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Why are there so few decent restaurants in the east of Yonge?

w
wayner9 Jan 29, 2010 01:56 PM

Hi there - I am new in these parts. I live in Scarborough (yes there are decent parts of Scarberia - mainly south of Kingston Rd) after having moved farther east from first Riverdale and then the Beach.

One thing I continually find frustrating is the lack of decent dining in the east end. For example - 0 of the top 10 restaurants according to Toronto Life are east of Yonge (two are on Yonge). Of the Toronto Life best new restaurants only one is east of Yonge. The west end even has a top notch suburban restaurant in Via Allegro and also Sushi Kaji. What do we have in the East end? There are a couple of half decent places in the Beach, but nothing that good. There is Vi Vetha and its sister Vi Pei in the Beach/ Scarb and they're okay but not great.

Even the top notch out of town restaurants, such as Eigensinn and Langdon Hall are west of the city rather than east.

Why the heck is this?

  1. t
    toboggan3 Jan 29, 2010 07:29 PM

    Coincidence. I don't think restaurants are opened with a secret bias for the west end over the east end.

    I believe there are some great Chinese restaurants in the northern Scarborough area.

    If you like sushi, there is a good restaurant called "Zen" in a very nondescript strip mall in Scarborough. It's easy to miss but worth seeking out.

    Zen Restaurant
    2803 Eglinton Avenue East
    (416) 265-7111‎

    1. ingloriouseater Jan 29, 2010 10:08 PM

      i can't comment of scarborough but queen east is becoming the new queen west and quite enjoyable...i don't think the low rents and new buyouts have reached as far as you yet...be patient and know that via allegro isn't all that people in the past have said it is

      1. p
        piccola Jan 29, 2010 10:15 PM

        I don't know that it's true. There are probably more restaurants in the west end -- this is pure speculation -- but still, tonnes of options out east. I hardly ever venture eastward, but I can think of a bunch off the top of my head.

        Little India and (Gerrard) Chinatown are east. Leslieville has some good restaurants, including several great brunch spots and bars. The Danforth has a cluster of Ethiopian restaurants. One of my fave restaurants, Kaiseki Sakura, is just east of Yonge, at Church and Wellesley E.

        3 Replies
        1. re: piccola
          v
          Vinnie Vidimangi Jan 30, 2010 03:45 AM

          Because Joanne Kates doesn't go east of Yonge.

          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
            Googs Jan 30, 2010 10:43 AM

            This much is partially true, VVM. Kates does indeed go east of Yonge and north of Bloor on occasion. However, I believe the preponderance of reviews written by other critics of west end establishments is directly proportional to the number of critics that live near Kensington Market. Or at least west of Spadina. They're even covering sandwich shops now as long as it has the right address.

            1. re: Googs
              v
              Vinnie Vidimangi Feb 6, 2010 10:17 AM

              "East of Yonge" is a figure of speech not a geographic demarcation.

        2. m
          mexivilla Jan 30, 2010 04:06 AM

          Most likely related to concentrations of wealth in Rosedale, Forest Hill, and the Kingsway.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mexivilla
            Dimbulb Jan 30, 2010 06:10 AM

            Isn't Rosedale east of Yonge?

            1. re: Dimbulb
              t
              toboggan3 Jan 30, 2010 10:16 AM

              Yeah good point. I think the original poster was concentrating on Scarborough and the Beach. However, if we are generalizing to "east of Yonge," there are plenty of spots on Mt. Pleasant and Bayview, etc that are just fine.

              The original question isn't specific enough. It even mentions Eigensinn Farm and Langdon Hall. Heck, Montreal is east of Yonge.

              1. re: Dimbulb
                jayt90 Jan 31, 2010 03:00 PM

                Dimbulb, there is nothing commercially zoned in Rosedale east of Yonge other than Summerhill Market.

            2. The Chowhound Team Jan 30, 2010 01:25 PM

              Folks, please keep responses focused on recommending good restaurants, rather than speculating on why there aren't any good spots in the area. Thanks!

              1. Otonabee Jan 30, 2010 04:02 PM

                Welcome to the neighbourhood! (I am in the Vic Park and Kingston area) This is a really lovely area. Very small town feel and at least on my street you could not hope for better neighbours.

                As to decent places there are a few. Not stunning gourmand cuisine I will attest but there are a few solid spots if you look. Green Dragon at Vic Park & Kingston is a good local pub. I gather Feathers has been purchased by someone who used to manage Rebel House. I haven't tried it lately since the transfer so I would be interested to hear a review. There is also a little lunch/coffee shop west closer to Beach. Can't remember the name but it has a Swedish flag out front. Went in there and had an excellent homemade soup one day. There is supposedly a cafe opening in the vacant storefront for one of the condos. Don't know anything else about it though.

                If you are looking for local vendors ,Close to the Bone and the Cheese monger next door are both excellent. I also gather there is going to be a bakery opening up in the area. Hopefully soon, I spoke with the lady who will be opening it and she seems really nice.

                Sadly though that is all I can suggest. I miss Farmer's Daughter and keep wishing for a green grocer but until then we will see what happens.

                Good luck with your quest. If you find any gems let us know!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Otonabee
                  m
                  millygirl Jan 31, 2010 11:31 AM

                  Feathers was sold? When did that take place?

                  1. re: millygirl
                    JamieK Jan 31, 2010 11:37 AM

                    It was about a couple of years ago. Still pretty much the same in terms of menu, whisky events, darts and regulars. New website though.
                    http://thefeatherspub.ca/Home/tabid/8...

                    1. re: JamieK
                      Full tummy Feb 5, 2010 06:59 AM

                      Have you eaten there since, JamieK? I really enjoyed my food at Rebel House the once I ate there, and didn't so much the time I ate at Feathers. But that was before it changed hands. As I recall the food was dry and lifeless. If I thought it had improved, I might just give it another shot.

                      1. re: Full tummy
                        JamieK Feb 6, 2010 01:23 PM

                        sorry, I've just been for pints so far.

                2. syoung Jan 30, 2010 08:43 PM

                  Just because Toronto Life says Langdon and Via Allegro is top 10, doesn't make it so. Off the top of my head east of Yonge (excluding those on Yonge):

                  Hashimoto
                  Celestin
                  Lai Toh Heen
                  Simple Bistro
                  Zen
                  George
                  Globe Bistro

                  Zen is the only one on this list in Scarborough, but it's a really good one if you like sushi.

                  1. n
                    novice_hound Jan 31, 2010 01:05 PM

                    I'd recommend Walima Cafe - not quite as east as you, but getting there and on the subway line. Very flavourfull food, friendly service & atmosphere, reasonable prices ($12-$15 mains). Also like to give a smaller place that's putting out a quality product my business. Highly recommended.

                    -----
                    Walima Cafe
                    1450 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: novice_hound
                      p
                      piccola Jan 31, 2010 06:13 PM

                      I really wanted to like Walima, but when I was there, the service was incredibly slow and erratic -- it took forever to order and get our food, and nearly an hour before the owner/server brought the bill after we asked. And the place wasn't even full.

                      What's more, the vegetarian couscous was basically water-logged boiled veggies on coucous. It was incredibly bland.

                      I won't be heading out there again any time soon.

                      1. re: novice_hound
                        foodyDudey Feb 6, 2010 01:31 PM

                        I ate at Walima once and found it far below average. Now that was in the first week they opened, probably about a year ago. If it's as good as you mentioned, it is much better than when we were there. I haven't seen any other glowing reviews of the place other than yours.

                      2. c
                        currycue Feb 1, 2010 10:47 AM

                        First of all Toronto Life is a terrible guide if you rely on their rating system. IMO the only restaurants that get high ratings tend to be French or expensive. The west side has a larger number of restaurants, also, the west side is where there are larger European ex-pat communities that would support going out to a restaurant more than once a week, that's why the west end has developed more than east. That said, there is lots of hope on the east side. Gio Rana's is decent, Seven numbers Danforth. I've seen good reviews of Globe, although I haven't been yet. Here is hoping that Queen Margherita Pizza is a hit, it certainly has the potential to be.

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