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Mar 27, 2010 09:28 AM

Is it too soon to ask? Who's the best in outdoor dining? George, Loire, Opus, Origin?

Can you say patio season?

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  1. The patio at George is one of the most resplendent experiences in Toronto on a sunny afternoon.

    Oh. And the food is pretty good too ;)

    For more casual, I adore the back patio at Caren's and Sidecar

    Is it summer yet? Please?

    1. Origin? Have they even had a body on the patio to serve yet?

      6 Replies
      1. re: insideman

        Chairs and tables would be nice, too. As of yesterday they had neither on the patio.

        1. re: insideman

          Oh I know how young Origin is. I did put "is it to soon to ask" in the title. Even though tables and chairs and consistency may be a bit off, it'll all happen this year. Any discussion of what's best for 2010 would be remiss if it didn't include Claudio Aprile in some capacity, dontcha think?

          Cocoachanel, I like Caren's as well. What I'm aiming for, though, is the very best of the best for food and patio. I've yet to try Sidecar. Must do soon.

          1. re: Googs

            The good thing about the Origin patio is that it is on the West side, and should get a fair amount of sun late into the day.

            1. re: Googs

              Ah. Fair enough. My mind went to excellent patios and above average food (for the various price points) :)

              1. re: CocoaChanel

                Think "four stars under the stars".

                1. re: Googs

                  I'm excited! I didn't realize George and Opus had al fresco dining and both are on my to-do list before July.

          2. Personally, I prefer patios where cars aren't driving by. I know we love our patios, but the whole experience can be a little grimey.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dubchild

              Agree wholeheartedly. We could start a separate list of "secret garden" courtyard/backyard style patios. Terroni on Queen West has a nice one, for example, but food isn't my favourite.

              1. re: dubchild

                Terroni's is nice, but that's why I loooove George's patio. It's a totally enclosed courtyard. Haven't eaten there in eons though.

                1. re: jlunar

                  Zackly, jlunar. What I'm trying to compile is a list of must-dine at patios where both the food and the location are stellar. George's is enclosed, Loire is at least on a side street, Opus' has a secluded and leafy one in the back. Not sure about Origin yet, but I'll be investigating that very shortly. Throw out the tenants upstairs and take over their decks, I say.

                  Does anybody know of other places where you can dine well and don't have to suck a tailpipe?

                  1. re: Googs

                    There is a lovely roof top patio at The Fifth, the food is above average as well - though I admit it was almost a year ago when I last ate there

                    1. re: CocoaChanel

                      I liked desserts at The Fifth, less so their meals. But that's okay with me! Great patio though, as they keep the heaters on, making it cozy. The plastic tends to detract a bit, but keeps the wind out.

                    2. re: Googs

                      Sidecar! Yes! Sidecar! It's a pretty little back patio (no tailpipe-sucking possible) and the food and service are both consistently above-average. And the value is fantastic. Get the prix fixe between Sunday and Monday!! Oooo, I want to go RIGHT NOW.

                2. Vertical has a pretty patio that is above the fray (can get cool-ish once the sun goes down).

                  Amuse-Bouche has a front-garden-y space that is streetside but not too noxious because the street is quiet and semi-residential.

                  The Fifth is a gorgeous space but last time I was there the food was not-great. Same deal with Ultra. Both places are a bit scene-y, but with great outdoor real estate.

                  I also like Le Select's patio. It is streetside, but set back on a wide and not-too-busy street.

                  Le Select
                  432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

                  194 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON L8P4B4, CA

                  1. Grano's has a nice non-street-side patio. The food is hit and miss. And one of my discoveries (from my similar question post last year) for great food and patio was Torito in Kensington Market. Lilbaci on Queen East also had a good patio out back (and they serve those really good cupcakes...).

                    276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                    2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                      A hearty second on the rec for Torito - great patio, great food. Harbord Room has a lovely patio as well and food is very good. Back in the day, The Fifth was the most beautiful patio with cabanas, gorgeous, romantic, you really felt like you were somewhere else. The food used to be great but that was a few chefs ago and I have no idea what the food is like now. Agree that Terroni on Queen has a lovely "secret" patio. The new Terroni that's going in near Summerhill is meant to have a great second floor or rooftop patio but that won't open till later this summer. I know it's a bit off-topic but for a lovely coffee and croissant, the patio behind Ezra's Pound is a very pretty, quiet, hidden, leafy oasis - has a real New York feel.

                      276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                      Ezra's Pound
                      238 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R1V7, CA

                      Harbord Room
                      89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA