup in addition to your miso. I really do enjoy it and come away satisfied - and I do have pretty high standards. The prices are quite reasonable for the quality. With tax and tip, I pay about $16 for the 12-piece sushi and sashimi lunch, miso soup, house special soup, salad, ice cream, tea. The 42 piece, 2-person sushi and sashimi boat is also excellent and you can specify what you want if you like. NOTE: CLOSED on Mondays because you can't get fresh fish in TO on Mondays! This a sign of good quality.

                                          If you are doing a trip to this area, Nagomi is right beside Sababa and a 10 second drive from Me Va Me Express (takeout version of the restaurant at Bathurst and Steeles with essentially the same food). Both are popular for Middle Eastern fare. Me Va Me is my preference - massive portions, excellent chicken breast and dips. I tend to go a minimum of once a week. Note that "Express" is a bit of a sham - it's almost always busy and you will certainly have to wait, usually 10 minutes or more unless you phone in your order.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: adale

                                            Has anyone else been to Nagomi?

                                          2. I'm not Korean, heck, I'm not even Asian but as a Korean friend of mine said one day "wait a minute! You're only white on the outside aren't you!?" And I do know good food when I find it and you can find it at Miga.

                                            The place is jumping all the time, the tables great. The staff is super attentive; or maybe that's because they were worried about me having an "occident".

                                            We ordered "family bbq #1" or food for 4. It was more than enough and the flavours were out of this world.

                                            They also so a shabu-shabu for about 49.00; which we're going back for.

                                            Do I recommend it? Well, for what it's worth, yes. If you don't live in the 'asuga or there abouts the drive is worth it. And it's a great way to spend time with the family doing something we all love to do... eat great food.


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: bmoddo

                                              Miga is opening a 2nd location in the Annex, Bloor west of Bathurst. I think it's slated to open in April. Hope it'll be as good as the Mississauga one!