Suggestions, please (not too expensive): Portuguese, Greek, Korean, bistro, etc. in Toronto
I’m visiting Toronto in a week, for a week’s stay at the Delta Chelsea, near the University. I’m looking for restaurant suggestions – not too expensive, and not too formal. We have plenty of Italian, Chinese, Indian at home, so are especially interested in Portuguese, Greek, Korean, anything else, bistro etc. We love both meat and seafood (except he won't eat sushi). Thank you.
Near the hotel: Kenzo Ramen (Japanese/Korean) and Salad King (Thai) - cue the usual CH "authentic" crowd.
You're close to Baldwin Village, two blocks of casual restaurants with patios, a few worth checking out: Yung Sing Pastry, Bodega.
It's right next to Chinatown and Kensington Market where you'll find Patty King (Jamaican), Jumbo Empanada (Chilean), Amadeus (Portuguese), Torito (tapas), La Palette (French), Urban Herbivore (veggie) and a block north is the new Caplansky's (deli).
Lots of Greek on the Danforth a short subway ride away. They all taste the same to me. A bit touristy, but, hey you're a tourist!
Avoid the abundance of cheap sushi you'll find all over downtown around the university.
1. The gold standard for Portuguese in Toronto is Chiado (www.chiadorestaurant.com). Chiado is admittedly on the price-y side, but they have a sister resto called Senhor Antontio which is tapas style, more casual, and has some great food and a nice winelist.
2. I agree with Chalkboy insofar as I've never been able to distinguish any of the Greektown restaurants as particularly special. That said, it's a great neighbourhood for wandering about and most of the restaurants are quite decent for a Greek fix. I'd say to follow your intuition and land wherever it feels like fun.
3. Korean... I dunno much (read: next-to-nothing), but if you have a good nose you can probably find something on the strip along Bloor between Bathurst and Christie. Karaoke bars and walnut cakes too!
4. Seafood - Starfish.... maybe Rodney's or Oyster Boy (but if you're coming from Boston you're likely to be mostly-disapppointed).
5. Bistro - My favourite French bistro is Le Select (www.leselect.com). It won't change you, but it's a solid meal in a nice setting (I like to sit at the zinc bar). For a more Canadian take on bistro look at Sidecar, Grace, Delux, the Harbord Room or Loire (which I think is a bit fussy, but others love).
- Baldwin is indeed a pretty strip with lots of good options
- Second Torito for tapas in a very cool and "Toronto" neighbourhood
- Second (again) Caplansky's for a special Toronto take on deli (note: the new location is very new and some are reporting bugs at this point)
BARRAIDA...Authentic and homestylePortugese family fare (Chicken etc)..lively and good ...they have a great patio in the back if the weather is warm enough in the evening....It's on College Street west of Dovercourt...from your Hotel just walk up to College and take the westbound streetcar............
Two Korean places worth checking out on Bloor St:
- Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu for soon dubu jjigae
- Jinmirak for Korean BBQ
Buk Chang Dong
691 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA
Thank you everybody - this is a really big help!
One portuguese I liked the sound of but (correct me if I am wrong) will be very hard to get to from where we're staying (near University, on Gerrard) via subway and walking (we won't have a car):
Banaboia Restaurant .501 Rogers Road (Rogers and Hillary - which is east of Rogers and Keele)
also, not sure of their prices (I cant locate a menu online).
My list so far:
Jinmirak for Korean BBQ
?Banaboia Restaurant".501 Rogers Road (Rogers and Hillary - which is east of Rogers and Keele)
Bairrada Churrasqueira on College just east of Dufferin
Bloor Village Grill at 1184 Bloor Street West (on Bloor, West of Dufferin)
(I liked the French bistro menus - but I find that somehow a menu that can call itself French seems to come in at a little more $$$ than I'd like. We were aiming for entrees at under $20 a head.)
Any suggestions, comments, advice, appreciated! Thank you
Don't recall seeing anything on CH about Banaboia or Bloor Village Grill. Both are in dodgy neighbourhoods, tho. Would scare most locals.
For more inexpensive French, try cafes like Clafouti (Queen West), Crepes a Go Go (Yorkville), or Petit Thuet (King & Yonge).
And there's a not bad cheap Korean spot just off Spadina on St Andrew in Chinatown/Kensington called Ka Chi. They have another on Bloor in Koreatown as well.
Le Paradis, recommended above, is your kind of place. It's the benchmark of what a French bistro in Toronto should be. There's a reason it has been around for more than two decades: it's good and it's priced right. From your hotel, north on the Bay Street bus will take you almost there, on Bedford St., in the Avenue Rd.-Davenport Rd. district. You can reserve if you want to, but there's no need to reserve. One strip of tables - in the front room - is always kept open for walk-ins. I'm partial to the flank steak and frites, or the veal kidneys, but everything's good, whether under or over $20 for entrees. Easy to take wine prices as well. Amazingly consistent.