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Aug 6, 2010 08:02 AM

New Jersey Hound Needs Suggestions

I will be in Toronto next week and need some help with breakfast and dinner recs.

I'll be staying a couple of blocks north of city hall and would like to know if there are any not-to-be-missed breakfast spots within a 10-15 minute walk.

On two week nights I'll be on my own for dinner and would like to know of any places where a single diner would not feel uncomfortable. I'm partial to ethnic eateries but we can skip Italian and Thai because New Jersey has plenty of them! I will have a car so I can travel if necessary.


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  1. Kenzo Ramen on the north side of Dundas, just east of Elizabeth (immediately north of City Hall). Excellent ramen.

    Kenzo Ramen
    6180 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2M, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: acd123

      You'll be pretty close to the Metropolitan Hotel which has Lai Wah Heen for v good dim sum/Chinese.

      Lai Wah Heen
      108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

      Metropolitan Hotel
      108 Chestnut, Toronto, ON M5G1R3, CA

    2. Le Petit Dejeuner on King St (just past Sherbourne) would fit the bill for breakfast. Absolutely delicious, although depending on what time you go there may be a bit of a wait. You could walk there in about 15 minutes.

      Le Petit Dejeuner
      191 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J5, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: bringonthelbs

        I second this rec. Do it on a weekday and the walk will be scenic and peaceful, and the place won't be busy at all. On a weekend you'll need to lineup and it will become an ordeal. Note that the chef/owner is Belgian and the waffles are fantastic.

      2. The Senator is about four blocks east. 20s souped-up diner. Standard bacon and eggs but twice the cost of the average spoon.

        Although there are a few Chinese restaurants in the area, Chinatown moved six or so blocks west about 30 years ago. Lots of inexpensive options where you can dine solo.

        Baldwin Village and Kensington Market are also in that area.

        Or you could jump on the streetcar ($3) for 20 minutes to Black Hoof or Hoof Cafe. Get off at Grace Street.

        The Black Hoof
        928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        5 Replies
        1. re: curnonsky

          Many thanks to all who responded. I'm a little disappointed at the lack of dinner recs. Are there really no places in the downtown area where a single diner can eat and feel comfortable?

          How about the bar areas of some upscale places? This is where I sometimes go in NYC. Surely Toronto has similar places.

            1. re: ambrose

              I don't think dining solo will be uncomfortable anywhere you head to. I would recommend heading to Kengsington Market and nibbling at a few different spots there. Just walk around and let your senses guide you. Everything from Jamaican, to Indian, to Mexican within the block. Chinatown is very close by (Spadina Avenue) where again I think you could just walk along and take it all in,

              Is there a certain type of ethnic food you are craving? Maybe narrowing it down will help.

              1. re: ambrose

                You can eat in the bar at Nota Bene. Same menu, same prices, more casual. You could also eat at the bar at Canoe. Dinner solo with a drink in the $75 range. Great skyline view!

                And George has a bar where you can eat. Again, not cheap.

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

                1. re: ambrose

                  Here are a couple of outstanding places to dine alone. Starfish for dinner and an (oyster shucking) show at the bar. Weezie's for lovely bistro food where the service will treat you just as nicely as they would a crowded table.

                  Not to be missed, given you're right near city hall, is a bird's eye view of the local architecture with lunch. Great Cooks on Eight is one of the rare places offering a meal-with-a-view of substantial quality on both counts. Only open for lunch and only Mon-Fri.

                  354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                  100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K9, CA

              2. In case you're looking for convenience factor The Queen and Beaver is quite serviceable and right in your neighbourhood. The bar is very comfortable for a single diner, they have respectable bartending (love the Pimm's Cup), and pub classics (often with a twist). I recommend the fish and chips, and the puddings are great. It's not the most glamourous or Toronto pick, but it is a solid choice within ten minutes of your hotel.

                A few other dinner recs:
                - Nota Bene is a great call for a solo diner (as is Canoe, especially if you want to try some Canadian fare
                )- Frank at the AGO is not too far from your hotel and focuses on a Canadian-ish menu (including an all Canadian wine list... which may not actually be an asset). The food is good and the bar is good for dining-with-self
                - Chiado and Senhor Antonio (sister restaurants, SA is the more more casual wine bar) do Portuguese, which can be somewhat difficult to find

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

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

                1. I'm tossing in Manpuku, though their later hours can vary. Cheap, nothing crazy, but solid Japanese bowls of udon. Mixed reception on the boards. Shouldn't be far from where you are.

                  The Black Hoof is my #1 rec to anyone except if you're vegetarian. If you have a chance, go. Do check out the various threads (I've posted a smattering of menus), to see the food. Eat at the bar. They serve a small selection of on-tap beers and interesting cocktails in addition wine.

                  Someone suggested Lai Wah Heen, and I think dim sum would be a great brunch.

                  Walking along Dundas West to Spadina is also interesting. Can stop in at one of the Chinese bakeries and pick up a Char Siu Bao or other baked treats.

         -- food. is. love.

                  Lai Wah Heen
                  108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

                  105 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA