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Best Corned Beef Sandwich In Toronto

Chef Marko Apr 1, 2008 07:21 PM

I have just moved back to Toronto after 15 years of mountain living in British Columbia. Believe it or not, I have not had a hot corned beef on rye in 15 years. Where does one go for the absolute best corned beef on rye in T.O.?


  1. e
    embee Apr 1, 2008 08:04 PM

    "Great" is not easily found. Since I don't sell my limited personal production, you might try Pancer's, Katz's, and Centre St. All are flawed in some way, but you won't leave unhappy. Pancer's comes from Chicago 58, but they cook it fresh. Ask for it hand sliced. Katz's cures their own and it's tasty, but it's cut too thin and is much too dry. Centre St claims to make their's in house, though I'm doubtful (their smoked meat is from Lester's), and hand slices the meat as a matter of course.

    2 Replies
    1. re: embee
      Ubervache Apr 2, 2008 05:21 AM

      I enjoy the meat from Pancers...but the place hasn't been the same since they moved. It doesn't have that certain deli smell. While you're there, make sure to get a kishka covered in gravy. It may be a little dry, but they have prerry darn good gravy.

      1. re: Ubervache
        juno Apr 2, 2008 07:09 AM

        To my mind (and nose), there's little perceptible difference between Moe Pancer's at its newer address on Bathurst St. and its older address just a few blocks north. The deli smell seems pretty much the same. The pastrami tastes the same. The service is still delightfully brusque. But the original poster enquired specifically about the corned beef, which I regard is pastrami for sissies (from the same cut of meat, with pastrami spiced more boldly than corned beef). All the meats at Pancer's are good, solid deli entries in the Toronto deli sweepstakes, though if I lived farther north I'd make my way more regularly to Centre Street Deli instead. In short, it's a tie between Pancer's and Centre Street. The inconsistent Coleman's is a cut below both, Steeles Deli (near Yonge and Steeles) another cut below Coleman's, though respectable nonetheless. Katz's is, to me, pretty much a washout.

    2. 5
      5andman Apr 1, 2008 08:15 PM

      Go to New York.
      You won't find it in Toronto or Montreal.

      4 Replies
      1. re: 5andman
        Chef Marko Apr 2, 2008 05:15 AM

        Well...the questions was about Toronto. I won't be going to New York anytime soon.


        1. re: Chef Marko
          5andman Apr 2, 2008 09:28 AM

          That's what I mean. You won't find anything good in TO.

          1. re: 5andman
            KevinB Apr 2, 2008 11:17 AM

            Sadly, I have to agree with the Sandman. Centre St. is the best of - I won't say bad, because none are inedible - an insipid lot.

        2. re: 5andman
          Finnegan Apr 2, 2008 07:03 AM

          Don't beleive it, Montreal still has some of North America's best smoked meat (though with the closure of Ben's it's becoming harder to find). When in New York I always hit the Carnegie Deli, which in my opinion, is the epitome of a New York deli. In Toronto te pickings are slim...best I've found is the Corned Beef House on Adelaide (just west of John St.). I always ask for thin cuts off the point or Deckel end (which is where all marbling and the taste is).

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