HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 10, 2011 07:38 PM

What's your ideal lunch time mini tour of Toronto food possibilities for a European visitor?

I'll start the bidding with lunch at some Vietnamese place on Spadina (snall bowl of rare beef Pho and Vietnamese style spring rolls) followed by a veggie snack at Akram's in Kensington Market, then on to Mexican street food - warm corn tacos like they do in Mexico City at Salsa (are they still in business?) and finish with crepes and coffee next door at the Austrian place - Krepesz European Palacsinta Cafe.
If we string that out long enough we could start all over again and catch opening time at Torito, grab some tapas, then proceed to a tablecloth 5 star dinner at Chiado, or a more relaxed evening at Frank's.

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

276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

253 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A banh mi from either place on Spadina, and maybe some East or West Indian food from Ali's or Ghandi. There's really good Turkish food in Germany and if you're friend is from Spain, I wouldn't take them to Torito. Pupusa's in the market are also good, maybe a tamale? I am thinking of those two places on Augusta.

    276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: albanis

      My friend isn't from Spain but has a house there and loves Tapas - may I ask why you wouldn't recommend Toritos?
      I went there once and it was o.k. but nothing that made me jump up and say "I HAVE to come back here".
      Great Turkish food is my holy grail.... the closest I can get is in Manhatten at Sip Sak on the east side around 60th - but with the cost of the flights and the hotel it becomes a mighyy expensive dinner. Why no great Turkish food here in Toronto?

      276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

      1. re: KitchenVoodoo

        Torito wasn't bad, just kind of fussy and precious compared to the stuff I've had in Spain. The tapas in Spain seems simpler and bolder But to be fair, Toronto is so land-locked it is hard to compare seafood here with seafood in places near the water.

        I have only tried Pizza Pide and Babbo's in Toronto and they're good but we do need more Turkish food for sure. Have you tried that market on Dufferin near Orfus? I forget the name.

        Tthanks for the NY tip cause I am always looking for new places! There is also this place that looks good: .Balkanika, 691 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036.

        Oh, they don't seem to have Ethiopian in Europe, some Nigerian food though. There's always Addis Abbaba, a million new places on Bloor near Ossington.

        Pizza Pide
        949 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

        276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. My standard tour for visitors starts at Rol San or Sky Dragon (if carts will impress, and the focus is more on the experience than the food) for dim sum, heads through Kensington, maybe stopping for a double or a patty, then poking around various stores on Baldwin and Augusta, picking up an empanada or alfajor at Jumbo Empanada, or getting tacos at pastor at El Trompo, then heading west on College to have an espresso/bica and pasteis de nata or cannoli at Golden Wheat, Riviera or Nova Era ( I would only bring non-Italian, non-Portuguese Euro visitors to these bakeries for pastries, no point exposing them to someting that's easily found at home), or just an espresso at Il Gatto Nero, then head south through sidestreets and Trinity Bellwoods Park towards either Queen West, heading east towards Prague Deli for a Central Euro snack (unless the visitors are from Central Europe, in which case I'd choose another bakery or deli, such as Dufflets for Cdn style baked goods.)

        My last European visitors didn't really enjoy the dim sum ( I think they were too accustomed to their local Chinese European take-out, and not flexible enough to enjoy a different style of Chinese food)- but they really enjoyed the Jamaican food they tried (at Irie, which has been replaced by Harlem Underground, but Harlem Underground might be a neat resto for European visitors). Ethiopian was a hit for my most adventurous European visitor (he requested it on the next visit), but the least adventurous ones (who happend to be visiting with my most adventurous visitor) seemed most interested in Canadian-style ice cream. So a place like Ed's might be a good stop, for plainer eating visitors. Also, would recommend introducing them to the butter tart - which are available at Dufflets, if you're looking for one near Queen W ;-) Or Flaky Tart on Mt Pleasant, or Leah's on St Clair W. If you're looking for some interesting takes on fairly common Cdn style desserts (sticky toffee pud, lemon meringue, etc), the Gabardine offers several, including an ice cream sandwich made with Ed's ice cream.

        787 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        Jumbo Empanadas
        245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L8, CA

        Rol San
        323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

        Prague Fine Food Emporium
        638 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        Sky Dragon Restaurant
        280 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T3A5, CA

        The Gabardine
        372 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 3W1, CA

        1. If they're from Europe, they might enjoy the old school North American vibe at The Senator. Maybe a good breakfast/brunch spot.

          There's the new sister restaurant of Sukhothai that just opened Khao Son Road. Haven't been yet, but I trust it's outstanding.

          If they're a coffee drinker, make sure to take them to one of our indie espresso shops. The only place I've had coffee come close to Manic (College & Bathurst) is a small place in Rome near the pantheon. Manic was still better in my opinion. Other good options include Bulldog, White Squirrel, Ideal Coffee, Mercury, Grinder, Voules Vous and Dark Horse on Spadina.

          1. food tour in chinatown and kensington market.. just snacking all the way through