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Dec 21, 2009 01:00 PM

What do you recommend for a Montrealer?

Hi, me and my family would be visiting Toronto for 4 days. We would like to try things that you can only find in Toronto, or some delicious and moderately priced food(20-30$ per main course). We would be located in East Chinatown.

I'm Open to almost everything but I rather not eat in a French restaurant or a deli.

Also, whats the legal age in Ontario, 18 or 19 years old?

EDIT: We have a car, so we don't mind travelling if its good=)

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  1. The legal drinking age is sadly 19 in ontario : (. Wish I could help with the food though.. but I don't live in that area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FireEscape12

      We won't mind travelling trough the city for food. a foodie family=) any recommendation are welcome.

      1. re: vanierstudent

        When I was in Montreal a few years ago I noticed a lack of good Korean restaurants. I'd suggest trying Korean BBQ at Sariwan at Yonge and Finch. There are other good Korean restaurants in that area as well. You might really enjoy some high end dim-sum at Lai Wah Heen. Harlem might be fun for some Southern-inspired cuisine. How about an artisanal charcuterie-inspired brunch at Black Hoof Cafe? I highly recommend tapas at Torito Tapas Bar. Slightly higher end tapas can be found at Cava or Chiado. If you don't mind lining up, Pizzeria Libretto will deliver a wood oven baked thin crust pizza that is quite different from Montreal style pizza. I also have a very soft spot for Ethiopian cuisine. Head to Danforth, east of Greenwood for a number of Ethiopian restaurants. I've enjoyed Dukem and Rendez-vous, but there are several others that have received praise from Chowhounders. Seek out Cantonese cuisine while in Toronto. There are so many restaurants. Please poke through the many threads on Cantonese cuisine in the GTA. I've enjoyed meals at O Mei, Magic Wok, John's, Lai Wah Heen and Lai Toh Heen. I have a list of at least 20 more places I'd like to try.

    2. Globe Bistro has an interesting and tasty menu of locally or Canadian sourced items. And it's right by a subway stop (Broadview) but if you want to drive, there's easy parking nearby as well

      1. before you come...

        Seriously though, if you have a car I'd highly recommend making the drive to the Highway 7 area in Markham and trying the Asian food on offer. All the good Asian restos have moved out of Chinatown and up to Markham/Richmond Hill. There is so much to see and try you can make an afternoon of it.

        I spent over 100 days in Montreal last year and ate 3 meals a day in restos during that time. IMHO most anything else you try here will be a lunchbag letdown. Our Little Italy has become a pool of mediocre to barely-passable restos. Much of our finer dining pales in ingredients (try finding horse tartare here), quality, ambiance, service and pace. Our deli...well, there are a lot of other threads here about that. You even have better Mexican there. And all at more affordable prices than we pay here.

        What you *don't* have in Montreal is decent Asian food. Not Chinese, not Vietnamese, not sushi. It's all horrible (I'm sorry, it really is). So why not aim at some of those? Here, you'll find better Japanese, great Indian, authentic Malaysian and a level of Chinese dining equal to HK.

        A few recco's for the Highway 7 area are:
        a) Dim sum at Diamond, First Markham Place
        b) BBQ duck at Sam Woo, Warden & Steeles
        c) Shrimp wonton soup at Jim Chai Kee, Highway 7
        d) Tawianese at Go For Tea, Highway 7
        e) Sushi at Gale Sushi, Highway 7
        f) Tea at Ten Ren's flagship location on Hwy 7

        Downtown, try GUU for an interesting, quality Japanese experience (and there are many others as well).

        And there's many, many more. PM if you want directions, because you won't find these places on websites and many of them are tucked into little strip malls.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Thatcher

          Diamond's dim sum is very mediocre, much better choice can be found at Regal 16 and Yangs. Shrimp wonton soup at Jim Chai Kee is way different from what you have in HK, such as the poor shrimp quality used, noodle which is lack of elasticity and too strong of a alkaline smell, soup base which is lack of flavour, it is some of the very poor rendition of wonton noodle. I suggest to stay away from it. Basically, Toronto has a good chinese dining options, but does not have a level of Chinese dining equal to HK. For sushi, Inatei is a level up of what is provided at Gale around Hwy 7 area.

          1. re: skylineR33

            I agree that there are better choices than Diamond or Jim's, I just don't remember there names at the moment because I know them by sight. I also picked some of these because they are easier to find (with the exception of Sam Woo) and all in close proximity to each other. There are, for example an number of good places around Corvette, off Steeles, but I wouldn't send tourists who don't know the area to navigate around that clown show. It's just asking for tears...

            Re: Inatei - is it the place by in the strip mall across from the Tim Hortons on Woodbine? If so, their soup is excellent.

            Re: dim sum, you can argue this with 10 different people and get 10 different reccos. Re: comments about comparisons to HK - not my words but of my in-laws and their friends - who I dine with - who are all from HK and say, "this is as good as we have back home..."

            1. re: Thatcher

              Inatei is on Leslie, just north of Hwy 7 in the same plaza as Chili Secret, there is a thread on it.

              For dim sum, I made the comparison mainly based on the ingradient used, preparation and how some of the staple items are prepared. Chinese food (mainly Cantonese) here are as good as some of the better one in Hong Kong, and better than lots of the worst one in HK. However, with millions of Chinese living in HK and at least 50 times more chinese restaurants in HK than here, the best that one can found in HK just cannot be found here in all kinds of variety and price point.

          2. re: Thatcher

            Don't Batifole and La Pallette do horse tartare?...And what "Little Italy" do you speak of?...College hasn't been Italian since the 70s...Marimba!

          3. Back Bacon on a Bun - go to St. Lawrence Market - you won't be disappointed!

            5 Replies
            1. re: MeMeMe

              I'm sorry - I've resisted this for so long and now I can't anymore. Back bacon on a bun has got to be the single most over-hyped sandwich in the city. That it is considered the iconic Toronto dish, is just embarassing. The bacon is often dry and the whole thing is pretty underwhelming. You might not be disappointed, but you also might.

              1. re: Nyleve

                Really? A fresh made BB on a B from Carousel or Paddington's Pump is always delish. That - and the Veal on a Bun from Moustachio - are good hearty meals when you're walking around the city.

                1. re: MeMeMe

                  Yeah, no. I understand it has a certain nostalgia quotient. But never ever understood the mania surrounding this.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    So if you don't like it then it must be bad??

                    I love them and have one every time I'm at SLM. Sorry if I embarrass you.


                    1. re: Davwud

                      Not embarassed. Just don't personally think it's a particularly fine example of any kind of culinary anything. We all have our own opinions - I realize others enjoy the peameal sandwich. It's just not something I'd recommend to a visitor, that's all.

            2. Negroni - best panini ever. Best value ever. nicest staff ever. (492 College Street)

              Don't try the smoked meat, bagels or poutine.. Montreal does them better.

              Asian suggestion does seem worthwhile.
              I'm not a huge fan of back bacon on a bun.. it's glorified street meat - and Toronto's street meat is not the stuff of legend.

              I might also try Indian -- Banjara is really good (796 Bloor Street West) but someone with more experience might have a better suggestion.

              You remind me to go to Alep.. it's been too long!

              1 Reply
              1. re: mikefly

                I second Banjara - but if you're walking in the Annex on Bloor, you should be happy with Nataraj. Wonderful Tandoor dishes.