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Mar 8, 2011 02:40 PM

Cabbagetown - Where to eat

I just moved to Toronto recently from Ottawa. Looking for a neighborhood spot for dinner that is tasty and isn't going to break the bank. Any suggestions?

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  1. Not dine in, but Mr Jerk (on Wellesley between Ontario and Bleecker) is good for take out Jamaican after a late night, or you just can't handle cooking. Simple, cheap, and tasty.

    Chew Chew's on Carlton at Bleecker is great for brunch. Friendly service, good diner food, haven't tried them for dinner yet. Being between three churches, it can get a bit crowded with god-botherers on Sundays!

    JamCafe is good, but we've only been there once and only for lunch.

    My one experience with House on Parliament was not positive (monumentally unfriendly staff), but that was some time ago. I understand they've moved to a new location and are hopefully dealing with their issues. Others will no doubt weigh in.

    Welcome to Toronto and Cabbagetown!

    4 Replies
    1. re: PagerFax

      Thanks for the tips - has anyone else had any negative experiences at House on Parliament?

      Anyone tried Peartree?

      1. re: kshul

        I've done peartree, it was alright, but I've never been back since.

        I've been going to House on Parliament for nearly half a decade. I find part of the charm is tongue-in-cheek service. The food is always great.

        One thing is that there is always a line-up, so that speaks for its popularity and food.

        Johnny G's has consistently good breakfast, but it's a greasy spoon, you get what you go for.

        Omi is wonderful Japanese food, but a little more expensive.

        Stonegrill, good but still a bit too expensive. The steak they serve is out-of-this-world.

        I don't like Chew Chew's.

        If you make it down to the distillery there are a ton of great options there.

        Hope this helps.

        243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        Johnny G's
        478 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X1P2, CA

        1. re: kshul

          DONT go to HOP. That is a terrible way to get acquainted with the neighbourhood. The service is super rude, ESPECIALLY to non-regulars.. Even with us, who WERE regulars, it got so bad we had a huge fight with a server there one night. never again.

      2. There are great alternatives to dining out while retaining the quality of a restaurant experience. You should familiarize yourself with the wares at St Jamestown Steak & Chops at Parliament & Winchester and Daniel et Daniel on the north side of Carlton just a wee west of Parliament. I like picking up a great piece of meat or fish at St Jamestown and pairing it with sides from D&D. Restaurant style dinner at home on the plate in about 15 minutes and, though not cheap, far less expensive than dining out.

        Omi is terrific as previously noted. Its definitely expensive if you omakase, though worth every penny. You can, if you ask Chef John Lee nicely, get a stepped-up Sushi dinner. For a few extra dollars you eat far better than the standard sushi plate, but don't break-the-bank omakase.

        For snacks, a good glass of wine, and a friendly neighbourhood experience try The Cobourg at Parliament & Winchester right across the street from the LCBO. A good place to start or end your evening out. It's a fairly all ages crowd that goes and all feel welcome.

        A little farther afield, you can wander on down to Queen & River to a simple Sicilian trat called Fusilli. Very reasonably priced, friendly service, lovely pastas, and killer stone oven pizza. Dine in or take-out only. Relax and dine in with the loyal regulars.

        I don't particularly care for JamCafe and for the love of all things holy don't subject yourself to the abuse at House on Parliament,.

        Welcome to Cabbagetown. If you need any more grocery hunting or restaurant tips I'm happy to help.

        531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

        Daniel et Daniel
        248 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        St James Town Steak & Chops
        516 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X, CA

        The Cobourg
        533 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P3, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Googs

          Did nobody mention sukhothai yet?

          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        2. As someone who really enjoys a "local" ie. a pub that provides that convivial atmosphere as well as good food and friendly service Cabbagetown does not have it right yet! The HOP is just too busy, food continues to be at a very high standard but, particularly when dining in the new space, the traffic feels like a picnic on the 401. The service can be very rude and abrupt.

          Stout, a nice reno of the former Brass Taps has a great beeer list and is headed in the right direction but the food is overpriced - $17 burgers?????

          The closest thing to a great pub is the Ben Wicks, great friendly service, lots of space at the bar and lots of locals. This is not a gastro pub but serves ok pub food at reasonable prices in a congenial atmsophere.

          On a different note the Rashna on Wellesley is one of the hoods great bargains and delicious food. For something a little more special Provence on Amelia provides ok neighbourhood French in a pleasant atmosphere. Thai to Go on Gerrard at Sumac is also recommended.

          Welcome to the neighbourhood.!

          Ben Wicks Restaurant
          424 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A3A2, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: BRACAB

            Oh my goodness yes. I forgot about Rashnaa. Good call.

            307 Wellesley St E, Toronto, ON M4X1H2, CA

          2. And if you like a good chop suey house, give Peking Express a try. Delivery and take-out only. Always clean, fast, cheap, plentiful, and delicious... you know... if you like that kinda thing,

            Peking Express
            217 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

            1. Butter Chicken Factory for it's namesake and also great lamb vindaloo. Clean, casual, affordable, quality Indian food IMO.