HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Cultures restaurants -- any good?

  • 9

Has anybody been to the restaurants called "Cultures"? I couldn't find mention of them anywhere on the boards. I know there's one in Eaton Centre, and others scattered around. Curious...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. no - not good..actually, I take that back..if you want a smoothie and a quick sandwich/salad, you could do worse..but really, just a chain "food court" offering (and I find them often a bit dirty..but that could just be me)

    1. Can't find a reference probably because it's a mediochre chain?? Yuck.

      1. Culture's was very good at one time, with fresh salads and sandwiches, good hot food, and arguably the best smoothies in Toronto. That was way back when.

        It used to be franchised by Steinberg in Montreal. I don't know whether today's outlets are franchises, or are individual stores that survived the franchiser's demise. The only similarity between Cultures then and now is the signs.

        1. If you're asking about the food quality on a stand-alone basis, it's certainly sub-par. But if you're asking about it relative to other food court spots, it's above average. Reality is that it's often the only healthy and wholesome spot in many food courts. So even if the salads aren't great, they're still better than 80% of the other crap out there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SMOG

            I think we would all agree (I think??) that CULTURES was at one time, the 'beginning of' the(workforce/food court) 'fresh food /salad bar experience' in Toronto and it was great to have that option at that time...now however it is so behind us...the quality slipped totally and our options are so much better...I admit to not even remembering the last time I ate anything there but I do remember how great and what a new discovery the "Smoothies" were at that time...Oh well......

          2. I agree with PearID and everyone above. Even though it seems like the freshest and healthiest of many food courts, I still have a hard time finding anything that I'd want to eat there. The sandwiches are sub-par. The salads aren't as fresh nor interesting as they may have once been. And everything else looks very ininspiring, even for a food court.



            1. Prices have skyrocketed in the last 3 years or so and I agree with other posts - quality is definitely on the decline. I find the Eaton Centre location to be particularly bad. The selection and quality at Scarborough Town Centre is much better. In fact they used to (and still might) also sell Pho at the STC location. They definitely have a mix of other Chinese food there that I haven't seen at other Culture's locations.

              The three-salad combo used to be something around the $5 mark. Now I believe it's upwards of $7.

              1. The Cultures locations vary between okay and really bad.

                As Sinfulia pointed out, the Eaton Centre location is very poor. The portions are always too small, and I feel like the tables are always dirty,
                On the flip side,the Cultures in the PATH underneath the Standard Life Building (king and york), is above average. Prices aren't crazy, salads are good, there is a varying selection every day, and (above all else) it is always spotless.

                Middle of the road locations are - Yorkdale Mall, PATH (york and adelaide, under Hys), and Sherway Gardens....

                sadly, i am a food court frequenter...

                1. When Cultures first started popping up in Toronto, they offered a healthier option among fast food type restaurants, something like what Freshii (formerly Lettuce) is trying to do now. Lots of salads and pitas, fresh fruits and veggies, with flavours that were interesting at the time (I'm thinking early 80's), but Toronto has so much more to offer, and Cultures hasn't kept pace. In fact, it may have regressed, though I can't attest to what they offer now, as I have avoided Cultures for a long time now.