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Visiting Toronto with my 11-year-old daughter - where should we eat?

Neither of us have been to Toronto before, so I'm looking for some suggestions about where we should eat. My daughter isn't overly picky - it doesn't have to be chicken fingers :), but she doesn't like spicy or seafood. Italian, Mexican, Chinese, diner, burgers, family restaurants would all be fine. Suggestions for chains or independents are both welcome. Some place 'fun' or interesting would be a bonus. We are staying downtown Jarvis & Lombard area, so are close to Queen St. E. & some other interesting areas (I think!). We will probably mostly be staying downtown, so any suggestions there would be appreciated.

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  1. I would try:

    the BeerBistro (King & Yonge)

    Le Select - further west at Wellington west of Spadina (if memory serves)

    Terroni pizza -- on Adelaide (I think) -- I am not a fan, but many others like it

    All within walking distance of Jarvis/Lombard

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    Le Select
    432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

    5 Replies
    1. re: CocoaChanel

      I think Terroni and Le Select are fabulous suggestions!

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      Le Select
      432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

      1. re: Full tummy

        I agree with Terroni as well. I think that location in particular is pretty special. Truth is that Toronto is a great city to walk and there is no shortage of restaurants. You may just choose to play it by ear as that can lead to the most fun!

        1. re: justsayn

          Just be aware that special requests will not be tolerated at Terroni. Seriously, you don't want your lunch soured because of one their "rules".

          1. re: Brain of J

            And whatever you do, don't ask for a diet pop or balsamic with your olive oil!

            1. re: Brain of J

              and "special requests" doesn't just mean substitutions, it also means ice water.

      2. Movenpick at Yonge and Wellington is fun for kids.
        If you are heading to the Distillery District my kids like Mill St Brew Pub there. There is a great chocolate shop (Soma) that will suitable impress her if you decide to check out that area.
        Another idea is to head to the St Lawrence market and you can both pick from the many options there and then grab a seat outside.

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        Distillery District
        55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        1. I'd just go to Kensington Market (Augusta and Baldwin and and beyond) Chinatown (Dundas and Spadina area) and wander around. In Kensington there are wonderfully funky second hand shops and you'll find lots of interesting eating choices along Augusta especially. Very fun and particularly for an 11 year old girl, really cool. On Spadina there are many decent Chinese places - Rol San for Dim Sum, Dumpling House for good dumplings or Lee Garden for standard Chinese dishes. Not sure what kind of meals you're looking for but this kind of thing is great for killing a whole afternoon.

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          Rol San
          323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

          Dumpling House Restaurant
          328 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E7, CA

          Lee Garden Restaurant
          331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

          1. Thanks for your suggestions everyone! Sounds like Terroni should be on the list and we'll definitely hit up the Distillery and Kensington areas. I agree that some of the best places to eat are those that you just happen to wander into - sounds like there is lots of opportunity for that!

            2 Replies
            1. re: sdrake67

              You will have fun with that for sure. Hope the weather is clear!

              1. re: sdrake67

                In Kensington there is a great tapas place called Torito. One of my overall fav casual dining spots in the city.

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                Torito
                276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

              2. Starfish (seafood)
                Origin
                Sukothai
                You can also walk to Chinatown east for pho or vietnamese sandwiches (the latter at Rose's Cafe) on Gerrard and Broadview
                and on Fri or Sat, St Lawrence Market

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                Sukothai Restaurant
                3115 Winston Churchill Blvd, Mississauga, ON L5L2W1, CA

                1. Korean Grill House - fun!
                  Caren's Wine and Cheese - a lovely 'girlie' patio in Yorkville
                  Pearl Harbourfront - beautiful view of the water and Dim Sum.
                  Distillery

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MeMeMe

                    Whatever you do, please do not eat at Korean Grill House.

                    1. re: tjr

                      I know a lot of families who enjoy it - it's an 'experience' and something a tween might enjoy.

                      1. re: MeMeMe

                        A lot of families enjoy McDonald's and Taco Bell.

                        Korean Grill House is completely inauthentic and the food is of abysmal quality. If you're going to get Korean BBQ, go somewhere at least half-decent. If you must eat at Yonge & Bloor, there's a McDonald's (under construction ATM) where you'll probably find food using ingredients of superior quality to those at KGH.

                        Not even the rice at KGH is palatable.

                  2. On trips to TO, when I was growing up, I loved to visit Chinatown. In addition to Lee Garden and Rol San already mentioned above by Nyleve, Swatow and Taste of China are frequently mentioned on this Board.

                    Might also consider a Greek restaurant in Greektown. Flaming saganaki (fried cheese, set on fire, then put out with a squeeze of lemon) might be fun for your 11 yo. Kalyvia, Megas, Mezes and pretty much every other Greek restaurant on the Danforth serves saganaki.

                    There's also flaming sausage served at Bairrada on College, served in a pig shaped dish.

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                    Swatow
                    309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                    Kalyvia
                    420 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P3, CA

                    Megas
                    402 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                    Lee Garden Restaurant
                    331 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

                    Taste of China
                    338 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G2, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: prima

                      Carpano on College St., not far from Kensington Market, is the next incarnation of Negroni Panini. They still do those delicious panini at lunch, but offer more diverse lunch options than when it was simply Negroni. Any 11-year old with a sweet tooth will go ga-ga over the Nutella dessert panino or the house made ice creams. For parents, there are reasonable wines by the glass and very grown-up nibbles, like duck liver pate, rapini pesto and beef cheeks.

                      I think a visit to Kenzo for ramen could be fun, though try to avoid the 12-1 lunch hour on weekdays, as it is packed to the rafters and noisy. I'm a sucker for a big bowl of noodle soup, no matter how hot it is outside. Kenzo is on Dundas West, between Bay St and University St.

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                      Kenzo
                      138 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON , CA