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Chowhound's Own Top 10 Restaurants of GTA

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

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  1. 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

      any particular dishes in Marben?

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

      1. re: shekamoo

        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.

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

      16 Replies
      1. re: estufarian

        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

          And minus which three, hahaha?

          1. re: Full tummy

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

            1. re: Charles Yu

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      No Blacktree.

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

            2. re: Charles Yu

              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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: shekamoo

                      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

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

                        1. re: shekamoo

                          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

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

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

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: duckdown

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                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

                                  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

                              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

                                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

                                  Blacktree mentioned a couple of times is in Burlington..

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

                                  1. re: burlgurl

                                    Not as far as Eigensinn Farm though!! Ha!

                                2. 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

                                    how about as of January 2011

                                  2. 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

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

                                      1. re: graydyn

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

                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                          Maybe you should periodically list the 10 most popular?

                                          1. re: justpete

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

                                            1. re: shekamoo

                                              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

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

                                                1. re: shekamoo

                                                  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

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                      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. 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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

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

                                                  2. re: Charles Yu

                                                    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

                                                    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. 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.

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

                                                    1. re: shekamoo

                                                      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.

                                                        Thanks!

                                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                                          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

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

                                                            1. re: skylineR33

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                Is Wonton Hut better than Jim Chai Kee?

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

                                                                1. re: acd123

                                                                  Much better than Jim Chai Kee of Richmond Hill.

                                                                2. re: skylineR33

                                                                  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

                                                                  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.

                                                                  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

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

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: childofthestorm

                                                                GO Zen!

                                                                do you have a favorite dish at Anjappar Chettiand?

                                                                1. re: shekamoo

                                                                  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

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

                                                                    1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                      no idea and yep, brown.

                                                                    2. re: childofthestorm

                                                                      Thank you for the description

                                                                  2. re: childofthestorm

                                                                    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. 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. 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

                                                                        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

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

                                                                          1. re: shekamoo

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

                                                                            1. re: shekamoo

                                                                              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

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

                                                                                1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                  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

                                                                                    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

                                                                                      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

                                                                                        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

                                                                                          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

                                                                                        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

                                                                                          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

                                                                                            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

                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                        1. re: jlunar

                                                                                          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

                                                                                          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

                                                                                            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

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                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. 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. 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

                                                                                      That's about 45 dishes. Ha! Ha!

                                                                                    2. 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

                                                                                        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. 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. 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

                                                                                            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. 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

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                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

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                        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

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

                                                                                                          1. re: jlunar

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

                                                                                                            1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                              lol

                                                                                            2. 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. 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. 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

                                                                                                    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

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

                                                                                                    2. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                            1. re: radiopolitic

                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                yay shekamoo (et al) for the work!

                                                                                                            2. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                              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. 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

                                                                                                          I'm guessing NONE refer to Ajax one!

                                                                                                          1. re: estufarian

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

                                                                                                          2. re: s0memale

                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                              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. Is it too much too ask for 50 lists?

                                                                                                            1. 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

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

                                                                                                              2. 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. 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. 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. 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

                                                                                                                        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. 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

                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                            hahaha, negative votes!! interesting.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jjmellon

                                                                                                                              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

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

                                                                                                                              2. re: jjmellon

                                                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                                                  1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                    Is Frank the place on College or in the AGO?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dubchild

                                                                                                                                      ago

                                                                                                                                2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Two more needed to hit 40 Lists!

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

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: batbon

                                                                                                                                                      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. 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. 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. 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

                                                                                                                                                            My only issue is that you listed more than 10.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoTips

                                                                                                                                                              You have to remove 3! :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TorontoTips

                                                                                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shekamoo

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

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AzulH

                                                                                                                                                                      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. 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. 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. Mikado
                                                                                                                                                                        Tabule
                                                                                                                                                                        Scaramouche

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

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lamaranthe

                                                                                                                                                                          thanks for submitting, but the polls are closed!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. 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