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Mar 31, 2009 10:39 AM

Irish Embassy in Toronto

Hi Everyone
I was just on my lunch break and decided to go for a walk. In my travels I passed the Irish Embassy pub on the north east corner of Wellington and Front. Has anyone eaten there? I'm looking for new places to eat and get a good pint of Guiness possibly. If anyone has eaten there, I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. I had a bite there more than a year ago, with a friend. It was very busy on a Saturday evening before a hockey game and the various shows in the entertainment district. Servers were pretty efficient despite the crowds and the food was good. I had mussels, which don't appear to still be on the menu. My friend had the bacon-wrapped scallops, which she claimed were tasty. The people at the neighbouring table looked to be enjoying a hearty Irish lamb stew and a lot of burgers flew out of the kitchen. I enjoyed the vibe and vowed to return, even though I haven't. I'm only in Toronto about once a month, though, so it's not necessarily the first place I'd head for a bite, with so many great ethnic eats in Toronto.

    1. I would say the food is well above average for pub food. It is certainly better than the Firkin type chains or Elephant and Castle. They do have Guiness on tap - the beer would be what you expect from an upscale Irish pub in Toronto, with a combination of Irish and English beers (although they also have Hoegaarden, so maybe there were other Belgian beers I'm forgetting about). I have never had bad service here either.

      While Irish Embassy is good, for pubs in the area I prefer to go to C'est What. It is just down the street at Church. They have all local microbrews on tap (St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout is way better than Guiness!), plus all the food is fresh.

      C'est What
      67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: kwjd

        I prefer the food at the Irish Embassy to C'est What. Everything I've had at C'est What was very pedestrian, even to my drunken palette!!

        1. re: pinkprimp

          Second that. I always had great service at Irish Embassy. Food is above average but not the best pub food I've ever had. I don't really remember what I had because I was always tanked after a Leafs game. C'est what, food is OKAY but service is just brutal. I seriously eat out once a week and I've never had worse service then I've had at C'est What! Seriously who gives customers evil eye and smirks ugh!!

        2. re: kwjd

          These days, Hoegaarden is made by Anheuser-Busch InBev, so it's probably just the token Belgian beer. I've seen Hoegaarden at a number of places where it and Guinness were the only remotely interesting beers.

        3. It is really not a "pub" in atmosphere - a pseudo-Irish restaurant really - with a nicely done space that feels pretty cavernous (although the new room behind the bar is a bit more pub-like). The atmosphere during the week is mainly Bay Street suits. Prices are higher than your average "pub", given the clientele.

          That said, the food is generally quite good. At some point I've had pretty much each of the items on the menu - prime rib sandwich, the burger, the chicken wrap, the cob salad, the curry, the grilled cheese, the pot pies - and they've all been strong.

          There is a good selection of beer/wine - not microbrews but the standard english/irish stuff.

          Service is efficient although they are almost always busy. You generally need reservations at lunch unless you can snag a spot at the bar - not sure about dinner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cat123

            Good place for a beer, and I really like their curry chicken gravy and fries. Although it can get a bit noisy...

          2. I agree with monkeyinthemiddle re: noise. It can get quite noisy there, to the point that it's hard to hear your companions at the same table. No other complaints though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sam_1

              Thanks for the feedback! I'm on Bay Street but prefer the more laidback crowd at a restaurant to the suits. I'm the one at a Leafs game with Nachos in one hand and a beer in the other. I prefer a laidback atmosphere, however the food supercedes that preference. I don't like shouting to my friends across a table however I will check the place out. Thanks everyone!

            2. The P. J. O'Brien pub is about a block south-east of the Irish Embassy on Colborne. It is owned by the same people and has great food and excellent pints in a bit of a quieter, less suit-infested atmosphere. Maybe that would be more what you are looking for?

              P.J. O'Brien
              39 Colborne St, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gary

                I second P.J. O'Brien's...more laid back and the food is good.