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Moving to Thornhill - Looking for some local recommendations please!

My wife and I are taking possession of our first house in the beginning of August, and once renovations are done, we will be in need of some new local jaunts, both to feast within, and to purchase from.

We will be living between Yonge and Bayview, north of Steeles.

I would love to hear suggestions for:

- Supermarkets/green grocers

- A butcher

- Any local foodie finds (we are near a plaza at Yonge and Clarke which has a great PATs and some really interesting looking Korean/Vietnamese places, which I have yet to try).

- A fish monger (too far now from City Fish!)

As well as any other suggestions for food related purveyors and establishments, would be much appreciated.

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  1. If you are looking for a neighbourhood greasy spoon, I'm a big fan of The Fry Basket, on Yonge, a block North of Steeles on the East side. Seriously good value breakfasts. I haven't tried lunch yet, but I'm keen to try the fish and chips, as the fries are fresh cut and excellent.

    The new Galleria is in the area as well, if you need a large Asian grocery store.

    For fish, if you don't mind coming a bit south, you won't do better than Taro's at Sheppard near Leslie (across from the Canadian Tire). You won't have the variety of fish that you get at City or Diana's, but the quality is top notch, plus you can pick up some sushi or items from their catering area. All the fixins' you need to make sushi there, too.

    1. TO Jo - Funny you mention TFB - ever since I met my wife (then GF) we have met her mom there for breakfast/brunches, very reasonable, and decent quality to boot!

      I find that Taro's is superbly overpriced, the quality is good, but when compared with City or Diana's, it is just too hard to swallow - I remember hearing of some fish mongers further north (east too perhaps?) though the name eludes me.

      Foody, you are right, it is Thornhill, I suppose I should get a firmer grasp of where I am going to be living...lol!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sadistick

        Taro's is very expensive, no question. But for sashimi grade fish, it's great.

        Curious if you've ever tried the fish and chips at The Fry Basket? I'm always there too early to try it, and would love to know whether it's worth a lunch time trip for it.

        Oh, and for fish, you're not that far from T&T, with its huge fish department.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          They are indeed, and TBH, while they can carve out a nice piece of 'sashimi grade' tuna, I used to get a nice 2lb piece of tuna from City and get the same type of quality, with some trimmings for hand rolls!

          Never tried the fish n chips at TFB - I am spoiled with the fish n chips from Old Yorke (on Laird).

          T&T, true enough.....

        2. re: Sadistick

          Nobody mentioned the places like Me Va Me at Bathurst and Steeles. I like that place, just hardly get a chance to go!

          1. re: foodyDudey

            Not that great, unless you bring kids with you.

        3. Galleria Supermarket 7040 Yonge.
          T&T Supermarket (The Promenade Shopping Centre)
          Nortown Fooods (The Promenade Shopping Centre)
          Anna Shawarma (Middle Eastern Restaurant - 9301 Bathurst)
          Centre Deli 1136 Centre Street

          2 Replies
          1. re: lamaranthe

            I should add Best Dragon Seafood 100 Steeles West. A1 lobster, A1 dim sum.

            1. re: lamaranthe

              Was this restaurant called Furama at one point? How does it compare with Legend on Yonge north of Steeles?


          2. Sababa's, on Steeles between Yonge/Bath, serves one of the best and cheapest falafels in the GTA. Centre Street Deli (Centre, west of Bathurst) serves excellent deli, Goodfield's (Steeles at Bathurst) is the epitome of jewish kosher-style butchery, and Golden Star (Yonge at Doncaster) has a burger second only to few.

            390 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J6X6, CA

            Centre Street Deli
            1136 Centre St, Thornhill, ON L4J3M8, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: biggreenmatt

              As you are near Yonge and Clark: in a small strip plaza, on the southeast corner of Yonge and Clark, is a Korean resto called Cho Sun OK, which was tipped a few years ago on this board by someone who seemed to know what he was talking about. I tried it out shortly after, and it has been my go-to Korean joint ever since in that part of town. Good, tasty Korean soup/stews with unending banchan. And, in hot weather, try the cold thin arrowroot noodles in an icy broth or in a spicy sauce. Both are delicious. Good service, reasonable prices.

              Me Va Me, at Bathurst and Steeles, mentioned above, is decent enough - though a bit of a barn - but much better, in my view, is the newly-opened outpost of Me Va Me further north, at Bathurst and Rutherford Rd. Well run, with more alert service, much better ambiance, better wine and beer list, expanded menu, all well executed, at roughly the same prices as the old place. Busy almost all day, with good reason. The Anna Shawarma, mentioned above, is, more accurately, called Hanna Shawarma, located across Bathurst St. from the new Me Va Me, which I suspect is killing it in the Russian/Israeli/Middle East sweepstakes. Hanna's is expanding and tarting itself up to better take on Me Va Me.

              The aforementioned Sababa does first-rate Middle East dips, salads, and hot and cold appetizers, available both in the restaurant and its attached takeout store. It helps if you like garlic. The takeout falafel sandwich, mentioned above, is a winner. The resto itself is kinda dreary, but the food makes up for it. Try the resto's mixed salad/appetizer platter., which includes four falafel balls. Enough for two at a reasonable price.

              I'd go to Centre Street Deli more often for lunch if I could ever find a parking spot in its packed parking lot.

              1. re: juno

                Juno, there is parking space if you walk past the Royal Bank, and go next to the Beer store. It's really worth the walk !

            2. I regularly shop at the Wednesday morning farmers' market at Hillcrest Mall (Yonge & 16th) for vegetable and free-range eggs. Just need to pay attention to what's local and what's not.

              It is not Thornhill per se, but I also go to Quality Cheese at 111 Jevlan in Vaughan for freshly-made (warm!) ricotta and great prices on their buffalo mozz.

              My preferred supermarket in the area is Longo's. The one at Bayview & John is good but the new and really big one up over at Bathurst & Rutherford is fun to visit.

              Tavazo for dried fruit and nuts of course! There's one right by Yonge & Clarke though the newer location at Yonge & Major Mac is the one I frequent.

              1. Great suggestions to all - and thanks!

                Me Va Me we used to visit once every few months with my MIL but lately their prices have gone up significantly and their quality, did not rise along with said prices. That aside, I do enjoy their schwarma platter with hummus (and ask for it nicely crispy!)

                Absolutely want to check out the Korean and Vietnamese places in that Yonge and Clark plaza, it also looks like there is a BBQ place there (of Asian decent) that I need to visit!

                Great to hear about the farmers market, is it only on Wed mornings?

                Any local fish mongers besides big box like T&T?

                Thanks again!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sadistick

                  there's a farmers market on sat mornings at the Jewish school by bathurst & 16th.


                  The best was Fisherman's Brother on Glen Cameron & Yonge, but alas they closed. They said they were moving at first, but never ended up re-opening. There is a fish stall at the farmer's market on Yonge st. south of John. Right next to Octagon, I believe they're open thurs-sun.

                  1. re: Sadistick

                    The Hillcrest Mall market is traditionally Wednesday mornings only. Though this year it has expanded to Sunday mornings. I have only been on Wednesdays.

                    The Saturday morning market on Bathurst is inside a school property and has a good list of organic vendors including poultry. That one is year-round. Having said that, I've only been once.

                  2. Sariwon: top notch Korean BBQ,with not so top notch service, but you wont let that keep you away, I hope.

                    7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shekamoo

                      2nd for Sariwon, great korean bbq ... much more traditional than the usual ayce korean bbq fare. there aren't many viet choices beyond one on steeles in the swiss chalet plaza (try steeles deli and chocolada while you are there). for groceries, galleria and T&T is probably best in the area though even the no frill's at centerpoint mall have a decent live fish selection. galleria's beef selection is also great. if you are looking for more italian grocer, i rec concord's (centre & dufferin) or bruno's on bayview. great meats and cheeses. another butcher option is to visit the persian supermarkets, great lamb and veal. i personally like zamani meats on yonge just south of steeles. you'll also find great pastries and goodies at the persian stores in the area including tavazo for nuts and dried fruits.

                      7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

                    2. Bit of a jaunt up Bayview, but Bruno's at Bayview and Weldrick has excellent meats, both marinated/seasoned and plain. If you're planning a special bbq or meal, I'd take the time to check them out.

                      1. I have always liked Indian Kitchen, which is on the first floor of a condo right at yonge and clark....

                        The Indian Kitchen
                        7330 Yonge, Thornhill, ON L4J1V8, CA

                        1. Thank you all for the suggestions - and keep them coming!

                          We are taking possession in less than a week and while no cooking will be done there (yet), we will be roaming the area using aforementioned suggestions from you all.


                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Sadistick

                            Centre Deli serves huge salad bowls (with cottage, fruit, etc.) Their smoked meat sandwich is one of the best in town. The meat is cut by hand. Ask for thin slices ! They let you take a doggy bag.
                            I would not recommend Mezza Notte on Disera: recent bad experience. I for one is avoiding the restaurant at the entrance of T&T, on the parking lot, next to Pickle Barrel. Lots and lots of Udon noodles and nothing much with them. And terrible service.
                            More good spots in Thornhill:
                            Tokyo Sushi – (905) 886-1155 - 7355 Bayview Avenue - Thornhill, got excell. reviews on restaurantica.com -
                            Tomo Japanese Restaurant 9625 Yonge - Food is good though nothing exceptional. Very nice presentation, clean and quiet place, good service. $$
                            Ariake - (905) 709-3452 - 7700 Bathurst St Unit 10 – Next to Cynthia in ThePromenade -– Very good "love boat" - fantastic fish and great value. ($30 for 12 sushi, 18 sashimi, & 1 roll) – Feeds 2
                            Restaurant Asahi - (905) 760-1294 - 7000 Bathurst Street - Thornhill – Between What a Bagel and Steeles - Very good recs.
                            Thai Basil http://thaibasil.ca/ - In Richmond Hill : 1070 Major Mackenzie Dr.E. #F103
                            )And for produce I would recommend Concord Grocery Store on Centre St., close to Dufferin. Also, the meat at Nortown is excellent (but not cheap).
                            Next to Best Dragon Seafood (100 Steeles West) is a Licence Bureau where to renew all sorts of Ontario permits.
                            Hope that helps !

                            Thai Basil
                            467 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X9, CA

                            Mezza Notte
                            5304 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5P9, CA

                            Tomo Japanese Restaurant
                            9625 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C5T2, CA

                            Restaurant Asahi
                            7000 Bathurst St, Thornhill, ON L4J7L1, CA

                            1. re: lamaranthe

                              If I may add to my other suggestions above: Home of Hot Taste, a Korean chicken joint in an all-Asian plaza (except for a stand-alone Italian bakery) on the east side of Yonge St. about two blocks south of Clark. I'd forgotten it in my previous post because I've only been there once, several months ago, when I indulged in its Korean-style fried chicken, and I'll have to wait awhile for my arteries to recover before I dare try it again. But it was delicious - if you like Korean-style spicy fried chicken. It comes in many guises, all fried, several of which can easily be shared by two. Also, tasty oyster and kimchi fried rice - any place that can make rice taste like something has my vote. The place looks like a forbidding dive from the outside, but inside, well, it's not so forbidding, but still a funky kind of dive. Clean, though - part of a Korean chain with some North American outlets. Young, lively crowd, who appreciate the $3 bottle beers and whose youthful constitutions can handle the menu. Alert service. Some veggies were seen, but mainly this is about chicken, chicken, and only chicken.

                              1. re: juno

                                +1 Home of Hot Taste for their fried chicken. I get the Hot version and make sure you get the one that comes with bones, as they have another chicken dish that doesn't come with bones (it's not fried either but I know people who have mixed the two orders up so just mentioning!). I think they give you the choice of half chicken or full chicken. And yeah, it's not like other Korean restaurants where you get 6 different kinds of banchan. Here, you'll get lettuce salad and cubes of pickled radish.

                                I'm sure you must have seen it since it's right beside PAT :)

                                1. re: sumashi

                                  I have seen this place when shopping at PAT, but as you mentioned, it was VERY unassuming from outside!

                                  I do enjoy fried chicken though, may have to try it out.

                                  There is also a dim sum place in the same plaza (same stretch) that seems fairly busy often, curious if anyone has tried it.

                            2. re: Sadistick

                              The Golden Star has a good burger.

                              1. re: iMarilyn

                                Make sure you order the homeburger though.


                                1. re: Davwud

                                  I like the Golden Star's old school grape drink. Makes me feel like I'm 8 again.

                                  Love the Fry Basket's Greek omelette & home fries.

                                  Golden Star
                                  7123 Yonge St, Thornhill, ON L3T2A8, CA

                                  Fry Basket Fish & Chips
                                  7057 Yonge St, Thornhill, ON L3T2A6, CA

                            3. For Korean food, there's a Seoul House between Yonge and Bathurst off of Steeles. I like the one at Dufferin better, but this one is decent too. They have bbq and a lot of the other soup/noodle/rice dishes.

                              There's also this Korean-Chinese place called Sunny Dragon in the same plaza as Sababa (yummy falafels and dips) closer to Bathurst and Steeles that makes amazing jajangmyun (black bean noodles), tang su yuk (sweet and sour pork) and Kkanpunggi (sweet and spicy chicken). May have butchered the spelling there. They also have these amazing huge deep fried prawns in that same sauce - not sure what it's called, but they are incredibly tasty! If you've never had Korean style Chinese food, I think this is prob. one of the best in the city.

                              390 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J6X6, CA

                              Seoul House
                              180 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J1A1, CA