Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
May 27, 2007 06:39 PM

best eat in Toronto ?

A foody is traveling from NY to Toronto next week.
I am looking for best place to eat, from casual cafe for lunch to
high-end fancy restaurant for dinner.
Do you have any recommend?
I do love all kinds of food, am not vegitalian, budget is open.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Besides some of the obvious choices like Susur and Splendido or may be the current hottest dining spot of GTA - Colborne Lane, I am going to suggest :

    "Grand Chinese Cuisine" inside Doubletree International Plaza Hotel

    Not sure if you have access to a car or which hotel you are staying at, it is located near the airport. I recommend this restaurant for BOTH dim sum and dinner. Their dim sum is at par with Lai Wah Heen (one of the best and most expensive in toronto) but with a little bit lower price tag. Dinner may even be better !

    1. perigee is delicious. sit overlooking the kitchen.
      jamie kennedy's wine bar is a good option for lunch.

      1. Lai Wah Heen for exquisite Dim Sum.

        George for best high end high concept.

        El Trompo or Jumbo Empanda in Kensington Market.

        Vietnamese Rare Beef Pho at Pho Hung on Spadina.

        New Sky Chinese for delicious Seafood or Chicken Hot Pot.

        Chicken Korma at Dhaba.

        Portuguese Roast Chicken in St. Lawrence Market.

        1. Artisano Bakery & Cafe on Islington - nice atmosphere for lunch offering yummy sandwiches, salads, soups and.......pastries!!

          1. This is an easy city in which to eat, despite some of the bitching which you'll read on some of the discussion boards. In addition to the above suggestions (I've no debate with the suggestions above with which I'm acquainted), I have the following:

            Easily overlooked: Fat Cat, 376 Eglinton W., west of Avenue Rd. (they have a Fat Cat Wine Bar on Roncsvalles, which is OK, but go to Eg/Ave.) The chef, Mathew Sutherland, is arguably one of the best in the city. (I'll forestall debate... no, not the best, at least not yet.)

            Japanese - for sushi, Hiro on King St E. is still the best, to my mind. For non-sushi, omikase-style small plates, I'd suggest Sagano on the top floor of the Delta Hotel at Kennedy Rd and Hwy 401. You have got to try the grilled yellow tail collar. (Phone in advance to make sure that they have it.)

            In Kensington Market, La Palette is a funky bistro, notable for serving horse (which I highly recommend). They also have an interesting wine list, especially if you like French from oft ignored regions like Cahors. Make sure that ask for the extensive wine list.

            More upscale bistro, Pastis on Yonge just south of Summerhill.

            As with above, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. I've only ever been for dinner. Try to get a seat at the chef's bar. Worth the wait, if necessary.

            If you're in the mood for Greek, the Danforth is ruled by mediocrity, except for Avli (Danforth and Chester). It's very Greek, but more interesting and sophisticated than the run of the mill. The rabbit pie is beautifully aromatic, and the wine list has some truly rare and excellent Greek vintages.

            Chiado, at College and Dufferin, has the best Portuguese wine cellar in North America (worth the splurge), and the food is a very creative take on traditional Portuguese cuisine (e.g., grilled espada on a roasted beet risotto). All the staff is excellent (friendly, attentive, knowledgible), but if you go on Friday, and get Carlos, you've won the lottery. In all the years I've gone there, they've never put a foot wrong. Note: I don't know whether they're open for lunch anymore, might be dinner only.

            For African, here has been debate here recently about the best Ethiopian, and I haven't tried them all, but Ethiopian House (Irwin St, west of Yonge, north of Wellesley) is certainly excellent. I haven't tried it, but a Senegalese place in Kensington Market is getting a lot of good word of mouth. I forget the name, but check through the Toronto board for posts in the last week.

            For tapas (some traditional, some not) Torito on Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market (I don't live there, really!) is very good quality and value.

            Gastro-pub fare, my votes go to The Rebel House (Yonge and Crescent Rd.) and The House on Parliament (Parliament St. south of Carlton Ave.), depending where you find yourself. At the HoP, I had a gumbo soup that made me weep, it was so good. Their menu is good (and typically pubby), but pay attention to the daily specials - that's where the kitchen really shines. They do duck confit, very good fish specials, old school/new twist. (It's an old lion and a young buck in the kitchen: good mix.)

            Best ("gourmet") sandwiches in the City: Black Camel (two locations: 4 Crescent Rd. and Adelaide W, just east of Spadina Ave.), especially for the pulled pork (go for the charmoula mayo).

            If you can arrange transportation, and reserve immediately, a pilgrimage to Michael Stadtlander's Eigensinn Farm is certainly in order. (Transportation of some sort is a must, as it's near Singhampton, about a two hour drive from Toronto.) If you're unaware of it, here's a link to an article by one of our leading food writers:
            When I went with a group of foodie friends a few years ago, we all agreed that it was one of the best food experiences of our lives.

            Please, I emplore you, post your comments after your visit. I hope that you enjoy your stay. Cheers!

            8 Replies
            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              The grilled yellow tail collar is actually a very common appetizer that can be found on many regular japanese restaurant's menu and there is no omakase at Sagano. The portion of food at Sagano is hugh like big pieces of sashimi !

              1. re: skylineR33

                thank you so much for all your help !
                wow, I am getting more excited to visit there.
                I would enjoy my trip as much as I can !!!

                thanks !

                1. re: skylineR33

                  When I was last at Sagano, there was an entire section of the menu dedicated to small plates, and I have made an entire meal of that there rather than looking at the mains. Has that changed, skylineR33? And, I didn't say that the yellow tail collar could be had only at Sagano, just that it was a must-eat.

                  I do agree, however, that the sashimi was indelicately cut.


                  1. re: hungry_pangolin

                    I will have to try Sagano for sure. Love the yellow tail collar. Small plates of Japanese is always nice too. FYI omakase refers to "the chef's choice" - where you order Omakase for a pre-arranged amount of money and the chef sends dishes to you over time. A small dish menu is often referred to as "tapas style" eating. So I think that is where the confusion lies. Although I have to say that many times when faced with too many choices of small plates, I have asked the waiter to choose the plates for us and serve us Omakase style.

                    1. re: hungry_pangolin

                      I think deelicious explains it clearly. There is quite a long list of appetizer at Sangano and I love grilled yellow tail collar too !

                  2. re: hungry_pangolin

                    Wasn't impressed with Sushi Hiro the last time I ate there. Now, with all the recent NEGATIVE write up about its mediocre food and lousy service, one should be extra careful!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Hey, Charles. Now, it has been not quite a year since I was at Hiro. It was fine.... then. Has something happened since then? The service has always been a bit spotty, even from the days when he was on Church St., but the quality of the product has been impecable. Dish, please. (I trust your opinion.)

                      1. re: hungry_pangolin

                        Hello HP,
                        When they cannot accommodate my party at the sushi bar, I should have changed venue and go elsewhere, say, Japango, instead. The $70 Omakase I ordered was subpar with ordinary Nigiri sushi that were overly infused with wasabi that masked the favour of a lot of the fishes. I cannot remember in detail the hot dishes except that the tempura dish was overly battered and very soggy. As for the service - painfully slow!!!! Sorry for the brief account, 'cos that meal was about six months ago.