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Mar 28, 2012 04:18 PM

Pizzeria Libretto - Ossington vs. Danforth.

Visiting Toronto in a couple of days and planning to check out Libretto. I know the Ossington location is the original, but does the Danforth turn out equally good pies? Not terribly interested in the appetizers as this will be a small meal just to check out the pizzas in comaprison to the Neapolitain spots in major cities stateside.


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  1. Haven't been to the Ossington location but I've visited Danforth many times and it's delish! The one difference I know between the two is that Danforth does take reservations (which in my mind is a HUGE plus).
    Hope you have a nice visit!

    1. I've enjoyed the pizzas at the Danforth location, whereas my pizzas have been sometimes overcharred for my taste at the Ossington location. I like the Danforth space better, its convenient location close to the Chester subway station and nearby parking lots, and the fact I can make online reservations.

      1. Whoa, uhockey's coming to Toronto - looking forward to the reviews. I was in Paris not long after you last year - kept some of the same local company as you at Chez L'Ami Jean (I'm waaaay late in posting about it). Anyway, welcome.

        In answer to your question, I've been to both many times. I think the pizza is equally good at both locations. I love that Danforth takes reservations and the service is extra friendly and top-notch at that location. Lots of little detailed attention on the service front - Ossington is really friendly as well but they seem to go out of their way more at Danforth. But comparing the scale of the dining space and the vibe, I prefer Ossington. If you're only there to check out the pizza, you can't go wrong at either location. The reservation factor can be an issue if you're going at peak time and aren't keen to wait. Enjoy - and please post (which I know you will).

        22 Replies
        1. re: peppermint pate

          Likely heading there Saturday around noonish - I'm hoping most folks will be doing the brunchy thing at that time thus leaving Pizza a safe option.

          My only company at L'Ami Jean was my sister - fyi.

          Meeting up with a couple of local hounds for Dim Sum, so that should be fun.

          1. re: uhockey

            I have to say, based on reading your blog/posts on chowhound in the past, pizza is pretty low on the list of must trys in Toronto.

            People don't like real char on pizza in Toronto, hence the restaurants don't do it justice in fear of getting food sent back. I don't really think about pizza living here, I eat it when I'm in nyc. I went to the danforth location in its first few weeks. It's ok, I actually enjoyed the apps more than the pizza.

            You'll definitely enjoy the dim sum though, wish you success with meals in Toronto.

            1. re: aser

              Understood - and I'd have actually liked to have done some more ethnic eating, but I just dont' have friends in the city (or travel companions) who are into ethnic eats. I was lucky/happy to find a couple local hounds who want to do Dim Sum.

              I really wanted to do Peking Duck and some other Chinese specialty dishes for lunch this Friday, but doing it solo just won't fly.


              1. re: uhockey

                If you're still looking for eating partners for Friday, you could post to the local google group:


                Happy dim sum-ing with Charles!

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  Thanks. Probably a tad late at this point, though.

                  Plans for the trip will be:

                  La Palette
                  Black Hoof
                  Pizzeria Libretto
                  Thor Espresso
                  Boreal Gelato


                  1. re: uhockey

                    Fun mix of spots! Since you're going to Buca, make sure that you get one of their flatbread pizzas to compare against Libretto. Totally different style than Libretto, but if you like thin crispy crusts, these are amazing. Note that pastas (oddly enough) and desserts are generally weak at Buca. Apps, entrees and flatbreads are generally delicious.

                    And a note about Gandhi -- don't order "hot" unless you can really take heat. :)

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      I'll order "cold." :-)

                      Interesting note on Buca's pastas, but I'll still probably check them out. There will be four of us, so probably 2-3 apps, 2-3 pastas, and a flatbread plus/minus dessert.

                      In between time in Toronto will also be visiting Ottawa and Montreal so this stands to be one heckuva trip.


                    2. re: uhockey

                      skip la palette, in my opinion. contact me thru my blog and i can help tighten up your list.

                      1. re: atomeyes

                        I prefer the Ossington location as I like that the pizza's are cooked a bit more and I prefer the vibe there. As well, I second the skip on La Palette. Not worth your time for a short trip.

                        1. re: JennaBean

                          Unless he wants horse, which is not easy to get in the U.S.

                          1. re: TorontoJo

                            TorontoJo: can get it at the Hoof or at Batifole at a lower price.

                          2. re: JennaBean

                            I'm open to suggestions on someplace else that is open around noon on a Friday, generally doesn't require reservations as border crossing makes timing variable, and is suitable for two people who aren't terribly fond of "ethnic" foods (find dim sum "repulsive," don't particularly like Indian, prefer Italian/French/American.) I though La Palette seemed like a good choice, all things being equal, for some game meats you don't often see stateside but if there is something more "Canadian" that fits those criteria I'm all ears.


                            1. re: uhockey

                              I'd also be open to other ethnic eats, but they'd have to have some items palatable to those dining with me - IE, a good Chinese spot that also serves something as tame as chicken fried rice, or a good ________ place that serves a burger and a chicken dish.


                              1. re: uhockey

                                For a French bistro lunch, I like Biff's, Le Paradis, Le Select and Jacques Bistro du Parc.
                                For a Thai lunch, I like the squash fritters, and any of the mains I've ordered at Khao San Road. There are some threads on what to order at Khao San Road.
                                For a Chinese lunch in Chinatown, consider Yummy Yummy for Northern dumplings or Swatow for Cantonese food (won ton mein, shrimp dumpling noodle soup). If you do a search for Swatow, you'll find aser's helpful comments about what Swatow does best.
                                Re: locavore spots Globe Earth and Globe Bistro are open for lunch. I don't find either menu that interesting, but I like the ribeye at Earth. Nota Bene also serves lunch, and uses local ingredients when they're in season, but not much is in season in ON right now. I like the food at Nota Bene more than the food at Earth or Globe Bistro. Frank at the AGO also uses some local ingredients. There are some threads on locavore restaurants in TO.

                                1. re: prima

                                  Again, eating with people who don't have much love for "ethnic" so I'll have to look at the menus.

                                  Is taste of China on Spedina any good?


                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    so, basically: food for older white folks :) (or for my parents).

                                    Gilead Place is nice. a good mix. not cheap. neat location.
                                    if you want one of our star burger restos with a small Canadian twist, there's Holy Chuck.
                                    Porcetta and Co is nice for a quick sandwich to grab and go for a sit or walk somewhere else.
                                    Caplansky's is another lunch option.
                                    i like Edward Levesque for lunch only, not dinner. nice menu.
                                    Fabarnak might be a bit too interesting for them, but its a cool lunch option.

                                    1. re: atomeyes

                                      ...or for my parents (mom and aunt, in this case.)

                                      I like the menu at La Palette, but as we're doing Montreal on this trip perhaps a bit too much French Bistro.

                                      Now thinking Grand Chinese Cuisine as it has some "Standards" in addition to some unique Chinese and fairly good ratings including an earlier recommendation from Charles.


                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        You could always try and hunt down these eggs. I don't think any older white folk are craving them! I like a lot of Chinese food, but this isn't one of the items I'm going to try.


                                    2. re: prima

                                      prima, you should try one of the tasting menus at Globe, or one of the winemaker's dinners. They are always great and one is coming up at Globe Earth very soon. Unfortunately I can't go as I had two other events that day.

                      2. re: aser

                        I echo this sentiment regarding pizza in Toronto. I eat it here when I get a craving but they never live up to the pies I've devoured in NYC since childhood.

                        1. re: aser

                          If you want a it more char, ask for well done. The folks at Libretto will go out of their way to give you exactly what you want.

                        2. re: uhockey

                          Oops - then it was one of the other places you went...I'm talking about Julien (Souphie). Anyway, I'm not sure that noonish is completely safe but I don't think you'd have a huge line if you went to Ossington - or you could reserve at the Danforth.

                          I look forward to reading about your chow adventures here.

                      3. I seem to be in the minority but I think the Pizza is superior @ the Ossington Location. I also prefer the vibe @ the Ossington location to that of the Danforth Location. However, one thing they do offer @ the Danforth Location which is not offered @ Ossington is something called Paneto. It's not on the menu, you have to ask for it, but it's this puffed bread which deflates as it cools and it is brushed with olive oil and different herbs.. It's absolutely delish!!

                        1. I have been to the Danforth location a few times and to the Ossington one many times since it opened. The vibe is definitely different but I have found their wonderful pizza varies slightly up and down with the same narrow amplitude in both places.