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Sep 12, 2009 03:08 PM

Calgary chowhound visiting Toronto and Niagara-on-the-lake sept 16-22

Toronto chowhounds, I'm hoping for some great suggestions!!

We'll be staying in toronto at the intercontinental wed, thursday and sunday, monday, tuesday and hoping for a couple fancier suggestions and a handful of cheap and cheerful suggestions - we'll need breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktail options! Any kind of food is welcome!

in the middle we're in Niagara-on-the-lake - i believe the wine festival is also that weekend? we're staying at the riverbend inn(for a wedding) but we'll have time to explore all of friday and saturday afternoon - would one of the wineries be a good bet or should we go elsewhere?


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  1. The Black Hoof
    Pizzeria Libretto
    Nota Bene
    All have great food(IMHO) and receive great reviews on CHOW.

    Also check out this recent thread with many great suggestions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mlukan

      those are great suggestions! right up our alley of taste. that's a good thread as well but a bit too much asian, we'll be in vancouver the following weekend so that's the place for asian.

      i did forget about the roti!!! is island village the spot? there is not roti to be mentioned in calgary.

      anyone know anything about Jump? that looked alright as well....

      is cava worth a visit? by reading the boards it gets good reviews

      1. re: pants

        For a Roti I would like to send you to Gandhi Cuisine for the famous Butter Chicken Roti. My bro from Edmonton must have one every time he is in town. I love them.
        Island foods, or Bacchus Roti are both also good choices.

        Please also make a stop at the St. Lawrence market. Some Toronto foodies turn their nose up to the simplicity that is the peameal bacon sandwich, but I still recommend one to visitors and they always swoon over it. I recommend the carousel bakery for your first as they are pretty tried and true.

        Gandhi Cuisine
        554 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B5, CA

        1. re: pants

          Jump isn't really worth a visit for visitors, imo. It is just a handy spot to grab lunch in the financial district.

      2. The wineries in Niagara are great to have a meal; La Cachette is a great place to dine if visiting Strewn winery; Hillebrand also has a great dining room.

        Website for La Cachette: If you're visiting for dinner and love seafood, the salmon is great! My husband loves the beef tenderloin too. If you love wine and food pairings, La Cachette is always right on the nose with their pairings.

        1. Which Intercontinental??? There are two in down town, one on Front and the other on Bloor. Are you going to drive or you prefer walking distance and locations close to the subway stations?

          2 Replies
          1. re: diehardlasallejai

            we're at the intercontinental @ 220 bloor, and actually the sheraton @ 123 queen w for the other two days (forgot to add that hotel). no driving for us, short cab rides, walking distance or subway would be perfect.

            1. re: pants

              When you are at Sheraton on Queen, you can go to Ruth's Chris in the Hilton Hotel, which is again a stone's throw from your hotel. Since there is only Ruth's Chris in Edmonton for Alberta, if you have never been there, then perhaps you would want to consider trying in Toronto?

              Since your hotel is right across the city hall, you will see a lot of fries and sausage trucks parked on Queen from morning to late evening. My wife and I love their Italian sausage and fries combo with gravy. Every time we go down we would stop by the first truck closest to the old city hall and grab two combo's to go. However, if you are health conscious, then ignore what I just said and move on to the next paragraph. :


              For dinner and cocktails just walk south 4 blocks to Canoe Restaurant and Bar in the TD Bank Tower on the 54th floor. You will enjoy the view as much as the food they serve you.

              When forecast says it is going to be a good clear day all day, then quickly make a reservation for Restaurant 360 in the CN Tower, because the revolving restaurant will give you a splendid view of the whole city. I have been there many times since I always bring my out of town friends up there, and they always love the view. Do not forget your camera at the hotel.

              For cheap eats go to St. Lawrence Market. Try Canadian peameal bacon burger there.

              Further to the east side of town venture to the Distillery District for dinner or coffee. My wife and I always go there and sit in the patio on a nice cool, sunny day. They have occasional live jazz for entertainment too so if you like jazz, go go go!

              There are just too many places for me to name, and I think other Chowhound members will pitch in their ideas for you. I am sure your 5 day stay in Toronto will seem too short, if this is your first time visiting, because Toronto is a pretty big city when compared to the city of Calgary.

              Enjoy your stay. You will love Niagara on the Lake too, for sure.

          2. In NOTL (Niagara On The Lake for those in the know), if you are driving in from Toronto, on HWY 55 in the town Virgil on your way in, you must stop for brfst or lunch at The Pie Plate, a fabulous bakery and small restaurant , family owned and run. It will be on your left across from a Buick dealership.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SteveAndJoe

              Was in NOTL for the first time this weekend. Had a very nice supper at the restaurant in the Prince of Wales Hotel (Escab├Ęche). The scallops on lobster risotto dish was superb as was the starter of mushroom ravioli with truffle oil/tarragon. The beef tenderloin with potatoes and ratatouille as well as the desserts were so so. The best part was the bar, where they serve all kinds of classic cocktails (had a Manhattan and a dirty Martini--very well made). We also had breakfast at the Queen's Landing Hotel resto (forget the name). The bennie on a cheese scone was quite good, served with nothing but greasy potatoes though. There are a couple of nice looking places for high tea along the main drag and a bunch of bakeries/candy stores. As for wineries we enjoyed the Peller estate--their "champagne" with a touch of ice wine was really impressive. The reds less so. Keep in mind this was all part of a package deal so I dunno if these are the best recs but the supper would have been just under 200 with drinks and tax which is quite fair value for the (surprisingly good) meal we had. Have fun!

            2. For cocktails go to Panorama on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre, it is just a stone's throw away from your hotel at 55 Bloor West. My wife and I like the atmosphere up there overlooking the city in the evening.

              Pretty much right across the Intercontinental Hotel you will see the Royal Ontario Museum with her Crystal extension and inside the crystal lies one of the best restos in Toronto, C5. Go there for dinner and you can just stroll back to your hotel after.

              If you like Dim Sum and Chinese food, then just walk over to 131 Bloor, Dynasty Chinese Cuisine for lunch. I used to go there a lot when I lived in down town.

              I think that is enough for your Intercontinental area and I will try to think of some for your stay at Sheraton on Queen St. West, which is also a prime location. Lucky you!