HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

Restaurant Recommendations for young travelers

I will be in Toronto at the end of March for an overnight visit with 3 of my friends, all aged 19-22. We are staying at Le Meridien King Edward (a steal on priceline at $60 incl taxes/fees!). We are looking for recommendations for a Friday night dinner and a Saturday lunch. We will have a car, but if there's anything within walking distance from the hotel, that would be a plus. We're looking for something fun and hip, with good food (obviously). Price is somewhat of a concern, we probably don't want to spend more than about $50/pp for dinner, $25 for lunch. As far as cuisine goes, we aren't really looking to be too "adventurous" so to speak. I think I gave enough details...hopefully not too many! Thanks for any advice and recommendations you have!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Your hotel is very close to Terroni on Adelaide (www.terroni.ca).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rabbit

      Terroni is a great recommendation for dinner and fits your criteria perfectly -- fun, hip, good food, not too expensive. For lunch, Beer Bistro is just down the street from your hotel, which is also fun and hip with good food. The menus at both will appeal to the not-too-adventurous, but who like good food. Have fun!

      www.terroni.com
      www.beerbistro.com

      1. re: TorontoJo

        I second/third the Beer Bistro and Terroni reccos. I should note, however, that although I consider them moderately hip, I'm in my mid-thirties. If you want uber-hip, you may want to head farther west. I'm no expert on where 20-somethings hang out, but I can tell you I did have a really good meal at Oddfellows, which definitely has a very hip vibe. Check out this thread:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582197

    2. These are good recs particularly Terroni. If you're looking for hip however I think you'll want to go a bit further afield (you're staying in the financial district) -- Kensington market is great -- there are a few spots on Augusta that are fun and cheap. Torito perhaps?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Arcadiaseeker

        I love the place, but I find Torito can really add up. Supermarket is a more budget-friendly option in Kensington. They often have live entertainment and it is a younger demographic. Kalendar is out that way too (www.kalendar.com).

        1. re: Rabbit

          Can't really recommend sending anyone to Kalendar. Went there one time with a few friends, and service was slow even though we were the only group there for most of the evening. They have a sort of "fusion" menu that doesn't really work in the end, and you end up paying a bit more for everything than you should. Wouldn't really recommend Terroni either due to so-so service I've had there on two occasions and some bad experiences on this board (bad at Queen W, so-so at Adelaide), but I will admit the food is not at fault and the price is right. My and my friends' age may have been the problem in both of these cases (we look younger than we are, sometimes) but that is no excuse for poor service.

          Since this all comes off a bit negative, I'll take this opportunity to second the Beerbistro rec. I liked their beer tastings (3 for $6 or something like that) and their food is decent too, without unnecessary attitude you might get at Terroni or Kalendar. Plus, seems perfect given your location.

          1. re: Rabbit

            Rabbit you are right about Torito -- I really would love to recommend Supermarket but I have had some really really bad food there the last few times I went (albeit the last time was in summer). But it is fun and hip and you can hear a band -- and the drinks are tasty.

            You can always grab a bowl of rice at Rice Bar (very yummy and cheap) across from Supermarket and then head over for drinks and entertainment....

        2. For lunch, you really can't beat the St. Lawrence Market (www.stlawrencemarket.com) and if your room has a refrigerator, even better. Churrasco (Portugese BBQ Chicken) sandwiches, Carousel Bakery bacon sandwiches, Montreal Style Bagels and cream cheese from St. Urbain (baked in a brick oven) A Bisket, a basket gourmet jams/jellies, etc, etc, etc. (note: the market is closed Sunday and Mondays though)

          1. Head to to the stretch of Ossington between Dundas and Queen if you want hip! Pizza Libretto is fantastic. You'll spend no more than $40 each, and that's with salad, pizza and wine. The food is delicious, and it's a very hot spot right now. Get there early if you don't like waiting. If you don't mind a wait, give them your cell number and grab a drink at either the Painted Lady (across the street) or at the Communist's Daughter while you wait for them to call about your table. Foxley (also on Ossington) is also fantastic. A bit more upscale. Further south (at Queen) is a great little bar called Sweaty Betty's. I love it there. The whole Ossington stretch is pretty much as hip as it gets in this fair city of ours! And the food and drink scene is pretty solid. It's a hike from where you're staying, though. A bit west. worth the cab fare.

            1. Thanks so much for all the recommendations so far everyone! 8 responses in less than a day! I looked up Terroni's menu online and it sounds delicious! We may try there for dinner Friday and BeerBistro sounds like a great lunch spot! To clarify a bit...I didn't really mean "hip" as in super trendsetting or anything like that, we just don't want anything stuffy...and maybe something thats a little more contemporary where a bunch of 20 year olds wouldn't feel out of place. Keep the reccos coming, when we get back from our trip I will post our choices/experiences!

              1 Reply
              1. my favourite "young people good food" places are:
                Insomnia - martini lounge, great vibe, pizza, paninis, sandwiches and the like - very yummy crab cakes!

                Utopia - GREAT burgers/burritos/salads, veggie-friendly stuff too, not stuffy at all, very ladi back, buzzing vibe. So yummy.

                -----
                Insomnia
                563 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y6, CA

                Utopia
                586 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: LemonLauren

                  the best thing i've had at utopia by far is their nachos. people rave about the sneaky dee's ones but i don't know how anyone can beat utopias as the same price, same gigantic portions and with much higher quality toppings.

                2. Supermarket in Kensington Market. Four courses $15!

                  http://www.supermarkettoronto.com/

                  1. I'd book a table at Cafe La Gaffe (the hotel can do this for you), take a cab there (leave the car at the hotel, parking is a pain and you can all drink) then from there, walk to Kensington Market and along College Street for a little pub crawl. Have a good time!

                    1. Another spot you might look at relatively close to your hotel is Harlem.

                      www.harlemrestaurant.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Rabbit

                        That's another great idea - I'd momentarily forgotten about it.

                      2. Sarah Cat is right. Young people, you'll probably want to hit the Ossington strip at some point for food and fun and overall hipness. I would say you could eat quite cheaply and well at Delux (hello, Cubano sandwich) then hit Sweaty Betty's for drinks afterwards. Another good choice, on Queen near Ossington, would be Oddfellows. Haven't tried Libretto yet. Foxley I think is ok but can get pricey.