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Best foodie 'hoods?

  • h

I got in this conversation with some friends and thought chowhound might settle it. What do you think are the best neighborhoods to live in if you are a foody?

Obvious choices may be Lower Javris (St. Lawrence Market) or Kensington Market. My friend was arguing for Richmond Hill due to the quality of Asian eats, To me, the ideal place needs a good balance of good restaurants and food stores.

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  1. I really don't think foodie hood status depends on a coincidence of resto and retail food. Some areas of the GTA have a relative overabundance of one or the other--either might qualify them for hood-dom.

    1. Most of the foodie 'hoods in Toronto are very one-dimensional, offering predominantly a single type of cuisine. The monikers say it all: Chinatown, Little Italy, India Bazaar, The Danforth (aka Greektown). Others cater to certain classes of people: If you have to ask where to eat along the "Mink Mile", you probably can't afford it.

      Kensington Market is the most logical choice. Not just for it's own diversity, but also it's proximity to other gastro-strips. A few blocks walking get you to Chinatown, College St., and Baldwin St., all foodie destinations in their own rights.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ginsugirl

        I agree with Ginsugirl. While Kensington Market is rich in ethnic culinary diversity, the vast majority of the options are quick eats during the daytime. The notable exceptions are Torito and La Palette, but what Kensington does offer is quick access to diverse choices on Harbord St, College St and the other 'hoods mentioned above.

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        La Palette
        256 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

        Torito
        276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

        1. re: vidkid

          You forgot Supermarket. I really like the food there.

      2. in 2-3 years, the stretch of Dundas between Bathurst and Ossington may win the title.
        the two Hoofs and a couple of good espresso cafes is a very good start.
        and if you want, you can include Ossington in that grouping.

        4 Replies
        1. re: atomeyes

          I see it as two different categories. Restaurants and shopping. For restaurants I think it would have to be Dundas and Ossington. For shopping Kensington likely wins. I'm not sure it's fair to include SLM since it's not really a neighbourhood technically speaking.

          1. re: jamesm

            The neighbourhood surrounding the SLM is in fact the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. While there are few food stores in that area aside from a Metro supermarket, there is a fairly wide variety of restaurants and pubs which make it a pretty decent area for foodies, though I wouldn't necessarily argue it is the "best" in Toronto. Colborne Lane, Origin, Hank's, Wine Bar (formerly JKWB) all fall into the 'hood, as well as C'est What (not so notable for food but definitely for its Canadian beer selection).

            http://www.stlawrencemarketbia.ca

            1. re: Gary

              Plus, if the new Duggan's Brewery counts as part of the St Lawrence Market area (Lombard/Victoria is on the map on that website). That, combined with C'est What, makes it the best beer neighborhood in Toronto.

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              C'est What
              67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

              1. re: kwjd

                Agreed. The Mill Street and 3 Brewers brewpubs also fall under the "easily walkable" range from SLM proper.

        2. how is the carlton / parliament area these days ? i lived in that neigbourhood back in the late 80's. i remember some ok eateries. there was a small sri lankan enclave up towards wellesley. have not been back to toronto in 15 years- so i have no idea what exists in the so- called ' cabbagetown ' district currently. still very tame ?

          1. In the east end, there's Lawrence Ave. E. between Kennedy and Victoria Park. Very good Middle Eastern selection of restos, bakeries and stores, there's an Asian supermarket, a Korean grocery store, a Filipino resto, Diana's Seafood, and North American style family restos. South of this is the Eglinton/Warden area which has some very good restos like Crispy Roll, Pho Saigon, several buffet restos and Eglinton Square which has the typical food court (although there's Ruby's which is middle Eastern) and a good Scottish bakery. If anyone else can add to this list, plz do so! I haven't even mentioned the restos on Kennedy.

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            Diana's Seafood
            2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: scarberian

              Bloor west around the Kingsway has quite a few offerings - Momiji for sushi (although Kaji is a 5 min drive south), Barcelona for Spanish, Mai Thai Kitchen, 1800 Degrees for good steak, Vibo and the new place on Royal York for Italian, Hot oven bakery for a coffee/snack, decent fish and chips joint, Patisserie Saint Honore (Bakery, Pastries), Ma Maison just a few minutes north, as well as a couple of decent pubs, white house meats (butcher), some green grocers and Organic Abundance for groceries and even a ;-) Swiss Chalet

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              Ma Maison
              4243 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M8X, CA

              Momiji
              2955 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M8X1B8, CA

              Vibo Restaurant
              2995 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M8X1C1, CA

            2. I never would have said this a few years ago but Leaside is great -- Bayview is a terrific shopping and eating strip these days.

              1. Lots to explore in the food zone bounded by Kipling/Islington+Dundas/Queensway.