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Dec 2, 2008 07:56 PM

great seafood downtown

Hello all.
My sister is coming in from the west coast and she is a vegetarian that eats seafood (don't ask). anyway, i am looking to find a great place for seafood in the GTA that is under $30. Also, we don't like white tablecloths and the like.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated as i haven't had the opportunity to try many restaurants in this town.

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  1. Were you asking for seafood mains under $30, or a complete 2 or 3 course meal for under $30?
    For great, relaxed atmosphere I've always enjoyed some bivalves at Rodney's Oyster Bar. If you stick mainly with the oysters though, you'll probably rack up a tab well over your budget, but the white plate specials come in under $30. They have an oyster chowder that's strong, but inconsistent sometimes when they cheap out on the oysters (I guess it depends how many they have left over from the night before). I haven't been in a while, but maybe some other CHers can chime in here.

    Another favourite of the board is Starfish. The mains push $30. I wasn't too awed, but many love it. They also have that relaxed atmosphere, though I prefer Rodney's by far.

    Blowfish also comes to mind as somewhere trendy - they serve sushi. Though I'm sure the sushi in Vancouver is much better/more exciting than you can get over here for $30. I haven't been personally, but it's come up often on the board for value sushi.

    Though with your friend being from the Westcoast, I'm assuming she can get far better seafood for a fraction of the price there. Being that she's from the westcoast, I can see how she's a vegetarian that can eat seafood....

    Overall, I think it's tough to get fresh, quality seafood in TO for that price. We're pretty far away from the oceans, meaning we have to ship it in and thus tacking on freight to our seafood prices. That, or you're going to get some nice frozen fish.


    2 Replies
    1. re: BokChoi

      oh i was asking for mains under 30. i checked out the website for rodney's. looks good. sushi isnt something i would take her out for...she has had such good sushi (and for much cheaper) out west that she would be too easily disappointed. Starfish looks good too and ... ah i dont know.
      any other thoughts?

      1. re: chocohead

        As far as I know, Starfish has a $35 3 course prix fixe early bird special most nights (or at least they offered a special like this throughout the spring- you might want to call to find out if it's still on). Their mains are mostly under $30, except for the lobster. I liked their Tunisian sea bream and their grilled sardines, but was not impressed by their softshell crab special (when it was in season in the early summer). Their chowders are usually quite good. Their frites are amazing, as is their lemon tart. I often order 2 appetizers when I go to Starfish, since I'm not a big eater and I like to try different things. It won't compare to what you can find on the West Coast, but it's the best continental style seafood I've found in TO.

        I like the atmosphere at Rodney's but the cooked food wasn't exactly delicious. Not bad, just not great. Good quality seafood undone by a kitchen that seems clumsy with the preparation.

        Haven't tried Oyster Boy, but I've been meaning to give them a try.

        You might also want to consider tapas a Senor Antonios (the tapas/bar menu at Chiado, which would be just west of Little Italy). If you order carefully, you might be able to eat for less than $30 a piece.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. thanks. been meaning to visit oysterboy for some time now. I am curious about Little Italy or college in general. i've seen a few places up there...but i am hesitant to just chose one. so often i eat out and pay my hard earned dough for food i could do a better job of. I'm sure i am not alone in that.

        1. If you're looking for a good seafood restaurant in Toronto, I would recommend a Chinese restaurant. Wah Sing on Baldwin St. is pretty good.
          They have a 2 for 1 lobster special for $26.95.

          Considering that your sister is a vegetarian, how about a vegetarian restaurant?? I'm also a vegetarian that eats seafood (for convenience) and I love Fresh. Even my non-vegetarian fiancé likes it. Fresh is located on Spadina & Richmond, and Bloor & Spadina.