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NYC gals visiting T.O in Nov looking for great mid-priced restaurants

Being from NYC, I know you don't have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful dining experience. Any suggestions for some good places? We're staying near Eaton Centre but we're willing to travel a bit.

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  1. Def going to Black Hoof/Hoof Cafe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nadiav

      Good call on either of the Hooves. Also in that neighbourhood is Union and Foxley two moderately priced places with a good vibe and really good food. Plus if it's something you're interested in there are a whole host of bars along the Ossington strip ranging from small places with jukeboxes featuring everything from Belle and Sebastian to Deerhunter to Bad Brains, to Resposado a tequila bar as well as some other bars that attract what could be compared to the bridge and tunnel crowd. Depends on your interests. During the day there are clothing boutiques, art galleries and some other interesting stores. Plus it's attached to Queen Street so it can be part of a nice walking tour. There's also loads of inexpensive food options in Kensington Market -- a search will turn up all the suggestions -- plus Kensington is a great place to wander for a bit, and it's within walking distance of the Eaton Center.

      Whoops, just noticed that it's in November so depending on the weather walking tours may not be at the top of your list.

      207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

    2. Can you tell us a little about the type of experiences you're looking for? Cheap and cheerful, where it's only about the food? Or fun and hip that also has great food (like Black Hoof)?

      If the former, I'd hit up Gandhi for an East Indian style roti (something I've not seen in NYC - think delicious curry burrito) and wander through Kensington Market and Chinatown (the neighbourhoods are right next to each other) and eat your way through the area -- think dumplings, banh mi, pupusas, empanadas, pho, etc.

      If the latter, I'd put Origin and Buca on your list. Both have a great vibe and good food and are at a nice mid-range price point.

      604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: TorontoJo

        i would also recommend Pomegranate on near bathurst and college for authentic persian food. Very nice restaurant, great food and not too expensive.

      2. Lots of great suggestions so far - the Hooves, Origin, Foxley, and Buca are good picks. If you like early dinners or don't mind a line, I still think Guu Izakaya makes some great food and is always fun.

        I'd also look into the Drake Hotel for a fun girls night hit with solid food, Harbord Room for a good burger and good vibe.

        207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

        The Drake Hotel
        1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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

        398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

        604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

        1. op here. Thanks for all the terrific suggestions! We were looking for a bit of everything--from inexpensive, ethnic lunches to nicely prepared food in a beautiful room-- so you've all helped in setting up my eating itinerary!

          1. Hi ladies,
            When out-of-towners come to Toronto, I always like to take them to the Marche in BCE Place, an office building at Yonge and Front. It is a very fun place, with huge lineups, but it doesn't take long to get a seat if there's only 2 of you. When you are seated, you are given a plastic card. There are many stations with different types of food. You go around the dffierent stations, ask for what you want, and the server adds it to your card. At the end the cashier tallies up what you have on your card.

            The food is good (although some chowhounds might turn up their noses) and nice desserts. The atmosphere is the main thing.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Lake

              there is no atmosphere it is in the middle of an office building... and the food IMO is anything but good.

              1. re: Lake

                That's great that you've had good experiences there. However, given that the poster is from New York and is looking for a "wonderful dining experience", I personally would avoid Marche at all cost. The food ranges from ok to bad and the whole "serve yourself" thing is really not that interesting (especially since that still charge you an auto-grat). The building where it's located is beautiful and certainly worth a walk through, but I would just keep walking by Marche.

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  You expressed that so much better than I did! Thank you TorontoJo. :-0

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Yup, walk through BCE and try to place which movies you've seen it in, skip Marche and keep walking east on Wellington or Front towards Church. Better resto and bar pickings there like the new Oliver Bonaccini place on Front, Trevor (which was good a couple years ago when I went, no idea how it is now) on Wellington and Manhattan priced vodka cocktails at Pravda.

                  2. I like the Queen Mother on Queen Street, near John. It's been there for a long time and it's very Toronto, for me. Also on Ossington, check out Pizza Libretto. I love their pizza, and the scene is fun. Go early or expect lineups, though. Apparently their prix-fixe lunch is an incredible deal — fifteen bucks for salad, a whole pizza, and dessert!

                    If you're okay to head a bit west, Local Kitchen and Wine Bar on Queen Street at Roncesvalles is great. The food is delicious (rustic Italian) and the energy is casual and energetic. It feels very much like Parkdale (the neighbourhood it's in) which I love about it. And the prices always feel outrageously low to me, considering the high caliber of the food. You could take the streetcar west on Queen from the Eaton Centre, but it is a small trek west.

                    Ho Su, also on Queen (near the Queen Mother — just west of it, actually), has great cheap sushi and other pan-Asian eats. I'm always shocked by how teeny my bill is, there. The avocado rolls are so good.

                    Have fun! There's lots of great food in this city!

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

                    1. I've had my share of girls nights and would definitely recommend Origin, Buca, Marben, The Drake..Ossington strip
                      Have fun!

                      488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

                      604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                      1. If the Distillery District plays a part in your visit here, you should have dinner at Weezie's just a few blocks north. They don't have a website but do a search on the board and you'll see why it's worth going there -- definitely a wonderful mid-priced dining experience but you would need to make reservations asap.


                        354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                        Distillery District
                        55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                        1. Black Hoof closes earlier than Hoof Café and is a little more ''upscale'', with more menu selections.
                          If you want to stay close to downtown, I would suggest:
                          Bodega -30 Baldwin Street. French cuisine
                          5th Element - 1044 Bay Street - Indian with Mediterranean touch
                          Caffino - 1185 King Street West. - European style
                          Jules Bistro - 147 Spadina,- At Queen W, 416-348-8886
                          Le Petit Dejeuner: - 191 King St E - http://www.petitdejeuner.ca/menu/
                          O&B Canteen - 330 King St. W. - oliverbonacini.com
                          Foxley - 207 Ossington, at Dundas W. - Portuguese - www.foxleybistro.com
                          Manyata, in Hazelton - 55 Avenue Rd, at Yorkville, 416-935-0000 – East meets West lunch (Closes at 3 pm) - African delicacies
                          Vaticano - 25 Bellair (Yorkville) - Italian 416) 924-4967 -www.vaticano.ca
                          The Pomegranate – 420 College St. - (416) 921-7557 – Persian
                          Mezes - 456 Danforth, at Logan – 416-778-5150 - Greek - The best ! www.mezes.ca
                          If you want to splurge a little bit : Scaramouche is the best. - 1 Benvenuto Pl (416) 961-8011)
                          Enjoy! Hope you have fun.

                          207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

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

                          456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                          Benvenuto Restaurant
                          138 Lakeshore Rd, Oakville, ON L6J1H4, CA

                          Bay Street Cafe
                          22 Bay St, Parry Sound, ON P2A1S5, CA

                          25 Bellair St, Toronto, ON M5R3L3, CA

                          1185 King St W, Toronto, ON M6K3C5, CA

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

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: lamaranthe

                            Don't know where you get your info, but both Hoofs (Hooves?) are open till 2 am. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 5th Element and Manyata have been closed for quite some time.

                            And I'm sure Tom Thai will be surprised his Foxley is a Portuguese restaurant, tho there are Portuguese elements to his Asian fusion menu.

                            1. re: Herb

                              Going to Foxleys and expecting portuguese food will end in dissapointment, and as mentioned the hooves are open quite late.

                              207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA