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In Need of Reliable Restaurant Recommendations


My wife and I are traveling to Toronto next weekend. We have 3 nights to eat. One night we're eating at Canoe. However, for the other 2 nights, I'm looking for objective, excellent recommendations for the following cuisine. We're staying in Yorkville, but will go anywhere within a 15 minute drive:

1. Sushi (high quality, fresh sushi) - we live in Boston so if my fellow chowhounds don't think even the best Toronto sushi will as good, please let me know.
2. Chinese - what the best Chinese? (with a nice atmosphere)
3. Italian - any thoughts?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Firstly, I don't know if there's such a thing as an objective recommendation when it comes to restaurants, but, in any case, I'll try. Sushi restaurants most mentioned as being among the best (Kaji and Zen, for example), are not 15 min from Yorkville. So, I'd skip.

    Chinese, I'd try Lai Wah Heen Restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel (108 Chestnut Street, 416- 977-9899). Objectively speaking, this has been one of the most mentioned as one of the better Chinese restaurants and it's within 15min of Yorkville.

    Italian? I can't think of any that's "excellent" near Yorkville. Maybe someone else can chime in.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: syoung

      I'll second Lai Wah Heen, but only for dim sum, which is only served at lunch. Very high end dim sum -- I believe you'd be hard pressed to find this quality in Boston.

      1. re: syoung

        For Italian, I'd go with Mistura. Davenport and Avenue Rd. Very sexy and great food. Probably not as good as the North End fare you're used to, but great for ambiance.

      2. 1. Sushi - Unless you want to cab it out to Sushi Kaji or Hashimoto (both a considerable distance from Yorkville) then I don't think you're going to get anything like O Ya or Uni in Boston and you're apt to be disappointed. Certainly nothing within 15 minutes of Yorkville will touch Boston's best.

        2. Chinese - Second Lai Wah Heen. Or Dynasty on Bloor is not-bad and very accessible from your hotel.

        3. Italian - Another tough pick for Bostonians since you have such great Italian in your town. My top picks would be Tutti Matti for authentic Tuscan, Mistura for high-end and in your nabe (nice jazz club upstairs for after-dinner drinking), or possibly L'Unita for all around nice package (won't change your life but the food is good, it has a nice buzz and it has the advantage of being very close to Yorkville).

        4. Canoe is a great pick!

        Hope you enjoy your stay... and please report back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rabbit

          definitelty hit up noce for italian

          1. re: Rabbit

            Third Lai Wah

            Second Tutti Matti

            Skip the sushi here. You'll be disappointed IMO.

          2. Best sushi I've had was at Blowfish at King and Bathurst, but it was super expensive.

            Also don't limit yourself to yorkville unless you want to stumble back drunk, Toronto is a big sprawling city, you have to travel around a bit.

            I had the best fish I ever had in Boston, no idea what restaurant it was we just walked in off the street. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

            Have you thought about high end indian, or one of the other more exotic types of cuisine we may have here?

            1. For Italian, Tutti Matti has a great lunch prix fixe. For more upscale check out the menu at Noce and Il Mulino and decide based on which one has items that appeal to you.

              You will probably also need to know some cheap lunch eats around you. You may want to try; Craft Burger, Greg's ice cream (only), or the Coffee Mill.

              4 Replies
              1. re: dubchild

                Greg's just closed - there is a tearful "goodbye" message on the door right now.

                1. re: thatlankyfoody

                  Really?! Does that mean no more Greg's ice cream any where? (I wonder if the little shop near Summerhill is still open...)

              2. Cafe Nervosa in Yorkville was always good when I was there in the past. (For the most part, I don't find much good eating in Yorkville.) I'm personally not a fan of Lai Wah Heen; I find it too fancy for its own good. But as you can see, I'm in the minority!

                1. Forget sushi and Italian, and go to LWH for dim sum. There's really no reason to go for Italian or sushi here, and there's no "high quality, fresh sushi" within 15 minutes of Yorkville. If you must have Italian, Mistura is pretty good.

                  If you're looking for recommendations, there were at least two or three recent threads regarding recommendations for tourists, and in at least one of those aser linked to all of the recent threads for tourists looking for recommendations (and they're always looking for the same things). I'd suggest that you start with these.

                  If you're willing to skip the Italian and sushi, there are other places that might be more worth the dinner for you, or at least certain items downtown that are worth trying, just check other threads.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tjr

                    Thanks to everyone for the reommendations. I'm going to go to Caplansky's and I wouldn't mind some good Schwarma, so if anyone has thoughts, let me know.

                  2. Oh my gosh, Gregs closed?? I wonder if they just closed the store front and they will still be supplying the restaurant industry.
                    I personally like the Shwarma at Sarah's in the annex, a short walk from yorkville. I really like the seasoning and spices that they use.
                    La Wai Heen has fabulous chinese, great dim sum, fabulous taste and lovely presentation!
                    Skip craft buger, dry tasteless overpriced burgers (no offense to the CH who posted).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Baelsette

                      Sorry to keep posting this, I just don't want Greg's to be damaged by false rumours:


                    2. OK, I signed up to Chowhound just to reply to your email.
                      First off welcome to TO.......I

                      Sushi - go to Kaji Sushi, let me say that again, go to Kaji Sushi. $40 cab ride ($20 US) sit at the bar and be preapred for some of the best sushi you will every have......I hate to send out -of -towners there, since its in a suburban wasteland, but if you a sushi fan (as I am) its worth it.

                      Noce is always reliable for good italian, for a good lunch - Terroni's on Queen.
                      Dim Sum - Queens Quay - Pink Pearl on Sunday.......

                      Enjoy !

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TO Arch

                        Pearl Harbourfront is the dim sum spot on Queen's Quay (daytime only).


                        Pink Pearl was in Yorkville (Avenue Rd) and appears to be no longer in business.

                        And I know the dollar isn't what it used to be, but $40CAN does not = $20US.

                      2. I visited and here are my thoughts:

                        Caplansky's: top notch, smoked real, and as authentic as you can get in Toronto (great slaw too).
                        Canoe: woefully overrated and the portions are too small. I had the deer and it was simply not great.
                        Chiado: superb, fresh seafood.