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Chowhound's Own Top 10 Restaurants of GTA

shekamoo Jan 15, 2011 07:59 AM

Every year, year after year, there are lists of the top restaurants of Toronto. These lists are invariably ridiculed and dismissed by the majority of posters here on Chowhound. I was wondering whether the beginning of the year 2011 would be an appropriate time to try and come up with Chowhound’s own list of the Top 10 restaurants(understood in the broadest sense possible) in the GTA.

If we had enough contributions and a substantial number of overlaps, we can then tally up the votes and have ourselves a more or less representative list. If it does not catch on, then whatever.

As for rules, I suggest a top 10(or less) list by each poster, with no particular order. This way, we can simply count the number of appearances for each restaurant and have a top 10 list.

I start, in no particular order. I am including some unorthodox choices in order to open up the thread on a less than boring tone. I suggest this thread not be about criticizing what others include on their list, but just to add your own list, if so inclined.

Black hoof
Chiado
Jacob’s & Co.
Omei
Lai Wah Heen
George
Stockyards
Copper Chimney
Kaji
Zen

  1. l
    lamaranthe Feb 10, 2011 09:13 AM

    Though they do not compare to Scaramouche, I'd like to add:
    Tomo Japanese Restaurant (9625 Yonge Street Richmond Hill)
    Centre Street Deli (1136 Centre St., Thornhill) - Huge salads, excellent smoked meat
    Hockey Sushi (Centre St., Thornhill) - All U Can Eat is a very good deal
    Karbouzi, 2048 Avenue Rd - Greek Tavern - Fresh, cooked on the spot

    -----
    Centre Street Deli
    1136 Centre St, Thornhill, ON L4J3M8, CA

    Karbouzi
    2048 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M4A6, CA

    Tomo Japanese Restaurant
    9625 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C5T2, CA

    Hockey Sushi
    1102 Centre St, Thornhill, ON L4J3M8, CA

    1. l
      lamaranthe Feb 10, 2011 08:13 AM

      Mikado
      Tabule
      Scaramouche

      -----
      Tabule
      2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: lamaranthe
        shekamoo Feb 10, 2011 08:24 AM

        thanks for submitting, but the polls are closed!

      2. shekamoo Feb 10, 2011 07:41 AM

        I started a separate thread for this, but it can be here too, for completeness

        1) The Black Hoof-----------------------------------------24 votes
        2) Lai Wah Heen-----------------------------------------15 votes
        3=4) Nota Bene, George-------------------------------14 votes
        5=6=7) Hoof Cafe, Sushi Kaji, Guu-----------------13 votes
        8) Splendido----------------------------------------------12 votes
        9) Buca-----------------------------------------------------10 votes
        10s) Canoe, Stockyards, Starfish, Chiado--------9 votes

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        8 votes: Origin, Pizzeria Libretto, Copper Chimney
        7 votes: Colborne Lane, Zen, Simple Bistro, C5, Scaramouche

        1. t
          tjr Feb 9, 2011 10:23 PM

          Kaji
          Zen
          Hoof Cafe
          Lai Wah Heen
          Buster Rhino's
          Bymark
          Chiado
          C5
          Canoe
          Omei

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

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

          Bymark
          66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

          Buster Rhino's
          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

          1. shekamoo Feb 8, 2011 11:05 AM

            LAST CALL for submissions!! I feel like the editor of an undergrad journal! those were the days!

            2 Replies
            1. re: shekamoo
              AzulH Feb 8, 2011 11:14 AM

              Maybe your idea of a Jan 31st cut off was best. It has rather lost momentum.

              1. re: AzulH
                shekamoo Feb 8, 2011 11:17 AM

                maybe, but it is just two more days and it is over. my initial aim was 50 lists, and I thought giving another 10 days was justified since 50 seemed like an attainable target at that point. no loss anyway!

            2. Underdog Rally Feb 3, 2011 12:39 PM

              My list can be interpreted as "places that satisfy my criteria for food quality and value, whose menus I am unable or unwilling to replicate at home."

              Hoof Cafe (One of the few places where I'm happy to pay for brunch)
              Stockyards (Sometimes you just need fried chicken)
              Buster Rhinos (I use their sauces to punch up my sauces, chili, gravies, marinades, etc.)
              Sushi Couture (awesome value early on, especially when introducing people to the simple elegance of this kind of cuisine)
              Cava
              Guu (For the incredible contrast with western Pubs)
              Lai Wah Heen (Dinner/banquets and the occasional specialty dim sum)
              Libretto (Encouraged diners to think a bit harder about what they want from a pizzeria)
              Live Organic
              Gourmet Vegetarian (I'm sure there are better options, but I didn't even know a menu like this existed until I ate here)

              1. TorontoTips Feb 3, 2011 10:59 AM

                OK, since I'm not shy about controversy, I'm going to share my top 10 list.

                It won't affect the standings much, but might be interesting to readers like me who don't frequent the rarified air of $100-$250 per person establishments more often than for special occasions.

                Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy high-end meals at top-notch places, but I don't do them often enough to have an up-to-date list of 10. Partially because I tend to eat out solo at lunch often, and typically northeast, and partially because I can cook and therefore can enjoy many of the finer wines and dishes at home for a fraction of the cost.

                Anyways, here's my low-brow list :-)

                Buster Rhino's - Ribs and fresh-cut fries
                The Burger's Priest - single with cheese and fresh-cut fries
                Gourmet Garden - Singapore Laksa or Char Kwei Teo
                Kaori - Dolsot Bi Bim Bap, nigiri sushi and maki
                Nguyen Huong - Banh Mi ('assorted' and meatball)
                He He Long - BBQ Pork with ginger/green onion
                Ho Ho BBQ - Crispy skin roast pork
                Thien Phat - 'Bun' with Grilled Pork, spring roll, vermicelli and sambal oelek
                Dragon Dynasty - Dim Sum
                Danforth Pizza House - classic neighbourhood-style pizza
                Chai Wonton Noodle - Shrimp Wonton Soup or Brisket & mein noodle soup
                St. Andrews Fish & Chips - Haddock Sandwich on traditional scottish bread
                Massey's Pickering - Steak on a Kaiser & fries with gravy

                4 Replies
                1. re: TorontoTips
                  T Long Feb 3, 2011 11:06 AM

                  My only issue is that you listed more than 10.

                  1. re: TorontoTips
                    j
                    JennaBean Feb 3, 2011 11:24 AM

                    You have to remove 3! :-)

                    1. re: TorontoTips
                      Chef Wendy B Feb 3, 2011 12:07 PM

                      Now this is the Toronto I know and love!! I don't care if it is more than 10. But Toronto Tips. You owe it to yourself to take a run out to Don Mills and eat the Fish and Chips at HighStreet. And really is there a better Burger than the ones you get at Johnny's and eat in the parking lot? And lest we forget, the Egg Foo Yung at the Goof in the Beaches or their Hot Turkey Sandwich or their Liver and Onions. That's Toronto!!

                      1. re: Chef Wendy B
                        TorontoTips Feb 9, 2011 02:03 PM

                        Oops, sorry for taking liberties with my Top13 list :-)

                        I love High Street, Chef Wendy, and the Goof, but you lose me with Johnny's :-)

                        High Street DOES have better haddock & chips than St. Andrews, but there's something about St. Andrews fresh scottish bread with a big hunk of battered haddock, a squeeze of lemon and a squirt of crappy pre-fab tartar sauce that just does it for me :-) (note - you can buy the bread and killer steak pies at the scottish bakery in the same plaza as St. Andrews, too).

                        Burger-wise, try a Mojo burger and fresh-cut fries at The Real McCoy (Brimorton & Markham Rd.) and you will ask "Johnny WHO?" :-)

                        Wait... does this make my list now 14?? Yikes!

                    2. p
                      pastabroccoli Feb 3, 2011 07:37 AM

                      Loved reading the lists and am well reminded that there are a lot of places I need to get to... but my list:

                      Enoteca Sociale
                      Canoe
                      Frank (AGO)
                      Pizzeria Libretto
                      Cowbell
                      Ding Tai Fung (Hwy 7/Markham)
                      Crown Princess dim sum
                      Caplansky's
                      A-One Samosas (best samosas I've ever had anywhere)
                      Thai Chef Cuisine

                      I suspect if we did this again in 6 months my list would look a little different... but this feels good right now...

                      -----
                      Caplansky's
                      356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                      Pizzeria Libretto
                      221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                      Thai Chef Cuisine
                      233 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R2L6, CA

                      Enoteca Sociale
                      1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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

                      1. h
                        h2o Feb 3, 2011 04:50 AM

                        Kaji
                        Starfish
                        Harbord Room
                        Beast
                        The Atlantic
                        Rebozos
                        Le Select
                        Foxley
                        Black Hoof
                        Chiado

                        -----
                        Foxley
                        207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

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

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

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

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

                        1. b
                          batbon Feb 2, 2011 07:19 AM

                          Black Hoof
                          Le Select
                          Starfish
                          Aoyama
                          Buster Rhino's
                          Nota bene
                          Emperor
                          Canoe
                          Guu
                          Le Paradis

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: batbon
                            t
                            tangovoxtrot Feb 2, 2011 02:07 PM

                            Colborne Lane
                            Black Hoof
                            Guu Izakaya
                            George
                            Maple Yip
                            Zen
                            Pizzeria Libretto
                            Bymark
                            Luma
                            C5

                            -----
                            Bymark
                            66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

                            Colborne Lane
                            45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

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

                            Luma
                            330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

                          2. shekamoo Feb 2, 2011 04:40 AM

                            Two more needed to hit 40 Lists!

                            1. j
                              JennaBean Feb 1, 2011 11:59 AM

                              joining the party!

                              My list in random order:

                              Black Hoof/Hoof Café toss up for me
                              Buca
                              Guu
                              Jacob’s & Co.
                              George
                              Torito
                              Le Select
                              Splendido
                              Pizza Libretto
                              Burger Priest

                              -----
                              Splendido
                              88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

                              Torito
                              276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

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

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

                              1. t
                                themiguel Feb 1, 2011 11:14 AM

                                Black Hoof
                                Buca
                                Chiado
                                Woodlot
                                Chung Moi (Hakka)
                                Blacktree
                                Guu
                                Stockyards
                                Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
                                ACR Doubles (Scarborough) Best doubles you will ever have outside Trinidad

                                -----
                                Buk Chang Dong
                                691 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

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

                                Blacktree
                                3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

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

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

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

                                1. e
                                  excel Feb 1, 2011 08:30 AM

                                  Here's my 10, but to be honest most restaurants in TO leave me feeling like something was missing or that the restaurant doesn't live up to the "hype". Having said that there are still great/good places to eat in TO. Here's my list in not particular order

                                  -Kumai sushi - best place to get traditional Tokyo/Edo style sushi - or sushi Period. Quality of fish is second to none in Toronto - yes better than Kaji. Kumai-san's cooked food is not to be missed either, I don't know of any Japanese restaurant in Toronto that uses a traditional Udon broth , made from scratch. His Katsu curry is also made from scratch using traditional Japaneses recipe. He might not be as "avant garde" as Kaji, but if you love sushi this is the place.
                                  -Splendido
                                  -Black Hoof
                                  -Simple Bistro - just went and had their omakese - good food, but wish it was more bistro. The liver is fantastic here and $10 corkage on Sundays is a steal!
                                  -guu
                                  -Beast
                                  -Carousel, SLM
                                  -Starfish - Mussels and oysters only
                                  -Lai Wah Heen
                                  -Northern Dumpling

                                  -----
                                  Wah's Restaurant
                                  23 Simcoe Plaza, Terrace Bay, ON P0T2W0, CA

                                  1. shekamoo Feb 1, 2011 03:52 AM

                                    we are now at 35 lists. I am extending the submission deadline, for one time only, to February 10. Don't miss out! Be Heard! Exercise your Rights! Leave your Mark! Stand up for your favorite places! etc.

                                    1. l
                                      laidoffhound Jan 29, 2011 01:33 PM

                                      Black Hoof
                                      Hoof Cafe
                                      Porchetta and Co
                                      Tacos al Asador
                                      Pho Dau Bo (Finch West)
                                      Stockyards
                                      Barberien's
                                      Jim's Pizza - Port Hope (Greater GTA!)
                                      5 Doors North
                                      Harbord Room

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

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

                                      1. Bissel Sedrate Jan 29, 2011 10:13 AM

                                        The ATLANTIC
                                        Woodlot
                                        Terroni
                                        Pasta Bar @ Scaramouche
                                        L.A.B.
                                        Gilead Cafe
                                        93 Harbord
                                        Cava
                                        Guu
                                        Saving Grace

                                        -----
                                        Saving Grace
                                        907 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J1V9, CA

                                        93 Harbord
                                        93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                                        Cava
                                        1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

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

                                        1. Splendid Wine Snob Jan 28, 2011 07:01 PM

                                          In no particular order:

                                          Nota Bene
                                          Swatow
                                          Le Paradis
                                          Folia Grill
                                          Ici Bistro
                                          Hoof Cafe
                                          Burgers Priest
                                          Mercatto (College St location)
                                          Niagara Street Cafe

                                          SWS

                                          1. b
                                            bytepusher Jan 28, 2011 08:31 AM

                                            OK, I've decided to keep it simple and list to 10 (or fewer) restaurants where we've made repeat visits over the last 18 months, if it was good enough to go back....fair warning, there are some choices here dictated by location (close to home, close to concert venues) or a search for comfort

                                            The Black Hoof
                                            Sushi Kaji
                                            Globe Bistro
                                            Cowbell
                                            Gilead
                                            Osteria cicere e tria
                                            Seven Numbers (Danforth)
                                            Evergreen Brickworks Farmer's Market (Saturday lunches)
                                            Sushi Couture
                                            Stockyards

                                            -----
                                            Sushi Kaji
                                            860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA

                                            Osteria
                                            106 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

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

                                            Sushi Couture
                                            456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

                                            1. j
                                              jjmellon Jan 25, 2011 12:24 PM

                                              The best I've been to in the past 18 months:

                                              Solo Sushi Ya (Newmarket)
                                              Kobo Goumet (Pickering)
                                              Anjappar Chettinad (Scarborough)
                                              Colborne Lane
                                              Origin
                                              Auberge du Pommier
                                              Simple Bistro
                                              Buster Rhino's

                                              I'll use/waste my remaining two selections as "negative votes" -- places I've eaten at that I don't think should be in the top ten: Splendido and Nota Bene. This is just chit-chat, I'm not proposing that negative votes should be counted.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: jjmellon
                                                a
                                                ace123 Jan 25, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                Love this thread.
                                                In no particular order:

                                                Starfish
                                                Sushi Kaji
                                                Origin
                                                Lai Wah Heen
                                                Splendido
                                                C5
                                                Nota Bene
                                                George
                                                Chiado
                                                Black Hoof

                                                1. re: jjmellon
                                                  jlunar Jan 25, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                  hahaha, negative votes!! interesting.

                                                  1. re: jjmellon
                                                    estufarian Jan 25, 2011 03:37 PM

                                                    Now there's a topic for a thread!
                                                    But my guess is there will be a significant overlap between the two lists - 'best' and 'negative'.

                                                    One man's meat is another woman's poisson and all that.........

                                                    1. re: estufarian
                                                      shekamoo Jan 25, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                      to be more precise: a topic for ANOTHER thread.
                                                      here we offer equal opportunity to meats and poissons....

                                                    2. re: jjmellon
                                                      pinstripeprincess Jan 28, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                      i'd be interested in giving a handicap to restaurants without the same marketing budget as places such as splendido, nota bene, etc.

                                                      that being said and taking "the broadest sense possible" to heart, here is my list:

                                                      a-1 british style samosas
                                                      caribbean queen of patties
                                                      doner and kebab house
                                                      buca
                                                      black hoof cafe
                                                      porchetta & co
                                                      folia grill
                                                      frank
                                                      a restaurant that shall not be named, but hey whatever it makes my top 10
                                                      and for my last one i really want to say mikado or soba canada but it's been a while since i've done the sushi circuit or had soba

                                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                        shekamoo Jan 28, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                        could you say more about a-1 british style samosas?

                                                        1. re: shekamoo
                                                          pinstripeprincess Jan 28, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                          it's out in mississauga, probably more searchable by a-1 catering ... it's the type of samosa that makes me forsake all others and much like the baklava at patisserie royale, i hold out eating samosas until i get access to these.

                                                          the pastry is halfway between the puffy egg roll style and the thin crispy springroll/wonton. it achieves a beautiful crispness but also a good chewiness so as not to simply shatter into tiny pieces. they also do a great job of frying them up so that they're not so heavy on the grease but they will leave grease on your fingers.

                                                          what makes them truly stunning is the balance they've achieved between the shell and filling and then of course... in the filling itself. spices are cooked just crushed or whole and offer lovely hits of flavour... all in balance. the meat is balanced well with onions, veg and potato so that it's not too heavy or dense either and oddly seemingly light. i adore curried potato though but still don't feel like i'm ever lacking meat. they also have a bright tamarind based sauce that gives you that hit of sweetness you need with a samosa snack.

                                                          they're fantastic and i try to freeze as many as i can to snack on when the mood strikes me. they have other fried treats which are perfectly fine but the samosas are the clear winners.

                                                        2. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                          d
                                                          dubchild Jan 28, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                          Is Frank the place on College or in the AGO?

                                                          1. re: dubchild
                                                            pinstripeprincess Jan 28, 2011 10:31 PM

                                                            ago

                                                      2. a
                                                        AJMC791 Jan 25, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                        also, in no particular order

                                                        Origin
                                                        reds
                                                        George
                                                        Cava
                                                        Rodneys By Bay
                                                        Terroni
                                                        Foxley
                                                        Torito
                                                        Harbord Room
                                                        Nota Bene

                                                        -----
                                                        Foxley
                                                        207 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z8, CA

                                                        Torito
                                                        276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                                                        Cava
                                                        1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

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

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

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: AJMC791
                                                          y
                                                          Yum2MyTum Jan 25, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                          Great idea for a thread! My votes, in no particular order:

                                                          Yuzu
                                                          Weezie's
                                                          Le Paradis
                                                          Starfish
                                                          Buca
                                                          Delux
                                                          Scaramouche
                                                          Sukhothai
                                                          Rodney's by Bay
                                                          Petit Dejeuner

                                                          -----
                                                          Weezie's
                                                          354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

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

                                                          Delux
                                                          92 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z4, CA

                                                          Sukhothai
                                                          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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

                                                          Yuzu
                                                          236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

                                                        2. p
                                                          peppermint pate Jan 25, 2011 08:30 AM

                                                          Love this thread, shekamoo, though like others, I draw from a long and ever-changing list (and this board!). With that said, my overall favourites from 2010, in no particular order, were...:

                                                          Guu
                                                          Copper Chimney
                                                          Buca
                                                          Sukhothai
                                                          Black Hoof
                                                          Terroni
                                                          Torito
                                                          Starfish
                                                          Origin
                                                          Harbord Room

                                                          1. RosiePosie Jan 25, 2011 08:13 AM

                                                            Love this idea!

                                                            Here are mine, in no particular order.
                                                            Mistura
                                                            Mondello (Mississauga)
                                                            Mengrai Thai
                                                            Sotto Sotto
                                                            Nami
                                                            Biff's
                                                            Pizza Libretto
                                                            Edward Levesque's
                                                            Joso's
                                                            Ferro

                                                            -----
                                                            Mistura
                                                            265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

                                                            Edward Levesque's
                                                            1290 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1C4, CA

                                                            Ferro
                                                            769 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1B4, CA

                                                            Joso's
                                                            202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

                                                            Mengrai
                                                            82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

                                                            Nami
                                                            55 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA

                                                            Pizzeria Libretto
                                                            221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                            Biff's Bistro
                                                            4 Front St. E, Toronto, ON M5E 1B2, CA

                                                            Sotto Sotto Restaurant
                                                            116 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H4, CA

                                                            Mondello Ristorante
                                                            127 Queen St S, Mississauga, ON , CA

                                                            1. s
                                                              Skeets Jan 24, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                              In no particular order...

                                                              Black Hoof
                                                              Nota Bene
                                                              Spendido
                                                              Pizzeria Libretto
                                                              The Stockyards
                                                              Le Select Bistro
                                                              Canoe
                                                              Lai Wah Heen
                                                              Woodlot
                                                              Scaramouche

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

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

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

                                                              Pizzeria Libretto
                                                              221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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

                                                              1. a
                                                                Amac Jan 24, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                                Kudos to shekamoo - I love this thread. I agree with those who have suggested that this simply be your ten favourites without need to defend or explain as I believe was the original intent. In that spirit and not in order here are mine:

                                                                Oyster Boy
                                                                Opus
                                                                Joso's
                                                                5 Doors North
                                                                Buca
                                                                Barberian's
                                                                Guu
                                                                Black Hoof
                                                                Pho Dau Bo - Finch West location ( I cannot go more than 2 weeks without their Pho Tai)
                                                                Malena

                                                                Thanks again shekamoo.

                                                                As a frequent reader, but very infrequent poster I will also take this opportunity to thank a few other posters who I follow regularly. Charles Yu, Estufarian, T Long, Skyline R33, Googs, Snarf & Millygirl - I have followed each of your recommendations at some point in the past year or two. Thank you and keep posting.

                                                                -----
                                                                Oyster Boy
                                                                872 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1G3, CA

                                                                Barberian's
                                                                7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

                                                                Joso's
                                                                202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

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

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

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

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Amac
                                                                  l
                                                                  laidoffhound Jan 29, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                                  I second Pho Dau Bo's Finch W spot. One of the highlights of working in the area - lunch there twice a week.

                                                                2. shekamoo Jan 23, 2011 06:12 PM

                                                                  Is it too much too ask for 50 lists?

                                                                  1. s0memale Jan 23, 2011 02:03 AM

                                                                    Many mentions for Copper Chimney, I'm guessing most are referring to the Ajax one?

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Copper Chimney
                                                                    619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: s0memale
                                                                      estufarian Jan 23, 2011 02:34 AM

                                                                      I'm guessing NONE refer to Ajax one!

                                                                      1. re: estufarian
                                                                        shekamoo Jan 23, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                        I share Estufarian's intuition, I would be very surprised to hear there was ANY mention of the Ajax location

                                                                      2. re: s0memale
                                                                        Full tummy Jan 23, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                                        I would guess everyone's referring to the location on Avenue Road. There has been a lot of talk about this Copper Chimney of late on the board, and the food is excellent. Don't know if the two are connected in any way, but maybe someone else can address this.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Copper Chimney
                                                                        619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                                        1. re: Full tummy
                                                                          t
                                                                          The Macallan 18 Jan 23, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                                          I'll throw my hat into the ring...

                                                                          In no particular order,

                                                                          George
                                                                          Scaramouche
                                                                          Lee
                                                                          The Black Hoof
                                                                          Mistura
                                                                          Nota Bene
                                                                          Sushi Kaji
                                                                          Jacob's & Co.
                                                                          Malena
                                                                          C5

                                                                      3. shekamoo Jan 22, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                        Time for the first count out of 21 lists:

                                                                        1,2,3) Black Hoof, George, Lai Wah Heen 9 votes
                                                                        4) Kaji 8 votes
                                                                        5,6) Splendido, Hoof cafe 7 votes
                                                                        7,8) Nota Bene, Copper Chimney 6 votes
                                                                        9,10) Zen, Colborne Lane 5 votes

                                                                        Runner ups: Chiado, Blacktree, Simple Bistro, Canoe 4 votes

                                                                        Note: Black Hoof/ Hoof Cafe together would have had 11 votes. Some might have included only 1 name in their list and meant to include both. In any event, I decided to count them separately as each had enough votes for a separate placing.

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: shekamoo
                                                                          AzulH Jan 22, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                          Dear Shekamoo

                                                                          Great Thread to have started!
                                                                          When you do the final count on 31st, do consider listing everything mentioned or at least the top 25, out of interest.

                                                                          1. re: AzulH
                                                                            shekamoo Jan 22, 2011 08:03 PM

                                                                            Thank you, I will list all places with a meaningful number of votes

                                                                          2. re: shekamoo
                                                                            shekamoo Jan 27, 2011 03:37 AM

                                                                            We now 30 lists, so time for another round up:
                                                                            1) Black Hoof 15 votes
                                                                            2) George 13 votes
                                                                            3) Lai Wah Heen 12 votes
                                                                            4,5)Kaji, Nota Bene 11 votes
                                                                            6) Splendido 10 votes
                                                                            7) Copper Chimney 8 votes
                                                                            8,9) Hoof Cafe, Origin 7 votes
                                                                            10s) Colborne Lane, Canoe, Chiado, Simple Bistro, Scaramouche 6 votes

                                                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                                                              p
                                                                              peppermint pate Jan 27, 2011 06:06 AM

                                                                              Hey shekamoo - not that I'm looking over your shoulder on this but just because I thought it had popped up a fair bit...I think that Guu is also part of the #10 group with 6 votes...

                                                                              1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                shekamoo Jan 27, 2011 06:16 AM

                                                                                I knew I would eventually make a mistake or three, you are right Guu has 6, I had it down at 5

                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                  r
                                                                                  radiopolitic Jan 27, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                                                  I believe Starfish has 7 votes (maybe 8 depending on if you're counting a certain list).

                                                                                  1. re: radiopolitic
                                                                                    shekamoo Jan 27, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                                    damn I wasnt even counting Starfish. so ALL the 6 votes are now runners up and we have an easy top 10 list, with
                                                                                    1) Black Hoof 15 votes
                                                                                    2) George 13 votes
                                                                                    3) Lai Wah Heen 12 votes
                                                                                    4,5)Kaji, Nota Bene 11 votes
                                                                                    6) Splendido 10 votes
                                                                                    7) Copper Chimney 8 votes
                                                                                    8,9,10) Hoof Cafe, Origin, Starfish

                                                                                    Thanks everyone, as I am obviously mathematically-challenged(who cares I am in the legal business), please feel free to enhance the accuracy of this list!!
                                                                                    in my defence, I was half-asleep when I did the count

                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                      jlunar Jan 27, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                                      yay shekamoo (et al) for the work!

                                                                                  2. re: shekamoo
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    dubchild Jan 27, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                                                    I find this really helpful partly because I can get a quick picture. I would almost want to see the same thing broken down by category.

                                                                            2. justpete Jan 22, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                              My list:

                                                                              Splendido
                                                                              Origin
                                                                              Jacob's & Co
                                                                              Tutti matti
                                                                              Colborne lane
                                                                              Babur

                                                                              I based my list on not only my favorites, but which restaurants I would actually recommend to others, enthusiastically, to have exceptional or interesting food, and a good dining dining experience.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Splendido
                                                                              88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                                                                              1. jlunar Jan 22, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                                                Splendido
                                                                                Konner
                                                                                The Black Hoof
                                                                                The Hoof Cafe
                                                                                Yuzu
                                                                                Buca
                                                                                Porchetta & Co.
                                                                                Nota Bene

                                                                                Only got 8 right now! Will add 2 more if I can think of them.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Splendido
                                                                                88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

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

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

                                                                                Yuzu
                                                                                236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

                                                                                Porchetta & Co.
                                                                                825 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                                                1. r
                                                                                  radiopolitic Jan 22, 2011 05:25 AM

                                                                                  Starfish
                                                                                  Niagara Street Cafe
                                                                                  Terroni
                                                                                  Joso's
                                                                                  Opus
                                                                                  Simple Bistro
                                                                                  beerbistro
                                                                                  Sukhothai
                                                                                  Terra
                                                                                  Kaji

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Niagara Street Cafe
                                                                                  169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

                                                                                  Joso's
                                                                                  202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

                                                                                  Simple Bistro
                                                                                  619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                                                                  Sukhothai
                                                                                  274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: radiopolitic
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    juno Jan 22, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                                    A most entertaining topic, including the back-and-forth quibbling over whether it should be Top Ten Restos we should vote on, or Top Ten Favorite Restos. A statistics analysis expert would probably throw up his hands at the way these votes can be tabulated, but what the hell, it's a lazy and frigid Saturday morning with nothing more significant to do, so here are my favorites, depending - like TorontoJo - on my mood, who I'm with, what I'm yearning for, and how far I'm prepared to drive in this lousy weather.

                                                                                    The Pasta Bar at Scaramouche: for the big blowout.

                                                                                    Copper Chimney: everything's tasty at this newbie Indian joint.

                                                                                    Simple Bistro: classic bistro dishes, well executed.

                                                                                    Mogette: a few doors from Simple Bistro and just as good - but without Simple's $10 corkage charge for BYOW early in the week. Love their cassoulet.

                                                                                    Zee's: for seafood.

                                                                                    Weezie's: one of the few places I'll drive downtown for.

                                                                                    Ba Shu Ren Jia: my kind of Szechuan spot.

                                                                                    Mashu Mashu: best all-round Israeli/Russian/Middle Eastern joint in town.

                                                                                    Rebel House: when I'm in a pub mood. Good vibe, good beer list, mostly acceptable food - and the tastiest club house sandwich I've found in T.O.

                                                                                    Steeles Deli: my idea of what a diner should be. Entertaining clientele to boot. It does some dishes better (and much cheaper) than many fancier joints.

                                                                                    1. re: juno
                                                                                      g
                                                                                      graydyn Jan 24, 2011 06:42 AM

                                                                                      Statistically robust or not, this method has worked wonders for stopping the thread from devolving into a trollfest.
                                                                                      I think this is the same way the Restaurant magazine creates their top 50 in the world list.

                                                                                      1. re: graydyn
                                                                                        estufarian Jan 24, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                                                        Not really - several differences e.g. to vote in that list (if selected) you have to be able to PROVE you dined in that restaurant in the previous 18 months. There are regional restrictions too - but clearly that wouldn't apply in a 'local' vote.

                                                                                        I was surprised that El Bulli lasted at #1 for so long given the difficulty in actually getting a reservation. My guess is that MANY more voters were able to get in at Noma for the 2010 vote (hey, even I can (and did) get in).

                                                                                        PS. I do know a contributor, so have been made aware of the rules.

                                                                                        1. re: estufarian
                                                                                          T Long Jan 24, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                                                          I'm all for applying a similar 18 month rule to this CH list....that is, no voting for a restaurant unless you've actually dined there in the last 18 months. It would of course have to be self-imposed, but I believe this would result in a more relevant list. Any objections?

                                                                                          1. re: T Long
                                                                                            estufarian Jan 24, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                                                            You can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Assuming this thread gets enough support, include that next year.

                                                                                            1. re: estufarian
                                                                                              a
                                                                                              Apprentice Jan 25, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                                                              Wouldn't that "rule" be implicit? How could someone vote for a best restaurant for 2010 having not dined there at least once if not twice within 2010?

                                                                                              1. re: Apprentice
                                                                                                jlunar Jan 25, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                                                I agree - if you haven't eaten there in 2010, then it doesn't count!

                                                                                                1. re: jlunar
                                                                                                  estufarian Jan 25, 2011 07:42 AM

                                                                                                  Ok then let's not discuss it further. Obviously all these places were visited in 2010.

                                                                                                  1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                    justpete Jan 25, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                                                                    lol

                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                    ctl98 Jan 22, 2011 03:53 AM

                                                                                    my list:

                                                                                    black hoof
                                                                                    zen
                                                                                    george
                                                                                    nota bene
                                                                                    jacob's and co
                                                                                    burger's priest
                                                                                    black hoof cafe
                                                                                    guu
                                                                                    lai wah heen
                                                                                    olde york fish and chips (what can i say...i love fish and chips!)

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ctl98
                                                                                      shekamoo Jan 22, 2011 04:47 AM

                                                                                      I love olde york too, but the queues have sent me over to high street, it is I would say equally as good, and easily accessible for me via DVP

                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                      Redshifted Jan 21, 2011 10:42 PM

                                                                                      Auberge du Pommier
                                                                                      Blacktree (Burlington)
                                                                                      Buca
                                                                                      Colborne Lane
                                                                                      Frank's Kitchen
                                                                                      Malena
                                                                                      Nota Bene
                                                                                      Origin
                                                                                      Quatrefoil (Dundas)
                                                                                      Pizzeria Libretto

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Colborne Lane
                                                                                      45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

                                                                                      Blacktree
                                                                                      3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

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

                                                                                      Pizzeria Libretto
                                                                                      221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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

                                                                                      Frank's Kitchen
                                                                                      588 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                                                                                      1. AzulH Jan 21, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                                        No list is going to satisfy anyone except theirs!
                                                                                        Go with the flow everyone, without judgement and without trying to change the intent. ( Charles, it is not dishes, it is restaurants.)
                                                                                        For whatever reason here are mine, and you know what, I want more than ten, but I will go with Shekamoo's initial intent . I applaud;-

                                                                                        Biff's
                                                                                        Woodlot
                                                                                        Tratoria Giancarlo
                                                                                        Starfish
                                                                                        Simple Bistro
                                                                                        Le Select
                                                                                        La Bodega
                                                                                        Sidecar
                                                                                        Tournesol
                                                                                        Canoe
                                                                                        Globe Bistro

                                                                                        Enjoy and have fun with this!
                                                                                        Hugh

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

                                                                                        Simple Bistro
                                                                                        619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: AzulH
                                                                                          Charles Yu Jan 22, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                                                          If you take a closer look at my posting, I have listed my 10 and gone one step further by giving the dishes/reasons why I picked them!!
                                                                                          If I did not mention the word dishes in the beginining, you would not have complained ?! Right?!

                                                                                        2. Charles Yu Jan 21, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                                                          Rather than my Top 10, here are my top 10 favourite dish (s) and their associated restaurants:

                                                                                          Starfish - Oysters and cooked fish, especially the pan-seared ones

                                                                                          Toritos - Braised tongue and cheek and most of their tapas dishes

                                                                                          Copper Chimney - Almost every single curry dishes.

                                                                                          O'Mei - Giant Lobster 4 ways, Geoduck sashimi and Steamed minced pork pate with diced chinese mushrooms, dried squid and water chestnuts.

                                                                                          Sushi Kaji - Their 'cooked' Japanese food but NOT their sushi. Yes, if they improve on their shari

                                                                                          George - Chef's tasting menu. A rarity in Toronto nowadays. Haven't experience a 'miss dish' so far!

                                                                                          Simple Bistro - Great 'value for money' French food. Elk or Venison in season is a MUST!!

                                                                                          Judy's Cuisine - Free range chicken dishes especially their stir fry chicken with shallots, garlic and black beans and their poached ' Ching Yuen' free range chicken.

                                                                                          Black Hoof - Charcuterie platter with special mention to the chicken liver pate and the duck prosciutto. Bone marrow pretty good as well!

                                                                                          Izakaya-Ju - Charbroil skewers especially the ' undercook' chicken liver and the ox-tongue.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Sushi Kaji
                                                                                          860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA

                                                                                          Torito
                                                                                          276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                                                                                          Simple Bistro
                                                                                          619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                                                                          Copper Chimney
                                                                                          619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

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

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                            Herb Jan 22, 2011 03:52 AM

                                                                                            That's about 45 dishes. Ha! Ha!

                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                            sillybuns79 Jan 20, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                                                            Not too trendy a list, but they're my top 10 at the moment.

                                                                                            Linda
                                                                                            Beast
                                                                                            Le Papillon on the Park
                                                                                            Gio Rana's Really, Really Nice Restaurant
                                                                                            Copper Chimney
                                                                                            beerbistro
                                                                                            Quince
                                                                                            Thai Bamboo
                                                                                            Le Select
                                                                                            Duff's

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

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

                                                                                            Copper Chimney
                                                                                            619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                                                            Thai Bamboo
                                                                                            2150 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4K2Y7, CA

                                                                                            1. t
                                                                                              Tony Calgary Jan 20, 2011 05:18 AM

                                                                                              Are we close to our first top 10 report yet? Votes are until Jan. 31, right? Thanks in advance shekamoo!

                                                                                              20 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Tony Calgary
                                                                                                shekamoo Jan 20, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                We have 12 lists, not enough I believe. I think we can go on for some time until we have more, no deadline

                                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                  shekamoo Jan 21, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                                                                  if more people chip in, I will make the first count by 20 lists

                                                                                                  1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                    jlunar Jan 21, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                    I'm waiting! I have a couple more meals that I want to evaluate before I drop my list :)

                                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                      Apprentice Jan 21, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                                                                      I would be surprised if you reach beyond 20 responses. I think it's difficult to for the "avg hound" comprise a "fair" top 10 list if one hasn't dined out frequently enough to provide a fair "assessment". In addition, since the word "top" (instead of favourite) these lists tend to focus (or people think they should) on upper scale restaurants which I think the average consumer dines at once every month or two. So it becomes tough to say many to say, for example, Splendido should be in the top 10 when they have only dined at the restaurant once in 2010 and maybe 2-3 comparable restaurants for the year.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Splendido
                                                                                                      88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                                                                                                      1. re: Apprentice
                                                                                                        shekamoo Jan 21, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                                        really? I seriously doubt it should be that difficult to come up with a list of best places for our city

                                                                                                        1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                          T Long Jan 21, 2011 12:38 PM

                                                                                                          I can relate to what Apprentice says. I can come up with a top 10 favorite list based on where I've dined in the last year or so, but I don't have the time/money to fairly come up with a top 10 in the GTA list. For example, Lai Wah Heen is widely recognized as the best Cantonese style restaurant in the city. I can't disagree with this assessment because the dim sum was great when I went about 5 years ago! However, I don't think I could vote for this place as a best restaurant if I've not been there for such a long period of time. For my dim sum fixes, I now happily go to less expensive places. Kaji may be the best Japanese restaurant in the city, but I couldn't vote for it because I've never been there, but I do enjoy other Japanese establishments in the city. I'll leave coming up with a fair top 10 to others and I'll enjoy reading their input.

                                                                                                          1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                            TorontoJo Jan 21, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                                                            My challenge is the meaning of the term "top 10". The other night someone asked me what my 2 favourite restaurants are. My answer was "I can't name 2." It really depends on the criteria I'm using to judge. What am I in the mood for? Cheap and cheerful? Dumplings at Northern Dumpling Kitchen. Western comfort food? Woodlot or Weezie's. Fine dining? Chiado or Splendido or Canoe. Seafood? Starfish or Chiado. Value? Sidecar. Great place to have lunch and read a book after my haircut? Caren's Wine Bar. Chicken shawarma that's close to home? Yakamoz. Good schnitzel? Europe Restaurant. Kick ass weekend brunch? Lola's Commissary. Reasonable wine list? Great burger? Pasta dish I crave? And so on and so on.

                                                                                                            So my point is that I couldn't name 10 restaurants that I think are the "top 10", because for me, my choice in what I want is almost totally dependent on my mood and tastes at the time I head out for food. Maybe I'm just flighty and ephemeral in my restaurant tastes. :)

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Weezie's
                                                                                                            354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                                                                                                            Splendido
                                                                                                            88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

                                                                                                            Yakamoz
                                                                                                            373 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3H1T3, CA

                                                                                                            Northern Dumpling Kitchen
                                                                                                            550 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3Z4, CA

                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                              aser Jan 21, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                                                                              I think people are over-analyzing this to death.

                                                                                                              Just name 10 restaurants you like, who cares what other people classify as "top 10". Who cares about income bracket, cuisine origin, etc.... Just name 10 of your favs. They're your favourites, you don't have to answer to anybody.

                                                                                                              What you listed above is perfectly fine for a top 10 list, no need to rationalize or justify it. Don't feel like you have to keep it to fine dining like TL does. Who actually relates to Toronto Life anyway, its readers are a group of people I don't identify with.

                                                                                                              1. re: aser
                                                                                                                TorontoJo Jan 21, 2011 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                I don't mean to over-analyze, I simply mean I couldn't pick 10 favourites. Seriously. The ones I list above were simply off the top of my head, rattled off quickly as I typed. Food is good.

                                                                                                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                                  aser Jan 21, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                  It's a msg board, not a dissertation. Just like you, I rattled my selections off rather quickly, and if you were to ask me again on another day, there would be some variance.

                                                                                                              2. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                                Charles Yu Jan 21, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                My sentiment exactly!!
                                                                                                                In fact, in some cases, I might head out to a restaurant just for 'one' dish only!! Eg., the Rose essence herbed soya marinated free range chicken of Scarborough's Fantasy Eatery ( no longer availabe now, due to the chef leaving and took along the recipe!! )

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Fantasy Eatery
                                                                                                                505 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L3T7P6, CA

                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                  aser Jan 21, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                  Which brings up another interesting topic, Chinese chefs are notoriously secretlive with recipes, much more so than their western counterparts.

                                                                                                                  Which also explains the decline in quality of Cantonese food in Toronto. No young blood in the system, just a bunch of old dudes being very secretive. Give it another 10-15 yrs and Cantonese food in Toronto will be in a sad state. :(

                                                                                                                  1. re: aser
                                                                                                                    Charles Yu Jan 21, 2011 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                    Yup!! Even traditional dish like ' Braiesd Chui Hau mixed beef innards' doesn't taste the same, nowadays! Also, Just take a look at the sad state of Won-Ton noodles in Toronto!! The traditional bite size version is almost non-existance. Every one is going for this @#$%^^^ big, golf size won-ton!! Absolutely ridiculous! Imagine making nigiri sushi the size of a hot-dog?!

                                                                                                            2. re: Apprentice
                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                              sillybuns79 Jan 21, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                                              The more lists submitted, the more fair the final list will be. If enough people submit lists, the consensus of the conceptualization of "top" will be reflected in the final top 10 list. A high response will also result in a final top 10 list that accurately reflects which Toronto restaurants Toronto chowhounds, collectively, consider the best. It isn't necessary that one dine at all restaurants before submitting a list. The most important thing for compiling a fair list is that as many people as possible contribute. Maybe someone with advanced research knowledge can elaborate on why this is so.

                                                                                                              I think many people are reluctant to submit a list for fear that they will be criticized by a Comic Book Store Guy type, or they're afraid their list isn't cool enough. I encourage others to follow the instructions in the original post and just post their top 10 list (top "understood in the broadest sense possible") and not post negative comments on the content or nature of others' lists.

                                                                                                              1. re: sillybuns79
                                                                                                                jlunar Jan 21, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                Actually, it might be useful to say your top restaurants up to 10.... sometimes 10 might be hard...

                                                                                                                1. re: jlunar
                                                                                                                  shekamoo Jan 21, 2011 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                  yes yes please consider it as broadly as possible, and keep this a positive thread, and submit a list, so we get a meaningful list

                                                                                                                2. re: sillybuns79
                                                                                                                  T Long Jan 21, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                  Points well made sillybuns.

                                                                                                                  Here's my current 10:

                                                                                                                  Bistro Camino
                                                                                                                  Starfish
                                                                                                                  Canoe
                                                                                                                  Veranda Osteria
                                                                                                                  Gallery Grill
                                                                                                                  Royal Teahouse
                                                                                                                  Maple Yip
                                                                                                                  Yuzu
                                                                                                                  Lee Garden
                                                                                                                  Michi Cafe

                                                                                                                  1. re: T Long
                                                                                                                    shekamoo Jan 22, 2011 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                    any particular dish(es) you like in Maple Yip and Bistro Camino? Thanks!

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Bistro Camino
                                                                                                                    2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

                                                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                      T Long Jan 22, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                      At Maple Yip, we always include a seafood dish (eg whole fish), but they seem good at almost everything.....killer Cantonese Chow Mein for example. At Bistro Camino, we've always ordered from their specials or fixe prix menu....emphasis on the seafood offerings. Consistency in the kitchen at both places a function of being family run and operated businesses....(I know this for Camino, strongly suspect this at Maple).

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Bistro Camino
                                                                                                                      2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

                                                                                                                      1. re: T Long
                                                                                                                        Charles Yu Jan 22, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                        FYI, the chef of Maple Yip is highly regarded in the Chinese restaurant community as being 'the' master in steamed fish, with immaculate timing down to the seconds! We once bought an air freight 'SE Asia spotted garoupa' from the fishmonger at Finch and Midland. Size was over 3 lbs and way bigger than your normal sea bass or black bass. However, the result was 'spot' on ( no pun intended ),with the interior just cooked through!! Perfect timing!

                                                                                                        2. Herb Jan 18, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                                                                          Don't these year end lists in Toronto Life and the Globe etc focus on the best new restaurants reviewed in whatever year and not the best overall? TL stopped doing an overall Best list a couple of years ago iirc.

                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                            childofthestorm Jan 18, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                                                            Splendido
                                                                                                            Black Hoof/Hoof Cafe
                                                                                                            Canoe
                                                                                                            Guu
                                                                                                            Anjappar Chettinad
                                                                                                            Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                            Zen
                                                                                                            George
                                                                                                            Sushi Kaji
                                                                                                            Globe Bistro

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                              shekamoo Jan 18, 2011 12:46 PM

                                                                                                              GO Zen!

                                                                                                              do you have a favorite dish at Anjappar Chettiand?

                                                                                                              1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                childofthestorm Jan 18, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                Well you see most people there eating biryani, and it's good, although different from how my mother-in-law makes it. But there is a lot of stuff to love on that menu - I really enjoy the crab masala, and I never visit there without ordering the Chicken 65 appetizer.

                                                                                                                I dunno, it's just really good food - and close to Zen too! An ideal Eglinton East day would be lunch at Anjappar, hit Wal-Mart for some cheap crap I need and then a movie at the Eglinton Town Center, followed by omakase dinner at Zen. Yum.

                                                                                                                1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                                  grandgourmand Jan 18, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                  What kind of crab do they use? Is it a brown-ish gravy?

                                                                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand
                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                    childofthestorm Jan 18, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                    no idea and yep, brown.

                                                                                                                  2. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                                    shekamoo Jan 19, 2011 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                    Thank you for the description

                                                                                                                2. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                                  hal2010 Jan 19, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                  I stopped in at Anjappar Chettinad for their lunch buffet today. It was very good as buffets go. The biryani reminds me of the Hyderabadi style, although it really needs the spicy gravy and raita to accompany it. I ordered chai and it was pretty good - it had a skin on it, so points there for authenticity.

                                                                                                                  I will try it again for dinner, ordering from the menu.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Anjappar Chettinad
                                                                                                                  3090 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M1J2H1, CA

                                                                                                                3. Notorious P.I.G. Jan 17, 2011 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                  California Sandwiches
                                                                                                                  New York Sub
                                                                                                                  Ghandi
                                                                                                                  New Devi
                                                                                                                  Spences
                                                                                                                  Hoof Cafe
                                                                                                                  C5
                                                                                                                  Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                                  Sushi Kaji
                                                                                                                  Zen

                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                                                                    shekamoo Jan 17, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                    FINALLY, another list to include Zen! could you say more about New Devi and Spences?

                                                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                      Notorious P.I.G. Jan 17, 2011 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                      New Devi is a Sri Lankan restaurant just East of Pharmacy on Lawrence at a street called Wexford Blvd. My favorite Sri Lankan in Toronto by far. They have a two seater in there but it's mostly just take out. I am a huge Kottu Roti fan and they do my favorite there. Mutton rolls, Vadai, and curries are awesome too. No menu and they don't speak much english so you have to kind of know a bit about Sri Lankan Cuisine before you order. They used to have an after Temple curry special on the weekend that included 9 different curries and dessert but I don't know if they still do it. Prices are super cheap and quantities are large.

                                                                                                                      Spences is up on Eglinton West and they do my favorite Jerk Chicken in the city. Some would argue that Raps is just as good but I am more of a Spences guy personally. Probably because I have a sweet tooth and Raps is more savory.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                                                                        shekamoo Jan 18, 2011 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                                                                          aser Jan 18, 2011 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                          I like Spences but I do prefer Raps more.....Spences tends to be more saucey also, kinda reminds me of the saucy Korean fried chicken. I also like the fact the owner at Rap's always says "God Bless" after he hands you the food, seeen!

                                                                                                                          These are just my favs, I wouldn't expect anyone to agree with me.

                                                                                                                          Splendido
                                                                                                                          Hoof Cafe - more innovative than the reg hoof
                                                                                                                          Tien Thanh
                                                                                                                          Yang's
                                                                                                                          Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                                          Graceful Vegetarian
                                                                                                                          Zen
                                                                                                                          Sukhothai
                                                                                                                          Buster Rhino's
                                                                                                                          Rap's

                                                                                                                          RIP to.....

                                                                                                                          Wonjo/Traditional Korean Restaurant
                                                                                                                          Perola's taco ladies
                                                                                                                          Big Joy - haven't had a decent bowl of wonton mein since it closed.

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

                                                                                                                          Splendido
                                                                                                                          88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                                                                                                                          Perola
                                                                                                                          247 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                                                                                                                          Buster Rhino's
                                                                                                                          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                                                          Sukhothai
                                                                                                                          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                                                                                                          1. re: aser
                                                                                                                            skylineR33 Jan 18, 2011 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                            Have you been to Wonton Hut ? Much better than Big Joy.

                                                                                                                            1. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                              Charles Yu Jan 18, 2011 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                              V2 in First Markham Place is OK too! ( noodles and broth but I'm against their golf ball size won-ton! ). Have to agree with aser, the 'normal size won-ton' of Big Joy was very good. A rarity in TO. However, what I missed the most was their ' pig's liver' rice congee. Cannot find similar calibre liver anywhere! Period!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                skylineR33 Jan 19, 2011 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                Seriously, I can make similar quality of wonton noodle like the one at Big Joy at home with normal size wonton (just the way I wrap it).

                                                                                                                              2. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                acd123 Jan 19, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                Is Wonton Hut better than Jim Chai Kee?

                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                Wonton Hut
                                                                                                                                Unit 2A, 3760 Hwy 7 East, Markham, ON L3R 0N2, CA

                                                                                                                                1. re: acd123
                                                                                                                                  skylineR33 Jan 19, 2011 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                  Much better than Jim Chai Kee of Richmond Hill.

                                                                                                                                2. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                                  aser Jan 21, 2011 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                  Haven't been to wonton hut yet but I will try it when I'm in the area.

                                                                                                                                  Reason I liked Big Joy so much was due to the "regular" sized wontons. Which is getting rarer and rarer nowadays. Plus it had the dingy vibe of a local noodle/congee spot in Sham Shui Po, most of the customers were regulars that knew the waiters for years. I actually liked them more than Jun Jun.

                                                                                                                                  JCK, the less said the better....

                                                                                                                                3. re: aser
                                                                                                                                  g
                                                                                                                                  graydyn Jan 19, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                  I think that's the first vote for Buster Rhino's! In retrospect that seems like a bit of an oversight by the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                4. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                                                                                                                  Chef Wendy B Feb 2, 2011 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                  New Devi is one of those astonishing treasures that are dotted throughout the GTA wherever a particular ethnicity has taken hold. And yes, the after temple special was still there a couple of weeks ago. Sri Lankan Cuisine is really interesting. If you look into the hidtory you will realize it is true fusion cuisine. Well worth the trip to "my" neighbourhood. Where you will find a lot of Middle Eastern Food too. Lawrence is an interesting drive nowadays. Everything from McEwan to scary Thai super markets that have really interesting (and smelly) produce. We are so lucky!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chef Wendy B
                                                                                                                                    Notorious P.I.G. Feb 2, 2011 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                    Oh nice! Thanks for reporting back on that. I wasn't sure. I also think it may be 12 curries instead of the aforementioned 9 with that tapioca dessert...

                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                              Toronto Fastfoodie Jan 17, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                              Enoteca Sociale
                                                                                                                              Local Kitchen
                                                                                                                              Lee Garden
                                                                                                                              Scaramouche Pasta Ball
                                                                                                                              Mistura
                                                                                                                              Stockyard
                                                                                                                              Copper Chimney
                                                                                                                              Craft Burger
                                                                                                                              Pizza Margherita
                                                                                                                              Drake Hotel

                                                                                                                              http://runningandrecipes.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Mistura
                                                                                                                              265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

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

                                                                                                                              House of Chan
                                                                                                                              876 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C2B6, CA

                                                                                                                              Copper Chimney
                                                                                                                              619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

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

                                                                                                                              Enoteca Sociale
                                                                                                                              1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                Charles Yu Jan 17, 2011 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                Lee Garden?!!
                                                                                                                                My chowfriend! About time you take a trip up north!!

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

                                                                                                                                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                  Toronto Fastfoodie Jan 18, 2011 03:50 AM

                                                                                                                                  Just 'cause it is not authentic, doesn't mean its not delicious food with fresh ingredients. I love food. LOVE. But I am still somewhat of a picky eater and not super-adventurous. I also really value tradition, good service, and fresh, local ingredients made with love. I think my list probably reflects that.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                    Charles Yu Jan 18, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                                    During a few rare occassions downtown, I have been taken to dinner at Lee Garden by friends who claimed this is the 'best' Chinatown has to offer in terms of Chinese food. IMO, LG's quality, presentation, variety and taste fell way short from a large number of establishments up north in the Scarborough/Richmond Hill/Markham area. To some, this calibre of food might be adequate in the downtown area. However, to put it in a 'TOP 10' GTA list is definitely open to debate!

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

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                      Midknight Jan 20, 2011 04:46 AM

                                                                                                                                      This is TFF's list of Top 10 restaurants, not yours.
                                                                                                                                      Shekamoo's original request was "I suggest this thread not be about criticizing what others include on their list". That make Toronto Fastfoodie's Top 10 is just as valid as Charles Yu's Top 10 list.
                                                                                                                                      Please don't criticize his (her?) choices in this thread.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Midknight
                                                                                                                                        Charles Yu Jan 20, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oops! My mistake! Did not read the post carefully!! Thousand apologies!!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                          Midknight Jan 20, 2011 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                          No problem. That didn't seem much you, anyway. :)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                                                        glickjor Oct 24, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                        I'm wondering if Charles - you can give me a list of the top 5 or 10 best chinese places up north and in Scarborough and for what (dim sum, a specific dish or a regional style) - my wife and I tend to really like Lee Garden but we work and live downtown and don't know enough about the uptown places to warrant a venture. I'd also love to know price point as I'd love to find places that are deserving of the trek that don't break the bank (along with the lobster tasting menus that cost hundreds)

                                                                                                                                        Thanks,

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

                                                                                                                                      3. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                        T Long Jan 18, 2011 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                                        I would characterize Lee Garden as mostly authentic and they are pretty good at it, I know they have a few dishes that are focused on western taste-buds, but that's just good business sense on their part.

                                                                                                                                    2. g
                                                                                                                                      graydyn Jan 17, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                                      Black hoof
                                                                                                                                      Hoof Cafe
                                                                                                                                      Cava
                                                                                                                                      Duggan's
                                                                                                                                      Kaji
                                                                                                                                      Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                      Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                      Didier
                                                                                                                                      Inatei
                                                                                                                                      George

                                                                                                                                      Great thread Shakamoo! I can't wait to see the results.

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Cava
                                                                                                                                      1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

                                                                                                                                      Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                      45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

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

                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: graydyn
                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                        EarlyDrive Jan 17, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                        George
                                                                                                                                        Black Hoof
                                                                                                                                        Sushi Kaji
                                                                                                                                        Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                        Buca
                                                                                                                                        Globe Bistro
                                                                                                                                        Splendido
                                                                                                                                        Frank's Kitchen
                                                                                                                                        Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                        Lai Wah Heen

                                                                                                                                        1. re: graydyn
                                                                                                                                          shekamoo Jan 17, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I really hope it keeps growing so we will end up with a solid list

                                                                                                                                          1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                            justpete Jan 17, 2011 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                            Maybe you should periodically list the 10 most popular?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: justpete
                                                                                                                                              shekamoo Jan 17, 2011 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              I will, as soon as we have enough to merit a first batch

                                                                                                                                              1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                jamesm Jan 17, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                Black Hoof is on every list save 2, with Hoof Cafe close behind.

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

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                                  shekamoo Jan 17, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, that looks like a favorite for a top spot already. but other than that, not enough data yet!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                    Toronto Fastfoodie Jan 18, 2011 03:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I don't get Black Hoof. It takes a special kind of person to eat most of their menu. Personally, I want to like the place but I can't get myself to stomach most of it. Why would I want to each the most awful part of the animal. It is not accident that offal and awful are homonyms.

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                                      skylineR33 Jan 18, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I guess this offal trend is introduced to Toronto a few years ago and it is getting popular. Meh, Head to tail eating, which has been around for decades and hundreds of years in other cuisine and countries.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                        jamesm Jan 18, 2011 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                        So, what's your point? Does that diminish the quality of product being produced at Black Hoof and elsewhere?

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

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                                          skylineR33 Jan 18, 2011 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Never said that. My point is a lots of people in Toronto (that I know of) who have first seeing this kind of offal offering and it is like opening up a whole new world to them. It is one of the reason why offal is so popular nowaday in Toronto. It is something new and interesting to those people. For me the food at Black Hoof is ok, nothing new and I will not put it in top 10 on any days.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                                                            justpete Jan 18, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm in the same boat - and I found the hostess particularly and uncharacteristically rude. I was shocked that she was talking to customers in the manner that she does, and wondered why - then I found out she was part owner, which is what gives her this false sense of privilege. I would never include the Black Hoof on my top 10 either - nor would I recommend it to anyone that wasn't looking for something unusual. The food is good, but not great.

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

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                                                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                                                                        graydyn Jan 18, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                        There isn't that much guts at Black Hoof, usually just one or two menu items per night. Even the guts that they serve are generally the ones that go down easy; sweetbreads and the like.
                                                                                                                                                        Also some of the permanent items like the charcuterie board and horse sandwich are not to be missed.

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

                                                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                                                            ThreeEm Jan 16, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                            good idea, but a time cutoff should be established, as the best restaurants of times past might not even be verging on this year's list (and new ones might emerge in the coming months).

                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                            Splendido
                                                                                                                                            88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ThreeEm
                                                                                                                                              shekamoo Jan 16, 2011 06:54 PM

                                                                                                                                              how about as of January 2011

                                                                                                                                            2. duckdown Jan 16, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                              These picks have nothing to do with GTA in general. Toronto, yes. GTA, no.

                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                                shekamoo Jan 16, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                I mean them as covering GTA, if they are mostly in or closer to toronto, what can I do. Can you give us a true GTA top 10?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                  jamesm Jan 16, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                  You can't do anything. Not your fault if people's lists happen to include restaurants located in Toronto proper. Here's mine. All in the city.

                                                                                                                                                  Black Hoof
                                                                                                                                                  Hoof Cafe
                                                                                                                                                  Guu
                                                                                                                                                  Splendido
                                                                                                                                                  George
                                                                                                                                                  Burgers Priest
                                                                                                                                                  Libretto
                                                                                                                                                  Ghandi
                                                                                                                                                  Stockyards
                                                                                                                                                  Chiado

                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                  Splendido
                                                                                                                                                  88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                    KitchenVoodoo Jan 16, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I quess one man's "top restaurant" is another's "nightmare". Most of your faves are out for me - I will NEVER queue up for food, and I don't want to scream to be heard by my dining companion over loud music that I would never listen to at home, I don't like greasy burgers, or so-so pizza with attitude, lousey curry, diabolical service at a 5 start joint (George) .....
                                                                                                                                                    Call me old fashioned, but I like places such as Chiado that understand what dinner means to civilised people. And what the whole idea of "hospitality" means. I want no struggle whatsoever when I am laying down hard earned money to eat out. No line ups, no long waits while an unexperienced wait staff does an innefficient and inhospitable job, no "it's all about us" attitude - and above all, NO lousey food, or "food" that's too "hip" for me to understand! I understand when something is inedible.
                                                                                                                                                    My top picks for good food, good service and civilized ambience?
                                                                                                                                                    Frank's Kitchen (ifish on the soud volume)
                                                                                                                                                    Scaramouche
                                                                                                                                                    Chiado
                                                                                                                                                    Note Bene

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

                                                                                                                                                    Frank's Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                    588 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                      jamesm Jan 17, 2011 06:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Okay, cool.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm curious, of that list where is the music too loud and the food too 'hip'? I have no idea what that means.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                                        ingloriouseater Jan 17, 2011 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                        a hip restaurant might be one that understands how to spell (as i am terrrible with my cap lock button and punctuation)-no but seriously, while this can be an interesting discussion ...as with any top 10 list if you ask 10 people there will be some crossover but little consensus....generational, cultural, experience and financial differences (as a few examples) may influence opinions as can be evidenced by the variety of posts (especially jmeggs post!)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: KitchenVoodoo
                                                                                                                                                        justpete Jan 17, 2011 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Note Bene is a rather noisy place and isn't so much about the food, as much as it is about being seen - so I find it's presence slightly odd on your list given your diatribe - the service also leaves much to be desired.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                          Toronto Fastfoodie Jan 18, 2011 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I so agree with your criteria of what makes a good place. I too, appreciate just good food and service over hip and trendy. That is why I am not sure how Black Hoof is on so many lists. It caters to a very specific audience, I think.

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

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                                      justpete Jan 16, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I think the title says "Chowhound's Own Top 10 Restaurants of GTA". If the people who have already posted their lists happen to have their top 10 in Toronto, who's to say they're wrong? You're certainly allowed to post your own list.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                        acd123 Jan 16, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                        The GTA includes the City of Toronto, as well as the Regions of York, Durham, Peel and Halton. So, based on the OP, your top 10 list can include places from Canal Road to Lake Ontario and from Burlington to Clarington.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                          burlgurl Jan 17, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Blacktree mentioned a couple of times is in Burlington..

                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                          Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                          3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burlgurl
                                                                                                                                                            Charles Yu Jan 17, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Not as far as Eigensinn Farm though!! Ha!

                                                                                                                                                        2. justpete Jan 16, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Great idea! I look forward to seeing (and visiting) all the entries.

                                                                                                                                                          1. miketoronto Jan 16, 2011 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Guu
                                                                                                                                                            Black Hoof/Hoof Cafe
                                                                                                                                                            Origin
                                                                                                                                                            Stockyards
                                                                                                                                                            Buca
                                                                                                                                                            Sukhothai
                                                                                                                                                            Amaya
                                                                                                                                                            Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                                                                            Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                                            Splendido

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

                                                                                                                                                            Splendido
                                                                                                                                                            88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

                                                                                                                                                            Sukhothai
                                                                                                                                                            274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                                                                                                                                            Amaya
                                                                                                                                                            1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

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

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

                                                                                                                                                            1. estufarian Jan 16, 2011 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Black Hoof
                                                                                                                                                              Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                              C5
                                                                                                                                                              Canoe
                                                                                                                                                              Chiado
                                                                                                                                                              Copper Chimney
                                                                                                                                                              L.A.B.
                                                                                                                                                              Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                                                                              Nota Bene
                                                                                                                                                              Splendido

                                                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                Charles Yu Jan 16, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting! My list was exactly identical to yours but plus 3! Sushi Kaji, George and Simple Bistro!

                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                Sushi Kaji
                                                                                                                                                                860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA

                                                                                                                                                                Simple Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                                                  Full tummy Jan 16, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  And minus which three, hahaha?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy
                                                                                                                                                                    Charles Yu Jan 16, 2011 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    No Minus!! Just ask OP to increase list to Top13!! HaHaHa!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                      Apprentice Jan 17, 2011 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Having been out of the dining scene for the past 6 months (new addition to the family - anyone got any spare sleep they can lend me???) other than a few select spots (Canoe, N44 - both were excellent, N44 was surprisingly "on", Fabbrica - pizza no good IMO)...it's interesting to see that Blacktree remains in the top 10.

                                                                                                                                                                      Now living in west 'sauga, I can possibly make that trek if the grandparents are stocked properly. Any highlight dishes?

                                                                                                                                                                      I really need to find a way to get to Copper Chimney

                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                      Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                                      3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                                                                                                                                                                      Copper Chimney
                                                                                                                                                                      619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Apprentice
                                                                                                                                                                        estufarian Jan 17, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        His menu is fairly generic - most things are really 'daily specials' (although these tend to hang around for a month - most dishes change monthly, but the menu stays the same (if that makes sense - e.g. the 'Game" entry could be anything that he can get).
                                                                                                                                                                        And don't ignore the 'Composed Salad' - it doesn't resemble any other 'salad' you'll find.

                                                                                                                                                                        And I still dream about the porcini mushroom ice cream - but that is a love it or hate it dish!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                          Apprentice Jan 18, 2011 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. He's an accomodating chef so hopefully if the ingredients are there, and the items you mentioned are not on the menu, he'll oblige my request!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                                            A Pointe Jan 19, 2011 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry - I lost track in this chain - 'his' is Copper Chimney?

                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                            Copper Chimney
                                                                                                                                                                            619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: A Pointe
                                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                                              Apprentice Jan 19, 2011 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              No Blacktree.

                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                              Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                                              3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                                                      estufarian Jan 16, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Just tell people you're not an accountant!
                                                                                                                                                                      I just don't 'get' sushi - have now given up. I used to like both Simple Bistro and George but both seemed (to me) to hit a rough patch maybe a year ago. BUT have tried both in the last 4 months and, indeed, they seem re-improved (OK I made the word up but it works for me).

                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                      Simple Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                      619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                        skylineR33 Jan 17, 2011 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Do you go to Kaji for sushi ? I don't go there for sushi. I don't think they are good at it.

                                                                                                                                                                        My list:

                                                                                                                                                                        Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                                        George
                                                                                                                                                                        Lai Wah Heen
                                                                                                                                                                        Omei
                                                                                                                                                                        Sushi Kaji

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                                                                                                                                                          Charles Yu Jan 17, 2011 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes! Name of restaurant very misleading!! I really think its about time Kaji change his name to something like 'Creation de Kaji'?! to reflect his excellent cooked food as well!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                                                            shekamoo Jan 17, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Estufarian, Charles and Skyline, Blacktree is THIS good? is this just for the Game dishes?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                                              estufarian Jan 17, 2011 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I hate the commute as the rush hour traffic is horrendous. But I still go 2-3 times a year.
                                                                                                                                                                              For me this is the most EXCITING restaurant in GTA - sometimes the reach exceeds the grasp, but I'll take honest effort every time.
                                                                                                                                                                              Reservations essential.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                                                skylineR33 Jan 17, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I had a very good foie gras dish at Blacktree other than dishes from it's interesting game menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                                                  cynalan Jan 21, 2011 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes - Blacktree is that good. My favourite restaurant in southern Ontario. Chef Matteo dishes out unique combinations and flavours. With a monthly menu change, there is always something new to try. I had the best foie gras ever there. I wish he'd bring that one back - it was a seared foie gras served with a port/wine/cherry reduction. Manna from heaven!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                  Blacktree
                                                                                                                                                                                  3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                          sugarcube Jan 16, 2011 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Estufarian, which dishes does L.A.B. do well? I've been meaning to try this restaurant for sometime. Is it like Colborne Lane which also dabbles in molecular gastronomy?

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks in advance for your help!
                                                                                                                                                                          http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                          Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                                                          45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                        3. d
                                                                                                                                                                          dubchild Jan 16, 2011 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Black Hoof
                                                                                                                                                                          George
                                                                                                                                                                          Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                                                          Origin
                                                                                                                                                                          Cava
                                                                                                                                                                          Hiro Sushi
                                                                                                                                                                          Eigensinn Farm
                                                                                                                                                                          Simple Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                          Grace
                                                                                                                                                                          Marben

                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                          Cava
                                                                                                                                                                          1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

                                                                                                                                                                          Colborne Lane
                                                                                                                                                                          45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

                                                                                                                                                                          Simple Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                          619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dubchild
                                                                                                                                                                            shekamoo Jan 22, 2011 04:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            any particular dishes in Marben?

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

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                                              dubchild Jan 23, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              The burger, french toast, and corned beef.
                                                                                                                                                                              My biggest surprise with this post is how there are some places I've never heard of. I can't wait to see the totals.

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