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Visitng Downtown Toronto - Recommendations

Hi Everyone,
I would really appreciate some help with food/restuarant recommendations. A group of 7 of us in our mid 20's are coming to Toronto for a long weekend. We are looking for recommendations ranging from small quick breakfasts to a couple nicer meals that are budget friendly (less than $35/person say). Any local can't miss places would also be appreciated. 2 stipulations: there needs to be some vegetarian options, and they need to be relatively close to our hotel at Yonge & Richmond. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Some Ideas so far:
W Burger Bar
Pizzeria Libretto
Earth
Smoke's Poutinerie

Also, any good bar recommendations nearby are always helpful.

Cheers!

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Pizzeria Libretto
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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  1. Beer Bistro at Yonge/King is very close to you and generally well recommended. It is both a decent restaurant and a bit of an after work bar.

    Go to the St.Lawrence market for breakfast and pick up a peameal bacon sandwich and/or some pastries. Breakfast at the Senator (Dundas/Victoria) is good, but not cheap.

    Where are you visiting from?

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    Beer Bistro
    18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: thenurse

      We're coming up from the Detroit area. No real plans except for relaxing, and enjoying good food and drinks.

    2. These are all within walking distance for you -

      Wine Bar at 9 Church St, good food and a few veggie options especially if fish is allowed -
      http://9church.com/

      Duggan's Brewery at Victoria St) near Yonge & Queen -- not the greatest vegetarian choices except for the salads and seafood but great beer!
      http://www.duggansbrewery.com/index.html

      Rodney's By Bay -- okay so this is all about the seafood, but it's good!
      http://rodneysbybay.com/Default.aspx

      Queen & Beaver -- gastropub, supposed to be a good brunch but haven't tried that menu yet.
      http://queenandbeaverpub.ca/

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      Rodney's By Bay
      56 Temperance Street, Toronto, ON M5H 3V5, CA

      Queen & Beaver
      35 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

      1. Pizza Libretto is amazing! But it's not exactly downtown. A quick jaunt west. Worth the cab fare for sure. But the whole Ossington restaurant strip is fantastic. Foxley's is also good.

        People love Nota Bene — I've never been, but it's in the right area (at Queen and Avenue, I think it is.) For cheap and delicious Japanese food, go to Ho Su on Queen at John. My favourite breakfasts are in the west end, but for breakfast downtown, I always go to Cora's or Over Easy.

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        Foxley
        207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

        Over Easy
        208 Bloor W, Toronto, ON M5S1T8, CA

        Cora's
        277 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V3E4, CA

        Nota Bene
        180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

        Ho Su Bistro
        254 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z8, CA

        Over Easy Restaurant
        56 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5E1G5, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sarah Cat

          Nota bene for $35 per person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        2. Thanks so much for the recommendations so far everyone! A lot of good options.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Cheeeese

            The mexican chipotle grill does a mean burrito. It's just north of Dundas on Yonge. (on the east side right besides futureshop).
            I'd agree that W does a great burger.
            And if you guys are looking for an all day breakie, you can always hit Fran's. There's one on College/Yonge, and another on victoria st (just off Yonge).

            1. re: mjcrowe

              Sorry, but I don't think it makes sense to send a visitor from the U.S. to a U.S. chain for a burrito. In general, I would avoid Mexican food in this city. There are places I enjoy and frequent, but only because our options are so very limited here.

              And Fran's is a bit of a nightmare. If you stick to bacon and eggs, you'll generally be fine, but there are SO many better breakfast options in the city. In the same area, the Senator is much better for breakfast. A little further afield near Bathurst and College is Aunties and Uncles for an excellent breakfast in a funky atmosphere.

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              Aunties and Uncles
              74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

              1. re: mjcrowe

                Fran's?!? Ha ha...you must really hate Americans! Le Petit Dejeuner is a funky little place with a good atmosphere for breakfast. Great beer selection for later in the day. Not too far to walk from your hotel.

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                Le Petit Dejeuner
                191 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J5, CA

                1. re: munchieHK

                  I really enjoyed Le Petit Dejeuner and would definitely recommend it. But a word of warning, if you are a hearty eater, the portions might be a bit small. My SO had a second breakfast after getting home.

                  Another slightly further breakfast idea is Saving Grace. Small space, but quirky atmosphere and good food. (ETA: Oops, just noticed that you are big group. I've been there with that many ppl, but it was a fairly long wait)

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                  Saving Grace
                  907 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J1V9, CA

                  Le Petit Dejeuner
                  191 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J5, CA

                  1. re: raebmv

                    They don't call it 'petit' for nothing :)

                2. re: mjcrowe

                  I'm sorry, but I really have to disagree about Chipotle Grill and Fran's!! Chipotle's is a chain with non-memorable food, and Fran's is just plain awful!! I have never had a good Fran's food experience in my ten years in this city.

                3. re: Cheeeese

                  Keep in mind Pizzeria Libretto is a no reservations restaurant, so be prepared to wait in line, especially with a larger table of 7 people will be more difficult to get in that small restaurant.

                  Toronto is good for Asian food, so might want to try Mengrai Thai near Sherbourne & Richmond or Hanoi 3 Seasons near Broadview & Gerrard. For Italian, both Buca near King & Bathrust, or Terroni Adelaide near Church & Adelaide, are good for the 20-something crowd. Terroni is also a no reservations restaurant but you can wait at the bar for drinks and then just bring them to the table when ready.

                4. Black Hoof! The vegetarians in your group can stay at the hotel. :-)

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                  The Black Hoof
                  928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Vise

                    And exactly how do you think a group of 7 will get in at Black Hoof on a weekend? At least warn them to get there 30-60 mins before they open.

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                    The Black Hoof
                    928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                    1. re: Vise

                      Ha, I had looked at Black Hoof. For me it looks amazing, for the vegetarians it might be their worst nightmare.

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                      The Black Hoof
                      928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                    2. About a 10 minute walk North is Salad King - a Thai restaurant where the vegetarian options are excellent. It's a University student hangout during the week, but weekends should be good. Communal tables downstairs (and usually a fast-moving line-up) but you can reserve upstairs. And several bars in the area too.

                      On Queen West (10 mins) there are several Indian places - my favourite is Trimurti - also good veggie options - and again several bars in the neighbourhood.

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                      Salad King
                      340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5B1R7, CA

                      1. You might consider a walking snacking tour of Kensington Market if the weather is good.

                        About a 10 minute walk from your hotel, just north and west of Dundas and Spadina.

                        Pupusas, empanadas, burritos, tortillas, burgers and a couple of good coffee shops.

                        Perhaps end up at Caplanskys for a Toronto smoked meat sandwich or other deli offerings.