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Nov 16, 2011 12:49 PM

Minneapolis Chowhound Needs Recs

Hi everyone,

My husband and I will be coming in from Minneapolis for the Roller Derby World Cup, Dec 1-5. Neither of us have ever been to Toronto, but we've heard great things about your food. What shouldn't we miss? We'll eat anything, but I prefer vegetarian. We're looking for a mix: probably a couple of lunches, a couple of dinners.

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  1. Where are you staying (rough location)? The venue is close to the subway - will you use that or do you have transportation?
    The stadium area is pretty bare, so would help to see where you're starting from.

    2 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      We'll be staying at the Holiday Inn in North York, at 30 Norfinch Drive. If going downtown, we'll probably use public transport. However, we will have a car, so can venture farther out as well.

      1. re: forgottendreamr

        Sorry for the late response – have been out-of-town.
        Indeed you are in a wasteland – but not all is lost!

        I know the Chinese food ‘back home’ is pretty good – so I’ll avoid that (but if interested anyway search the Charles Yu posts – he covers the area north of the city).

        Going downtown (and finding parking) may not be worthwhile. But an alternative would be to drive to Downsview subway stop (parking is free after 3:00pm) and taking the subway. For example, just east of Dupont subway stop is a ‘raw food’ restaurant called Live that would certainly satisfy your vegetarian side.

        Be VERY cautious of driving near rush hour – both Hwys 400 (especially Southbound) & 401 can be disastrous because of continuing roadworks at their intersection. Nevertheless, a couple of options might work. On Dufferin just north of Eglinton is a Thai restaurant called Thai Shan Inn. Nobody would describe it as upscale, but their Tom Yum Goong (in particular) is sensational – includes shrimp, but ‘close to vegetarian’. This is an outstanding soup – when I worked in the area I would often stop by and just get a double serving of this as takeout – a complete meal. Their green mango salad is also addictive (and vegetarian) – always seems too sweet at first, but still addictive. Their Pad Thai has been variable though.

        Also on Avenue Road a couple of blocks south of Highway 401 is Copper Chimney – one of our best Indian restaurants – again, good vegetarian choices, although my favourite dish there is probably the lamb shank. Far easier access from 401 – so only consider off-peak times.

        Sorry, just don’t know the Holiday Inn area well enough to recommend anything closer.
        Going East (and a bit North), towards Yonge is a thriving Persian area, but I don't know those places well enough to recommend anything.

        Thai Shan Inn Restaurant
        2404 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6E 3S8, CA

    2. Not aware of any must try veggie restaurants, but near your area at the north-west end of Toronto has some decent restaurants...

      The Stockyards Smokehouse for ribs and burger at 699 St. Clair near Bathurst
      Il Mulino for Italian at 1060 Eglinton Avenue West near Bathurst
      Simple Bistro at 619 Mount Pleasant Road south of Eglinton

      The best "can't miss" restaurants are downtown which is probably too far for you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: syoung

        We're willing to travel for a good meal...probably not for every night, but if one restaurant really come to the top of the pack we're willing to make a night of it.

      2. Not much in the immediate area:

        Closest good vegetarian:

        Brar Sweets at 2646 Islington just north of Albion Rd

        Cafeteria-style southern Indian.

        Brar Sweets & Restaurant
        2646 Islington Ave, Toronto, ON M9V2X5, CA

        1. I'm sorry to say that you're in a bit of a wasteland for food. And if you want to go downtown, I would recommend driving, as you'd have to take at least one bus to a subway station, and the whole trip will take you a while.

          On a brighter note, you are quite close to the Latin American food court at Plaza Latina at 9 Milvan Court. It's a nondescript looking building, but if you drive around back and park and go in the food court entrance, you'll be transported to another world. 6 or 7 store fronts making food from Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. It's wonderful.

          Here's an old thread on it:

          1. Decent places relatively close to your Holiday Inn:
            Bagel World
            Camarra Pizza
            California Sandwiches (which offer eggplant parm sandwiches, in addition to the veal and chicken ones)
            Seoul House
            Marcello's for casual pizza and pasta (would think you could take the Dufferin bus straight south to St. Clair.) Marcello's is just east of Dufferin on St. Clair.

            2899 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3S7, CA

            Seoul House
            3220 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON , CA

            California Sandwiches
            2700 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B4J3, CA

            Bagel World Coffee Shop & Dairy Bar
            336 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3H1S9, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: prima

              I think prima has you placed in a Holiday Inn other than the one you're going to be lodged. An understandable mistake - I also at first thought you were going to be at the Inn just off Dufferin St. just west of Yorkdale Plaza and close to the subway. But on further inspection, I see you're going to be at a Holiday Inn I didn't even know existed: near Highway 400 and Finch Ave., in the far, far northwest part of town. So you'll need your car if you hope to get to some of prima's suggestions: good suggestions all, but one helluva drive. As for going downtown to eat, it's about an hour both ways when the weather's good (not guaranteed in early Dec.).

              I don't know the neighbourhood around Highway 400 and Finch Ave., so I'll leave it to others to find good eaten' up there - if such places exist. The best I can offer is Best Grill, a modest but damn good Middle Eastern joint at 2215 Steeles Ave. W. Steeles is the first major east-west street north of Finch Ave. Drive east along Steeles to a plaza just west of Dufferin St. hard by a huge Home Deport hardware outlet on the south side of Steeles. Good soups and salads, so you should be able to put together a veggie dinner. But then, everything's good there. Busy at lunch, more relaxed at dinner, when you'll always find a table. Closed Sunday. But phone (416-650-5551) before you venture forth - I make it a 20-minute drive - to check on closing time (about 9-9:30 p.m., but it varies). Lousy wine list - it's not even a printed list, the staff just point to the bottles on display - but well-priced beers. Clean, with friendly service.

              Make sure you're well-mapped up there.

              1. re: juno

                Oops. Thanks for the clarification, Juno.

                I also didn't know there was another North York Holiday Inn besides the Yorkdale one.

                That means the OP will probably be situated a little closer to Dr. Laffa. And closer to Woodbridge. If the OP decides to head northwest and avoid traffic, I like the Italian food at Mastro Roberto ;-)

                I'd also head to Drupati's for doubles if I was as far west as the 400.

                Mastro Roberto Trattoria
                7887 Weston Rd, Woodbridge, ON L4L1A6, CA

                Dr. Laffa
                40 Magnetic Dr #44, Toronto, ON M3H 5S8, CA