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Aug 8, 2011 02:01 PM

Downtown Toronto Suggestions - Birthday Dinner + Poutine + Dumplings (Etc)

Hi everyone -

I have a work engagement in downtown Toronto September 9 but because it's my girlfriend's birthday on September 8 (and I'd need to fly up that day), I bought her a ticket to come along. We're flying Porter so we can be right downtown quickly and we're staying at the Fairmont Royal York.

We're from Boston and we like to eat well when the occasion calls for it. For example, for my birthday we did the 10-course tasting menu at Craigie on Main ( We also enjoy cheap eats, particularly ethnic food (if anyone has any recommendations for homemade dumpling shops near downtown Toronto, my girlfriend would LOVE you!).

All of this is leading up to say:

1) Any recs for dinner for Thursday night for her birthday? We get into YTZ around 9 pm I believe. I've been to downtown Toronto for a work trip before but we had to eat at the hotel restaurant because nothing else was really open that late at night, if I remember correctly. This was a few years ago, I am assuming there are better options now (?).

2) Other recs for food? We're making a weekend out of it and staying until Sunday. We like pretty much anything - - from food trucks to French.

3) We love poutine. Can we get poutine in downtown Toronto? And if so, rec for best place to get it?


The Fairmont Royal York
100 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J, CA

Craigie on Main
Cambridge, Cambridge, MA

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  1. Black Hoof! Black Hoof! Black Hoof! Kitchen open till at least midnight. Doesn't take reservations but you won't need them late. Probably the most recommended restaurant on the board. $!0 cab - 15 minutes from the hotel.

    Mother's Dumplings at College & Spadina for dumplings. Can be busy at lunch and dinner. Go at 3 a pm and have the place to yourselves.

    No food trucks yet.

    Le Select for French (open till 11).

    You can get poutine anywhere these days. Poutini's is more fancy than most.

    Other recs:

    Campagnola - neo-Italian (dinner only to 11)
    Lee Lounge - Susur Lee's new spot (you want the lounge side, different menu, dinner to 11:30 and closer to your hotel).
    The Gabardine is closest to your hotel but closes 10-ish iirc.

    Mother's Dumplings
    421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

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

    The Black Hoof
    928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    Lee Lounge
    601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M5, CA

    1. Smokes Poutinerie on Adelaide does some fun stuff to poutine and makes a perfect late-night "snack".

      1. It's been a while since I recommended the food here, but lately C'est What has been doing a pretty classic and reliable poutine. It's also the best place in Toronto to get Canadian craft beers, with a huge selection on tap . C'est What is about a 5-10 min walk east of the Royal York hotel along Front Street, just past Church Street.

        C'est What
        67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

        1. Thank you all for your suggestions! These are great!

          1. Right in the Royal York is the Epic, and I believe they do a brekkie buffet that is similar to a "full Irish breakfast" with the sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, etc. as well as the other usuals.