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Best food downtown for a single traveler

Hello, I will be traveling to Toronto for the first time in a couple of weeks, staying for 5 nights. I will be staying downtown (at the Grand Hotel and Suites on Jarvis and Dundas) and am looking for some GREAT restaurant recommendations in the area. I will not have access to a car, so walking distance is preferable. I'd prefer more casual options, as I would feel strange fine-dining alone. Thanks for your recommendations!

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  1. If you walk to Adelaide and Jarvis, Starfish is a great option for a single diner. I would also recommend taking the Dundas streetcar west to Ossington. There are a number of great options in the area: Black Hoof, Libretto, Enoteca Sociale... All have bars that you can dine at.

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

    Enoteca Sociale
    1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    1. Agree with sloweater, Starfish is a great place.

      You might want to consider taking streetcars, buses and taxis (sloweater also mentioned the streetcar). Some parts of TO not too far from your hotel, that might be en route to some of the restaurants often recommended on this Board, aren't exactly picturesque, and might not be the types of neighbourhoods some travellers would feel comfortable walking through solo, especially after dark. Much nicer to take the streetcar (a $3 fare) through areas where there might not be too much foot traffic.

      Sukhothai is fairly close, Omi is within a 15 minute walk. I like Patrician Grill on King E for a greasy spoon breakfast. Origin is popular, and not too far. Harlem is also fairly close. F'Amelia is a new Italian option relatively close to your hotel.

      You're also within a 15 minute walk of the St. Lawrence Market, open Mon-Sat, which is worth a visit.

      What kind of cuisines do you like?

      100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K9, CA

      St. Lawrence Market
      92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

      67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

      Patrician Grill
      219 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1J9, CA

      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

      109 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: prima

        St Lawrence Mkt is closed on Monday.

        1. re: prima

          Some very good suggestions here. The only thing I would say is that Khao San Road, same food as Sukhothai, is a little more comfortable for a single diner because of their bar. If you go to Origin sit at the kitchen bar and watch the action.

          274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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

        2. Yueh Tung for Cantonese/Hakka and Kenzo for Japanese Ramen are both in the Bay/Dundas area....easy walking distance from your hotel and are casual. If you feel like sushi, next door to Yueh Tung is a place called Japango, where I have not gone but gets OK reviews on CH.

          122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

          Yueh Tung
          126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

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

          1. Great suggestions so far, I would also recommend Senator for breakfast, very close to where you are


            1. Try Salad King. It's right on Yonge street between Dundas and Elm. Best fast thai food you can find downtown. Plus, the restaurant has a very unique environment, which is suitable for single diner.

              Salad King
              340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5B1R7, CA

              1. the actual location of your hotel is not in a 'desired' neighborhood and as such a cab is probably a good idea.

                1. Wow, thanks so much for all the great recommendations! Now - to change things up a bit, turns out my work changed the hotel. I will now be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn (92 Peter Street). I still don't think it's a great area though, but not really sure. Seems pretty close to the previous hotel, but does this change any of the advice?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CulinaryRD

                    You'll now be in what is called the entertainment district. It is a totally safe hood and you can walk many places from there. Just don't eat at the resto on the south side of King between Peter and John - not good at all.

                    What is good that's really close is Luma (TIFF Bell Lightbox Building) which is upstairs and for breakfast on the main floor is Canteen. Very close and both are good options.
                    There are two good Italian options nearby - Buca and Tutti Matti. There is a French about 10 mins walking - Le Select on Wellington and then as mention Khao San Road is just a wee bit norht of you. Within five mins.

                    Tutti Matti
                    364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

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

                    604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                    330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

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

                    1. re: CulinaryRD

                      Your new hotel is in a much livelier, more "desirable" part of town in terms of easier accessibility to more restaurants that get recommended more frequently on the Board. You're now much closer to Khao San Road (Thai), and will have more good options within a 15-15 minute walking distance. Most people feel more comfortable walking around in this neighbourhood, although it is the Entertainment District so you might see some rowdy and/or drunken youth out later at night.

                      For dining solo, besides Khao San Road, I like Rodney's by Bay (seafood), the Gabardine, Yuzu, Nota Bene in the front lounge, maybe Lee. You'll be within a 10 minute walk of Chinatown- Swatow, Chinese Traditional Buns, Rol San (for dim sum more than dinner), Taste of China, are quite popular. Kensington Market is around a 10-15 minute walk (El Trompo for Mexican, Torito for tapas- I'm sure others will add to the list)

                      Also search "Entertainment District".

                      I'm sure other Hounds can add some more suggestions! Good luck!

                      Chinese Traditional Buns
                      536 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

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

                      309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

                      Nota Bene
                      180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

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

                      236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

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

                      1. re: CulinaryRD

                        Welcome to toronto. Your new hotel location is more akin to whyte avenue. The previous hotel was kind of like the area of 95th or 96th street near 103rd ave in edmonton.

                        Nota Bene (simcoe and queen street west) is kind of like madison's/hardware grill sort of vibe with a nice long bar at the front-great for single dining.

                        the gaberdine (bay street and richmond) isn't open on weekends but they have a great window table that would be perfect for a single diner-kind of like a red ox inn or blue pear...

                        queen mother (mccaul and queen west-window table) has great atmosphere and solid food with global inspirations think thai and indian influences-very white ave in its vibe-many veg options too.

                        if you want familiar, we have an earl's, a joey's and a boston pizza all downtown-plus our eastern versions of those as well....