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Ancient but good - what's your long standing favourite?

I'll start the bidding with Jacques Omlettes on Cumberland Street!

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  1. Jerusalem on Eglinton Ave West. Have loved their fried eggplant & fried tomatoes since 1989.

    955 Eglinton Ave, Toronto, ON M6C2C4, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: phoenikia

      but it looks like Jerusalem has been frying their eggplant and tomatoes since 1971!

      1. re: phoenikia

        I am so with you on this phoenikia! The Tomatoes are superb...particularly in the summer when they use 'local' tomatoes.
        My other 'long time' favourite (neighbourhood) ROMA on Bloor at Gladstone..The 'roma salad' at this time of year with blanched green beans, avocado and sun dried tomatoes..only disappointment is the 'canned' black olives they use....a simple oil & vinegar dressing is sublime.

    2. Black Angus steak house on Bloor. It is a 70s time capsule and the Rib Eye is a delicious expensive charred juicy belt buster... Mmmmmm, charred meat.

      Really good and a long standing establishment.

      1. 22 years of Ping Gai from the Queen Mother and still counting...

        Queen Mother
        206 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z2, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: fickle

          Double pork chops at the Tulip.

          Been going there 21 years (probably as many years as I've taken off my lifespan from eating there).

          1. re: fickle

            Yes! I agree love their Ping Gai. The Bah Me Hung is very nice too. I know a lot of people hate/dislike this place, but the few items I consistently order are consistently good.

            1. re: fickle

              I had this dish for the first tme 2 weeks ago and 'fell in love'! It is fabulous! I am now on a quest to find someone who makes it closer to home - in Mississauga.

              1. re: fickle

                I've been going to the Queen Mum for fifteen years and I don't think I've been disappointed once!

              2. Swatow Special Noodles.

                309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: curnonsky

                  Utopia hasn't faltered once in the many years I've been eating there. Always solid.

                2. Penrose Fish and Chips on Mount Pleasant Road.
                  Carousel Bakery for peameal sandwiches or breakfast on a bun.

                  600 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M4S2M8, CA

                  1. Queen Mother
                    Le Paradis

                    Queen Mother
                    206 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z2, CA

                    Le Paradis
                    166 Bedford Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2K9, CA

                    1. +1 on Jacques Omlettes. Also a vote on Romagna Mia.

                      Romagna Mia
                      106 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1E1, CA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ComeUndone

                        +1 for Jacques
                        Olde York, Cafe Doria and United Bakery for cheap and cheerful
                        Pastis and Scaramouche for the other times.

                      2. BBQ pork on Rice at Kom Jug Yuen.

                        I think the first few trips were novelty, and the next 15 years were nostalgia. Perhaps it's also the fact that their prices have remained pretty consistent over those 15 years... I won't speculate on how that's possible.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Underdog Rally

                          Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice with a side of Snow Pea Leaf when available (extra garlic). Me and KJY since 1989.

                          1. re: Underdog Rally

                            I'll second the "Jug". Been going there for 30 years and the food is still great.
                            Also most of the original people are still there. Some of the best BBQ & crispy pig.

                          2. My favourites have a bit more to do with dependability over the decades and getting what I expect. In many of the cases below, there are better restaurants for that type of food.

                            Definitely agree about Jacques - great chicken liver omelette in particular.

                            Also agree about Jerusalem.

                            Also agree about Swatow, though primarily for the shrimp dumpling noodle soup.

                            Agree about United Bakers - love the soups.

                            Agree about Scaramouche for a fine dinner with a view - first went when Kennedy, Stadtlander, and Yolles were there and still enjoy it now.

                            I've been going to Lee Garden for over 30 years and still feel their deep fried squid is my favourite.

                            Love Yung Sing for the buns since somewhere in the mid-80s.

                            Astoria for the souvlaki - first ate it as a kid in the mid 70s and still like how they grill their meat.

                            Greg's - been going since it opened and there is still no finer coffee toffee or roasted marshmallow in my opinion.


                            United Bakers
                            506 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON M6A, CA

                            309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                            Lee Garden Restaurant
                            331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Dr. John

                              I've loved Swatow's shrimp dumpling soup since 1995! And United Bakers is awesome too.

                            2. What is ancient these days? As someone born in the 1960's, I would think that 20 years isn't much. It wasn't until the 1970's that Toronto food really left the dark ages. There are many relics of that primordial period, mostly steakhouses and old-school ethnic places like Elizabeth or Champion House. I'm not sure that young whipper snappers like the Rosedale Diner should be eligible.

                              My entry, Senior's steakhouse for the ribeye with the iceberg lettuce salad. They sell the dressing if you ask nicely.

                              Rosedale Diner
                              1164 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L9, CA

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Snarf

                                Ancient is relative to the age of the Chowhound ;-)

                                Many of the restaurants that have been listed in this thread are older than some of the more frequent posters on this Board.

                                Since something like 80% of restaurants go under in their first 5 years (not sure what the current stats are, whether that statistic was accurate, and whether that statistic was for Canada, the US, or a specific city), I would think any restaurant that is actively in business after 25 years should be considered close to ancient in the restaurant business.

                                Seniors has been in business since 1961. Does that make Senior's a Boomer, a Zoomer, or Ancient?

                                1. re: phoenikia

                                  Without the services of the Time Team crew, I'd put Senior's somewhere in the late Bronze Age, judging from the mummies I've seen dining there.

                                  1. re: phoenikia

                                    Good points! Perhaps we should use something like a "cat years" conversion metric, e.g. a 3 year old cat is supposed to be as physiologically old as a 28 year old human. I came to Toronto in 1978, so that's my tide mark for "ancient".

                                2. The patio at Grano always makes me happy. Also, I've been following Gio Rana and his Big Nose around town for the last fifteen years. He makes me happy too.

                                  Gio Rana's
                                  1220 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1L7, CA

                                  2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

                                    1. 'Transfat' version of KFC!

                                        1. re: Helen

                                          Bebiche Bistro definitely qualifies as "ancient", and the owners cook with love, but the food always seemed heavy to me. Any updates would be apreciated.

                                        2. Nearly 25 years of Fusilli and I still love it as much as the day we met.

                                          531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

                                          1. Duckworths, still the best fish & chips in Toronto for my money, it's almost as old as me :)

                                            2638 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: OntarioPie

                                              My favorite oldie is Barberian's, which first opened in 1959. For my money it's the best steakhouse in Toronto - spanks Black Angus silly!

                                              -- ST

                                              Black Angus
                                              3277 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M8X1E2, CA

                                              7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

                                              1. re: ShermanTenor

                                                Maybe, provided you like racket and the usual crew of over-refreshed patrons. Black Angus is quiet and civil--major considerations when forking over that kind of dough for an unhurried steak-a-thon.

                                                1. re: Kagemusha

                                                  BA was certainly quiet when I was there, but my steak wasn't nearly as flavorful as my numerous trips to Elm street. I'm going back there tonight as a matter of fact - something of a holiday tradition for a small group of friends.

                                                  I have had both quiet and not-so-quiet experiences at Barberians, but the food is on the mark, everytime.

                                                  That ultimately is what brings me back.

                                                  -- ST