Indian food in Toronto
I have 3 or 4 days in Toronto next week. I'm told that Toronto has very good Indian restaurants. Some options, please. All price ranges. Neighborhood untourist restaurants would be most welcome, but one break-the-bank dinner might be fun, too. Any other good places to eat? Italian, Japanese, Canadian, whatever? Many thanks for your help. I am very much looking forward to my first visit to Toronto. One other thing. Are there any interesting neighborhoods like Greenwich Village in New York. I used to live there a long time ago and still miss it. Thanks again.
Siddhartha in Little India is my staple. It's very good and reasonably priced, and while their buffet is one of the better ones I've had, I'd definitely recommend ordering a la carte. Other people will likely recommend the Host, Udupi Palace, and Lahore Tikka House to you; the Host is pretty good, IMO, but Udupi Palace is boring (all the dishes are similar tasting and indifferentiable, at least when I went) and Lahore Tikka is decent but doesn't hold a flame, IMO, to Siddhartha. Rashnaa (Sri Lankan) on Wellesley just east of Parliament is also quite tasty, and very affordable.
One of my favourite restaurants for a cool SE Asian experience you can't get in very many places is Matahari Grill on Baldwin, which serves Malaysian food. As for other recs, I haven't been in TO that long and the more experienced friendly folks here will likely have better suggestions for you.
The Regency and The New Haandi 2000 on Gerrard Street (west of Coxwell Avenue)..both are reliable, not terribly expensive.. I think the 'surroundings' and the service are better at the Regency and also they listen when you ask for more spice. They are very good at seating larger groups (sometimes we are a group of 8 to 10 and have never needed a reservation) We really like the food at both but an edge given to the Regency.
Chef of India on Eglinton, west of Yonge has an ecellent lunch buffet.
A recent review said it's a must for lunch but the dinner left a bit to be desired. Reheated leftovers???
First note that Toronto has hundreds (maybe thousands) of Indian restaurants thanks to its multicultural makeup. You might want to restrict your search by (for example) giving some of your favourite dishes.
But, overall you’re most likely to find Bengali cuisine – and unfortunately the plethora of that style means price is an issue so often lesser quality ingredients are sometimes used.
I endorse the suggestion of Rashnaa (Sri Lankan/South India cuisine) – and it’s unbelievably cheap for what you get. Certainly try the Dosas (Masala in particular) and the Kottu Rotty and String Hoppers are also good.
Of the other recommendations (so far) I’d avoid Dhaba (prices high for marginal quality) and Lahore Tikka House (atmosphere yes, but the food is greasy and the same price as better places downtown). Little India is good for the buffet but IMO there are better places for a la carte dining. The Host is (relatively) expensive and reliable – but I have an alternative below.
My regular place (based on selection and value) is Trimurti. Their Onion Bhajia is the best I’ve found in Toronto; their spicing is excellent; their breads are good (especially the stuffed ones) and they offer some unusual dishes (e.g pasandas made with cashew paste).
But the finest (IMO) although it comes close to blow-out prices (say double Trimurti) is Tabla Indian restaurant and Wine Bar (Yonge & Blythwood) – which has only been open about 6 months. This has the most sophisticated spicing I’ve yet found in Toronto – layered flavours that evolve in the mouth – the food starts ‘hot’ but different flavours evolve. And they have an OK winelist – can’t say that about any other Indian place in Toronto. It’s far better than the Host and I’m not aware of any other place that would qualify as ‘dining’ rather than eating.