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Best Pizza in Toronto.

f
FoodieInChicago Sep 4, 2009 12:08 PM

I'll be in Toronto for five days, and will most likely just have pizza once...where's the best?

  1. p
    Pincus Sep 4, 2009 02:28 PM

    What area of town are you going to be in?

    Are you looking for upscale sit-down dining, or would a mom and pop-style place be ok?

    Would you consider take out instead of sitting down for dinner?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pincus
      TorontoJo Sep 4, 2009 02:30 PM

      It would also help if you would specify what kind of pizza you like. Toronto is not a pizza town like Chicago is and the choices for great pizza are kind of limited.

    2. Dimbulb Sep 4, 2009 03:28 PM

      Terroni vs Libretto - discuss.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Dimbulb
        duckdown Sep 4, 2009 07:26 PM

        so sad that these are the only 2 good places in the city or entire GTA for that matter

        whats so hard about getting a damn wood burning oven... it makes all the difference in the world.. can anyone even name a single wood burning oven pizza place in mississauga or brampton... i'm all ears

        edit: ill answer my own question, alexendra hut or whatever at hurontario & dundas has a wood burning oven ... but still, out of all the "chains" and pizza joints out there, only one of them..

        1. re: duckdown
          CeeQueue Sep 4, 2009 07:46 PM

          I guess you have to come all the way to East Scarborough to Fratelli's in Highland Creek Village.

          1. re: CeeQueue
            duckdown Sep 4, 2009 08:42 PM

            I've heard that name mentioned before

          2. re: duckdown
            f
            froglegs Sep 5, 2009 06:03 AM

            They are not the "only" places in the GTA to get great pizza. No pizza place can please everyone so it is all relative.

            Personally I like Libretto. Love the feel of the place.

            1. re: duckdown
              Googs Sep 5, 2009 08:43 AM

              While I agree a wood burning oven in the right hands, so to speak, delivers great pizza it is also a trick employed by some of lesser talent.

              A great pizza is great whether it's been exposed to wood or not. The ones being served at Fusilli, which are stone baked, are an excellent example of this. I can't get enough of them.

              1. re: Googs
                duckdown Sep 5, 2009 02:53 PM

                Stone ovens are nice and almost equally uncommon though

                I've had stone oven pizza before but I don't think it was ever in the GTA.. Know any places in the west GTA (etobicoke, misssissauga, etc), I would go check it out.. I like the charring on the crusts that just doesn't seem the same when they're baked in the normal electric ovens.. call me crazy or whatever but im sticking by it

                1. re: duckdown
                  Googs Sep 5, 2009 04:43 PM

                  I can't help you with west end pizza dd.

                  If you try Fusilli I can at least tell you there's plenty of parking nearby. You're right about the finish on the crust. It's thin and feels crispy when you bite into it, yet soft enough to fold without cracking. Try doing that in a regular oven. And I haven't even started on how good the crust tastes.
                  http://fusilli.ca/

          3. s
            Snarf Sep 4, 2009 11:48 PM

            Trio on Yonge north of Lawrence has very decent wood-fired pizza.

            1. g
              Gary Sep 5, 2009 04:16 AM

              The word "best" is a subjective one. But Mangi y Bevia on Ontario St. just off of King East is pretty good. Thin crust Italian. The place is most lively at lunch. If you're by yourself, sit at the long counter with stools. They have one Canadian microbrew on tap -- steam whistle.

              -----
              Mangia & Bevi
              260 King E, Toronto, ON M5A1K3, CA

              1. f
                froglegs Sep 5, 2009 06:06 AM

                Pizza Libretto on Ossington Avenue.... my choice. Beware, they do not take reservations so go early or late, or wait !

                I've never been to this place but someone told me that the pizza at Sorrento's is very good.

                1. c
                  childofthestorm Sep 5, 2009 06:46 AM

                  Libretto is the best.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: childofthestorm
                    s
                    Sui_Mai Nov 10, 2009 12:44 PM

                    Yup Libretto is the best. I just wish Toronto did quality slices like in NY and Philly. I think it's silly having to go to some self-conscious place like Terroni and Libretto just for a good slice.

                    1. re: Sui_Mai
                      duckdown Nov 10, 2009 03:23 PM

                      Oh TELL me about it. You know what else is bad? Our burger situation is the same way.

                      Who the hell wants to go to Weezies or Barberiens or any of the rest of these upper-scale dine-in places just to get a burger that isn't a frozen hockey puck... it drives me crazy the low standards people have in this city, that people will just eat anything

                      The worst part is, even if someone did open a small little burger shop with fresh-ground beef and freshly cut fries, the general public would probably still just go to the other fast food chains instead of supporting a place that cares. No other explaination I can think of as to why Domino's Pizza and 2-4-1 are popping up on every street corner while the Mom & Pop independants die a slow death...

                      Thoughts?

                      1. re: duckdown
                        Davwud Nov 10, 2009 03:49 PM

                        If a good M&burger place opened people would just complain that it's not cooked to order. That it's not as good as a Montreal or Ottawa or Boise burger.

                        Or, M&P's Gourmet Burger Emporium.

                        DT

                        1. re: Davwud
                          p
                          Pincus Nov 11, 2009 07:53 AM

                          "If a good M&burger place opened Chowhounders would just complain that it's not cooked to order. That it's not as good as a Montreal or Ottawa or Boise burger."

                          Fixed.

                          1. re: Pincus
                            duckdown Nov 11, 2009 06:20 PM

                            I don't get it... either of them.. I think it is a wonderful idea

                      2. re: Sui_Mai
                        b
                        Boodah Nov 10, 2009 04:18 PM

                        You can get quality slices. For example, the slices at the Pizzaiolo up the street from us at Bloor/Jane are very reminiscent of what I get when I'm in New York City. What I find interesting about the slices from there is they taste better after after they reheat them in their oven than the pizzas they sell for takeout, I'm guessing the reheating does something to the crust that makes it a bit more crispy.

                        1. re: Boodah
                          Full tummy Nov 11, 2009 06:12 PM

                          I too enjoy Pizzaiolo slices; if you like it extra crispy, you should ask for your pizza to be done like that next time you order a whole one!!

                          1. re: Full tummy
                            s
                            Sui_Mai Nov 17, 2009 08:38 AM

                            I think Pizzaiolo feels like eating a loaf of bread to me.

                            BTW I just had a Shake Shack burger in NYC - just great. I loved how simple and unpretentious it was, just a good quality lunch-counter style burger made from local ingredients.

                            1. re: Sui_Mai
                              Full tummy Nov 17, 2009 05:30 PM

                              Haha, I like the crust... I like the toppings, too. You can request a "thin" crust when ordering whole pizzas... Burger sounds yummy.

                    2. a
                      adkatz Sep 5, 2009 08:45 AM

                      Considering how large the Italian population is here, the dire pizza situation is very disappointing. My suggestion would be to eat Chinese, and have pizza when you get back home.

                      1. Squeakycheese Sep 5, 2009 04:29 PM

                        I would recommend Banfi, at Spadina and Lonsdale. They've really raised their game. Best pizza I've ever had.

                        19 Replies
                        1. re: Squeakycheese
                          Ediblethoughts Sep 5, 2009 05:47 PM

                          I just tried to hunt down a menu for Banfi and no luck. Is this a sit-down place with good salads and such? Do you recall if they did whole grain crusts?

                          1. re: Ediblethoughts
                            Squeakycheese Sep 5, 2009 05:56 PM

                            Sit down yes, though they do take-out as well. They have some salads too, though I've never tried them. Think my wife has some asparagus salad once that was quite good, though not 100% sure. The pizzas are whole grain, thin crust, and just delicious! Give it a try sometime.

                            1. re: Ediblethoughts
                              Squeakycheese Sep 5, 2009 05:59 PM

                              Actually here you go Edible, the pdf doesn't seem to work but the other links do:

                              http://www.pizzabanfi.ca/menu.htm

                              1. re: Squeakycheese
                                Ediblethoughts Sep 5, 2009 06:00 PM

                                Thanks!! It's definitely on my soon-to-do list!

                                1. re: Squeakycheese
                                  Davwud Sep 5, 2009 06:14 PM

                                  What are their hours??

                                  DT

                                  1. re: Davwud
                                    Squeakycheese Sep 5, 2009 06:26 PM

                                    DINING HOURS & TAKE OUT

                                    LUNCH: Monday - Saturday 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

                                    DINNER: Monday - Saturday 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

                                    Sunday CLOSED

                                    1. re: Davwud
                                      a
                                      abigllama Sep 5, 2009 11:58 PM

                                      As has been stated Toronto isn't really a good pizza destination. But if you're looking for the best check out Libretto. They don't take reservations but bring your cell phone and put your name in. Go across the street to Crooked Star for coctails, they actually make excellent martinis there. They'll call you when your table is ready and enjoy Libretto.

                                      1. re: abigllama
                                        Davwud Sep 6, 2009 06:51 AM

                                        Pizza in the city for me is a lunch thing during the week. Since breakfast is at 5:30, lunch tends to be a 11. That rules out a lot of stuff.

                                        DT

                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          Ediblethoughts Sep 6, 2009 09:45 AM

                                          I know what you mean. I tend to look for places on weekends that start dinner at 5pm. I can just handle 5:30 but if it's 6pm open, I'm not likely to be going there.

                                    2. re: Davwud
                                      a
                                      Arcadiaseeker Nov 11, 2009 09:58 AM

                                      Banfi is wonderful. It's also a great sit down place -- lots of energy and friendly service. There's always a bit of a lineup but they'll bring you a nice glass of wine while you wait and some free nibbles too. They actually make waiting fun!

                                      1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                                        Ediblethoughts Nov 11, 2009 04:44 PM

                                        If you get there at 5:30 (which we generally do), it's not a problem to get seated right away (when we've gone anyway).

                                    3. re: Squeakycheese
                                      Ediblethoughts Sep 6, 2009 09:53 AM

                                      I just read through that menu and it looks fabulous! I can't wait to try it out. Can you tell me what "arucola salad" is? I've never seen this before and the menu seems to assume you know what that means. BTW, do you definitely recommend the pizzas over the pastas? The pastas also look very good.

                                      1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                        Googs Sep 6, 2009 10:51 AM

                                        Arugula. From Wikipedia: "Vernacular names include Garden Rocket,[3] Rocket (British English/Australian & New Zealand English),[2] Eruca,[2] Rocketsalad,[6] Arugula (American English), Rucola (Italian)[7][8], Rukola (Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian, Polish), Rugola (Italian), Rauke (German), Roquette (French), Rokka (Greek), Roka (Turkish), Ruca (Catalan), Beharki (Basque), Voinicică (Romanian) Rúcula, Oruga and Arúgula (Spanish), Rúcula (Portuguese), Ruchetta (Italian)[8] and Rughetta (Italian). "

                                        1. re: Googs
                                          s
                                          sherry f Sep 6, 2009 11:44 AM

                                          Another thumbs up for Banfi. It is a true neighbourhood gem. I was there last week and had the arucola salad with shaved parmesan and a half order of whole wheat penne with rapini, chicken and mushrooms. My friend had minestrone soup and a full order of the same pasta. It was a special that night. We each had a glass of amarone which was heavenly. How many restaurants will pour amarone by the glass? I almost always have the asparagus and goat cheese salad that was mentioned above in another post and just love it. It is really a full meal in itself.

                                          I went to Trio last evening with my husband and his brother. We are huge fans of their other restaurant Sapori, but wanted to go really casual. What tremendous value.

                                          My husband had the caesar salad and the veal parmiagiano entree that came with pasta. My brother in-law had the eggplant parmiagiana as a starter (very hearty for $9.95) and I had the Trio salad (arugula, radicchio and goat cheese, very nicely and lightly dressed). My brother in law and I shared the multigrain pizza Luigi (sans prosciutto). It came with gorgeous cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula and spinach. We loved it. The bill with a glass of chianti and a draft beer was $76.00- very good value. No wonder there were so many families there. I only hope that it doesn't hurt Sapori.

                                          1. re: Googs
                                            Ediblethoughts Sep 6, 2009 01:45 PM

                                            So you think arucola=arugula? I know arugula very well--love it. But I googled arucola and couldn't find any definition--just lots of arucola salads mentioned.

                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts
                                              Davwud Sep 6, 2009 02:36 PM

                                              There's a restaurant in DC that's named "Arucola."
                                              This is from their website, "Why the name Arucola? Arucola was named by Roberto Donna, who was at the time keeping in the frame of his other restaurants. The basis of the name comes from Rucola, the Italian spelling of the green leaf lettuce. Arugola, which is characterized by its uniquely tangy, slightly bitter taste. An A was put before Rucola simply because he thought it looked and sounded better."

                                              It appears on other menus as well.

                                              DT

                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                Ediblethoughts Sep 6, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                Thanks for the info.

                                          2. re: Ediblethoughts
                                            Squeakycheese Sep 6, 2009 05:33 PM

                                            Hi Edible, I don't have a big preference... both are good. Pasta, I really like the spaghetti bolognese and the veal ravioli. But I'm not a huge pasta fan, and recently we've been getting pizzas to take out. So both are good, really personal preference.

                                            Also, as poster Sherry says, you can order half orders of the pasta dishes, so maybe you can do both :)

                                            1. re: Squeakycheese
                                              Ediblethoughts Sep 6, 2009 05:37 PM

                                              I think with all the antipasta and salads I want, there isn't going to be room (on the first visit) for even a 1/2 pasta order. But upon a second visit...

                                    4. g
                                      grillgrub Sep 6, 2009 08:12 PM

                                      Went to Trio and really expected great pizza. Salad and calamari were excellent and the pizza was terrible. Could not really understand how it wasn't better considering it's reputation.

                                      1. a
                                        Arcadiaseeker Nov 18, 2009 06:39 AM

                                        In addition to Banfi I also like the pizza at Ferro on st. clair w. - nice thin crust and not too salty.

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