Friday night downtown...
I am fairly new to Toronto so am still getting a feel for the neighborhoods and restaurants...but thank God for chowhound!! I love this site :)
I have a couple friends coming to visit this Friday, and am looking for suggestions for downtown....
1 - prefer Italian, pub fare, etc, nothing Asian or Indian (unfortunately - their choice not mine!). 2 - I want a place that won't be too crowded or overly loud, but nothing too quiet or mellow either. Something with a nice "city" vibe but not a huge lineup.
3 - prices under $20 for entrees, please
4 - situated in an area that will allow for meandering, people-watching, popping in somewhere for coffee or dessert
terroni on queen west!
i think that's a perfect suggestion personally. busy enough street but with reasonable enough prices and a tonne of space and vibe. tasty tasty tasty. they have me addicted to chili oil on pizza that i do it at home when i make my own. most of the food is pretty great, although i'd stay away from their orichetti as it was the biggest disappointment i've had there yet.... although there might be a line-up however i find it can move pretty darn quick.
bar volo is blech on the food, but the beers and street are good sipping and watching. fire on the east side might actually do it for you to.... although i can't recall if they're sub $20 right this moment. iv'e enjoyed the food though and the scene is right without a large wait usually.
bar italia has worked for me, not amazing but certain doable. in a good neighbourhood for vibe and big enough that i've never seen it packed. decent food and decent service. good for people watching although i've seen some seriously quiet nights on college st sometimes.
College Street's Little Italy might be a fun nabe for exploring...
(in that 'hood)
- I've had good luck at the Bar Italia (I know some will disagree). It generally has a hip-ish vibe, but not too trendy, decent food, and reasonable prices.
- Sotto Voce (nearly across the street) is smaller, more intimate, but also good Italian at reasonable prices.
- Cafe Diplomatico is busy, bright, noisy, but an old standby for Ital.
- I haven't been to the Midtown in a while (it's still around, ja?), but they always had nice, share-able small plates, and a "city"-ish vibe, but without crazy prices. (It's at 552 College... blue and white striped awning, but no sign, so watch out!)
- Kalender has a little-bit-of everything menu, very pretty setting, good value
- There's a decent pub along that strip too (College and Grace-ish, but I can't remember the name).
You could probably walk along the strip between Bathurst and Ossington and go with whatever suited your mood. The Sicillian Sidewalk cafe has great gelato and desserts for later (you might even be able to sit outside tonight).
Please let us know where you end up...
PS - I think Bar One (more "adult" and hip) and Foggy Dew (quite casual) are good options too. My last meal at Pizza Rustic was a disappoint.
I know some on this board are not enamoured with Volo but it meets your criteria for both Italian and pub. I have found the food good, reasonably priced. Good selection of cheeses. Near Wellesley & Yonge, with patio on Dundonald. Great selection of beers. The owner is a passionate supporter of Ontario wines, beers and cheesemakers.
587 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA
Where downtown are we talking?
Duke of York is okay, kinda chain-ish but not really -- should have something to please everyone. (Bloor & Avenue Rd.) Rarely busy but never empty.
Lots of stuff to do after you eat. Go for a walk in the park, go shopping, go to eat more, go to a bar, etc.
The Foggy Dew once served what I considerd very, very good, if not exceptional, pub food. Something has changed in the last year or so. Now my beloved chicken pot pie with it's perfectly tender crust and big chunks of chicken and side of real mashed potatoes has been replaced with a poor substitute. The whole pie seems mass produced (whereas before there was no question it was made in house) and the potatoes clearly came from a box. I mourn for the loss...
friday night, no line ups, people watching, under $20 and good enough for out of town guests is a bit tricky!
Bar One (Queen west of Bathrust)
Pizza Rustica (Queen west - central)
Mezes if Pantheon is too lined up (Danforth)
Sorry - I would have linked to them for you but that feature has yet to ever work for me in ie or firefox.