Top 10 Food Experiences in Toronto
I realise there have been similar posts before this, but I'm trying to find a more updated list.
I want to have one special culinary experience a month for the rest of the year. I'm starting with Eigensinn Farm next week. (YAY!)
What would your recommendations be for another 10 for the rest of the year?
I enjoy different cuisines and am not fussed about the kind of food as long as it's delicious and:
1) Meat should be free of hormones and antibiotics. If not, there should be genuine vegetarian or seafood options.
2) Ideally located within reach of public transport or a short cab ride from public transport. (We don't own a car)
Thank you in advance.
There has been some pretty interesting press surrounding Hashimoto lately. It won't come cheap, but Chatto thinks the full kaiseki experience is pretty spectacular:
- Another Japanese alternative might be omokase at Sushi Kaji too
- I can't report directly on either, but it sounds like you're looking for fantasy-file material and both of these would be on my list
Eigensinn and Hashimoto! Money must not be a big concern on this adventure of yours. Maybe you should consider trying some Chinese delicacies one month. Lai Wah Heen would be a good option for this.
P.S. I think there are lots of hounds who would love to hear you report back on your upcoming meal at Eigensinn.
I have heard really good things about Lai Wah Heen - will look it up, thanks. Have heard that Lai Toh Heen - which is closer to where I live is also amazing.
Will also report back on Eigensinn.
When I do this adventure once a week then I will say, quite happily, that money is not a big concern! :)
What a fantastic idea! Hashimoto is so high up on my list but it needs to a "BIG" occasion - I'd love to hear a report on that - actually, you should keep this thread running to post notes about all your experiences.
First off, because it's just so stunningly delicious, you MUST go to Buca for the funghi pizza. I've posted so much about it that I'm even starting to get tired of my own recommendation but it really is THAT good.
Perhaps some JK Frites or Susur's Singapore slaw at the Brickworks market once it opens. I'd have suggested a taste of maple syrup but it's not easily accessible without a car. Too bad you just missed the "Not Far from the Tree" at Dufferin Grove this past week-end. I'm also thinking about a summertime gelato one warm summer evening - maybe someone can post their favourite flavour from Hollywood Gelato or Il Gelaterie.
I just had the 10-course tasting menu at Colborne Lane last night and I have to say, it was one of my top 10 food experiences, ever. The courses ranged from good to amazing, with only one or two being just 'good'. A surprise standout was the fois gras with dried bananas; the parsnip (I think) soup was equally fantastic. It's not cheap, but it was definitely worth it. I'd recommend it to anyone.
The regular 10 course tasting is $129 if I remember right....but if you're going for experiences...you might as well get the 15 course kitchen tasting. Can't remember how much it was....last I heard it was $150, but I would think they raised it to $180 or something like that now.
I say also check out Rundles, Langdon Hall, and Scaramouche while you're at it.
1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8, Canada
Waited over an hour for a table on a Saturday night at Pizzeria Libretto which usually sets you up for "nothing is worth the wait" - but even the pickiest of eaters in my group agreed that is what worth every minute. The use of local ingredients made the pizza taste so fresh and the toppings were all simple and delicious. A new fave for me in Toronto for sure...
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA
Pizzeria Libretto was recommended by a friend and out our way to get to, but definitely well worth it. We were warned to get there early and chose to sit at the bar. Although I thought the male bartender was hitting on my husband, it was quite amusing and the variety of bruschetta toppings other than your typical tomato was...memorable...yum... would definitly go back.
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA
These are simple suggestions and variations on a theme... one luxe and one kitsch (if you have that sense of humour):
i) Sunset cocktails at Canoe. Sure, you can do the whole dinner thing, but if you're having an economical month you can go for a snack and a drink and not break the bank. Do try to plan it with sundown. It does let you see Toronto in a whole new way.
ii) CN Tower... food sucks, but if you're looking for a food "experience" the view from the top is pretty special and very Toronto. I don't know if you can just have a drink up there (which would probably be better than eating)... but if you want something frivolous, fun (if you're in that kind of mood), and very Toronto... it might be worth the elevator ride.
actually, the food at 360 is not that bad, not great, but I wouldn't say it sucks. And if you time it right, there's the view of the sun setting is stunning.
The good thing about ordering a main course is that you don't have to pay for the elevator up, which is pretty pricey.
OK, perhaps I was being too harsh.
I had my last allergic reaction to bivalves up there before I figured out that's what was insidiously developing, and it probably soured my experience somewhat. I was never in epi-pin territory, but it was gastronomically unpleasant and not a great time to be waiting for that elevator.
Still, I remember the food as quite wedding banquet.
I haven't been to Eisenginn or Hashimoto, so I cannot comment on what they're like. But here is my Toronto top 10 list (in no particular order):
1) Pastis Express - Best traditional French Bistro Fare
2) Nota Bene - Best luxe downtown dining experience (quality without the attitude)
3) Buca - Best upscale Italian food in Toronto, hands down
4) Sushi Kaji - Best Kaiseki experience (given that I haven't tried Hashimoto)
5) Scaramouche - Impeccable food, service and view (cannot be beat for special occasions)
6) Chai Lu - Best dim sum (better than any place in Chinatown and without the Lai Wah Heen price tag)
7) Lee Garden - Best Chinese food south of Highway 7
8) Blowfish - Best pretty party people sushi place
9) Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine - Best Indian food (from a North American perspective)
10) Lady Marmalade - Best neighbourhood brunch
Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA
860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA
Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine
287 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA
, Toronto, ON M5G, CA
Lee Garden Restaurant
331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA
604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA
Hello FLWB. I'm sorry to be picky but Sushi Kaji, though serve a multi-course Japanese dinner, however, that dinner is NOT a traditional Kaiseki one!
Kaji's dinner does not offer the traditional 'Hassan' course, which is typically ONE kind of sushi based on 'seasonal theme' presented together with several side dishes.
The few times I dined there, the 'Yakimono' course - broiled seasonal fish was noticably missing.
Lastly, the substantial dish - 'Shizakana' which is usually a 'hot pot' is also ignored.
All in all, including palette cleanser, a Kaiseki course should consist of 14 courses! I believe Kaji's dinner, even the $120 one has less than that?!
860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA
re: Charles Yu
I took my SO to Kaji a number of years ago. We enjoyed the $120 dinner, which had approximately 10 or so courses, one of which was definitely a hot pot (shizakana). There was a seasonal sashimi course, but it definitely was not ONE kind of fish, but upwards of a half dozen different types of fish. I don't specifically recall a broiled seasonal fish, though there might have been one.
However, all three were present at our Hashimoto meal, which also consisted of about 10 or so courses. Though I would put both Kaji and Hashimoto in my personal top 10 in the GTA, I would rate Hashimoto ahead of Kaji for taste, presentation, service and ambiance. Kaji's food was delicious, but the proportions made it difficult for us to enjoy everything offered. We were stuffed by the 7th course.
Some of the most exciting food I've ever tried has been from the Black Hoof Cafe.
The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA