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Best new nationality of food to try in toronto, and the best place to go for them?

.alias Apr 1, 2011 06:32 PM

I come from an oriental background, so generally I've tried a bunch of chinese/japanese/korean places. I've had my hand at some greek and such, but nothing amazing..

I"m looking to try new things, so what other nationality of foods are the best to try?
I want to try some good greek places, any recommendations?

As well as others, so any nationalities, dishes, and restaurants worth mentioning?

  1. designergirl Apr 1, 2011 09:56 PM

    Toronto: Italian....Little Italy should fix your taste buds right up-- or go West ON St. Clair from Bathurst Street and a second Little Italy is there too!

    Greek: MYTH on the Danforth...or Christina's

    10 Replies
    1. re: designergirl
      TorontoJo Apr 2, 2011 02:09 PM

      FYI, Myth closed down last year (possibly the year before that?).

      1. re: TorontoJo
        jmarcroyal Apr 2, 2011 08:00 PM

        go grab a Shawarma!

        1. re: jmarcroyal
          haggisdragon Apr 2, 2011 08:08 PM

          amen! best place: Shawarma Empire at Pharmacy and Lawrence

          Shawarma Empire
          1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R2Y3, CA

        2. re: TorontoJo
          haggisdragon Apr 2, 2011 08:06 PM

          thank god for that ;)

          1. re: TorontoJo
            prima Apr 3, 2011 08:46 AM

            The week before the St. Patrick's Day before last. How sad is it that I remember the exact week that they shut the Myth down (for non-payment of rent- nothing too scandalous)?

            Hoping the not-yet-opened location of Libretto will help revitalize the Danforth once it opens.

            I realize the OP asked for cuisines recommendation, but I decided to include some specific recommendations for restaurants, where chances of having a good version of the chosen "national" cuisine might be higher than taking a stab at a random restaurant that happens to be serving that particular cuisine.

            For the closest thing to amazing Greek food in TO, consider visiting Malena on Avenue Road south of Davenport, and order their grilled octopus and/or fritto misto (Italian term for mixed fried seafood, usually including calamari and smelts or whitebait, sometimes shrimp, sometimes crab fritters at Malena). Ignore the facts that one of the owners is non-Greek, the chef has no ties to Greece, and the menu uses Italian, French or English terminology if the terms sound more posh than the Greek terms. The grilled octopus and fritto misto taste like what you can order at a decent seafood restaurant in Greece. Malena is expensive, so dinner costs at least $50 per person. If you want to spend closer to $20 per person for Greek food, and maybe try some new Greek dishes you might not have tried before, check out some of the places and dishes I've mentioned in this thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/767575 If you go to an economical family style Greek restaurant such as Megas or Kalyvia, you might want to try a ordering a pikilia to share with friends, which is a combination platter made for sharing.

            If you're going to Corso Italia (the Italian part of St. Clair W), Marcello's is a reasonably priced restaurant that still gets love, and La Bruschetta is sometimes recommended. Speaking on behalf of my gwai lo tastebuds, I find most economical Italian food in TO on the boring side (although I have a soft spot for a veal sandwich from California Sandwiches), unless I go the upscale route and spend $50 or more (Mistura, Buca for flatbreads, want to visit Enoteca Sociale, Carisma).

            If you're looking for wowworthy non-Chinese, non-Japanese, non-Korean, non-Greek food, and want to spend less than $20 per person, I'd suggest shawarma (as mentioned above),Mexican (El Trompo for cheap, Milagro at Yonge & Lawrence for pricier food, which could end up closer to $30 per person), Lebanese (mentioned by uberathlete-Tabule or Jerusalem, Jerusalem has a great "dinner for 2"), Ethopian (mentioned by uberathlete-where you can order platters to share with friends, with 4 or 5 different dishes), Indian (Maroli for Keralan, or start with the Trimurti lunch buffet on Queen W for around $10, or try a dosa at Udupi or Rashnaa), Portuguese (for churrasco chicken take-out, and the bakeries for the custard tarts), Hungarian (Europe Restaurant on Bathurst where I'd recommend goulash, paprikash, schnitzel or a combo platter) or Polish (Chopin or Cafe Polonez on Roncesvalles, where I'd recommend the combo platters that include schnitzel, cabbage roll, salads, perogies), Peruvian (El Fogon or another place on St.Clair W) or Colombian (Los Arrieros on Wilson has some Colombian platters, as well as a big mixed meat combo platter to share. I haven't been since 2006- has anyone dined there recently?).

            1. re: prima
              haggisdragon Apr 3, 2011 09:30 AM

              Another very good Keralan option is Aravind, on the Danforth. Really enjoyed a recent dinner there.

              1. re: haggisdragon
                prima Apr 3, 2011 09:38 AM

                I've been meaning to visit Aravind. What dishes do you recommend the most?

                How much was the damage? Hope to try it soon;-)

                1. re: prima
                  haggisdragon Apr 3, 2011 09:51 AM

                  We had 3 apps, 2 mains, and a bottle of wine for $120. I was very impressed by the bright palate of distinct flavours in the dishes we tried. The menu is seafood heavy, with only a couple of veggie or meat dishes. Service was very professional, at a level you don't usually see in this price range.

                  1. re: haggisdragon
                    prima Apr 3, 2011 09:52 AM

                    Good to know, haggisdragon. Happy to hear the flavours were so distinct. Thank you!

              2. re: prima
                .alias Apr 3, 2011 12:49 PM

                Definitely will keep this post saved and try out some of these places soon!

                Thanks Prima. There's a huge variety of food in Toronto, amazing.

          2. u
            uberathlete Apr 1, 2011 08:14 PM

            Perhaps French bistro fare? Nothing new, but it might be for you. Ethiopian and Lebanese perhaps?

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