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Mar 6, 2009 09:31 AM

Hilton Downtown -Chow Ideas?

I have a friend arriving from England next Friday. We are staying at the Hilton. I would like to plan a lunch, drinks, dinner, and late night snack? An English pub at some point?


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  1. Please let us know if you are what kind of experience you are looking for. E.g. a highly rated steak houses in town, Ruth's Chris, is right at the Hilton. About 10 minutes walk away is the Queen Street West strip where you can find small cozy Japanese and Indian restos.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Teep

      If you're searching for steak and you up the walking time to about 15 minutes you'll find both Barberians and Jacobs & Co to be roughly equidistant from the hotel. I haven't hit Jacobs yet, but you'll find a lot of love for it on the board. Barberians is fabulous in ways that only an old-fashioned steak house can. The Barberians wine cellar is stellar.

      7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

      Jacobs & Co
      12 Brant Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2M1, CA

      1. re: Googs

        Sounds like a plan. You cannot go wrong with a great steak. I have not done any research yet on Jacobs, but I have tried Barberians, great old school steakhouse.
        Thanks Googs Will require to imbibe him first, as he did on my visit to London

    2. All within 10 mins walking distance:

      Beerbistro to satisfy the pub requirement without actually trying to go to one of our English "pubs" which will undoubtedly suffer in comparison to the best over the pond. Beerbistro is more of a gastropub and your friend will probably love it. If you want a more bar-like atmosphere, hop in a cab and go to the Monarch for a Caplansky's smoked meat sandwich. If your friend loves craft beer and cask ale, and what pub-loving Brit doesn't, Volo is a great bet.

      Nota Bene for a nice dinner. Check the board for countless superlatives. Literally two minutes from your front door.

      Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar is a great spot for a weekend lunch, if it's just two of you definitely sit at the chef's bar and watch them cook.

      Late night snack, I would say be brave (and drunk would help) and go to Smoke's Poutinerie to try poutine. I'm not the biggest fan but I am from Montreal and kind of snobby when it comes to poutine. Many like it, and for sure, being drunk helps.

      Not sure about the Ruth's Chris suggestion considering there will probably be an ad for said chain in your friend's in-flight magazine on the way over. Never a good thing, even if the steaks are tasty. Hit some local gems.

      7 Replies
      1. re: childofthestorm

        i'd pretty much agree with all the suggestions here though it really depends on what kind of guy your mate is.

        i would avoid a british pub because it'll be such a mickey mouse version. if you want the atmosphere then treck up to st clair/yonge and go to scallywags, that is THE expat bar if you were to ever go to one.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Thanks for the ideas. We will not be dining at Ruth's, been there done that. Looking for something different. Dress code at Note Bene? I know he enjoys Indian, I trust some drinks may lead to a more casual atmosphere for dinner.
          If we venture to Scallywags, what about dinner?

          1. re: spine64

            nota bene says smart casual or something like that on the website though i don't think they make a fuss about it because there were two frat boys (in attitude and dress though not quite age) drinking it up at the bar beside me when i sat down for dinner.

            unfortunately i dont' spend much time around st clair/yonge so i can't say what to do for food except terroni. i would probably eat before heading up there to drink.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Thanks, will probably stay in the location of the hotel area. Seeing as he will be on England time, it could be an early night. So drinks, a good dinner, and some entertainment will suffice.

            2. re: spine64

              Nah there's no dress code at Nota Bene really, I've worn jeans and t-shirts there before. Indian...if he lives in London, he has access to better Indian food than we do. But within walking distance to the hotel, I really do enjoy Dhaba on King, as does my wife who is Indian, for what that's worth.

              Up northerly towards Scallywags, I would say keep going toward Eglinton for dinner at Quince. Or head south a bit from Scallywags and continue in the pub mode by hitting Rebel House for food.

              1. re: childofthestorm

                Rebel House is fun and a good place to get local beers.

                1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                  For a change I wish I didn't have to agree with pinstripeprincess. Downtown pubs are pretty bush league. The Red Lion suffers from attitude issues and the House On Parliament suffers from the extremely bad attitudes of certain staff that may be the height of rudeness in Toronto. Who needs that crap when all you want is a decent meal and a drink?

                  Most chow-worthy places near Scallywags are either French or Indian and, oh how I hate to say this, I feel none would impress a London visitor. Of course, Scaramouche isn't terribly far from Scallywag's. Either that or head north one or two subway stops to Jaipur Grille, Quince, Tabule, or Zucca.

        2. Okay don't shoot me for this -- but many of my out of town friends, particularly sports fans, like Wayne Gretzky's for a beer. It's total kitsch but if your friends are sports fans it could be a laugh -- would not recommend eating there though. Maybe a late night pint and some nachos?

          1. While it's not an English pub, I would recommend Allens or the Dora Keough on the Danforth. They are both very decent pubs, although they are Irish pubs. I'll let you assess the political ramifications. If you want to eat elsewhere first, you can start at Globe Bistro; otherwise, the food is decent at Allens.

            124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

            Dora Keogh
            141 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

            143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: sloweater


              124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

              Dora Keogh
              141 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

              133 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5H, CA

            2. It is truly a travesty that no-one (except me apparently) is recommending Forte - right next door!


              133 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5H, CA