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Apr 6, 2011 10:06 AM

Recommendations Needed for Good Quick Eats Around GTA

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, so I apologize if my post doesn't have information as I should have - I will try to add as much information as possible.

Instead of going away over the Easter holiday, my hubby and I have decided to do a little "foodie adventure" around GTA - our boundaries would be Oakville to the Beaches; north to Hwy 7. We want to try as many places as possible so we're aiming for small bites here and there, with the exception for dinner.

So we're looking for recommendations for the best:

bakery (incl. croissants, pain au chocolat, etc.)
gelato/ice cream
wood-burning pizza
other good quick eats

Please also give me your recommendations for dinner which you find to be a unique experience (it could be cool environment, unique kind of food, the way food is prepared, etc.) - preferably in the mid-range price ($15-20 entree) but we will consider anything above as well.

Here's a list of few places we've been to - might help in term of our tastes: the O&B chain of restaurants, Lucien, Campagnolo, Porchetta, Ruby Watchco, Manpuku, Pizzeria Libretto

Thanks in advance for all your assistance!

36 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E1C7, CA

105 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

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

Ruby Watchco
730 Queen St E, Toronto, ON , CA

832 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON , CA

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

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  1. I realize this is your first post, but I'm going to ask- have you tried searching for those foods you've listed? There's a search field in the top right corner of your screen, and a search using any of the specific foods you've listed will provide you with recent threads on macarons, wings, gelato and pretty much every other type of food you've listed. There are already comprehensive threads on most of the foods you've mentioned, and a search will turn them up for you.

    A search with "moderately priced" , "midrange" , "quick eats", "quick bites" ,"cool" , "hip", etc, may also turn up threads that interest you. Or throw Campagnolo (or any other restaurant you've enjoyed) into a search, and see what other restaurants pop up in the threads that contain Campagnolo, etc. You can also just click on Campagnolo or any linked restaurant you've mentioned in your thread, to see its "page", and read the threads that pop at the bottom of that particular page, to see what other restaurants are mentioned.

    The good news is that you & your hubby's tastes sound like they are right in line with a lot of Board favourites, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding some suggestions for moderately priced quick eats ;-)

    Good luck ;-)

    15 Replies
    1. re: prima

      Thanks Prima, I will go through the vast amount of information I hope to find through the search engines. In the meantime, if you (or anyone else) has good recommendations, they would be greatly appreciated as well!

      1. re: yyuen

        ok, here's my shortlist for what you asked for:

        flatcrust pizza- the Giovanni at Queen Margherita in Leslieville (which takes reservations unlike Libretto), or the contemporary flatbreads at Buca (not like traditional flatcrust pizza- I esp like the alici, made with white anchovies)

        macarons- the rosewater lychee macaron at Ruelo on Hwy 7

        chocolate- Soma in the Distillery- in particular their dark english toffee, mayan dome, feuilletine, salt caramel, espresso crisp and cherry bomb

        wings- Duff's on Bayview- haven't been for a while, but good enough for me- haven't tried their College St location yet

        roti- I'm happy with Caribbean Bistro when I'm near Yonge & Eg, or the Real Jerk if I'm near Queen & Broadview, but wouldn't travel more than 15 minutes for either one. Ali's in Parkdale is still supposed to be decent, as far as I know

        brunch- Lola's Commissary on Church south of Bloor, Easy on Queen W near Roncey(divey but amazing huevos divorciados), plus Marben and Beast on my wishlist

        gelato- I like the chocolate, spicy chocolate, fondente and riso flavours at Il Gelatiere Artiginale on Mt Pleasant, and the fruit gelati (esp lemon) from La Paloma on St Clair w of Dufferin- but I don't like the fruit gelati from Il Gelatiere.

        crepes- I need a new crepe place, and hope to try Krepesz (Hungarian-style crepes/palascinta) in Kensington Market soon. I've heard decent things about Le Papillon on the Park's crepes (not same as Le Papillon on Front)

        other good quick eats:

        souvlaki or biftekia with zucchini fries or romaine dill salad at Folia Grill on Pape

        thai at Khao San Road on Adelaide near Peter (somewhat upscale) or Sukhothai on Parliament (somewhat divey)

        Tabule near yonge & davisville, or Jerusalem on eglinton near allen for middle eastern

        broken rice platter at Pho Phuong near Dundas and Dufferin (haven't been for a while, want to revisit)

        pasteis de nata from Doce Minho on Dufferin south of Lawrence

        shawarma from Yakamoz on Wilson near Bathurst- but wouldn't travel more than 20 minutes for it

        chicken or veal sandwich from California Sandwiches (I go to the location on Dufferin, but there are several).


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

        Il Gelatiere
        647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        Real Jerk
        709 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1H1, CA

        558 College St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

        955 Eglinton Ave, Toronto, ON M6C2C4, CA

        373 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3H1T3, CA

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

        55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        Pho Phuong
        1603 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K1T9, CA

        California Sandwiches
        244 Claremont St, Toronto, ON M6J2N2, CA

        Easy Restaurant
        1645 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A9, CA

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

        550 Hwy 7 E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

        Caribbean Bistro
        2439 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

        274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        Ali's West Indian Roti Shop
        1446 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K1M2, CA

        La Paloma
        1 Bass Pro Mills Dr, Thornhill, ON L4K5W4, CA

        Le Papillon on the Park
        1001 Eastern Ave, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

        Queen Margherita Pizza
        1402 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

        Doce Minho
        2189 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6E, CA

        Folia Grill
        1031 Pape Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3V9, CA

        253 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

        Khao San Road
        326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

        1. re: prima

          Wow, that's a great list to start! I will have to add these to my chart and list!

          Thanks again, Prima!

          1. re: prima

            I'll add the Mayan hot chocolate shot or a bicerin at Soma to this rather fabulous list.

            And Gandhi for East Indian style roti. Maybe get one from Gandhi and one from Ali Baba and see which style you prefer.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Hi TorontoJo,

              I've heard a lot of these two roti places but have yet to try it out - your idea sounds fantastic... although I'm not sure if my hubby and I can finish each on our own, I heard they're massive! LOL!

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Second TorontoJo's recs ;-) Really should revisit Ghandi. Soon.

                BTW, TorontoJo, which is your favourite roti filling at Ghandi?

                Also will recommend Maroli for quick, tasty & interesting Keralan food, on Bloor near Christie.

                630 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

                Gandhi Cuisine
                554 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B5, CA

                1. re: prima

                  My standard order at Gandhi is chicken with cauliflower, hot. It's not on the menu and they charge 2 or 3 dollars for the substitution, but I like that it minimizes the amount of potato in my roti.

                  BTW, I love the Malabari roti at Maroli. It reminds me more of a Chinese green onion pancake than a traditional flatbread. Really yummy.

                  630 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Thanks for tip re: chicken & cauliflower, TorontoJo ;-)

                    I haven't tried the Malabari roti at Maroli - thanks for mentioning that, too.
                    I like the Shrimp Malabari at Maroli.

                    yyuen, in case you're interested in Maroli, I'm attaching the Malabar specialites part of the menu, which has the unusual dishes Maroli has to offer (I'd order these ones rather than the butter chicken or other dishes that are found at every other Indian resto in town)

                    1. re: prima

                      Thanks, the Malabari roti sounds yummy!

                      And thanks for the menu and great tip on ordering the specialties!

                      I'm getting hungry already! =)

                      1. re: yyuen

                        Here's a photo of what malabari roti (or malabari paratha) looks like:


                        You can see the folds in the bread. It's kind of greasy, but I love the pull apart flakiness of it.

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          Looks yummy - okay, stupid question... is it ordered like naan bread or do they put filling inside it like a roti?

                          1. re: yyuen

                            It's ordered like naan. "Roti" is actually a generic South Asian term for a flat bread. I'm pretty sure it was the West Indians that turned it into the burrito-like object we know and love.

                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              I see, thanks for the clarification. Now I won't look so dumbfounded when I go and ask if there's anything inside! LOL!

              2. re: prima

                I would add the dark chocolate sparky at Soma if you're a fan of poprocks in your chocolate ;-)

                Second the rose lychee raspberry macaron from Ruelo and add the balsamic vinegar one.

                Haven't tried the crepes themselves at Krepes but did have the chimney cake and they're very good. Make sure you eat them right away, they get soggy in the plastic wrap if left for too long.

                Adding the beignets, fried green tomatoes, deep fried poached eggs and buttermilk biscuits from Stockyards as an option for brunch.

                550 Hwy 7 E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

                1. re: fickle

                  Hi Fickle,

                  Thanks for your suggestions - I've been to SOMA numerous times and didn't know they had the dark chocolate sparky. Sounds kind of cool! Then again, I usually go just for their dark chocolate gelato... yum!!

          2. and for crepes, go to crepes a gogo in yorkville (don't forget to have a petit creme with that). I often detour there just to pick up an "Italienne" (swiss cheese, boiled egg, basil, tomato, olive oil). I haven't found a better crepe place yet, and not for lack of trying! There's a place on College called "I Feel Like Crepe" which is my next conquest

            1 Reply
            1. re: lightlybattered

              Thanks for the recommendation - it's sad that there's not a lot of great crepe places; I used to go to Creperie Brehandaise (loved the buckwheat crepes) but now that it's closed, I've been trying to find a replacement go-to place.