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Best places near the University of Toronto (no car)?

Hi,

First time visitor to Toronto here. I will be in town for a conference at the university (staying on Bloor St). I found an old thread with cheap eats:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/103248

I would appreciate any updated recommendations including places that aren't cheap eats. We won't have a car. Thanks a lot for any advice.

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  1. If you walk down to Harbord St., there is a great stretch of really good restaurants between Spadina and Brunswik to choose from:

    Splendido
    Messis
    Harbord Room
    93 Harbord
    Boulevard Cafe
    Loire
    DT Bistro (brunch is excellent, haven't had dinner there)

    All have different vibes and price points. I'd either do a search on any of the above for more detail or give us a little more detail about the type of places you like and we can recommend some specifics.

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    93 Harbord
    93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

    Messis
    97 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

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

    Harbord Room
    89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

    1. Well, if you are interested in "places that aren't cheap eats", there's the Hart House Gallery Grill @ the U of T. I went there for an Xmas office party a few years back and had a favourable experience.

      http://www.harthouse.utoronto.ca/hh/p...

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      Gallery Grill
      7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: somewhere4

        I love Gallery Grill as well, but the OP should be aware that they are closed until September!

        1. re: somewhere4

          Gallery Grill is closed in July and August and hardly cheap as the OP requests. Lunch for two is $75 plus booze, tax and tip.

          1. re: curnonsky

            Actually, the OP asked for "places that aren't cheap eats" as well.

        2. Second Gallery Grill.

          I like Matahari on Baldwin, although I haven't dined there for a while.

          I also like dining at Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Although some of their lunch/brunch dishes can be hit or miss, I've enjoyed all the desserts I've ordered at Frank.
          http://www.ago.net/frank-dessert-menu

          -----
          Matahari
          39 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1, CA

          Gallery Grill
          7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

          FRANK @ The Art Gallery of Ontario
          317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5T I4G, CA

          7 Replies
          1. re: phoenikia

            I went to Matahari 3 weeks ago, the food is still very good but the service has gotten worse. It used to be slow and they have managed to make it even slower. We were there on a Tuesday night at 6pm. One waiter for the entire restaurant, one bus staff and one person watering the flowers. Allow yourself 3 hours minimum if you plan on going and always order an appetizer, you'll need something to tie you over while your entrees come an hour later.

            I really like Frank. Make reservations if you go.

            -----
            Matahari
            39 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1, CA

            1. re: fickle

              Hopefully someone reading this thread will tell Matahari to pick up the pace. 3 hours for dinner at Matahari is ridiculous! I would have been so frustrated!

              -----
              Matahari
              39 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1L1, CA

              1. re: fickle

                i'm so glad to see the love for frank. i've never been for brunch or lunch but quite enjoy it for dinner. it's not always a stupendous hit but no dish is any less than good and still more often than not great. i much prefer it to nota bene, the food seems more honest. it's a great pairing to a night at the AGO (their late hours are on Wednesday, so it is possible to check out a sight while at a conference). not sure when you're in town but they've currently got some coupon on their website to print out that can get you $7.50 (why that amount, no idea) off admission and/or dinner.

                i don't know where you're from, but i think it is at least worthwhile to use the public transit system (ttc) to perhaps at least go across the bloor line. i can' t speak for danforth (east) but there are certainly a lot ethnic communities with tasty food to explore. between bathurst/christie is korean and further west towards ossington is african (mostly ethiopian) and a smattering of latin/carribean as well.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  have had an ok dinner and a DISGUSTING brunch there

                  1. re: shekamoo

                    Hopefully that was just a "bad day." I've had brunch there a couple times and thought it quite nice. Pastry basket was inconsistent for me during my visits, but everything else was pretty solid.

                    ---
                    http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

                  2. re: pinstripeprincess

                    I also prefer the food at Frank to the food at Nota Bene.

                    AGO members also get a 10 percent discount.

                    I've been for brunch a few times, and for lunch once. Haven't found anything to be disgusting.

                    Would have hoped for a lighter souffle on one visit, but this is Toronto, so I wasn't surprised that the souffle wasn't ideal. The souffle is no longer on the brunch or lunch menus.

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

                    1. re: phoenikia

                      The pancake and omelet were both inedible, everything smelled of rotten eggs. the bread was stale. when I say disgusting I mean it literally. It is an unfortunate cultural weakness that I have a hard time sending food back in restaurants. This would have been a prime candidate. I don't bad-mouth restaurants on a public forum lightly, even if doing so is inconsequential in practice

              2. Thanks for the input. I'll give those places a look online. Excited to be visiting Toronto!

                1 Reply
                1. re: jefedejefes

                  For Chinese restaurant recommendations at Spadina Chinatown check this thread:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7149...