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Best bets on the Danforth

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Looking for a casual dinner on the Danforth with some good food, but didn't want to go as pricey as Lolita's Lust? Any suggestions? Past searches on the board seem to indicate my gut feeling that most of the greek places on the strip seem to be mediocre at best. Doesn't need to be greek food, we're open to anything, the Danforth is just a handy location....

Thank you!

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  1. What price range are you looking for? You can eat at Lolita's Lust quite reasonably. If you order two "small plates" per person to share and no main course, it may be as low as $24 pp + drinks.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      What dishes would you recommend at Lolita's Lust, foodyDudey?

      1. re: phoenikia

        I also enjoy Rails and Ales, but to play pool. There beer on tap is tasty too. I don't eat meat but my boyfriend did enjoy the burger.

      2. re: foodyDudey

        A personal favourite of mine is Rails and Ales on the north side of Danforth, just a bit east of Pape. Don't go for the atmosphere but their 1lb burger is great. Super juicy, proper ground meat, decent fries. It's just a shame the place is a bit on the dank side....

        1. re: Brain of J

          I like the Greek fries at Rails and Ales, mad with round slices of potato rather than standard french fries. Haven't tried the burger yet.

          -----
          Rails and Ales Billards Lounge
          1106 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L5, CA

      3. There's 4 of us, we usually order an appetizer or 2 to share, I wanted to then keep mains under $16 - is that doable?

        13 Replies
        1. re: fussychow

          The menu is online: http://www.lolitaslust.ca/lolitas-lus...

          Amost all mains are over $20, as I said you can just order 2 "small plates" each and you won't leave hungry.

          Another option for you (from the GLOBE newsletter) is this:

          Globe's Best Burger and Beer - $15 in January
          I'm throwing down the gauntlet and can state unequivocally that Globe Bistro has one of the best burgers in town (and I have had them all). We start with 8 ounces of freshly ground naturally-raised Ontario prime rib on a house-baked bun that fits just right. Accompanied by a pile of crispy frites and topped with cheese curds, Northern Woods mushrooms, double-smoked bacon and house-made pickle, I would cross the Bloor Viaduct for this lunch.
          In January, we will be featuring our burger and a local pint for $15. Nap optional

          Available in the lounge area at dinner.

          1. re: foodyDudey

            That's actually a good price for a high end buger and a pint. Have you tried it?

            1. re: grandgourmand

              I had one in the summer and it's good. I'd go there for lunch today but since I'll be there Thursday evening for the winemaker's dinner, I'll wait till next week.

              1. re: grandgourmand

                I haven't tried their burger, but at that price, I can't see it being a bad deal. Considering how much a pint costs at most restaurants, the burger would have to be pretty awful to not be worth the price. I can't see Globe selling a garbage product, so I guess I'll try it out as soon as I get a chance!

                1. re: tjr

                  Could do a burger comparison. Split one w/ a companion at Globe then hop across the street to have one at Allen's. I call that a good day.

                  1. re: tjr

                    No kidding. And it comes with fries and "the works". Not to mention a good way to test out Globe's cuisine if you haven't yet. It's on my "to do" list.

                    1. re: grandgourmand

                      I was at the winemaker's dinner last night, and the four of us had a great time. The people I took had not been there before, and they loved the food. I'd suggest going to a winemaker's dinner as you will be able to try quite a few courses. We tried 6 different wines last night Each course was excellent and perfectly matched with the wine.

                      Click here to see what was on the menu. http://www.globebistro.com/Portals/84...

                      1. re: foodyDudey

                        foodyDudey, what was the crowd like last night at the Winemakers' Dinner? How many people attended? Is it one big table, or the regular Globe set-up? I was thinking about taking part in that dinner;)

                        1. re: phoenikia

                          It's held in the room on the second floor, that's the one between the balcony level and the rooftop. There are usually 4 or 5 tables set up.
                          I didn't count how many attended last nught, but there were 7 at our table. (the 4 of us plus 3 others). The three other tables had either 8 or 10 people at them. At our table, was Daniel Speck from Pelham estates who would get up and speak about each wine we were trying, and someone from the Cheese Boutique. (I was at the other end of the table so didn't get a chance to talk to him much)

                          The age group looked anywhere from 30's to late 60's, with not as many younger ones as I remember from the previous dinners. But that shouldn't matter. Everyone is friendly.

                          1. re: foodyDudey

                            thanks foodyDudey:)

                2. re: foodyDudey

                  That's a good deal. I want to go tonight. Do you think I could sneek in on Saturday night without res? Thanks

                  1. re: haggisdragon

                    Allen's turned me off because they seem so snobby. They gave my party a hard time about choosing our own table, I am paying I want to choose where to sit. The wait staff/host acted as though it was some high class joint and not just some pub on the Dan. Food was nothing special but nice choice of beers on tap. Will not go back though.

                    1. re: pluckypear

                      Amen to that. I recently went in at about 4pm and tried to make my way to the back patio. I was actually stopped, and asked whether I planned to eat. I had only been planning on having a drink, and so I was told I was not allowed to sit on the patio because "it's our busiest time"!!!!! Excuse me?! It was four pm--and the place was EMPTY. Naturally, I left straightaway. Such a shame that many of the places with decent patios in Toronto (Victory Cafe, I'm looking at you) also have Nazis in charge of them.

                      -----
                      Allen's
                      143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

              2. Aji Sai for sushi
                Zorba's for steam table Greek, giant plate of tasty food for $12.95, little atmosphere
                Allen's burger, I heartily recommend only beer as your side

                1. As a Greek, and a fierce supporter of our cuisine (yes, we have one, you just haven't seen the best of it...yet), I would say that our cuisine is best experienced, here on the Danforth, when enjoyed old-style, and old-school. And for that, I highly recommend Astoria. High-quality, old-school Greek food is exactly what you'll get. And, within the price points you're looking for.

                  And to be honest, I know you said it doesn't have to be Greek, but other than Lolita's Lust, which I also highly recommend (both for food and service), the Danforth is most well-known for Greek food. I would go with that.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Raquel

                    Souvlaki is not Greek. Greek restaurant cooking in Toronto ended when Strouga closed. Any diissent? Oh for the Acropolis when it was above LIndy's Religiou sGoods on Dundas!
                    VVM

                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                      Of course souvlaki is Greek, but it's street food rather than "dining" food. The Greek food you refer to is still available at Zorba's.

                      1. re: embee

                        Souvlaki is Greek the same way that a knish is Jewish.
                        VVM

                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                          Of course a knish is Jewish. If it wasn't, it would be called a pastie or something :-)

                      2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                        I was just about to be outraged by your post. And then I stopped for a second. And thought for a second if, as a Greek child, we were ever served souvlaki. The answer is a resounding "NO". Actually, I think you'd be hardpressed to find ANY Greek homes that ever served souvlaki at home.... This is a very good point that you make and an important one, because I don't think Toronto has really seen the likes of any "real", (and delicious) Greek food. Perhaps it's time..... Thanks for reminding us.

                        1. re: Raquel

                          On my street, at least 25% of the neighbours are Greek. The family right beside me is Greek, and they cook souvlaki on the BBQ in the summer.

                          1. re: Raquel

                            It depends on the Greek family. Souvlaki has always been a part of our family's summer bbqs, probably because a whole spit-roasted pig, goat, or lamb (aka souvla) doesn't make sense if you have less than a dozen guests coming to eat. Many of the Greek gatherings in Toronto are large enough that families choose to roast an entire goat, pig or lamb, rather than serving souvlaki.

                            The meat (lamb in our house) marinates for several hours and I always have the task of putting the meat on the skewers. We grill it outside, the old-fashioned way with charcoal briquets. None of that modern propane bbq stuff.

                          2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                            According to wikipedia, souvlaki is Greek and dates back to ancient times.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souvlaki

                            1. re: Full tummy

                              It all depend what you mean by Greek. The word souvlaki is certainly Greek and the food is certainly pieces of meat grilled on skewers. But...

                              Just about ever Mediterranean culture, and even far beyond, has an almost identical dish. So yes, souvalaki is Greek, but it is not uniquely Greek. I've had Italian spiedini, for example, that was virtually identical to "souvlaki."

                              BTW: I've tried most of the souvlaki places on the Danforth. I am now convinced that deep beneath Danforth Avenue there is a single huge kitchen that makes souvlaki and sends them on a system of conveyor belts up to the restaurants all along the street. It's all the same stuff, no matter where you go.

                              I can remember when going to the Danforth meant that the the waiter invited you into the kitchen and you pointed at the pot with the food that you wanted. Now that's Greek food in a Greek restaurant. No conveyor food belt then.

                              1. re: evansl

                                Of course all the souvlaki on Danforth Ave should taste the same, they all use the same time-honoured recipe from the ancient times. :-)

                                Or they buy frozen marinated souvlaki from the same supplier. But who cares about souvlaki? It keeps getting mentioned every time we talk about food in Greektown. I've lived here since 1992 and don't think I've had souvlaki in a restaurant here more than once and that was probably in 1993. There's a lot more available on the menus, you should try something different.

                                1. re: evansl

                                  You can still do that at Zorba's, except you point to what's on display behind the protective glass shield between the kitchen food and you.

                                  1. re: Pincus

                                    They used to let you do that at Ellas, on Pape just north of Danforth, but truth be told, since moving to Richmond Hill, I haven't been to Ellas in years (is it still open?!). The kids prefer grilled items over stews and moussaka, so we normally end up at Astoria or the Friendly Greek (atmosphere at the latter - meh, but the food is simple and good, and a pretty good value).

                                    1. re: KevinB

                                      Ellas on Pape expanded and "upscaled" many years ago. While some of the stews they did so well in the seventies remained on the menu, they really expected you to order things such as steak and (mainly frozen) fish, possibly preceded by some mezes. It was better than average for the area, though not wonderful.

                                      They closed the Pape location a few years ago. It's still vacant. They still have a large banquet hall on Danforth Rd. I've been to several Greek weddings there over ten years. There was very little Greek food served at these weddings (none at all at a couple of them). We mainly got well done steak or roast beef.

                          3. Thanks very much to all of you!

                            1. If you'd like to venture a bit outside of Greektown, a little farther east there's also Rendez-Vous (Ethiopian, W of Coxwell) and Relish (tapas, E of Woodbine) that will fit your budget.

                              -----
                              Relish
                              2152 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1K3, CA

                              Rendez Vous
                              1408 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1M9, CA

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: bittermu

                                Pantheon!!!!!!!!!!!

                                the decor is tacky but the food is great and it's superauthentic. Order a couple of starters (calamari is great, so is the 'flaming' cheese, can't remember the name) and the delicious lamb chops. The lamb chops come with a Greek salad. All this is enough food for two people to share. On top of that they'll bring you complimentary desert.

                                1. re: plaerdemavida

                                  You know, it's my Dad's favourite restaurant on the Danforth, but I'm not such a fan.

                                  The last we went there, for a family birthday party, I can't say I was that impressed with the food. I found the souvlaki had a weird toughness to it, as well as a too-strong, almost processed garlicky flavour to it. Even the rice seemed weird to me, too dry and with corn (???) and other frozen veg in it. We also ordered the meat 'pikilia' platter and while that had some lamb chops on it, they were a little over-charred. The previous time I had gone, it was ok, and it was only 2 of us, so I don't know....overall, I guess it would be too inconsistent for my tastes. But I agree, when they do old-school well, they do it really well there, including the service. By the way, the 'complimentary' cake they give you at the end of your meal is either a 'karithopita' (car-ree-tho-pita), basically a ground walnut cake, or, 'ravani' (ra-va-nee) cake which is a semolina cake with syrup. Both are absolutely excellent, and for me, the highlight of every meal at Pantheon!

                                  1. re: Raquel

                                    My last visit to Pantheon in November was quite mediocre, so I haven't been recommending Pantheon for seafood the way I had been recommending the restaurant in the past. The grilled calamari was ok, but in no way special. The texture was not exactly tender, and the marinade seemed salty, heavy handed with the seasoning, but not enough lemon. I got tired of the taste pretty quickly. Seemed to be about the same quality as the grilled calamari I've had at Mezes or Megas. Maybe fried calamari is a better choice at Pantheon these days.

                                    Not a destination restaurant for me, but fine for a regular weeknight meal if I'm in the neighbourhood.

                                    1. re: phoenikia

                                      the best way I would describe Pantheon - actually most of the Greek restaurants - is as parent-safe as restaurants get.
                                      nothing spectacular or sophisticated about the food. relatively tasty, but not breathtaking or awe-inspiring.
                                      ate at Pantheon this month and it was a yawner. was better than Myth, believe it or not, but pretty much the same as Astoria, Kalviya and all the other similar places in Greektown.

                                      the best restos in Greektown are 7 Numbers, Globe, Emburlija Flamenco and Lolita's Lust. None are Greek. Take that for what its worth.

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        I agree that the Globe is one of the best restaurants on the Danforth. I would say it's the best restaurant on the Danforth for dinner, if you're looking for high quality ingredients, great service and contemporary/continental food. But many people go to the Danforth for Greek food/flavours (regardless of the discussion of whether good Greek food exists in TO restaurants), so the Globe isn't going to be a good fit if you're not craving continental food.

                                        I wasn't impressed by the quality of the tapas at Embujo Flamenco. Thought the portions were skimpy, and the quality of the shrimp was marginal. I prefer Cava, Coca and Cambalache for tapas. I haven't been to Torito or Casa Barcelona.

                                        Haven't been to Lolita's Lust. I wouldn't consider 7 Numbers to be the same quality as the Globe, but I would recommend it as a decent restaurant if you're looking for casual Italian food on the Danforth.

                                        The meal I had at Lambros last week was a great meal, probably the best Greek meal I've had in the last 12 months

                                        -----
                                        Globe
                                        124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

                                        Embrujo
                                        97 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                                        Lolita's Lust
                                        513 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P5, CA

                                        7 Numbers Danforth
                                        307 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N7, CA

                                        Lambros
                                        397 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                                  2. re: plaerdemavida

                                    The flaming cheese is Opa! Saganaki. "Opa!" is really just an exclamation. Saganaki apparently refers to the pan, as the cheese has other names (I've always assumed it was kefalotiri, but I've found a variety of recipes that call for different specific cheeses - but they're all firm and a little salty).

                                2. In the cold weather we're having now, I like going to Sakawaya for the ramen.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: janel

                                    I'm with you, janel! There's nothing like a steaming, heaping bowl of noodles to warm the soul. I also like Sakawaya's udon and soba noodle soups.

                                  2. Bibiche( soon to move!)
                                    Djerba La Douce
                                    Wahlid (? (new , divine couscous , was once 1450 Danforth)
                                    Bistro Camino.

                                    All cheap, all different. Helps to know your way arounf the menu.
                                    VVM

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                      Definitely Camino out at Danforth & Dawes road. Yum!

                                    2. There isn't much I love on the Danforth, but Seven Numbers is a really nice, cozy and respectable Italian restaurant. It's hip, but also family friendly, and the food is just really well done.

                                      Allen's is also nice, but many of the dishes are preposterously over-priced, which ends up making me feel cheated when I have to look at price before I order.

                                      I'm convinced that the Danforth has done more to harm the image of Greek food than promote it. The good Greek food I have had was at Avli, Omonia (terrible name) and Pappas.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: arugula

                                        Seven Numbers is inconsistent I find. The one thing that's always good is the sexy duck leg. I've had a few misses. And sometimes I find the service amusing, at others annoying. Overall, though, I would go back because the food is mostly good and the pricing is attractive. And as far as casual italian goes, I find it way more enjoyable than Terroni (menu comparisons aside).

                                        I love Allen's. But when you see $45 dishes on the menu, it really seems out of place. However, it's always packed, so I don't think they're planning any changes.

                                        1. re: grandgourmand

                                          "sexy duck leg"?

                                          1. re: Squeakycheese

                                            its like an italian version of duck confit, very tender, served with its own jus,so tasty and simple

                                        2. re: arugula

                                          The Danforth was once home to very delicious Greek food. In the seventies and eighties, when much of the clientele was actually Greek, it was very different. It wasn't a tourist zone and I sometimes ran into Papandreou when having a late dinner. The late night coffee houses were wonderful, if too smoky for my lungs.

                                          I remember the souvlaki at Delphi, the whole barbecued lambs at Omonia, the bubbling pots at Strouga, Ellas, and Byzantium, and the somewhat more upmarket food at the Odyssey and Palace. Pan, in the late nineties, was still very nice, though the Canadiazation and decline were well underway by then. Those that remain are nothing like they were decades ago.

                                          1. re: embee

                                            Which places would be best for Greek food for someone on a budget? I love Greek food but these days I have to factor in value even if it trumps quality and authenticity to a certain degree. I'm not a wine drinker and I don't care if the place is time worn. Decent food washed down with a cold beer at a reasonable price is alls I'm after.

                                            1. re: ziggystardust

                                              Zorba's would be my pick for Greek food on a budget. It's home cooking (sometimes the seasoning needs to be adjusted), not refined Greek cooking. They serve traditional Greek foods that are hard to find elsewhere, like patsa (tripe soup), kokkoretsi (grilled innards) and stuffed lamb's heads (sometimes a daily special). And it's definitely time worn.

                                              If you do go to Zorba's, stick with the cheese, chicken or meat based dishes (soups, pastitso, souvlaki (I like their lamb souvlaki), whatever special is in their hot table)- seafood is not one of their strengths. If you want fried calamari, you're better off at Mezes or Pantheon (not maybe great for a person on a budget, but more likely you'll get decent calamari).

                                              Also, for an economical treat, I like Athen's Pastries for spanakopita, loukamades and bougatsa.

                                              1. re: ziggystardust

                                                Zorba's, which is east of Pape. Have the gigantes (lima beans) and the avgolemono soup, whatever else you try. You should have one of the saucy items from the display. Don't bother with the roasted stuff or souvlaki.

                                                1. re: ziggystardust

                                                  Go to Astoria.

                                                  Their portions are very large. And funnily enough, I was just commenting to a friend the other day that the one place that will be alright is the Danforth through a recession: their prices are some of the lowest in the city, and their portions are HUGE usually! Perfect recession food. Because really, real Greek cooking comes from those days, anyway.

                                                  Again, Astoria's your best bet for what you're looking for. Go and report back. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

                                            2. I agree with grandgourmand about 7 Numbers. It can be inconsistant but I will always go back for the atmosphere and the sexy duck. I had braised rabbit there once. It was the first time I had tried rabbit and I was divine.
                                              Allen's is a favorite of mine the food is consistanly good, and its really only the heirloom meats that are pricey.
                                              For greek I have to agree with the general consensus that there is not much difference between one place and the next. I've been to Astoria loads of times and its always been okay, with sometimes grumpy service. I've tried maybe a dozen other places once and never bothered going back. One place that stood out, I thought, was Pan. My girlfriend and I dropped in there on a whim, early on a Saturday evening without reservations. And one of the owners, an eccentric and very friendly lady, with a little to much perfume on, found us a table but warned us that we would have to leave before the res came in. We enjoyed the food and the service, good wine list, and we did not feel rushed. Plus they had some less typical options like sauteed chicken livers with garlic and lemon (yummy). I will go back there some time.

                                              The Auld Spot is a friendly pub with some interesting daily specials, and I have seen lots of families dining there early in the evening.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: haggisdragon

                                                I second the Pan recommendation. The grilled calamari is outstanding. Nice atmosphere (pre-belly dancer, at least - why do restaurants insist on this?), good wine list, excellent dishes all around - we've been 3 times now and will continue going back. It's our standard go-to spot when company arrives from out of town and we want to show them that neighbourhood.

                                                1. re: trishna

                                                  Auld Spot. Good Food. gorgonzola spring rolls for starters.

                                                  1. re: trishna

                                                    I also enjoyed the Auld Spot and their oysters were yummy.

                                                2. After our meal at Melanie's (1870 Danforth) last weekend. Highly recommend it . Good food at great pricing!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    I just read a favourable review of Melanies the other day Charles Yu. Could you please tell us a little more of your experience there? Oh scratch that I just found your other thread. Thanks!

                                                    1. re: haggisdragon

                                                      Avoid Globe Bistro I had a horrible experience their a little while back. The service clumsy and almost rude. The food was nothing at all , no originality at all , a bite off of the " local" theme that has invaded the Toronto restaurant scene. If you want real Canadian food then go to JK's or Canoe, Globe is not worth the effort.

                                                  2. Anyyone tried the new Casa di Giorgio at Danforth and Monarch Park? I suspect it'd be pretty much the same as the other one on Queen but I've only had the pasta there. Just got a flyer and am happy to see they deliver. Anyone tried their pizza? Love Bona but I like to have a change now and then.
                                                    http://www.casadigiorgio.ca/menus.html

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: JamieK

                                                      Pizza at Casa Di Giorgio is some if the best "Toronto style" pizza in the city> Not as good as most of the top rated places on chowhound but a step above your average cheese and peperonni joint.

                                                      -----
                                                      Casa Di Giorgio
                                                      , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                                                      1. re: TheWheel

                                                        is it thin/thick? Can you describe it?

                                                        1. re: hungryabbey

                                                          I would say thin-ish. Not as thin as say Libretto, Terrone or Queen Margherita but not thick either. I guess medium. Does this make sense?

                                                    2. Christina's for their seafood plate!

                                                      1. Add one for Bistro Camino, and honorable mentions for Melanies, Dukem, Djerba La Douce and Jean's VK. You can probably tell I live nearer the East end of Danforth.

                                                        1. I no longer go to the Danforth during the summer. Once they start installing the outdoor tables and fencing off the sidewalk I am angered by the need to walk past a 15 foot fenced off portion of the sidewalk and maneuver through the remaning 3-4 feet often reduced by flower boxes.

                                                          Everybody wants to make money (restaurateurs and tax dept) but the Danforth has gone too far ininconviencing thier ptrons.

                                                          1. I'm surprised no one's mentioned The Local Company yet - they're incredible!

                                                            -----
                                                            The Local Company
                                                            511 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K 1P5, CA

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: jo_jo_ba

                                                              Incredibly what?

                                                              1. re: millygirl

                                                                Every time I walk by that place I get the shivers.

                                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                                  incredibly blech, imo ;-)

                                                                2. re: jo_jo_ba

                                                                  They have recently changed chefs so I don't know if your experience still holds.

                                                                  1. re: bytepusher

                                                                    That's true, I hadn't realized that.

                                                                  2. re: jo_jo_ba

                                                                    Incredibly preposterous. They made us sit in the window, inches from tables on either side, even though the place was empty. We made friends and bonded over our mutual hatred of the food.

                                                                    1. re: arugula

                                                                      Why did you go there and how was the food? I just won't enter that place. It has the same owners as the now closed Trappezzi, obviously they could not run that one.

                                                                      1. re: arugula

                                                                        There was a very brief period where they had a decent chef who was really trying but it seems he ran out of patience with the owners. At one point he had been working on a new seasonal menu and about a week before it was supposed to launch they waltzed in and pronounced that they had decided to switch the theme to Greek.

                                                                    2. I've always found Mezes to be tops for Greek food on the Danforth. Their octopus appetizers are better than any I've had elseware, service is very attentive, nice list of greek wines, and some unique menu items like kleftiko (which I believe is lamb or chicken with spinich and feta wrapped in phylo).

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Mezes
                                                                      456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                                                                      1. I'm glad this thread is re-awakening. I love the Danforth :) Here's a review of some of the stuff that I've tried there, most pictures are festival fare since I only started taking pictures a bit more recently. I didn't include anything east of Donlands, but I've tried Walima (okay Morrocan food, I heard Marrakech is better). In a nutshell, the restaurants that I'd probably hit are Mezes & Zorba's.
                                                                        Pictures can be found here: http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.co...

                                                                        Avli Restaurant :: Good grilled calamari, enjoyable halal lamb...but there's better at Zorba's
                                                                        Grilled Calamari ($5) - Flavourful & not too chewy. I've had better grilled calamari from a vendor at July's Corso Italia festival (the name escapes me), as it was more tender but this wasn't bad at all.
                                                                        The spare ribs didn't look too appetizing and I had more than my fair share of shrimp the day before at the T&T Night Market. However,the halal lamb looked juicy and smelled great...too good to pass up! Halal Lamb:was a great, a little tough to eat while walking around, but it was juicy and flavourful. However, it was trumped by...

                                                                        Louis Meat Market :: Better lamb than Avli, good quail but not better than Zorba's
                                                                        Perhaps because it was a thicker cut, but it was far juicier & more tender. We also preferred their flavouring over Avli's halal lamb.
                                                                        I managed to grab our quail right as it came out from the kitchen. These tiny little birds are so delicious and packed with flavour, you really can't just eat one. Which is why grabbed another at Zorba's...
                                                                        While Louis Meat Market's lamb chop beat Avli, Zorba's quail was much better. My friend enjoyed his chicken gyro from Louis, but I was pretty set on a Messini's gyro so I didn't try it.

                                                                        Caffe Demetre
                                                                        Run-of-the-mill dessert place. Decent strawberry ice cream...but not even close to Sweet Fantasies' cone. Meh

                                                                        Oceans Treasures Fish Market
                                                                        Warm crab-au-gratin in a shell was a nice find at Danforth. Warm, soft, with melted cheese it was good with the white bread. While we enjoyed it, I can't help but wonder what a really good crab-au-gratin tastes like and where I can find it...anyone wanna point me in the right direction? :D

                                                                        Astoria :: Decent pork souvlaki...Zorba is better
                                                                        Every year, Astoria is very popular for their shish kabobs. Selling at $3, pork souvlaki kabobs with buttered bread were selling at a crazy rate. While tasty, I found Zorba's pork skewer better. However, I enjoyed their pork enough to consider giving them a try for a lunch or dinner.

                                                                        Greek Community of Toronto Tent - only at the festival
                                                                        Mind blown. Baklava was amazing and I probably have diabetes from single-handedly devouring 8 Loukoumedes.
                                                                        Every year, I pass this tent without much of a thought. I am so fixated on trying the different restaurants that I don't venture close enough to see their fare. I was missing out big time.
                                                                        After peering at this for a bit from the side, a wonderfully friendly Greek lady began chatting with us and told us about the homemade baklava. It looked different than the typical dessert that you see in restaurants, as it was circular instead of a layer pastry. I've only tried this dessert once - at 93 Harbord which left me very underwhelmed. However, my friend was drooling at the sight of these honey-drenched desserts so we picked one up.
                                                                        I took a stab, expecting to try a bite and give my buddy the rest. However, the second I popped a forkful into my mouth my sweet tooth awoke and began demanding more, More, MORE! This was ridiculously good, and we stood there forking up every last piece. My friend said that it was the best baklava he has ever had!
                                                                        After we were done, we promptly turned around to get more. Afterall, how often do you get to eat homemade baklava?! I'm already looking forward to a repeat of this next year...
                                                                        Loukoumades ($3/8) (or as I like to call 'em, honey balls!
                                                                        )These delicious puffs were drenched in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. I tried one and I was hooked...and proceeded to greedily eat seven more. In my defense, we had a total of 9 puffs, meant for 6 people. 4 people were in a bar and did not come out to join us for dessert, and my friend stopped at 1. It was either throw these babies out, or eat 'em. Clearly made the right choice The insulin-spiking, diabetes inducing, delicious, delicious choice.
                                                                        Kataifi ($3)
                                                                        Kataifi is filled with almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and sugar. The stringy dough is fluffy dried wheat that's soft and very pleasant.
                                                                        My friend kept referring it to Shredded Wheat. We wondered if drizzling shredded wheat with honey, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar would be tasty...anyone care to experiment?

                                                                        Zorba's Shishkebob House :: Best quail & pork
                                                                        My friend was rather disturbed by the overwhelming amount of rotating line quail. Legs wiggling in the air as they knocked against each other, skewered birds kept spinning and spinning...We stopped and stared for a moment, a bit mesmerized before making a beeline to join the hungry queue.
                                                                        My friend sarcastically suggested that we try the Kokoretsi, which are lamb intestines wrapped around liver, spleen, and heart. Thinking he was serious, I eagerly nodded and said that I was glad he was open to trying new things! Imagine his relief when an employee scratched it off the menu. Darn. Must return to try it in the near future, or else my curiousity will get the best of me!
                                                                        Quail - Best quail!!
                                                                        I was grateful that they chopped the bird in half - it was much easier to eat this way. I was also pleasantly surprised to spot the heart in the quail - did I miss it in Louis Meat Market's version? Or was it removed prior to cooking? Still unsure. Either way, Zorba's quail was far juicier and more flavourful
                                                                        Their combination of spices was fantastic and I will definitely be returning for a full meal there.
                                                                        Pork Kebob
                                                                        We especially liked their pork, as it was much juicier, flavourful, and all-around tastier than Asteria's kabobs. [Compare] Less environmentally friendly with the Styrofoam containers though.

                                                                        Mezes
                                                                        Good kalamari & salty saganaki
                                                                        Perfect on a cold night, Mezes' saganaki is a favourite late night snack. Decent souvlaki platters and appetizers, Mezes is a good place to go with friends after a day out and I've enjoyed several decent dinners here.
                                                                        The service is consistently good, and while it's never completely empty, we've never had trouble grabbing a table for a group without a reservation. Decent food for average prices.
                                                                        Saganaki - While on the salty side, I can never resist ordering this from the menu. Not usually a fan of cheese, this is the exception. Warm, crispy and gooey, and perfect for sharing.
                                                                        Kalamari Dinner - Thick calamari, battered and deep fried this is one of the better calamari dishes that I've tried in Toronto. This dinner comes with roasted potatoes, a Greek salad, and a very generous dollop of tzatziki. Personally, I prefer ordering it as an appetizer to share amongst the table.
                                                                        Aegean Fare Special - Beef and chicken cooked in wine, with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Flambéed with brandy. Served with roast potatoes.
                                                                        While I enjoyed the roasted potatoes, I found the vegetables a little oily the beef tough & overcooked. I wouldn't order this again.

                                                                        Messini's Authentic Gyros
                                                                        Busy, good chicken souvlaki. Have yet to try the lamb gyro. Greasy Greek Spoon Diner.
                                                                        Messini's Authentic Gyros are often touted as Danforth's best gyros. I've tried their chicken and pork gyros, chicken slouvaki, Greek fries, and Spanakopita (spinach pie). Unfortunately, every time that I've visited they had run out of the lamb gyro and they weren't serving it during the festival! An elusive beast, the lamb gyro has evaded me three times. The "authenticity" refers to the French fries they stuff inside each wrap.
                                                                        While I prefer the chicken over the pork, I wasn't blown away by these gyros. The pork was quite dry, and while the chicken itself was good the fries at the festival tasted stale and mushy. The fries in my gyros when I dined in Messini's were unmemorable as well.
                                                                        I think that fresh & thinner-cut fries in these gyros would make a world of difference! Despite my disappointment, I plan to return to get that elusivelamb gyro. Perhaps my perception of Messini's will change to match the hype?
                                                                        In contrast, I've tried their Chicken Souvlaki a couple times. Both times they were quite satisfying...perhaps the chicken is best left for the souvlaki, lamb for the gyro, and pork for the chops from Louis Meat Mart!
                                                                        Greek Fries - Round fries topped with feta cheese, olive oil and oregano - once again, I am unimpressed with their fries. I prefer mine fresh cut and very crispy, whereas these tasted like they were reheated from a frozen supermarket batch. With a great plate of fries, the feta cheese and oregano would have been a great combination.
                                                                        Spanakopita - While I enjoyed the spinach, I felt that this was a bit on the greasy side. I've heard that Athen's Bakery just down the street makes a great non-greasy Spanakopita which I plan on checking out soon.

                                                                        7 Numbers Danforth
                                                                        Service was good...food was not
                                                                        I was quite disappointed with this meal - the zucchini flowers were very oily and poorly deep-fried, the sardines were boring with a sloppy side of vegetables, and my entree was covered in oil with one sad, mushy piece of potato. Huge thumbs down, and I haven't been back since.

                                                                        Anyways I hope this helps future Greektown visitors. Mezes and Zorba's ftw!
                                                                        Pictures: http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.co...

                                                                        Erin =
                                                                        )http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

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                                                                        93 Harbord
                                                                        93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                                                                        Messini
                                                                        445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

                                                                        Avli
                                                                        401 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

                                                                        Zorba's
                                                                        681 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L2, CA

                                                                        Mezes
                                                                        456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                                                                        7 Numbers Danforth
                                                                        307 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N7, CA

                                                                        Walima Cafe
                                                                        1450 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ekim256

                                                                          I agree with your review of Mezes and have always had good food while there. I detest 7 Numbers and do not understand why people like this place?

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                                                                          Mezes
                                                                          456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                                                                          1. re: pluckypear

                                                                            Confessing that I have not carefully read this whole thread, I will still pop in and say that some of the best [not Greek] food on the Danny is at The Auld Spot. It's also a warm, welcoming place.

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                                                                            Auld Spot
                                                                            347 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA