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Long weekend in Toronto

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jeff Daniels May 29, 2008 03:19 PM

Looking for some restaurant ideas for my pregnant wife and me. Never been to this city before and we're really looking forward to it. We are doing 3 days and 3 nights so breakfast lunch and dinner ideas would be appreciated. We would like to hit some of the interesting parts of town but we're open to just about anything.
Is there a good dim sum spot?
Do they do Poutine in Toronto?

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    Gary RE: jeff Daniels May 29, 2008 05:29 PM

    It's hard to give you specific restaurant suggestions without knowing more about what kinds of places you like (ie. price ranges, atmosphere, trendiness, noise levels, etc.) Pretty much any cuisine you want can be found somewhere in Toronto, most in many price ranges. You might want to try searching this board for a few more specific keywords to see what recent threads have come up with.

    In more general foodie terms, I would definitely put the Kensington Market neighbourhood on your list (lots of small affordable places selling food of various ethnicities) as well as the St. Lawrence Market (a large traditional "farmer's market" venue, busiest but best on Saturdays) and the Chinatown on Spadina (which also features many Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian restaurants). There is also a Little India neighbourhood on Gerrard, a Koreatown on Bloor West, and a Little Italy on College West (though it is not very Italian anymore).

    Poutine is more of a Quebecois specialty than an Ontario thing, and is something of a contentious subject amongst purists, but some places in Toronto do make their interpretations of it. You will find many opinions and suggestions in this thread:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/358659

    There are tons of dim sum options in the downtown, many in Chinatown. Again, you will find some suggestions in this thread:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/517847

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gary
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      gwenchick RE: Gary May 29, 2008 07:19 PM

      The Danforth area (between Broadview and Pape) is fully patio-ed in the summer with a wide variety of cuisines, not just Greek They all have the menus on display and the prices are reasonable compared to downtown
      Check out John St north of the Skydome for more patios and that will also take you up to Queen St West for great shopping

      1. re: Gary
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        jeff Daniels RE: Gary May 30, 2008 07:35 AM

        Thanks for all your input. I think we'll be staying downtown at either the King Edward or the Westin. To better define what we like:
        1. We don't mind spending the money on a meal that's worth it.
        2. We love down home diner food as well as low lit swank.
        3. We try to stay away from places that like to trick out the plate and charge you an arm and a leg.
        4. We prefer a place to be fun but not crazy noisy.
        5. We love Asian, Indian and Italian food, but up for a new adventure. We live in Minneapolis where it's hard to find great old school Italian so we trend towards that when we travel.
        6. Good value.
        7. We like the fun neighborhoods that have variety.

        The Markets that you mentioned sound great! We'll for sure hit those. We really don't have anything like that in Mpls.

        1. re: jeff Daniels
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          merlot143 RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 08:47 AM

          For authentic Italian (Tuscany), try Tutti Matti on King West. Here's the link.
          http://www.tuttimatti.com/

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        torontofoodiegirl RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 06:52 AM

        As Gary mentioned, it would be helpful to know more about the type of restaurant experience you're looking for; also, it would help to know where you're staying and how you're planning on getting around.

        One place you should likely hit is Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar -- it's a great restaurant with a focus on local foods and is fairly universally liked.

        6 Replies
        1. re: torontofoodiegirl
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          jeff Daniels RE: torontofoodiegirl May 30, 2008 07:36 AM

          See response to Gary.
          Thanks!

          1. re: jeff Daniels
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            gwenchick RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 08:22 AM

            You will definitely enjoy the King Eddy since it is in a better location and surrounded by outstanding restaurants and pubs in all price ranges, as well as being right by the St Lawrence Market. Walk up Victoria Street 10 min north from the hotel and check out the Senator for a unique lunchtime diner experience. C'est What is also very close to the hotel and has great food and local beers, in a casual atmosphere

            1. re: gwenchick
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              jeff Daniels RE: gwenchick May 30, 2008 09:26 AM

              When we were in Paris we had some outstanding street Greek food. Do you recommend any great Greek spots? I

              1. re: jeff Daniels
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                Westwardho RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 09:51 AM

                If you want good Greek, you pretty much have to go to the Danforth. If you want a quick gyros, go to Messini. If you want a nice dinner with some modern Greek, I have heard good things about Lambros, although I've never been. Traditional Greek, I'd go to Pantheon. All on the Danforth, which is Bloor Street east of the Don Valley. Great vibrant part of town, Good late night vibe too.

                1. re: Westwardho
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                  jeff Daniels RE: Westwardho May 30, 2008 09:56 AM

                  Great choices here! Thanks.

            2. re: jeff Daniels
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              cowhound RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 09:00 AM

              trendy Italian: Terroni on Adelaide East (one block north of King Edward)

              http://www.terroni.ca/

              or Gio Rana's in Lesliville, Seven Numbers on the Danforth

              http://www.sevennumbers.com/

              expense account Italian: Via Allegro on the Queensway

              http://www.viaallegroristorante.com/

              Old school: as noted Little Italy (College Street west of Bathurst) hasn't been an Italian neighbourhood since the 70s. The second wave moved north to St Clair West around Dufferin Street and the third north to Woodbridge in the burbs.

              On St Clair: The Big Ragu www.thebigragu.com or Marcello's

              www.marcellospizzeria.com

              Marcello's a noisy family type place. Once a month, Big Ragu recreates the menu and music from the movie Big Night. Lots of fun.

              FYI Toronto is supposedly the second largest Italian-speaking city in the world. Or it was back in the 60s. Sadly, most local Italian restaurants are upscale and northern Milan-style like Biagio and Romagna Mia (both close to the KEHl).

              http://www.dine.to/biagio

              http://www.romagna-mia.com/

          2. h
            hotpeppers RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 12:47 PM

            Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar at Front and Church St.
            amazing food, a local seasonal canadian food place...a little pricy but they have the most amazing upscale poutine!

            1 Reply
            1. re: hotpeppers
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              jeff Daniels RE: hotpeppers May 30, 2008 02:03 PM

              Thanks for the suggestion. I'll need to try the poutine.

            2. s
              sam sobe RE: jeff Daniels May 30, 2008 05:49 PM

              How about Perigee in the distillery district or the patio at The Fifth Grill with great downtown view thats where I take my out of town visitors.
              Good luck
              Sam

              1 Reply
              1. re: sam sobe
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                jeff Daniels RE: sam sobe Jun 2, 2008 11:28 AM

                These spots look very nice.
                Thanks!

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                KevinB RE: jeff Daniels May 31, 2008 12:42 AM

                Well, if you have a car, a quick trip up the Don Valley Parkway to Steeles Ave, and turning east (right), you'll soon end up at the Pacific Mall (Kennedy and Steeles). If you don't have much in the way of Asian markets at home, this will be a treat. There are dozens of restaurants and hundreds of shops. Be forewarned - parking will be a chore! But I'm sure your wife will love the shopping, and there are many great food places, from a cheap food court with lots of choices, to more elaborate sit down places. Wander around before picking a spot!

                6 Replies
                1. re: KevinB
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                  jeff Daniels RE: KevinB Jun 2, 2008 08:34 AM

                  We don't have a car but I was wondering if mass transit or a cab would work? Would it be a pricey cab ride?
                  I actually heard from a coworker that the Pacific Mall was a place to check out.
                  Thanks.

                  1. re: jeff Daniels
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                    Pincus RE: jeff Daniels Jun 2, 2008 08:39 AM

                    It would be a pricey cab ride.

                    You can take the subway to Finch and then hop on a Steeles East bus, or take the subway to Kennedy and then take a Kennedy bus north. Both are long transit rides, so you would be devoting a large chunk of your day to visiting the Pacific Mall. I estimate maybe three hours total round trip transit time, plus whatever time you want to spend in the area itself.

                    1. re: Pincus
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                      KevinB RE: Pincus Jun 2, 2008 01:14 PM

                      Or you can take a GO bus north from Union Station; it will drop you at Unionville Station, which is about a mile north of Pacific Mall. The bus ride is about 45 minutes; the cab should be about 5-10.

                      1. re: KevinB
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                        Pincus RE: KevinB Jun 2, 2008 01:32 PM

                        Good point. Plan ahead at www.gotransit.com and look for "Stouffville GO Train & Bus Service".

                        1. re: Pincus
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                          jeff Daniels RE: Pincus Jun 3, 2008 08:42 AM

                          Good tip. Thanks.
                          Just wondering if it would be worth spending the entire at the Pacific Mall.

                          1. re: jeff Daniels
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                            Pincus RE: jeff Daniels Jun 3, 2008 09:56 AM

                            If you are into all things Asian (not just cuisine), the place is amazing. Even if you are only into cuisine, there is enough around there to keep you occupied for the good part of a day. Everything from restaurants to bakeries to holes in the wall selling hot or cold Ovaltine.

                2. skylineR33 RE: jeff Daniels May 31, 2008 01:19 PM

                  If you have a car and love Chinese food, drive up to Richmond Hill/Markham/Scarborough. Except LWH near China Town, these are the areas where one should go for chinese food nowaday in GTA area.

                  1. c
                    cheesegal RE: jeff Daniels Jun 2, 2008 02:33 PM

                    For really interesting and innovative Greek food, try Lambros on the Danforth. It's several cuts above the other spots on the street, although Avli (right next door, rooms are adjoining) also has an interesting menu. Chef at Lambros experiments with different sauces and dips for each dish, all with a light touch and light years away from the overgrilled skewers and overgarlicked other stuff on offer at most greek spots.

                    Interesting wines as well (some Greek, some not).

                    I would also add Cava to the list - really interesting spanish tapas, some traditional and some not, all very tasty. Wonderful wine selections as well. It's up at Yonge and St Clair, so either a fifteen minute taxi or twenty min subway ride from hotel.

                    Enjoy!!

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