HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What have you made lately? Get great advice

ISO quick bites along Queen Street

ShanaGirl Feb 11, 2008 11:14 AM

I'm planning a "be a tourist in your own city" outing for my SO by riding the length of the Queen Street streetcar (the longest surface route in Canada), and looking for quick, CHEAP and tasty bites along the way!
The route starts at Neville Park and ends at Long Branch (along I'd consider turning around after High Park).

This map was great in helping me learn just which neighbourhoods we'll be passing through: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/...

Based on what I've read, it sounds like some good pit stops are Leslieville, poutine stop at Nathan Phillips Square, Queen West and maybe Liberty.

Any specific suggestions for food vendors, restos, or even winter picnic food suggestions are very very welcome!


  1. Googs Mar 14, 2008 07:23 AM

    Start your journey the right way. With chocolate!

    I believe that's the very first streetcar stop after it pulls out of the Neville loop.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Googs
      JamieK Mar 14, 2008 08:33 AM

      you are so right

      Belgian Chocolate Shop
      2455 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

      1. re: Googs
        julesrules Mar 14, 2008 12:11 PM

        The cupcake shop down that way has been getting some good reviews too (and some not so good).
        I like St John's bakery products (Broadview & Queen) but they don't keep full store hours - mostly they are a supplier not retail

      2. JamieK Mar 13, 2008 03:26 PM

        hey, ShanaGirl, have you gone on your epic journey yet?

        1 Reply
        1. re: JamieK
          ShanaGirl Mar 14, 2008 11:25 AM

          Plans got pushed towards sunnier/less slushy conditions! It appears the recent snowfalls are unappealing for streetcar travels. Although ducking into tasty shops would be nice respites from snow blowing in my eyes and wind blowing in my face....

          I don't like chocolate - I *love* it, so thanks for the latest suggestions!

        2. HarryLloyd Feb 14, 2008 08:19 AM

          some missed spots:
          sweet bliss
          jillys (claim homemade food)
          dark horse
          berkley cafe
          168 bubble tea
          healthy butcher
          oyster boy
          julies cuban
          sweet olenkas


          1. t
            thetuscan Feb 14, 2008 07:43 AM

            For a great reasonably priced Italian meal, try Gio Rana's really good restaurant, at Queen and Leslie (right across from the Duke). At Broadview, there is Citizen, which isn't cheap, but is a great value. If you want the king of burgers, Dangerous Dan's at the corner of Broadview and Queen (NE) is riduculously obscene. And good Jerk food right across the street at the Real Jerk.

            1. Rabbit Feb 13, 2008 12:44 PM

              Not cheap, but if you're doing the rounds along WQW, The Red Tea Box has some of the most beautiful cakes you will ever see. I've found their confections generally more gorgeous than delectable, but if you're stopping off near that area, it's definitely worth a quick pop inside to look about. There is also an interesting upscale-ish spice shop in that vicinity that is good for browsing.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Rabbit
                ShanaGirl Feb 13, 2008 01:13 PM

                Agreed. I've pressed my nose up against the glass of the Red Tea Box to admire their pretty cakes, but would rather grab a slice of day-old at Dufflet across the street. Is it just me, or do cakes taste better after a day of rest??

                I'm pretty familiar with the downtown area, so more east- and west-end suggestions are welcome! Especially west of Parkdale, because I've got nothing right now.

                1. re: ShanaGirl
                  currycue Feb 14, 2008 07:13 AM

                  I've heard good stuff about Easy at Queen and Roncesvalles, but haven't been yet.

                  Also forgot to mention Chippy's across from Trinity Bellwoods. Great fish n chips.

                  1. re: ShanaGirl
                    JamieK Feb 14, 2008 08:28 AM

                    If you type Queensway into the "Find a place" search field at this link -

                    you'll come up with a few places west of Parkdale.

                2. s
                  ShanaGirl Feb 13, 2008 12:33 PM

                  I mapped out everyone's suggestions, and it looks like there are clusters of places to check out around Parkdale, a bunch of places along Queen West...a possible chip truck stop at City Hall, or coffee break at b cafe, and then clusters at Riverdale, Leslieville and finalllly, The Beach! I've never traveled west of Parkdale on Queen, so it'll be interesting to see if there's anything of interest.
                  I don't think we can hit all of the spots, but it'll be nice to walk through the clustered areas (also necessary with all of the eating..), and then hopping back onto the 501 between the neighbourhoods.

                  Thanks everyone!

                  fyi: if you go to Google Maps > My Maps > Places of Interest, there are some *potential* hidden gems under Dining, although I have no clue how the restos get onto the list. Japango isn't listed, so obviously there are some discrepancies....

                  1. kiwiFRUIT Feb 12, 2008 12:31 PM

                    I really like Luna Cafe on Dovercourt Rd (it's one block north of Queen W, at Argyle, not sure if you're allowed to venture that far from Queen for this mission ;). They have fair trade coffee, lovely wooden tables including a communal one, you can eat relatively cheaply.
                    I used to get awesome soup from Tequila Bookworm, they have a different one everyday, haven't been there in a while, not sure if they still do that, but it was always delicious.

                    1. s
                      ShanaGirl Feb 12, 2008 10:05 AM

                      Thanks for all of the east-end responses! Anything good in the west-end?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ShanaGirl
                        currycue Feb 12, 2008 12:26 PM

                        Hmm. Starting in the east,

                        -Alex Farm Cheese for cold cuts, and cheese
                        -Patisserie Zane (just west of Woodbine) for croissants, quiches, etc.
                        -Leslieville Cheese Market has a good selection of cheeses and breads
                        -Bonjour Brioche has more of the same French bakery fare (Queen & Degrassi) and the best baguettes in the city!
                        -St. John's Bakery (on Broadview, 1 block north of Queen) for artisanal French bread and cookies
                        -Mary MacLeod's shortbread near the bridge (although her hours are iffy outside of Christmas season)
                        -B Espresso lounge between Sherbourne and Jarvis for a quick coffee or sandwich
                        -The Queen Market across from Much Music has Amato's Pizza and a great sandwich place
                        -The Prague (west of Bathurst) for goulash, schnitzels, sausages, etc (www.theprague.ca
                        )-La Hacienda for cheap, large nacho plates
                        -Clafouti for more croissants, coffee, cookies

                        and that's it as far as I know. I'd get off at Roncesvalles and go north through the village there. Maybe grab some pierogies at Staropolska.

                        1. re: currycue
                          pinkprimp Mar 13, 2008 04:03 PM

                          B Espresso Bar is actually between Church and Jarvis..but you're not that far off ;-)

                      2. JamieK Feb 12, 2008 06:55 AM

                        Another must stop in the Beach is the Goof, not that the food is exceptional in any way but it's an institution and as a self-proclaimed tourist, you are duty-bound to visit and take out some egg rolls or something just so you can say you've been. Beech & Queen

                        Garden Gate
                        2379 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JamieK
                          Janetf Mar 14, 2008 07:35 AM

                          If you stop at the Goof (Garden Gate) you should drop by the Belgian Chocolate Shop 21/2 blocks east and pick up something to go. The Grand Marnier are my favourite, but that's a personal choice. If you like chocolate their's is really quite wonderful.

                        2. m
                          mobirose Feb 11, 2008 09:48 PM

                          Stop off at Mercury Organic espresso bar for a yummy cappuccino

                          Mercury Organic Espresso Bar
                          915 Queen St E, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A, CA

                          1. Wahooty Feb 11, 2008 05:15 PM

                            I'd recommend Cajun Corner - a little gumbo or some fresh beignets would be a lovely and cheap way to warm up.

                            Cajun Corner
                            214 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Wahooty
                              pinstripeprincess Feb 12, 2008 11:23 AM

                              another vote for cajun corner but i'd go with the catfish po'boy.

                              westwards, at dunn ave (past dufferin) is roti lady and i personally love her curry goat. however, the past few times i've been by she's been closed and so you might want to call to see if she's open. there are a couple other west indies places in the nabe but i've only had bad experiences at them.

                              i love the scones at cafe bernate but nothing else. you'll probably be here in the afternoon and so they may not have them.

                              salvadore darling is my coffee place if i'm west end but i've heard they've got some great sandwiches and bring in croissants from a known bakery that i just can't recall.

                              i'd be tempted to drop into the dominion (east side) for a beer but the weather might suggest a hot chocolate as a better option. in which case i believe there's a hot chocolate thread around that's got a few east side options.

                              there's the burritos at johny banana's just north on bathurst... you'll have to check other threads for comments. or before bathurst there's the love it or hate it greatness of new york subs. i personally like the lamb or cauliflower.

                              at spadina i'd probably drop into le gourmand just to browse some of their luxury goodies and pick up a bar of dolfin chocolate. this might also be your best bet for coffee along the strip (niche or just us don't do it for me).

                              oh and prague deli! nice creampuffs and for some reason that's all i ever focus on. everything else seems quite nice though.

                              i'd probably skip liberty village and try to go up ronces.

                            2. JamieK Feb 11, 2008 03:38 PM

                              You can get a pretty tasty reasonably priced sandwich and/or salad at Vivetha Bistro at the Neville end of your tour. Here's the take-out menu -

                              2485 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E1H9, CA

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JamieK
                                futronic Feb 11, 2008 03:51 PM

                                You've got me with Ed's. It really is tasty. Not exactly "winter picnic food" though! :D

                                I've been to Vivetha once, and thought it was okay. Not great.

                                1. re: JamieK
                                  ShanaGirl Feb 11, 2008 04:59 PM

                                  Is this Ed's Real Scoop? What's good to eat in cold weather?

                                  The breakfast menu at Vivetha looks great!

                                  1. re: ShanaGirl
                                    JamieK Feb 11, 2008 05:34 PM

                                    Yes, Ed's Real Scoop -
                                    Can't tell you what to eat in cold weather but apparently he makes a special St Patrick's Guiness ice cream to come up soon...

                                    I know there are some mixed reviews of Vivietha but I think for the purposes of this tour it fits perfectly as the end of the line snack or even winter picnic destination. I've always found the food (and service) good there.

                                    Ed's Real Scoop
                                    2224 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E1E9, CA

                                    1. re: ShanaGirl
                                      Otonabee Feb 11, 2008 05:36 PM

                                      It is, this is true. Having said that I have been known to get ice cream there (even in the coldest weather). But their hot chocolate is excellent (choice of milk or dark chocolate) complete with homemade marshmallow cream!

                                  2. f
                                    futronic Feb 11, 2008 01:05 PM

                                    Just don't go east of Woodbine. We already know there are no good eats in The Beach. :D

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: futronic
                                      Otonabee Feb 11, 2008 03:24 PM

                                      Well you at least would need to stop at Eds!

                                    Show Hidden Posts