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Aug 5, 2008 07:03 PM

<= $35 near Baldwin Street, Downtown?

I am here for a conference. Inevitably, the group wants to walk to Baldwin Street, Downtown, just a little south of UToronto.

What are the best---or, at the least, not terrible---places within a four block radius that will cost under $35 per person, tax and tip included?


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  1. Not sure if this is for lunch or dinner but either for under $35 there is:

    Konnichiwa (31 Baldwin) for Japanese. I like the food there.

    Margarita's Fiesta Room (14 Baldwin) for Mexican. They have good margaritas and their food is reasonable price-wise, though not the best Mexican I've ever had (but hey, it's Toronto!).

    Bodega (30 Baldwin) for French. I've always enjoyed my meals here. You could do a lunch here for under $35 but probably not dinner.

    Art Square Cafe (334 Dundas W.) for crepes. I like their buckwheat crepes - the smoked salmon one or the Mediterranean feast and their dessert crepes. You could definitely do a meal with dessert and drink for under $35.

    Xam Yu (339 Spadina) for Chinese. Not sure if Chinatown is too far for you guys but I like this place for seafood.

    Cafe Midi (168 McCaul) for Mediterranean/French. I've not been but am always meaning to because the menu looks good and the place looks quaint. You could do lunch or dinner (if you choose the menu "Fernandel" and drink something non-alcoholic) for under $35, I think.

    5 Replies
    1. re: always_eating

      Thanks for the suggestions. This is for dinner and yes, chinatown is too far unfortunately.

      1. re: bravura

        Avoid Margarita's. It's no plae to go for any reason.

        I would suggest either Cafe Midi which is a lovely room and serves great food. Or go to Bodega.

        I hear good things about Mata Hari but have never gone. I also like Sambuca very much. Good selections and very reasonable.

        1. re: Zengarden

          Matahari is easily the best restaurant on Baldwin, in my opinion, but then again, I'm biased, as it's probably my favourite restaurant in the city.

          Obviously, I highly recommend it, but doing it for $35 pp with tax and tip included would require careful and restrained ordering that might jeopardize the enjoyment of a night out.

          1. re: vorpal

            Matahari is unquestionably the best spot on Baldwin. They serve upscale and very delicious Malaysian. The service is impeccable and warm. You should be able to easily swing it for under $35 per head.

            If you have a large group, it would be smart to call ahead for reservations.

            39 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1, CA

        2. re: bravura

          Oh, but Xam Yu's right at the corner of Spadina and Baldwin. And their seafood IS really good, much better than the Chinese places at the other end of Baldwin Street. It'd be worth the 3 minutes to walk there.

          I like Konnichiwa and Cafe Midi too.

      2. I like Konnichiwa too! It's got great menu options like an awesome kaiso salad and grilled capelin that they do really well. But if your group is big, be prepared to sit real close to each other b/c it's a very, very small space.

        Kuni-Ya is the all-you-can-eat Japanese place across the street from Konnichiwa. It's much bigger and although naysayers probably love hating it, I do go there a lot when I meet a group of friends for dinner b/c it has more options and more space. We go there with our 6-year-old a lot, but for a one-on-one dinner w/ my partner, I'd definitely prefer Konnichiwa.

        1. Hanoi Bistro on Baldwin would fit your budget. Here's a recent review:

          2 Replies
          1. re: missmu

            Some great suggestions on this thread already!
            You could also go to Cafe la Gaffe...
            Cute space, some great pizzas (try the one with curry spices & goat cheese), and would definitely fit your budget. The sangria is lovely, too.

            1. re: thora

              i came here to post cafe le gaffe. my favorite eggs benedict in town, and i've taken many people here for brunch and everything has been pretty top notch.

              not entirely sure about the dinner pricing, but i'd imagine you'd be able to go for under 35$ if you didn't have any wine/booze.