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Feb 24, 2010 02:35 PM

R & R in toronto

will be visiting toronto for 3-4 days(4-5 nights), before going to montreal and nyc. i would really appreciate some restaurant advice. wife and i are particularly interested in ethnic as well as high end restaurants. time is short, so we will happily sacrifice for exceptional lunches and dinners as necessary. please only standout restaurants with great food. the emphasis is the food, decor/atmosphere simple or formal. there are no palate restrictions just food glorious food. cost is not factor. thx from ohio.

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    1. If you peruse this board a bit you can probably catch a glimpse of some of the most talked about places... most of these resto have websites and you can check out their menus... also not sure what places you are going to hit up in Montreal and NYC

      But here are some places to get you started...

      brunch / lunch
      Dim Sum - Lai Wah Heen in the Metropolitan hotel - probably the best high end dim sum in the city
      Globe Bistro - located on the Danforth, focus on local & Canadian cuisine, good wine list (also solid for dinner)
      Gilead Cafe - Jamie Kennedy's little cafe - be sure to try the poutine
      Kaplansky's - Toronto's best smoked meat (but if you are going to go to Montreal, you are probably going to hit that there.)

      Nota Bene - rave reviews on this Board, may be one of Toronto's top restaurants or
      Canoe - in the TD tower - spectacular view of the city - more "canadian inspired cuisine"

      I haven'd been to Guu in Toronto yet - but have been in Vancouver - this is a great Izakaya experience - unless you are already planning this in NYC... also I have not made any recommendations for sushi / Japanese - also better in NYC - although Kaiji gets raves on this board. (Haven't had the pleasure myself.)

      If you're into Indian - there are better places in the city for Indian - but I like Udupi Palace for dosas (vegetarian restaurant)- but the atmosphere is probably something you won't see in Ohio - the restaurant which someone on this board has described as a "church basement" - is located in the heart of Little India... It's interesting.

      1. Second the already mentioned Lah Wah Heen and Globe Bistro

        Definitely go to Black Hoof, consider going twice so you have have every item on the menu, I'm not kidding.

        If you are interested in the molecular gastro trend then try Colborne Lane

        I keep hearing good things about Buca and think it would qualify but haven't been yet myself.

        1. Third Lai Wah Heen for dim sum (just a note that it is expensive).

          For me, I will just go to LWH (good dim sum) and Canoe (good food with a great view of Toronto). Then, leave everything else for NYC and montreal.

          If you have a car and don't mind driving in snow weather, may consider a trek up North (Richmond Hill, Markham) for Chinese food which is doing very good in Toronto area. Something you cannot find in NYC and montreal.

          7 Replies
          1. re: skylineR33

            "Leave everything else for NYC and Montreal."

            Ignore that advice. I'm not sure what the value is in trying to discourage visitors from experiencing some of Toronto's best offerings.

            There have been some great suggestions so far and I'd definitely second Black Hoof for dinner and add the Black Hoof Cafe for brunch. It's really well done and interesting food in a great environment. A walking and sampling tour of Kensington is always interesting, weather permitting. If you search for Kensington on the board you'll find lots of details about where to go and what to check out.

            Hope you enjoy your stay.

            1. re: jamesm

              Similarily, depending on your location and time available, a walk through the St Lawrence Market is usually a treat.

              1. re: jamesm

                Well, it is personal preference, what you think good may not be good enough for others. I only suggest what I think is worth visit in Toronto area which is Lai Wah Heen and Canoe, you can also make other suggestion instead of asking others to ignore one's advice.

                1. re: jamesm

                  hmm, I am not suggesting the OP should not eat out except for Canoe and LWH, but could you name some places in downtown TO that are superior or even equal to similar type places in NYC and Montreal?

                  as for recommendation for the OP, I second a St. Lawrence Market stroll

                  1. re: shekamoo

                    I think the original spirit of the OP was for us to share the places we are most proud find out what TO has to offer... example I happen to LOVE montreal smoked meat. LOVE it. And I happen love Schwartz's but at the same time, Kaplansky's also serves Montreal smoked meat and I am quite fond of it. I would take visitors there, but since the poster has limited meals here and is likely to get a recommendation for Schwartz's on the montreal board, I suggested Kaplansky's with an asterisk.

                    There are lots of great places to eat in Toronto... could you find better "insert cuisine here" elsewhere? Perhaps - but I eat quite well in TO and I am happy to show people my town and my eats.

                    PS - i can't believe I forgot SLM. I would live there if I could.

                    1. re: Apple

                      this is a great start. thanks for all the responses. looking at many other posts there is no dearth of choices. i would really like to get some idea of several choices in each ethnic category that encompasses the op. peoples favorite or fallback establishment would be a great help. indian,asian, thai, sushi, greek, local canadian, chinese,mexican, any cuisine thats considered a toronto must not miss. as far as montreal and nyc (grew up there)interested in similar topic, thx,kp

                      1. re: kpatick

                        what i meant to say was any cuisine or restaurant that would be considered a toronto must, the bigger the selection the more to see, do and of course eat,thx,kp

              2. There are so many excellent suggestions. Keep in mind that Toronto's strength isn't really in its high end scene, but rather in its plethora of everyday meals from every culture (except mexican for some reason...). I know you've asked for only standout restaurants, but there's plenty of dinners to get in all the "hot spots." It sounds like you really love food, so if you have the time, try to do a lunch crawl through St Lawrence market, Kensington market, little India, little Italy, or the Korean area on Bloor between Christie and Bathurst. Share one or two small dishes at each place and move on.

                For example, you can visit a bakery and cheese shop in Kensington, then bring them to European meats to have them assemble you a custom cheeseburger, followed by a cheese empanada at Jumbo Empanadas around the corner. You can share a charcuterie platter/cocktails at Black Hoof, then walk south through the park to share a Mac and Cheese at Czehoski. If you visit little India, grab a foot-long kebab and naan from Chandni Chowk, then sit down to share a dosa or thali at Udupi Palace. Many of Toronto's neighbourhoods are dense enough that you can do this, and it's a really satisfying way to eat! It does, however, mean a lot of walking, so disregard this if an hour of walking for food isn't feasible for you. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy what our city has to offer.