Visiting from Toronto -- tips and guidelines
Lately I've noticed we get a TON of Toronto visitors to Boston and they are all looking for great food in Boston, stuff they cannot get in their fair city. I'd like to make a sticky post especially for them, with the help of ex-TO hounds like gourmaniac and Nab. Tell us what is good and worthy for folks from Toronto and hopefully we can link to this post for the next 734 requests from our brother hounds to the North.
I will start: I think Boston is particularly strong in Portuguese, Brazilian, and Taiwanese food. I know the Asian variants are super in TO, but Taiwanese is its own thing altogether and very very well done here.
Some of my Taiwanese faves:
So, ex pats ... where would you send your Toronto brethren? Let's get this done once and for all.
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Just to chime in as one of the former Torontonians on the board, one of the main types of food I missed when I moved back to TO the 2nd time for Grad School was Latin American, especially since I was living in FLA for a while before.
So with that in mind a trip out to East Boston would be a worthwhile visit and a place I take my visitors from TO quite a bit (They love the selection and quality) This thread is an interesting reference point: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/448448
A few other thoughts:
- Southern inspired restaurants would be interesting as well. Hungry Mother (Kendall) and Tupelo (Inman) would be worth a visit.
- BBQ Blue Ribbon (Newton and Arlington) represents itself nicely and would by far be the best BBQ joint in Toronto if it relocated.
- Our top FIne dining places are always worth a visit (Craigie, L'Esplaier, O Ya, Menton, Clio)
- Seafood is an obvious one as well, as TO is landlocked (Neptune Oyster, B&G, East Coast Grill)
- And as mentioned already Brazilian, Taiwanese and Haitian are also strong points.
- Unique restaurants: Oleana (Turkish-Med) and Helmand (Afghani) both in Cambridge.
Finally one area that I think BOS stands out in comparison is in the cocktail department. Our best bars represent themselves nicely. Drink (Fort Point), Green Street (Central) and Eastern Standard (Kenmore) would keep any cocktail fan happy.
That should get my former country/city men started.
re: Matt H
There's another new Afghani restaurant in Allston - Ariana. Haven't tried it yet, though I'm hoping to maybe get there next week when I've got house guests. It's on Brighton Avenue, in the space that had been Rangoli (and then, very briefly, Dawat.) It looks nice but not as upscale as Helmand, but the menu appears to be cribbed almost entirely from Helmand.
Another unique restaurant, also in Allston - YoMa, delicious homey Burmese food.
re: Matt H
That's a great guide right there, Matt. I might only add Cambodian to the mix, which, is granted a little ways outta town, but hopefully soon we'll have Floating Rock in Cambridge at least.
Also strongly support Allstonian's suggestion of YoMa.
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YoMa is definitely at the top of my to-do list! Great suggestion from Allstonian and Nab.
Cambodian is also a great idea. A couple other areas that I completely forgot are Cape Verdean (New England has the largest CV Diaspora in world apparently) and Nepali food is another idea, I cant say I've ever been to a city that has as many Nepali restaurants as Boston, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
re: Matt H
not a Toronto expat but how is the Italian there?
We have some great places:
Prezza, Erbaluce, Coppa, Lucca, Taranta (that i've been to)
Via Matta, Sorellina, others? (consistently great reviews)
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I'm not from Toronto, but I've visited there many, many times. There's plenty of Italian food there; like ours some of it is excellent. They have a "Little Italy" neighborhood of their own.
For that matter, I've been told by Torontonians that they're pretty well set for Portuguese as well, although I think they might be interested in Brazilian.
I am from Toronto, and am planning a trip down to Boston with my family for the Labour Day long weekend in September. Although I was not born in Toronto, but have lived here for 28 years, long enough, to say that genuine Italian, Portugese, Chinese and South Asian cuisines are more than enough to favour here north of the border with immigrants comprising 52% of the population in Toronto. Brazilian I have never tried, but when I am down in Boston I would like to try cheap good eats local people would go for, regardless of origin. Would some of the Bostonian Chowhounds give me a hand so that I can plan out our 4 day trip? Thanks in advance! I am going to do a search myself in this forum as well.
I would say that there are several competent Italian restaurants in Toronto, but none of them are actually in the "Little Italy" area of Toronto (on College St.). Personally, I prefer the Italian food I've tried in both Boston and NYC over Toronto's.
And I disagree that Toronto does seafood well-its quite a bit inland and therefore the seafood tends to be both expensive and just generally "ok".
Toronto indeed has a significant Portuguese community.
Neptune Oyster was a revelation for me-I haven't had a GREAT lobster roll like that since touring throughout the state of Maine as a child. And the oysters were absolutely perfectly shucked and fresh.
And I completely agree with Matt H about Boston's cocktail scene, although Toronto is very quickly playing catch up.
Very curious about the Brazilian food!
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re: Splendid Wine Snob
I didn't say that TO does seafood well - not sure where you got that. And clearly your opinion differs, but in general the Torontonians I've met have been satisfied with their local Italian food.
I had understood the point of this thread to be to suggest things that folks can't get in Toronto.
Sorry, I think I confused two threads where someone had mentioned Toronto specifically doing seafood well-I clearly got mixed up here.
And since I'm from Toronto, I think I can have an opinion on the Italian, which I said is competent but I personally feel Boston outshines Toronto in that department. That is why I mentioned it.
I apologize for posting my opinion on what I think Toronto does or does not do well in terms of cuisine.