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Feb 2, 2012 07:25 AM

Which restaurants do you visit most frequently?

Anyone who has been following the top 10 now knows which restaurants are the favourites amongst the 39 people who responded to the top 10 thread.

I visited most of my top 8 restaurants only once or twice over the past 18 months.

Which restaurants have you visited the most frequently over the past 18 months?

No need to mention food court/fast food/coffee chains, but I'd be interested to see which restaurants Hounds visited more than 3 times in the past 18 months. I'm usually focused on trying new restaurants, rather than returning to old favourites frequently, so there are relatively few restaurants that I visited more than 3 times over a span of 18 months.

Over the past 18 months, here are my most frequented restaurants in TO:
Khao San Road- visited 4 times
Nota Bene- visited 4 times
Frank- visited 4 times
Detroit Eatery- visited 5 times
The Fry Basket- visited >6 times

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  1. Simple for me. I visit the places in my top 10 most frequently. I visit other restaurants when I hear good things about them. So, from my top 10:

    Splendido > 25
    marben > 20
    Enoteca sociale > 15
    Porchetta & Co > 25
    Beast > 5
    Ici Bistro 2
    Keriwa Cafe 3
    County General > 20
    Colborne Lane > 3
    Cava > 5

    I also go to Jacobs & Co about once a month, but they didn't make my top 10.

    19 Replies
    1. re: justxpete

      That's impressive, justxpete. Which dishes have you ordered the most at Splendido and County General, that keep you coming back?

      1. re: prima

        I've ordered just about everything at Splendido. My favs are the steak and the chicken, however. And they added a mushroom salad recently that may be the best salad I've ever eaten. I enjoy Splendido because they keep their meats the same, but change up the accoutrements and supplementary menu items constantly - keeping everything fresh and seasonal. I also verily enjoy the service and personnel.

        As for the County, it's a place nearby to us so it's convenient for us to attend, and get takeout from - the cooking skill is there, but it's just less complicated food than Splendido - and doesn't compromise on quality. I also think their burger is one of the best in the city, and their fried chicken sandwich is great as well.

        Admittedly, I'm a bit of a Splendido fan boi, as others have noticed on this board, but i think justifiably so. :)

        I might add that I'd love to be able to visit ici bistro much more often - but we're pretty spontaneous diners and IB requires a reso well in advance. We had a 7 course tasting menu there that was definitely in my top 3 meals of last year.

        1. re: justxpete

          baller Splendido x 25, let's just say I'm jealous. Can I be your secretary, take me along as a business expense. I do agree with you, Splendido comes closest to a Michelin 1 star experience in Toronto. I guess I'm a fan boi too. Their foie mousse is the best rendition in Toronto.

          Thien Than - weekly
          Gourmet Garden - 5+
          Swatow - twice a month
          Stockyars - bi-monthly
          Allen's - bi-monthly, alternate between them & Stockyards for burgers.
          Ematei - bi-monthly
          Yang's - bi-monthly
          Guu - 10+
          Khao San/Sukho - 5+
          Gourmet Garden - 5+
          Hoof - 5+
          Pam's Roti - 5+
          Sunrise - 5+

          I don't have photographic memory like you guys, can't pin down the number on places that I've hit 5+ times.

          1. re: aser

            Based on the 1, 2 and 3 star michelin restaurants that I've been to (not a great many, mind you), I would boldly say that Splendido would be a two. There are better Indian restaurants in Toronto than the 1-star Michelin Indian restaurant in London (just for comparison's sake). And, as soon as I have additional funds for a dining PA, I'll come knocking. Hehe.

            1. re: justxpete

              Can you tell us which Indian restaurants in Toronto are better than in London? My oopinion would be the reverse.

              1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                Yes! I too would like to know!!
                I studied, lived and worked in London for over 10 years. I ate Indian food almost twice a week!! IMHO, Toronto Indian restaurants compare to London's is like comparing Toronto's sushi with that in Tokyo!! That is! No Comparison!!! The spices, the complexity and overall taste just seemed to be lacking here in TO. The strange thing is, we have such a huge South Asian population in town too??!!!! Actually, even Vancouver Vij's, though good by 'Canadian' standard, still falls behind some of London's better ones. In fact some of the pseudo-'hole in the wall' outfit in places like Tooting or Earl's Court churned out amazing tasting dishes!!
                Fellow chowhounder 'Klyeoh' seemed to summarize it best in some of his postings on the London board!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Charles, the first thing I do after checking in to my hotel in London is to go curry hunting! Living next to Little India here in Toronto is so sad, because the food is such a let down compared to London where I lived for 5 years and ate myself silly on amazing curries - I even remember that some places used to garnish their rice dishes with real silver - (this was before the price of silver shot up and made photography and x-rays so much more expensive).

                2. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  I said that "There are better Indian restaurants in Toronto than the 1-star Michelin Indian restaurant in London". There's a distinct difference in that sentence, and the meaning you seem to have took from it.

                  1. re: justxpete

                    Irrespective, still CURIOUS to know, in you opinion, which Indian restaurants in Toronto have food that you think are better than London's Michelin star Indian??!!
                    I've eaten in the 1* Amaya, Quilon, Tamarind as well as Veeraswamy and Benares. I don't think any current Indian restaurants have food that can touch the food they offer. In particular, seafood dishes!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Both Indian Rice Factory and Babur on Queen were cooking better than what I ate at the only existing 1-Star Michelin Indian restaurant, at the time. This was in 2009 or 2010, I believe.

                      1. re: justxpete

                        Thanks justxpete!! Its been a while since I last ate at the Indian Rice Factory! Totally forgot about the place!! Time to make a long trip down to give it another try!!
                        I'm closer to Babur in Markham. However, found their style a bit too spicy for my palate. Prefer northern Indian more.
                        Wish me luck with IRF!! Its a loooong drive!

                        1. re: Charles Yu

                          It's been quite a while since I was there, Charles - I'm not certain of the current state. Will report back should I go there sooner than you.

                          I've never found Babur too spicey, myself. I haven't been there either in about 6 months. I think I'm "off" Indian food right now - Anyway, the best Indian meal I've had recently was a special dinner organized by the owner of the Cookbook store at Dhabba on King.

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            I've had mixed luck with Indian Rice Factory.
                            The service has been consistently awful - the main reason I rarely return!
                            The food has been patchy - although still above most Indian places I've tried. Where once the spicing was well-layered, more recently it has just been 'hot'.
                            On the brighter side, the wine list is now extremely good.
                            For me, Aravind is currently the 'best' - but it's more expensive (to be fair, the ingredients are top-notch). So I still end up at Copper Chimney more than IRF.

                            1. re: estufarian

                              Agreed, I never found the service to be particularly good at Rice Factory (in fact, we used to say that we should never go there hungry), but at the time, the food was hands and feet above anything being offered in TO.

                              I'll have to give Avarind a try.

              2. re: justxpete

                Have you ever gone to Splendido when you're in a bit of a hurrry? I realize many dine there for special occasions, and dinners like that often might take 2-3 hours. Would Splendido be able to serve 3 courses in 90-100 minutes on a weeknight?

                1. re: prima

                  Yes for sure if you let them know when you arrive.

                  1. re: prima

                    Definitely. We don't often stay there longer than 90-120 minutes unless it's a special occasion (visitors from out of down, birthdays, etc.). We also usually have 3-4 courses... an app (sometimes shared), a main, and desert. Sometimes it's only two courses, sometimes more, but more often than not, we're out of there in under two hours. I'm sure if you let them know that you're in a bit of a hurry, they'd be able to accommodate quite easily.

                    1. re: justxpete

                      Ok, great. Thanks justxpete & JennaBean.

              3. re: justxpete

                And my, have my dining habits changed since February. The only places still on my list, were I to create one now, are Splendido and County General.

              4. I like trying new restaurants, so I wouldn't really say I frequent many. In the last 18 months, the restaurants I've dined at multiple times would only include:

                Ravi's Soup
                Rodney's Oyster House

                1. Quince
                  Rodney's by Bay

                  1. Roughly:

                    * Yuzu - 50+
                    Trimurti - 50+
                    Beer Bistro - 11
                    Paldo Gangsan - 8
                    * Enoteca Sociale - 8
                    Ajuker - 8
                    Nota Bene - 7
                    Phoenix - 7
                    * Porchetta & Co - 6
                    * Splendido - 6
                    * Mot Na Son - 5
                    * The Black Hoof - 5
                    * Very Fair - 3

                    Starred items are part of my top 10. Looking back on it, I feel like I should have included Trimurti (sort of) and Nota Bene on my list! Ah well.

                    Edit: I have a ton more at 3-times, but am too lazy to list. It'd be a lot. I do think I got all the 5+ ones though.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jlunar

                      Paldo Gangsan, much better than owl for late night booze soaking food. Doesn't get much love on here though, it's probably the first mention I've seen of it on CH.

                      1. re: aser

                        The only thing I don't like is that it can get reaaaally noisy in there, which is less my thing, but it's funny at times, seeing all the students singing, etc.

                        This thread inspires me to keep track of my eating for a year... I find it interesting the difference between where I eat a lot and what I would consider my top 10. It's not a huge diff, but it's there nonetheless.

                        Though, I moved back to North York. I think many on the frequency list would drop significantly now.

                    2. I like the way these different threads make you reflect on your eating habits. Upping the threshold number of visits to 5 over the past 18 months, I think my list would look like this:

                      Khao San Road
                      Enoteca Sociale
                      Rol San
                      Black Camel
                      Pizzeria Libretto
                      Lola's Kitchen
                      Copper Chimney
                      Boulevard Cafe
                      Tabule (those these days, it's more takeout)