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Danforth Gems

Just moved from the beaches to the Danforth and I am looking for those hidden gems. I like all cuisine. Any suggestions???

Thanks in Advance

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  1. other than Lolita's Lust (good, but i feel its a bit overpriced), 7 Numbers and Globe, the hidden gems would be east of Pape....
    I'm a huge fan of Dukem for Ethiopian.
    For beer, try Sarah's (except it always smells like deep fryer and seafood in there).

    2 Replies
    1. re: atomeyes

      Just have dinner somewhere else before you go to Sarah's. Really unremarkable grub there.

      1. re: Pincus

        I've had steak at Sarah's a couple of times now and both times they tasted like... bland nothingness. Not beefy at all, like eating a slab of rubbery tofu. Oh, I shouldn't insult tofu like that.
        As so many have said before, Sarah's for drinks only.
        Welcome to the Danforth. You'll have real food choices here compared to in the beaches.

    2. Love the Globe (and their rooftop patio), the Auld Spot for a quick bite & most of the food at the Court Jester pub but, go further East young Danforthite!

      At Melanie's Bistro the food is always consistent, reasonably priced and delicious. As well, Relish Bar & Grill is a neighbourhood godsend for us. Basil Thai Kitchen has some Malay & Burmese dishes that I also love.

      Happy Hunting!

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

      Basil Thai Kitchen
      2326 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

      2152 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1K3, CA

      Melanie's Bistro
      1870 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1J4, CA

      5 Replies
      1. re: Sueb24

        anything ore you want to share re: Basil Thai Kitchen?
        we usually go to Satay on the Road for Thai because we've found a few dishes that are actually good, and its not far.
        I am not in love with SotR, so if you can help sell me on Basil Thai Kitchen, i'd hapily give it a shot.

        1. re: atomeyes

          Had some last night as a matter of fact! Tom Yum soup, Assam Pork, Glass Noodles w/Chicken were so-so, mustard greens always delish in garlic sauce. Hope that helps!

        2. re: Sueb24

          I second Globe. Was there last night and had a fabulous meal. Excellent service as well!

          1. re: Sueb24

            Well I tried to pop into the Court Jester to meet some friends for supper, with my 2-year old with me. But I was barred entry because I had a child under the age of 13 ... lots of signs at the entrance saying that children under 13 were not allowed.

            I didn't even know that was legal in Ontario! Must be a pretty scuzzy place if they are worried about kids being at least 13 (though I think I'd be more concerned if my 13-year old was in the pub, than my 2-year old!).

            1. re: nfitz

              They do not allow kids after 8pm. Before that time, it's no problem. This has been their policy since smoking was banned and I've been there for lunch three times in the past month with my kids. My three year old is just getting to the age where she likes the board games they have, so I'd even say it's "kid-friendly".

              It's a pub atmosphere at night, but not scuzzy. That said, it's not really a chowhound place either.

          2. Haven't been in a long time, but I have always enjoyed the Silk Road Cafe ( http://www.silkroadcafe.ca/ ).

            6 Replies
            1. re: Squiggles

              And I haven't been there for about 2 years as my wife and I didn't like it. I don't know how some of these places exist. There's noting special about the food there, in our opinion. We went twice, didn't like it both times, and can't see any reason to tey it again

              Djerba-La-Douce should be on any list of places to try on Danforth. And don't miss the bakava there, it's great..

              1. re: foodyDudey

                As well as a cup of traditional mint tea after your supper.

                1. re: Zengarden

                  I don't really like the mint tea and find it too sweet, so I didn't mention it. But others may like to try it. Both my wife and I had a hard time drinking more than 1/2 a small cup, and she says she needs to have a few beers with that food so she told me I can go myself.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    In case the OP wishes to know, Djerba Ladouce is a halal restaurant so no alcohol. I'm fine with this as I don't drink but others may miss having a nice beverage.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      I ask for no sugar in the mint tea and it's delicious. It is way too sweet if they just make it for you. I second Djerba and Dukem. I get take out from Thai on Danforth because it's handy and the red curry chicken is good. Bad breakfasts at the Terminal Restaurant are always fun.

                2. re: Squiggles

                  Haven't been back since trying it a few years ago. The food was o.k., but I found the service (which I believe was from the owner) a little offputting. Not a winning combo, to me.

                3. I like Jean's Vegetarian which is close to Greenwood. The food is delicious and wholesome. Various curries, rice dishes, and noodles.

                  I also like Three's Company. Good for brunch My next choice would be Mocha Mocha at Logan which is again, honest healthy food that is served cafeteria style. Well, you order it and they bring it to your table. Love the chicken/avocado on whole grain sandwich.

                  At Broadview, I love Mambo Lounge. One can order four tapas dishes for $25. On Fridays and Saturday nights, there is a $5 cover charge if you stay for the live entertainment.

                  1. Pantheon for the grilled calamari dinner. Hands down the best on the street.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: SMOG

                      Totally agree with SMOG...love Pantheon...the grilled calamari is the best in the city IMHO!
                      The service is good to great and the friendly vibe is a definite plus...no attitude and eager to please...wish I lived closer because I'd go there more often!

                      1. re: pearlD

                        When they're in a good mood, they usually bring a complementary dip platter. And a complementary big piece of honey cake for dessert. Very eager to please!

                    2. This is my opinion out of 10 (10 being great!)

                      Melanie's - 7.5 (very reasonably priced)
                      Relish - 7 (good tapas)
                      Mambo - 7 (good food, great mohitos)
                      Globe - 10 (great food & service)
                      Allen's - 8 (yummy burger)
                      Ten Feet Tall - 6 (average food)
                      Ouzeri - 7 (good lamb souvlaki)
                      Lolita's Lust - 7 (pricey for what you get)
                      Embrujo Flamenco - 2 (horrible service)

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: katbri

                        You give Allen's an 8 only because of the burger? My wife and I rate it around a 3 as there is very little edible food on the menu, and the service is almost non-existent.

                        1. re: foodyDudey

                          Between my mother and I we've been to Allen's about 6 times now, and each time the service was fantastic and the food delicious. I'm always surprised to hear of people getting bad service. What area of the restaurant do you sit in? We've always sat in the dining room, never the patio or bar area.

                          1. re: CeeQueue

                            We gave it one more try in June, and sat on the patio. My wife and I ordered a few beers and some calamari. My wife ate a few pieces of calamari and told me I could finish the rest as she didn't like it. I didn't either. It took a very long time to get the bill. The service was a bit better than the last time, but I don;t know what is edible on the menu.

                            1. re: CeeQueue

                              Grilled calamari salad at the Pantheon is great.
                              I like the kebab's at Makkah Restaurant (998 Danforth). New York Cafe on SE corner of Broadview and Danforth for good diner breakfasts.

                              1. re: koknia

                                I think New York Cafe is disgusting. Everything is covered in grease, including the s/p shakers. The food tastes horrible. First breakfast in a long time that I could not finish. Complete turn off! Major ick factor!!

                                1. re: millygirl

                                  I have some friends that often eat at the "Detroit Eatery", it's probably similar food to the NY cafe. Have you been there? I ate at the NY cafe about 15 years ago, once.

                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                    Yes, been to Detroit Eatery many times. Godd BLT's and fries, without the grease slick. Totally different vibe altogether from NY Cafe.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      I've been to both places for greasy breakfasts. I don't like Detroit because I've always been the only person there except for some bored staff. NYC is busy and the food is basically the same. How can you screw up scrambled eggs and brown toast?

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        Will have to try Detroit Eatery, always pass by but never go in.

                                    2. re: millygirl

                                      I used to really like the New York Cafe. But unfortunately, since the change in ownership, they seem to have raised prices but lowered the quality of ingredients and cooking. The place looks better in some ways and seems cleaner now, but the food is just not what it used to be. The staff are still very nice though.

                                  2. re: CeeQueue

                                    We sat in the patio a few months ago amd had to wait quite a while for service when ordering and again to ask fro the bill.

                                  3. re: foodyDudey

                                    I would also give Allen's an 8 just for the burger. While I sometimes order something else, and some of these things are actually good, I think of Allen's as a burger place. They also do extremely well with their beer selection, though at a price.

                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                      I too find it funny when I hear of the terrible service at Allens. I've gone in quite a few times over the last year and have never experienced bad service. I've only ever ordered the burger so can't comment on the rest of the menu, but the burger is good and IMO, the only one I've had in Toronto worth ordering at that price point. I've always sat at either the bar or one of the front banquettes. For a quick pint, its been great for me and my SO. All that said, I still trust your opinion FD.


                                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                        I've heard that service on the patio can be the worst. I wonder if they try to get by with the same number of servers when it's open? I've only gone at times of the year when the patio isn't open.

                                        Agree also with your last point SWS...everyone's mileage may vary. Another point is that we usually go for fairly early dinners, when the staff is probably fresh and it's not as busy.

                                        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                          We go to Allen's probably about once a month, and 9 times out of 10 it's perfectly fine, and when it is not it usually comes down to them being really busy but once every couple years we go and it's a complete disaster, yesterday was such for us, we went, originally sat on the patio despite the chill as we all had jackets and sweaters but got driven in by the rain. Between the time we hit the door and there being anything non-liquid brought to the table was an hour and fourty minutes. After about an hour and twenty we started to get a little short with the waitress (this was after another party who had come in after us was having their plates cleared) and her initial reaction was to get snippy back, she did turn that around after a short while and the food when it came was good. I just never get how a place can be so wildly inconsistent, if we had not had other positive experiences there and this was a first visit, we'd never go back.

                                    2. I forgot to put a recommendation in for Quattro Ragazze. Family-run Italian place with some very nice simple Italian dishes.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Pincus

                                        They know who they are and what they can do. They do these things simply, inexpensively, and well.

                                      2. I have to mention my favourite pick on the Danforth, Danforth Pizza House. Easy to miss, but this is absolutely the best pizza I have eaten. I have been going there for about 3 years and I still get excited about it. No matter how tired I am, I am always willing to make a trek there to pick up a pie (and you have no choice since they do not deliver).

                                        I wish the world had more places like this, that do one thing, and do it extremely well.

                                        1. Having bought a house in the Danforth East area in February, my fiancee and I have enjoyed discovering some of the hidden gems of the area.

                                          Globe is up at the top of my list, though I wouldn't necessarily put it in the 'hidden gems' category.

                                          I'm shocked that nobody's mentioned 7 Numbers Danforth yet. Being Italian and not being able to visit my Italian aunts' places for dinner all that often, the fact that the food here always tastes just as it would in the home of any great Italian cook makes me happy.

                                          Mambo Lounge, as mentioned, is good for Cuban-style tapas and great mojitos. Every so often (and frequently this winter and summer), they run a $20 special that buys you 4 tapas and a mojito or beer.

                                          I discovered Sarah's a couple months ago, and am really surprised to hear people on this board tell others to avoid the food. No, it's not great, but it's serviceable. I usually go for the mussels (several flavour combos, some very good, some just okay). And they have a great, extensive beer menu and good fries, which is a pretty decent weeknight patio combo in my books.

                                          Nobody has mentioned Walima Cafe (www.walimacafe.com) yet. Great Moroccan place between Coxwell and Greenwood that opened early this year. It's small and hidden away on the 'other' side of Danforth, but it's gotten a fair bit of justifiably good press from Toronto Life, Eye and the Star recently.

                                          Another thing you'll find on the east end of Danforth is a number of Ethiopian places. So far, I've only been to Rendez-Vous, which is very good and run by a very friendly group of people. But I plan to hit Dukem soon, as well as the newly-opened Lalibela.

                                          I tried Relish just recently, after several recommendations from this board and from others, and was surprised to find the majority of the dishes we tried really unremarkable. I'm willing to try it again, though, since we may have hit it on an off night.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: TOFoodFan

                                            Just jumping on TOFoodFan comments. I also enjoy Sarah's for a pint , mussles and fries. Gerrard Pizza has not been brought up yet either. Again would stick with beer and pizza. As well, their panzerotto's with roasted peppers and spicy olives is delicious. I also have to admit I love the terminal for breakfast and especially enjoy the retro atmosphere.

                                            1. re: fofofum

                                              Well, I agree the fries and mussels and Sarah's aren't bad. Beyond that...I'd still eat somewhere else before going for beer.

                                            2. re: TOFoodFan

                                              Taps and Tales just east of Greenwood has better food and better beer than Sarah's. We go there quite bit and the service is very friendly for their specials change a lot so it reward the regular customer.

                                            3. Here's a couple:

                                              Danforth Pizza House - OUTSTANDING old-school neighbourhood pizza place! Quirky, ugly, run down, and everything a family take-out pizza joint should be! Perfect.

                                              Astoria Souvlaki - not quite what it once was before the remodel, but still an excellent example of delicious (especially the pork) souvlaki. It's just "street meat", but it's yummy!

                                              The Last Cafe - tacky, anti-trend little joint with lots of imported beers, quirky decor, cheezy ambiance and occasional live music, plus a little patio to boot.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: TorontoTips

                                                Toronto Tips, could you have meant The Only Cafe?

                                                1. re: TorontoTips

                                                  What's the address of Danforth Pizza House?

                                                  1. re: lissar

                                                    Link below:

                                                    Danforth Pizza
                                                    920 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L9, CA