Recs for LONDON, Ontario
My partner and I are spending over three weeks in London, ON, We dine out frequently and are hoping you can share some of your favourite spots with us. We enjoy both upscale dining and hole-in-the-wall spots.
Thus far we have dined at The Tasting Room and Prince Albert Diner. We really enjoyed the wine flights and appetizers at TTR but were dissapointed in the mains (and the televisions--it was almost elegant but the tvs/fake plants/upholstery mitigated it). We loved PAD and it's classic, no-nonsense diner vibe.
We are eager to find a good Mexican and/or Latin restaurant. Also, I am desperate for a good sushi place. We would also like to find a few romantic/charming bistros, preferably with outdoor seating. But any recommendations much appreciated!
Also, any good places to go for a glass of wine or manhattan. We are 30 year old DINKS (double income, no kids) and prefer somewhere that caters to that sort of crowd.
Thanks for any suggestions!
483 Richmond St, London, ON N6A3E4, CA
I second The Only and Church Key. Church Key is particularly good on the subject of Sunday brunch, if you can get a table. And they have a patio -- right opposite The Tasting Room.
If you are willing to drive and want a good bakery (excellent source of pasteis nata, toasted sandwiches, lattes...), there is a branch of Toronto's Nova Era (a traditional Portuguese bakery) near the Western Fair grounds -- 460 Egerton, says their website. Bet ya can't eat just one pastel de nata... It's rare that anyone can...
Milos' Craft Beer Emporium (http://pubmilos.com/), where Gigs used to be at the corner of Talbot and Carling is a definite check out if you're looking for a nice lunch or upscale pub fare. The house smoked wings, and onion rings are phenomenal, lots of cool sandwiches, meatloaf sandwich, schnitzel, all house made, and top quality ingredients.
As far as beer goes, if you enjoy beer and haven't checked this place out, you're doing it all wrong, because this pub is easily top 3 in Ontario as far as local craft drafts and a huge assortment of bottles of the worlds finest beers.
Milos and his staff are also super nice. Go there!
Also, off the beaten path, but worth checking out if you're in North London, is Nemat's - fast, authentic take out Pakistani, lots of different samosas and a rotating selection of curries and whatnot. Very nice owner too. One of the few places worth eating at in North London, along with Shmokey rob n sons.
El Ranchito on Wellington is decent.
As for sushi. I think you may be out of luck. Nowhere is really *good*. Shiki on Wellington is decent, but for the value...I actually prefer Asahi on Dundas...but it's on Dundas east (re: shady)....
Agree with Tasting room. We usually just treat that place like a Tapas place and stay away from the main menu.
Ben Thanh has decent Thai- but only go to the one on Wellington across from White Oaks mall.
The only real recommendation I feel is chowhound worthy for London would be Rei Dos Leitos (The King of Pigs). reidosleitoes.com ....It is portuguese churrasceria that does amazing roast chicken...it is simple but great. I like the location on Hamilton road, it's family run and everyone is amazingly friendly.
111 Wellington St, London, ON N6B2K5, CA
I like the chicken at Rei Dos Leitos, but the service at the new Cherryhill location (where they've translated their restaurant name, so the Cherryhill location calls itself King of the Pigs) while ok, was not exactly "amazingly friendly" when I was there a couple weeks ago.
I walked into the restaurant, which is located inside the Cherryhill shopping mall, at 8:05 pm, hoping to order take-out, and there were at least 3 tables still eating. As soon as I walked in, I was told by an employee that they were closed. When I mentioned I had driven out of my way to stop there for take-out, and that I was surprised a place with a take-out business would close at 8 pm, they told me that they keep the same hours as the mall, but their Hamilton Rd location was usually open until 9 pm. When I asked if they had anything available for take-out, the employee said they could sell me a chicken, but that was it. I bought the chicken, then drove 2 km to Swiss Chalet to buy some sides. The chicken was tasty, but I was surprised that the people at the restaurant weren't a little more flexible or accomodating.
Imperio Dos Frangos on Hamilton Rd also serves good churrasco chicken.
dishes I consider chowworthy in London:
Barakat's shawarma, fattoush and lentil soup
Hot Oven's (inside the Covent Garden Market) spinach burek and meat burek
Massey Indian Cuisine's tandoori mahi tikka and dal makhani
Which dishes do you like at Ben Thanh in White Oaks, jinxie?
Rei DOS Leitoes
706 Hamilton Rd, London, ON N5Z1T6, CA
551 Richmond St, London, ON N6A3E9, CA
Imperio DOS Frangos
741 Hamilton Rd, London, ON N5Z1T8, CA
Massey's Fine Indian Cuisine
174 King St, London, ON N6A1C6, CA
Which dishes would you currently recommend most at The Tasting Room?
Noticed 2 newish Mexican options- True Taco on Dundas, and Mexicactus in Trafalgar. Haven't tried either, yet.
Had a tasty meal at the Dancing Greek Taverna, in the plaza at SE corner of Huron + Highbury, last week. Generous portions!
Went to Abruzzi for my birthday this year - on King, between Richmond & Talbot. Delicious simple Italian fare (from the Abruzzi region). Highly recommended.
The Only on King would be my other pick for dinner - we've been there on multiple occasions and it never disappoints.
(I'll throw in a vote for Blackfriar's Sunday brunch as well!)
46 Blackfriars St, London, ON N6H1K7, CA
The Only on King
172 King St, London, ON N6A, CA
Si Senor is decent for Mexican in London, although the portions are small, and I have found the food to be somewhat dry. The style of cooking is more Mexican than Tex-Mex, so expect cotija, not melted Monterey Jack. Chowhounds constantly complain about the Mexican food in Toronto, but the better Mexican food in Toronto is significantly better than any Mexican food I have found in London. There's a Cuban place in Wortley Village which I haven't tried.
I don't think any restaurants in London cater to the 30something crowd, let alone 30something couples with no kids. Joe Kool's and Barney's are basically the 2 main options for people over the age of 24 who are looking for a patio. Barney's is the better bet for a Manhattan. Joe Kool's is probably a better bet for nachos/wings/beer. It's possible Barney's pub food has improved since I was last there.
Auberge de Petit Prince, David's, The Blackfriar's Cafe, and JJ's in Byron are the best bets for bistro. The Church Key has a nice patio, but the food is so-so.
Braise on Dundas, and the Only on King attract some 30somethings, but it's likely some 40-50-60-70somethings will also be dining there. Both restaurants are trendy for London, and serve mostly locally sourced food.
394 Waterloo St, London, ON N6B2N8, CA
The Only on King
172 King St, London, ON N6A, CA
595 Richmond St, London, ON N6A3G2, CA