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Apr 11, 2011 03:17 PM

The Beach is a culinary wasteland.

I like living there but as far as restaurants go it's seriously lacking. There are some decent specialty shops and grocers - Meat on the Beach, Zane - but if you're looking for an interesting restaurant or exciting food discovery you're pretty much out of luck. There's an okay Thai restaurant and a couple of so-so sushi places but your best bet would probably be to walk west and grab a burger at The Burger's Priest, which makes a terrific, classic burger using freshly ground meat.

I haven't tried every single restaurant in the area but I'm pretty sure none of them would be that interesting. There's something about the Beaches that makes restaurants settle at the same mediocre benchmark.

Meat on the Beach
1860 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

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  1. There is a dearth of good spots, I am the first to agree on that.

    However, I have taken a number of friends to ViVetha and never been disappointed (both brunch and dinner).

    On Kingston Road there are some good shopping spots including Close to the Bone, Knead Bakery and Art of Cheese. The Dragon pub (though not complicated food) is still a good bet for pub fare.

    Knead Bakery
    283 Scarborough Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 3M8, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: Otonabee

      Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think I've ever noticed ViVetha, but i'll look for it and give it a try.

      1. This has been discussed on other threads, but yes, you're right about the Beaches. I've lived there for 8 years and it never changes.

        The main reasons are:
        1) The restaurateurs focus on the tourist/seasonal crowd, who are generally just looking for bars or pub food.
        2) The Beaches demographic is heavily weighted toward families with young children. They are not likely to go out much, or if they do, it's not to destination restaurants.

        3 Replies
        1. re: AverageJo

          Those are excellent points. It's funny because Leslieville has a somewhat similar demographic but there are more interesting restaurants in that neighborhood (I've lived in both areas). I wish the pub food in the Beaches was at least good pub food but the few times I've sampled it, it was pretty abysmal.

          1. re: opifan64

            Leaving near the Greek part Danforth I feel much the same way. Leslieville is a destination and we make do with our neighbourhood options. And yet businesses are closing all the time. My (totally speculative) theory is that the mortgages on the buildings were all payed off long ago, the generation that owns the buildings is aging and not that motivated to open or rent to smaller businesses, holding out for chains or condo developments/giant shopper's drug marts.

        2. What about 'The Nose'? (Gio Rana's really really Nice restaurant)?

          Very decent italian, friendly atmosphere - no?

          6 Replies
          1. re: justpete

            The Nose hasn't been in the Beach for a long time. They didn't allow him to use the display nose on his restaurant awning because it violated some zoning law so he moved his restaurant to Leslieville.

            1. re: justpete

              That's not really the Beach. It is much closer to Leslieville.

              1. re: JennaBean

                The OP mentioned Burger Priest - I didn't think that and "The Nose" were that far from one another.

                1. re: justpete

                  They're definitely within walking distance. I'll give "The Nose" a try actually, since I've never been there.

                  1. re: justpete

                    I don't consider Burger Priest the Beach but you are correct, Gio's and Burger Priest are a few blocks away from one another.

                    1. re: JennaBean

                      To downtown folk like me, it's all beaches.

              2. I liked Amuse under Pat Riley enough to make trips out to there just for the food. But the website says the chef is Alex Tso now and I haven't tried his food yet.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Wandering Foodie

                  We had dinner at the "chef's table" last night. It was fabulous. Highly recommended. We just gave the green light to the Chef to prepare us food. At the end of the meal we had 6 courses including Mushroom soup, scallops, goose liver, duck breast, cheese and dessert. I am really paraphrasing the preparation and downplaying the dishes. The chef was in constant communication about what we liked and didn't (but he was not obtrusive). He even asked if we'd like more dishes. We didn't as we were quite full. The dishes were well presented and flavourful. Service was attentive but not overbearing. I'm impressed and will definately go back.

                  My daughter (aged 15) even tried everything! She said it was the best steak she'd ever had.

                  1975 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1J1, CA

                2. Green Eggplant at 1968 Queen Street East between Kenilworth and Waverley is a nice spot. You might go a little bit west on Queen to Coxwell and try the legendary Tulip.

                  Green Eggplant
                  1968 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1H8, CA