Boston Hound coming to GTA
I will be in the GTA for 4 days starting saturday morrning. looking for recs. for Burgers, Pizza, Thai, Tapas and BBQ
Thai - The general consensus is that there is no great Thai restaurants in Toronto. There are a few ok ones. Just do a search, there have been at least 3 threads in the last month.
Tapas - I would suggest Torito in the Kensington Market. Again there are a few recent threads on this.
GTA is a bit bigger than Boston. So if you don't have a car, it would help if you tell us where you are staying so everyone can make their suggestions accordingly.
I agree with cecilia--for thai, Boston definitely wins. There is an abundunce of Thai restaurants last time I went to Boston and I was pleasantly surprised. However, I think that you should try some Vietnamese food here, it is MUCH better here.
Haha, thats all I can say ... not much comment on burgers, pizza, tapas or bbq... sorry. But try Viet! :) There's Chinatown that you can go to: Pho 88 or Xe Lua or the green place next to Xe Lua are good (Xe Lua's the best IMHO), or if youre uptown in Scarborough go to Vietnam Noodle House on Finch and Midland.
For Thai, try Thai Magic for an upper end experience, and if you want good value in a hole in the wall, Thai Shan Inn. They are radically different, but I rate them both 8 out of 10 on their own merits. Jane Lo is a superb cook at Thai Magic, and I've found Kevin Lo always attentive. Great service there. Thai Shan Inn can be lined up, and making reservations is no guarantee.
Burgers: try Licks in the beaches, and prepare to have your name called out very loudly...
As for Pizza and Burgers, you're on your own. :)
I am originally from New England. I basically agree with most of the posts above. You'll get comparable burgers, pizza, and bbq in boston. In terms of thai, you'll get better thai in boston.
Torito is amazing. Definitely go there. And, I would say if you can, do Chinese. Toronto has some of the best Chinese in North America (aside from LA).
Try to focus on 'Cantonese' cuisine!!! Outside of Canton, Hong Kong, Macau and may be Vancouver, Toronto's Cantonese restaurants cook up some of the yummiest dishes money can buy! Other regional Chinese cuisine such as Shanghainese, Pekingnese, North Eastern and Chiu Chow are also more than acceptable. However, try skipping Szechuan, Hakka, Fook Kin and Taiwanese food. These latter four havn't caught up with the likes of NYC and LA yet! Welcome to Toronto and Happy Chowing!!
I feel terrible posting this message, but here goes...
A good restaurant burger in Toronto is close to being an oxymoron. Allen's on Danforth serves fabulous burgers and fries that can be good, but suffer from being cooked in tasteless canola oil. You will see many Chowhound posts slamming this place, and especially its service, but their burgers are great. Just about every other Toronto restaurant cooks their burgers beyond death on the misconception that there is a law requiring this --there isn't. (You can get a good $35-$45 burger, but I suspect that isn't what you are looking for.) Licks is ghastly, as is the Hero chain and the Burger Shoppe.
I'm not familiar with Boston or Providence Pizza. I do know New Haven pizza, and Toronto has nothing close to that. Many people like the Queen St W Terroni's pizza and the Mamma's chain isn't bad, but there is little to crow about among our hundreds (thousands?) of pizza places. You will find Chowhound threads on Toronto pizza with hundreds of posts. Don't get too excited in anticipation.
Thai is everywhere, but it also isn't very good. Young Thailand and Linda's may be your best bets. Again search for the threads, as Linda's seems to have become very inconsistent.
You don't come to Toronto for BBQ! There's Phil's, but it isn't worth a journey.
As for tapas, are you looking for "real" tapas or "small plates"? There are more possibilities in this realm.
Since you are coming from Boston, you won't want to go near the fish here.
This post sounds so dreary, but the stuff you are looking for isn't our best. Any other interests besides those you mentioned? Where will you be staying? How much do you want to spend?
Unfortunately, I have to agree with embee's "dreary" reality. Given your specific requests, I don't think you're going to get many winners in Toronto. However:
- I also second the tacit recommendations for Allen's (burgers)
- I more enthusiastically endorse Terroni, which I find quite a fun experience (Queen West location only, and be prepared to wait). I also think Pizza Rustica on Wellington and Blue Jay Way is pretty great... thin crust pizza, and nice people running the place.
- Senhor Antonio's is an interesting option for a slightly Portugese take on tapas. It's the more casual, next-door sister resto to Chiado, which is one of Toronto's best - and Portugese is something that you perhaps don't have on offer in Boston?
I do spend a fair bit of time in the Boston/New England area, and I don't agree with the overall pessimism on this thread suggesting that Boston has "better" food offerings that Toronto (although Boston is a great foodie city), but I fear that for what you're seeking, Toronto is apt to disappoint.