HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


West End - Ethnic Food

The whole family is coming up from Niagara on Saturday. I am looking for an ethnic restaurant that would be "different" for them.

They eat thai food all the time and my mother doesn't like Indian food. They can get "typical" chinese food, but if someone had a suggestion for something that was "different" from a chinese restaurant, that would be appreciated.

Nothing expensive, an ethnic family type restaurant would be great. Probably doesn't make a difference but there will be 2 toddlers with us.

Located in the west end would be preferable. We are in Etobicoke and don't mind a 20 min drive, but don't want to be going downtown.

Anyone have any suggestions? Have I missed any vital peices of information.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. How about Barb's Roti for cheap and cheerful Caribbean in Mississauga or Grand Chinese Cuisine for upscale dim sum by the airport (in the Doubletree? I'm blanking). Totally different experiences, but both would fit your criteria. I know you said no Chinese, but the dim sum at Grand is not like anything you would get in a "typical" Chinese restaurant.

    Grand Chinese Cuisine
    655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON M9W1J3, CA

    Barb's Roti Shop
    1181 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5E1G1, CA

    1. Marcello's at St Clair & Dufferin.

      1163 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E1B2, CA

      St Clair Restaurant
      69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

      1. What about polish food at Cafe Polonez on Roncesvalles?
        There are a couple of Colombian restaurants in the west end too. First is Los Arrieros on Jane, north of Bloor and the second is Lenos on Dundas, just west of Keele.

        Los Arrieros
        276 Jane St, Toronto, ON M6S3Z2, CA

        Cafe Polonez
        195 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R2L5, CA

        1. How about Vietnamese? Pho Huong in the Junction (394 Pacific Ave) is great, very inexpensive and very child friendly.

          There's also Pho Phuong on Dundas at Brock.

          Pho Phuong
          1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: tochipotle

            I would also recommend Pho Hunong on Pacific. Sooo yummy (and easy on the wallet).

          2. this place is a little rough around the edges but wow korean in mississauga has the best pork bone soup i've tried in the city. a very nuanced and cabbage intense broth. really fantastic. i haven't tried anything else though so the rest of the meal might not be as successful. people are very sweet but the space could do with a reno.

            on that note there are a couple korean places that are supposed to be great as well in the neighbourhood. i believe skylineR33 has posted about it before along with a couple others. sorry for how vague that is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              I second WOW Korean. I was really pleasantly surprised with this find - I have never been happy with pork bone soup downtown. The only thing missing from the gamjatang at WOW was heat - but I'll simply ask for more spice next time.
              Pics: http://www.cookiesandtomatoes.com/201...

              I had:
              Pork Bone Soup (Gamjatang
              )I was immediately pleased when this arrived. It was meaty and tender - which has not been the case in restaurants downtown. Kachi and Owl of Minerva are very popular - but they don't offer this much meat or spices. The only downer was the lack of heat in the broth - but I'm quite sure that this could easily be fixed upon request.

              Seafood Pancake (Haemul Panjeon)
              Crispy and chock-full of calamari. Not little chopped up bits, but full well-cooked tentacles. The pancake was thick and fluffy on the inside, riddled with green onions, and arrived sizzling hot. Great find. The ones I've tried downtown were skimpy on the fillings, spongy at best, and very thin and oily in comparison.

              It was a nice little spot, a typical mom & pop Korean restaurant, and very quiet (it was a Thursday night). The banchan wasn't that great - in fact I disliked the cabbage kimchi and the pototoes quite a bit. The seaweed and the radish kimchi were fine. But the gamjatang was so tasty that I took one to go for a friend. She gleefully chowed down, and thought the level of heat was perfect. So, perhaps the spice-level is good for some...but needs to be cranked up a notch for me! First time I've been happy with pork bone soup at a restaurant since I've learned to make it on my own...such a pain, glad to have a place to go now :D

              Wow Korean Restaurant
              55 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L5A1W1, CA

              Owl of Minerva
              5661 Steeles Ave E, Toronto, ON M1V5P6, CA

            2. Two thoughts from me:
              On Eglinton, west of Renforth before Dixie (in Planet Bowl mall) is Prince Japanese Steakhouse,...very good tappanaki which is a cool take and new experience with an Asian slant.
              On a diferent spectrum, Wally's Restaurant on Dundas near Kipling for German/Ukrainian food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ciaociao1

                Wally's closed down about 2 or 3 years ago. It's a korean/japanese restaurant now.

              2. It's been many years since I've visited Toronto with my clan. Always did enjoy a Polish meal at one of the Polish restaurants on Roncesvalles Ave. ( main drag of Polonia, West End, TO ).
                I couldn't possibly remember any names. Explore ! Try your luck and taste something different and inexpensive.
                If they eat out in Buffalo on occasion they may be more familiar with the menus you'll encounter.

                1. Chopin is another good option for Polish food on Roncesvalles. I like the combo platter & their amazing perogies.

                  Haven't been for a few years, but I liked my manti at Anatolia. It's a Turkish restaurant in the West End. http://www.anatoliarestaurant.net/ind...

                  Has anyone dined at Anatolia lately?

                  5112 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9A1C2, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: phoenikia

                    Has anyone dined at Anatolia recently?

                  2. There's Mi Tierra on St Clair West for columbian

                    or La Bella Managua on Bloor for nicaraguan

                    Mi Tierra Restaurant
                    828 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1C1, CA

                    1. Miss Vicky's on Roncescalles for good cheap Thai. Ignore the fish & chips, tho the kids might like them. Nice patio in the back.

                      Vicky's Fish & Chips
                      414 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R2N2, CA

                      1. If you want to stay in Etobicoke you can do pretty well on Dundas between Islington and Kipling, in particular in the stretch by Michael Power.

                        For Turkish, Anatolia is quite good, the cook in back is more like a chef, even down to careful plating. A nice - unexpected - touch in a very family restaurant. Great flavours. http://www.anatoliarestaurant.net/

                        In that same stretch there are at least 3 places of the Japanese/Korean persuasion. They're all about the same as far as quality, price, etc. I've eaten at Kisoya the most, but my in-laws prefer another one. Anyway, you can get sushi/sashimi, udon, Korean, etc... something to please everyone! And you can decide when you get there which looks best.

                        I will say, though, the other recommendations in the Junction and Roncesvalles are very good ones, and nice neighbourhoods to walk around in before or after dinner. If you pick Roncesvalles then after dinner you can walk down to the Film Buff for ice cream.

                        Film Buff
                        73 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R, CA

                        1. Taste of Korea

                          Taste of Korea
                          4941 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9A1B6, CA