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Apr 22, 2010 11:37 AM

Which restaurant to go to in the King/John neighbourhood?

My girlfriends and I want to have a nice casual dinner tonight some where along King St or in the downtown core.
One has suggested one on that strip of restaurants at King and John St, you know like Fred's Not Here, N'awlins and St Tropaz etc.
Any suggestions? We're kinda over Terroni! Any suggestions would be mucho appreciated!

Fred's Not Here
321 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

299 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

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  1. Maybe try further down King, to King West. Buca is new and Italian. Brassaii or Crush Wine Bar would be fun with a bunch of girlfriends, as would Rodney's Oyster Bar or Lee. That particular strip along King does attract a lot of tourists and a pre-theatre crowd so it does get busy. Urban Restaurant is not bad. I would also recommend Ame on Wellington.

    Lisa - The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide @

    461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA

    604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

    1. If you have to stay on the strip I've always been a fan of the penne and spicy sausage at Kit Kat.

      Kit Kat
      297 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: BeachHeath

        Oh - I so agree with this! I haven't had this in years and now I want it NOW.

      2. If you're looking for really casual, you might try Smokeless Joe's for their fab beer menu and tiny menu. It's very small, with that cool feeling like you've stumbled on to a great secret. It's been a long time, but I'm tempted to say that the food is decent to good. We always get mussels and always enjoy. Better food and drink than your average pub!

        Edit: just saw you said "girlfriends," plural. That might make Smokeless Joe's a bit of a tight squeeze depending on numbers...

        If you want something with a more polished atmosphere than an underground tavern, you might look into the Fat Belgian. We continue visiting, though sometimes I'm not sure why. The food is inconsistent, service is usually friendly but terribly slow, and like most places in the area, it's kind of overpriced. The only exceptions are the mussel dishes, which are a better deal than our faves at BeerBistro since a small comes with bread and frites and will satisfy a hungry eater for about $15. The tradeoff that the same order might yield totally different results from one time to the next, as my SO and I both recently discovered...

        Both places are occasionally missing the beers you want most, though this is much more frustrating at Fat Belgian because their list is small but solid. At Smokeless Joe's, not getting your first (or second, or sometimes third) choice just means you get to try something new.

        Our "casual" is mussels and beer, so if that appeals, you might like one of those places. Just steer away from Fred's Not Here and St. Tropez, where you will overpay for a sub-par meal.

        If you're willing to go a bit further afield, that would open up a lot more options. One that might interest you is Crush Wine Bar, which is promoting green/organic/biodynamic, etc. wines for Earth Day. I keep seeing info about this event and really want to check it out, but sadly can't venture out tonight, so hopefully someone will go and report back!

        Fred's Not Here
        321 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

        Fat Belgian
        115 John St, Toronto, ON M9N, CA

        Smokeless Joe
        Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

        1. Nota Bene has a nice bar upfront with tables and a cool NYC vibe...not as L7 as the dining room, same food...Marimba!

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