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Downtown TO (Royal York) recs

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My husband and I will be staying at the Royal York in June. We will be taking the train to Toronto so we won't have a car. We love to walk though and are well versed with the subway. I haven't eaten out in TO in years. We both LOVE good food (or else I wouldn't be on this board). I have been looking at the recent postings and would like some feedback or other recs. One night will be my birthday dinner and the next will be our anniversary so we would like to have two wonderful experiences but not stuffy. Here is the list I have so far:
Colburne Lane
Mildred Pierce
Please let me know if any of these places are far away from the hotel.

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  1. Mildred Pierce is closed. George and Zucca are a good 20 to 30 minutes by cab from your hotel, the others within walking distance. I'd do George and Splendido but maybe not back-to-back on following nights.

    1. You got some of the great high end restaurant choices here, except Zucca, in my opinion it is just average, more like a neighourhood restaurant for me. It is not as expensive as the others on your list though. Colborne Lane (10 mins) and George (around 25 mins which you can walk through Toronto downtown) are within walking distance which I think is best fit your case.

      1. Scaramouche is closing soon; if you've never been there, you owe it to yourself. It's a perfect spot for a romantic dinner; great food, great atmosphere, impeccable service, and if you ask nicely enough, a view that will knock your socks off.

        1. Scaramouche, while very good, is difficult to get to from Royal York.

          Splendido should be OK on subway. Top food, top service, top ambiance, but also top price.

          Can also consider Susur. Like Splendido, top food, top price, slightly lesser on ambiance. I think these two are the tops in TO. Certainly celebration worthy places.

          I think Colburne Lane is overrated, but i don't think many others agree (?).

          Other choices close to hotel (walkable) are Biff (French), Starfish (great for oysters and seafood), Beerbistro (great mussels and frites, beers). These have lower prices and are better value.

          1. I would heartily push for trying George. I've talked about it on a few posts but it was easily my favourite dinner in the last year. Not too far from the Royal York on Queen East, so a walk there could easily be followed by a taxi back if you wanted.

            Too bad Mildred Pierce has closed - it would have been an excellent choice as well!

            1. George is great and is definitely walkable from your hotel (certainly not a 20-30 minute cab ride) though the area is a tad sketchy, so bear that in mind if you're walking. I've only been in the winter, but their courtyard patio sounds and looks very lovely.

              Though I really enjoy Zucca, it's probably not worth the subway trek to Yonge and Eglinton; there are other good Italian options closer to the downtown core.

              I haven't been to Chiado, so can't comment on the food, but should point out that (unless you really want to work up an appetite!) it's not within walking distance of the subway.

              One restaurant that no one has mentioned in this thread, but that usually gets very favourable comments from CH'ers (which I agree with) is Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar at Church and Front. Really terrific small-plated food, with an emphasis on local food. I'd definitely check it out if I were you.

              Scaramouche, as suggested by other posters, is a great option and may not be an option on your next trip to TO. You'd probably want to take a cab there -- as someone else mentioned, it's not easily accessible by subway.

              I haven't been to Splendido (though am dying to get there) but it consistently gets fabulous reviews (as it should for the price).

              One area you should really check out while you're here is the Distillery District, which is a unique Toronto experience. The best food they have to offer is Perigee; I haven't been there either, but it also is spoken of highly by CH'ers (also very expensive). For less expensive options in the DD, check out Balzac's for coffee or Soma for Chocolate. I've eaten once at the Boiler House and thought that it was uneven, and not worth the price.

              Enjoy your visit!

              2 Replies
              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                How do you know Scaramouche is closing?
                That's Sad!
                I have many fond memories there.
                And the food is delish!

                1. re: FresserBesser

                  Not closing but possibly moving to a new location because Spendido's lease expires next year and the restaurant and landlord can't agree on new terms.