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My first time in Toronto and I dont have a car

OlderPhiladelphian Aug 29, 2010 09:32 PM

My friend is Chinese and is very much immersed into that culture.We will be staying at the Delta Chelsea Hotel. I am caucasian (jewish). We do not have a car. I would prefer Italian food. We would prefer nothing to fancy, but would like to sit down and have a glass of wine.I am also partial to French. My Chinese lady friend will let me decide. We will be there next weekend. Please can you help?

  1. g
    Gary Aug 30, 2010 05:42 AM

    Your hotel is very centrally located, so getting around without a car should be fine if you are focused downtown -- in fact, it would probably be a hassle to drive around there. You're very near the Yonge-Dundas subway stop which will take you easily around the core. A cab from your hotel should also take you to most parts of the downtown for no more than $10 - $15.

    For "nothing too fancy" Italian you might want to try Terroni (nearest location is on Adelaide St. in a very nice former courthouse building) or their newest spin-off restaurant La Bettola di Terroni on nearby Victoria St. which has just received a great review, including for its wine options.

    For Chinese food, it's a bit more complicated only because of the huge variety of options. The largest Chinatown district is on Spadina between roughly Queen and College, with a mix of dim sum, BBQ restaurants and bakeries, however many of those businesses are actually Chinese-Vietnamese these days. There's also another smaller Chinatown on Gerrard St to the east around Broadview, which would be accessible by taking a streetcar east. Most recent Chinese arrivals are settling in the suburbs to the north such as Markham, where there is a huge Chinese mall called Pacific Mall with many interesting food stalls and more restaurants nearby. This area would be your most authentic contemporary Chinese experience in the GTA, but it would really require a car to get to in any reasonably sane amount of time.

    http://www.terroni.ca/

    http://bit.ly/cNQEcS

    http://www.pacificmalltoronto.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gary
      1sweetpea Aug 30, 2010 06:58 AM

      If you like French with a twist, try Le Select Bistro, which has a very French Canadian menu. It is located at 432 Wellington Street. A long walk on a nice day could take you there, as could the transit system or a cab. To appease your dining companion, you could indulge in some high end dim sum at Lai Wah Heen, which is very close to your hotel. Another nice, casual lunch idea is Negroni Panini, on College Street (also not far). The menu offers several nice appetizers, an assortment of panini, very reasonable wines by the glass or bottle and housemade gelati for dessert, as well as a Nutella panino. It's a very pleasant neighbourhood Italian lunch place. Some Italian ideas for dinner can be anything from pizza at Libretto, Terroni or Queen Margherita (all in different areas, but accessible) to higher end fare at places like Zucca, Mistura or Nota Bene. If you're a risotto fan and want an unassuming place, you might like Romagnia Mia, which is a block east of the St. Lawrence Market, at George Street and Front Street.

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

      Mistura
      265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

      St. Lawrence Market
      92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

      Le Select
      432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

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

      College Street Bar
      574 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

      Zuccabar
      299 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R2L4, CA

      1. re: 1sweetpea
        Rabbit Aug 30, 2010 07:10 AM

        For French I second sweetpea's recommendation of Le Select, although I would recommend taking a cab. The patio is very pretty if the weather holds for al fresco dining and the wine list is excellent.

        Lai Wah Heen is also a great choice if you want to do dim sum on Sunday. It is high end, but probably the best downtown option. Toronto has great Chinese dining options in the suburbs, but without a car it will take a lot of time and energy to get there and unless this weekend is all about food then it's probably not worth it.

        For Italian I really like Tutti Matti on Adelaide. Great Tuscan food from a dedicated kitchen staff (they make yearly pilgrimages to the region to stay educated and inspired). Bistro atmosphere, also a reasonable cab ride from your hotel.

        Mistura is good for higher end Itallian (and note that I don't really consider Nota Bene Italian at all, despite the name).

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

        Tutti Matti
        364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

        Mistura
        265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

        Le Select
        432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

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

    2. T Long Aug 30, 2010 07:45 AM

      Take advantage of the newly opened Crown Princess and go there and order before 11:00 am to take advantage of their early bird special on dim sum. They are located reasonably close to your hotel. Do a search of this site for more info on this restaurant.

      -----
      Crown Princess
      1033 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3A5, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: T Long
        curnonsky Aug 30, 2010 10:38 AM

        Isn't the Crown Princess in Scarborough, nowhere near downtown Toronto where the car-less OP will be staying?

        I'd also recommend Le Select for French.

        -----
        Le Select
        432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

        1. re: curnonsky
          curnonsky Aug 30, 2010 10:56 AM

          Oops, didn't see that CP just opened on Bay.

          1. re: curnonsky
            T Long Aug 30, 2010 11:32 AM

            Check out "Underdog Rally's" reviews of Crown Princess here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6692...

            -----
            Crown Princess
            1033 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3A5, CA

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