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Chowhounding in downtown Toronto?

We would greatly appreciate help from you experts with some restaurant recommendations!

My wife, baby (1 yr old) and I are staying at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West (next to City Hall), for 1 week in July. We will be on foot only and looking for great cheap-eats within walking distance.

We love:
- traditional breakfasts
- dim sum
- Vietnamese like pho soups, salad rolls and subs
- red and green Lao and Thai curry
- Middle Eastern foods like shawarma and tabouli
- great pizza
- great hotdogs and hamburgers
- gelato
- open to other foods of course!

Please help us out if you can!!!

Thanks!

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  1. Hi there.
    Unfortunately, the area right around your hotel is a bit of a deadzone, chow wise. However, there are some great areas within walking distance. If you walk west along queen street to spadina ave., then head north along spadina towards dundas, you'll find yourself in toronto's oldest chinatown. most of the best places there are now vietnamese. there are a lot of very good banh mi and pho places along spadina. also, there are some decent spots along queen itself, further west from your hotel. one that comes to mind is the queen mother, an eclectic kind of restaurant that actually does some of the best lao-style spring rolls in the city (most of the kitchen staff is lao).
    a bit further afield is kensington market, which is probably stretching the definition of walkable, depending upon your toddler's mood. but if you can get there, kensington's also a fun area to hang out in. lots of great, non-trendy food shops and little hole in the wall restaurants. everything from jamaican to portuguese (sometimes you'll see sardines being grilled as you walk along). kensington's between college and dundas, and is (mostly) west of spadina.
    cheers,
    tuqueboy

    1. Within easy walking distance of the Sheraton:

      Great pizza: Terroni, at Victoria and Richmond - http://www.terroni.ca

      Gelato - Solferino, on Wellington, a block or two east of Yonge

      Great Indian - Little India, on Queen just west of University (very close to your hotel) - http://littleindia.ca - Also Trimurti, a few doors west.

      Queen Mother is great for Lao/Thai

      1. You have to go to JAPANGO for Japanese for sure!!!!! This is very close to your hotel as it is just behind City Hall on Elizabeth Street. Their Omakase is amazing as is everything else on the menu!!! You will LOVE it!!! Enjoy!!!

        http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005...

        1. I agree on Queen St. West, just west of University Ave. the strip there has a variety of places that are reasonable and good. I second the Queen Mum recommendation. That strip also has a sushi place and others that are decently priced.

          Mercatto on Bay (Bay just north of Adelaide) is good for Italian, which would only be a few blocks walk east & south from the hotel, just down from City Hall. Moderate prices. They also have a take out counter with nice hot pastas & vegetables, and salads (you pay by weight & so choose your own portion size and can mix & match) in case you want to take away & go back to the hotel or sit outside at City Hall. They have a small patio too.

          If you're going for basic fries & hot dogs, there are chip truck & hot dog stands are right in front of City Hall during the summer.

          Keep in mind in that area if you walk just a few blocks south King & Bay is the financial district so there are a lot of lovely sit-down restaurants there but they are priced accordingly for the business crowd. For cheaper eats you're better off on Queen St. W.

          2 Replies
          1. re: balthazar

            Is the sushi place called NAMI? This has been my favorite sushi place for years! Their seafood salad and sushi pizza are addictive! Their traditional sushi and sashimi are also of very high quality. But this restaurant is quite expensive and may need a reservation if you visit for weekend dinner.

            1. re: kobetobiko

              I know NAMI but that's not the one I'm thinking of. This one is very casual and near the Queen Mum. Don't know if it's the best but it's good and close to the Sheraton.

          2. Thanks for all the great tips. Any thoughs on where to find close Middle Eastern foods like shawarma?

            Thanks

            4 Replies
            1. re: Roberto7

              Two great places on Bloor St., between Bathurst and Spadina: Ghazale and Sarah's.

              1. re: estragon

                both great spots, but not really walkable. definitely easy to reach on subway though -- go to spadina station, then walk west along bloor.

              2. re: Roberto7

                There is (was?) a place with decent shawarma within easy walking distance of your hotel, on John street just south of Richmond. The name escapes me and I haven't been for a few years, if anyone else would care to fill in the details and confirm/deny its ongoing existence. Right across the street from Smokeless Joes, a great spot for microbrews if your 1-year old is into that.

                1. re: Roberto7

                  I thought of a place that is pretty good and close to your hotel. It has probably been overlooked because it's in a food court! No worries, it is as good in quality as most shwarma places. It is in the Eaton Centre south food court, which is in the basement just off Queen, next to the McDonald's. Shwarma King.

                  Someone must have mentionned the vietnamese subs on Spadina - couple of places on the west side, just north of Dundas make them for $1.50.