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Lunch in Eglinton+Dufferin/Castlefield Design District

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I work in the area and I am trying to find some good places to eat lunch. There are the ones that everyone knows about, such as California Sandwiches, Ace Bakery and some good Portuguese Chicken spots, but I would love to find an alternative to Ace for lighter, healthier meals. I can only handle so many lunches at the hot buffets offered by about 134 Italian restaurants.

Any recommendations?

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  1. I work in the area as well; the options are not great. However, at our workplace we do like ordering from the lunch menu at Express Thai Cuisine. Their pad thai is among the best I have ever had in Toronto. The owners are Thai, so you know you're getting an authentic meal. Don't go for atmosphere, as it's a real hole-in-the-wall resto located in a crummy plaza, on the west side of Dufferin, across from the Rexall pharmacy just north of Dufferin of Eglinton. They also have Thai salads, and fresh rolls which you may find refreshing if you're looking for lighter meals. Hope this helps!

    3 Replies
    1. re: superangela

      Have you ever been to the Island Roti & Fish place around the corner at that crummy plaza (on the Bowie side)? I see a lot of traffic some days in and out of the place but haven't had the chance to drop in myself.

      1. re: fickle

        I've never been to the Roti & Fish place. I might try it because I too have been curious. But I've been into places in the neighbourhood that were crowded before, and several times I've been left wondering why.

        La Fontina on Kincort at Ingram is my go to in the area. It's Italian and the pizza and hot table are good, but I just want something different. Something fresh and lighter than that. I'm going to give the Thai place a shot. Thanks for the suggestions, and feel free to keep them coming.

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        La Fontina
        2700 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

        1. re: langefisch

          You need to try the Island!
          Be prepared for a hit and miss experience.
          But when it's on, its phenomenal!
          When it's off, it's ok.
          Some of the best Akee saltfish I've ever had.

          And, for the record, I love La Fontina.
          Needs more parking.

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          La Fontina
          2700 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

    2. If you can venture out a bit more there's Columbus Bakery up near Lawrence on the east side by Lady York Foods.
      A group of us hounds were in there on Saturday and it was a big hit.

      An Argentinian friend of mine took us to Sky Ranch. He rated it a 7 out of 10 which I think is pretty good. I very much enjoyed my meal. We had two different sampler platters. One was apps. and one was meat. The flank steak was excellent.

      DT

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      Lady York Foods
      2939 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON , CA

      Sky Ranch
      2473 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3P9, CA

      Columbus Bakery
      2931 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B, CA

      1. I've put some time this week into getting to a few of the suggestions made in this thread.

        I had the Thai food, and it was quite good. I don't think I made a great menu decision by going with a chicken, chili dish whose name I would be hard pressed to remember, but it was still quite good. I also accidentally ordered vegetarian spring rolls, which are deep fried, when I wanted the fresh rolls, which they call cold rolls I think. Regardless, I enjoyed it.

        Tried the Akee and saltfish...sort of. They didn't have any akee, so he gave me a saltfish with cabbage mixture on rice. The flavour was pretty good. I thought it could have used a bit more kick actually. And the rice was also too much of the meal. But the flavour was really good and I would go back.

        Columbus bakery was I think a one time visit for me. The food wasn't bad, but there wasn't a single thing that wasn't deep fried. I'm not one to avoid that but it's nice to have options. I had a chicken deep fried thing that was tasty, but too heavy. And a couple of other items including a ham, spinach and pineapple pastry. It was good, but the pastry was too layered and too much for me.

        I've always wanted to try sky ranch and I may give it a shot, but I usually just grab and go for lunch. Not sure if they're conducive to that type of lunch. I'll report back as I explore the areas.

        I should mention that I have been to the Arepa place on Dufferin with mixed results. I find their arepas really heavy and not crisp enough.

        6 Replies
        1. re: langefisch

          Thanks for reporting back. Another option is Babos Donerpoint at Eglinton and Caledonia for their mixed doner plate. It's a bit heavy but it's very good with the hot sauce. This may be too far but Seoul House at Dufferin and Orfus Road has great lunch deals, quite a few choices in bento boxes for under $10.

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          Babos
          2216 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E2L1, CA

          1. re: fickle

            I agree that Babos is a good lunch place, but man after the mix plate meal by 3:00 pm I'm ready to call it a day, go home and fall asleep.

            I also second Seoul House for a nice light lunch, but it can be a trek with bad traffic on Dufferin. As for Sky Ranch, I've only been there once years ago and I ordered chicken (which was a mistake) it was that weird spongy, chicken that isn't really chicken (think Tim Ho's chicken). However, others with me ordered steak which they said was decent. Having said this, we have never been back since that one meal.

            Can't wait to try Columbus bakery this week! I've always wondered about that place. My tummy's growling with anticipation for the tamales!

            1. re: superangela

              The breakfast special (steak & eggs) at Sky Ranch is very good, not sure if they still have it at lunch time. The burger was disappointing. For dinner I enjoy their empanadas, bife argentino, the mixed grill parrillada and lomo saltado. They do have a heavy hand with the salt unfortunately.

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              Sky Ranch
              2473 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3P9, CA

              1. re: fickle

                I have always wondered about Sky Ranch. So dinner is good? I drive by this place all the time and would like to try it.

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                Sky Ranch
                2473 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3P9, CA

                1. re: froglegs

                  They're good if you're in the hood but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. I consider it a nice local neighbourhood option.

          2. re: langefisch

            If you do end up back at Columbus bakery, you should try one of their tamales. Definitely not fried! Ask for some hot sauce to go with it.