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Enduring restaurants

I'm watching a tv programme on the Vancouver restaurant Vij's. Having been there myself I get how they've earned their reputation. It's been around long enough and has been established as a destination for food people. No hype here, not a trend that people (or the owners) will get tired of in a year or two.

What/where would you say are the equivalent in Toronto?

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  1. I'll bite... How about Splendido. It has gone through 3 changes of ownership, with each iteration putting a unique stamp on the place while maintaining a high level of quality both with the food and service.

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    Splendido
    88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

    1. I'll throw Chiado into the mix.

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      Chiado
      864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Maybe Joso's?

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        Joso's
        202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

      2. What about some timelines here.... I think Joso's started in '77, and Splendido was 1991 (thought it was earlier, but going by chefdb). Centro was 1987, and Trapper's was 1985.

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        Splendido
        88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

        Joso's
        202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

        Centro
        2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

        1. Scaramouche, Centro, North 44. They have been around since the 80's and will be around for many more. Truffles would have also been in that elite group but the Four Seasons pulled the plug on it.

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          North 44
          2537 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4P 2H9, CA

          Centro
          2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

          2 Replies
          1. re: TexSquared

            Not fine food, I know, but the Coffee Mill in Yorkville has been going since the sixties. Amazingly, I believe the original owners are still running the place - at least that's what somebody told me. Maybe somebody here can confirm.

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            Coffee Mill
            99 Yorkville, Toronto, ON M5R3K5, CA

            1. re: ER2

              The Coffee Mill - great suggestion! It is so under-appreciated. Their chicken soup is the best ever and their food is consistent. Yes, I think the same women still run it - there are a couple of blonde Hungarian ladies that have been there forever.

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              Coffee Mill
              99 Yorkville, Toronto, ON M5R3K5, CA

          2. Vesta Lunch at Bathurst+Dupont! OK, at least it's got longevity going for it...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagemusha

              Yeah for sure. My dad used to eat there as a poor student in the sixties!

            2. also not fine dining, but Ive been eating at Kom Jug Yuen with my family for over 30 years. The current owner was the cook when we started going. I still see many of the same faces from way back then. the staff is largely charmless, but the food is extremely reliable.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Everythingtarian

                What about Barberians Steak House on Elm Street? It's been at that location for a long while now. Maybe from the late fifties?

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                Barberian's
                7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

                1. re: ER2

                  Senior's, the steak house on Yonge just S of St Clair - been around for ever, neither decor nor food has changed much (the first grotty the second great) and the prices are a good $15-20 lower than the fancy places downtown. That aside, I think the secrets for their longevity are - low rent compared to downtown, revenue coming in from the snack bar operation they run on ground floor, the personable welcome from the family and long-time waiters, that your steak includes salad and sides and the really good meat.

              2. 3 coins kitchen in Richmond Hill

                Steer-in burger in Richmond Hill

                Crepes a go-go in Yorkville

                Harbord House.... on Harbord ??

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                Harbord
                147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

                Harbord House
                150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

                3 Replies
                1. re: meatnveg

                  Harbord House? The pub, I think not, only there in it's current incarnation a couple years, previously it was Rowers

                  I have this book from the mid seventies that is a selection of menus from 30 fine dining restaurants of the day. The only one still in business I think is the Corner House on Dav.

                  Scaramouche was mentioned previously but I think it deserves a special badge for being a fine dining restaurant that has had, in 30 years, basically two executive chefs (OK three but two of them were co-chefs).

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                  Corner House
                  501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

                  Harbord House
                  150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

                  1. re: bytepusher

                    Sorry, I wasn't aware that the ownership had changed with the name.

                    1. re: bytepusher

                      I have that book too - somewhere in the basement.
                      It was actually a promotional piece - people paid to be included. Used to 'interact' with the person who put it together (never a friend).
                      And Corner House has also changed hands since then. The original was a rip-off (hence their need to promote).

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                      Corner House
                      501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

                  2. Vesuvio Pizza in the Junction.

                        1. re: millygirl

                          "Peoples" on Dupont and "China House" on Eglinton..both certainly around more than 20 or 30 years...sometimes the 'food' feels like it too! "The Good Bite" on Yonge Street for sure more than 20 years AND the food there is still reliable and tasty for 'diner' fare.

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                          Good Bite
                          2463 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P2H6, CA

                          1. re: pearlD

                            You know I wa s going to mention China House but then read the OP's request again, and thought twice. Although China House has been around forever and a day, I wouldn't call it a destination spot. In fact we went with friends that live in the area recently and the place was dead. The food wasn't very good either.

                            1. re: millygirl

                              This is true 'millygirl....the 'food' is not what keeps China House going but there must be something....we hardly ever order delivery from them at this point(we do get a 'long bbq rib craving and order rarely) but 'longevity'....it's right up there with the 'ancients'.....as for the place itself...I always hear "Desolation Row" in my head whenever I'm around Bathurst & Eglinton because it's where I grew up and I haven't been 'carded' for many, many years.....LOL!!

                      1. Jacque's Bistro in Yorkville -- I ate there often in the 70/80s and loved it. And it's still there!
                        http://www.jacquesbistro.com/Bienvenu...

                        1. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I am putting some of the restaurants on my to do list.

                          Another point I didn't mention in the original post was about the 'democracy' I felt at Vij's. For sure it was serious dining but there was no dress code or VIP section. There were people there for a big night out but also casual groups and families. Maybe it was because I was on vacation but going there felt like a dinner Event but without the formality of going to a special occasion high-end restaurant.