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Jul 8, 2008 11:33 AM

Walking distance to some top Toronto Eats

I did a search on this board & it gave me some great "do not misses" when I travel to Toronto. I am going for a work conference (The conference is in a hotel near Eaton Centre & Nathan Phillips Square, so it would need to be easy access from that downtown area.) so my time will be fairly limited. If anyone has some recommendations of where I can find the best of the following list within walking distance - I would be ecstatic!

Peameal Bacon
Butter Tarts
Bloody Caesars

I will be posting my tasting results on my blog Thanks in advance for your help! :-)

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  1. Peameal bacon sandwiches, the best are at the St. Lawerence Market (open Mon-Sat) but it might be a tad far to walk. I would be tempted to take the subway to Front (union station) then walk east over to Jarvis where the market is.

    5 Replies
    1. re: smr714

      It shouldn't be too long a walk to SLM, I don't think (I just google mapped it, and it's 1.5km - about 15 minutes on foot).

      I haven't personally, tried it, but a lot of people on this board have good things to say about the poutine from one of the chip trucks in front of Nathan Phillips Square (right across from the Sheraton). If you want more upscale, non-traditional poutine (and really good food in general) I agree with Googs that you should hit Jamie Kennedy.

      The Keg makes a pretty good caesar IMHO, but the food isn't anything special. The one on York Street (very close to your hotel) has a great patio out back, so you could always stop by there for a drink and have dinner elsewhere.

      As for butter tarts and churrasco, you may have to venture further afield...

      1. re: torontofoodiegirl

        Walking for me is hard to judge, since I am on a cane. The distance might be ok if you like or can walk.

        I wonder if the farmer's market in Nathan Phillips Square has any vendors that are selling baked goods?

        1. re: smr714

          there are definitely butter tarts at the nathan phillips farmers market - it's every wednesday afternoon, details at

          1. re: smartygirl

            hey this is great. fresh wednesdays starts tomorrow, and then tasty thursdays the next. i dunno if the latter is worth the trip but i think wednesday could be interesting, it's a market.

        2. re: torontofoodiegirl

          Don't forget to order a "Keg-sized" Caesar!

      2. Welcome to the Sheraton Centre. Try Starfish and George. Both are top-notch and within easy walking distance.

        For the answers to most of your questions, go to the St. Lawrence Market early on a Saturday morning. You want to visit the farmers's market as well as the regular one so the Saturday thing is important.

        For poutine, try Jamie Kennedy's Wine Bar right near the SLM. I say this with one proviso. True poutine can only be found in Quebec. Everything we have here in Toronto is poutine fusion if you can believe that. Sheesh.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Googs

          While heading to the SLM on Saturday morning, be sure to go to the north market (the building on the north side of Front Street). There is a woman in the second aisle from the left when looking into the room from Front Street who make homemade pies and muffins, but also makes butter tarts. They aren't my favourite, but they are passable. SO and I had one this weekend, and they appear to have the slightest hint of lemon. Enjoy!

          1. re: Googs

            i'm going to reiterate the suggestion for starfish if only to impress upon you the deliciousness of the caesar here. they make it with great balance (too many people mess up with much too much worcestershire sauce) and even has a real clam.

            i also suggest paddingtons over the oft mentioned carousel at slm for peameal. it's much better though i really don't think the sandwich deserves anything close to a second glance. slm is also great for portuguese chicken and it's conveniently located across the way from paddingtons.

            and i completely agree with googs on poutine. you'll never find the real thing here and should just as well eat the fusion versions because cheese, salty sauce and fries are always a good combination.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              The other deelish thing at the Churrasco counter in the SLM is the bifana sandwich. Less popular, so made when you order. It's worth the wait. Get "the works".

              I definitely 2nd the Paddingtons over the Carousel (not) Bakery.

          2. I really like the butter tarts at Osgoode Hall dining room. I like the lunch too. Osgoode Hall is just west of Nathan Phillips Square.

            But the Restaurant will be closed for the summer beginning June 26. The Restaurant will re-open Wednesday, September 3 (from the website). I assume that your work conference will be during that time.

            1. Thanks for all of the great feedback so far. The conference is in August so it looks like I will miss out on Osgoode Hall and unfortunately, I will only be there M-F so St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday is out. Of course... this isn't the first time I have been to Toronto (first time as more of a foodie however!) and I am sure I will be back so I will "file" anything I can't get to for the next trip. And the concept of poutine fusion... is awesome. Anything else I shouldn't miss - let me know! :-)

              3 Replies
              1. re: taseymour

                slm open every day except mon,. check their website, always worth a visit!

                1. re: stapler

                  Actually, they are closed on Sundays, as well.

                2. re: taseymour

                  On the wednesday get the butter tarts at city hall's market -- Nathan Phillip Square, i see another poster confirmed you can get some there.

                  The sandwiches at St. Lawrence market are availalbe Tuesday through Friday, even if only the south Market is there. Paddington's makes the Peameal sandwiches fresh to order so it should not matter what day or time you get there.

                3. The Rebel House (Yonge just north of the rosedale subways station) makes a mean ceasar. Walking might take about 1/2 hour, however.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: CDS

                    They also have a version of poutine... not authentic at all, but not too bad either.

                    1. re: Minnow

                      Walking is going to take a heck of a lot longer than 1/2 an hour.

                      Their poutine is not very good, shouldn't be the one example for a visitor to try. The potato slices instead of proper fries bums me out, and they don't use curds.

                      1. re: childofthestorm

                        Ok - it IS a 15-20 minute walk total! But I'm not sure it's worth it - they don't take reservations so you take your chances on finding a table. And the food is OK pub food - and it IS pub food - very good for a pub (in Toronto), but don't set your expectations too high. To be fair, I haven't had the caesar there. And they clearly serve 'kettle fries' (it says so right on their menu) - sort of a thick-cut potato slice. And of course, nobody in T.O. serves proper curds.

                        1. re: estufarian

                          About 4 km...yeah maybe you're right, but a very brisk walk. I tend to dawdle and get distracted easily.

                          And of course no one has the curds, sadly. But I agree with others who have recommended going for a hybrid like the one served at JKWB. I'm from Montreal and I think theirs is often sensational.