Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Apr 20, 2012 04:57 PM

Critique my "must try" list for Toronto!

Okay, so I've done some research and am looking for your opinions on my picks. I am trying to decide what is likely a years worth of lunches and dinners out. What do you think?

Sandwiches - Porchetta & Co, Cora's Kitchen

Indian - Copper Chimney or Jaipur Grille

Chinese - Spadina Garden, Szechuan Szechuan, and Brilliant Chinese in Markham (have been to Lee Garden already)

Dim Sum - Crown Princess or Pearl

Thai - Khao San Road (have been to Mengrai and Linda already)

Italian - Splendido, Paese (King location), Tutti Mati, Mistura and Enoteca Sociale (have been to Buca and Campagnolo)

Pizza - Pizzeria Libretto, Pizza e Pazzi

American/Canadian - Burger's Priest, Harbord Room, Acadia, Black Hoof, Marben, Woodlot, Grand Electric

BBQ - Barque, Big Bone BBQ in Newmarket, and Buster Rhino's in Whitby (have been to Stockyards)

French - Pastis, Simple Bistro, Le Select, Auberge (have been to Didier, Celestin, Coquine and Le Papillon)

Portuguese - Bloor Village Grill, Churrasqueira Estrela (have been to Chiado)

Japanese - Zen, Guu Izakaya (have been to Qi)

Vietnamese - Yuen Tung

Mexican - Have been to Milagro. I can't find anywhere else the CH board likes enough to try.

Morrocan - couldn't find anything on the boards

Polish - didn't find anything on the boards except a thread about schnitzel

Lebanese - Seems we don't have a good one in Toronto?

Greek - Pantheon

I have also compiled this bakery list and am wondering if any of them would be a good lunch choice: Rahier, Patisserie La Cicogne, Jules, Thodor’s, La Bamboche, La Boheme, Epi (weekend only donuts).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Indian - Not impressed with Jaipur's food ( at least the Richmond Hill location ). Prefer Copper Chimney.

    Chinese - Spadiina Garden is not in the same league as Brilliant, foodwise. The latter, hands down better. Szechuan Szechuan specializes in spicy/hot Szechuan style cuisine. Cannot compare with Brilliant's Cantonese cuisine. Like comparing apple with orange. Besides, SS food is not worth the time trying!

    Italian - Splendido is NOT an Italian restaurant!!! However, its a must try due to being one of the top fine dining restaurant in town.

    French - Simple Bistro has changed chef but food is still good. No more prix fixe menu. Pastis has always been my favourite. Love their foie gras, fish soup and calves liver!, Auberge has gone down hill!

    BBQ - Big Bone in Newmarket is good!!!

    Japanese - Zen has the best sushi in town, Guu,IMO is noisy and food is over-rated

    Vietnamese - I think Yuen Tung is own and run by Chinese, not Vietnamese??!!

    Dim Sum - Crown Princess over Pearl but I won't go to either when there are better places around!

    American/Canadian - You won't go wrong with anyone on your list.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Charles, The Jaipur of Richmond Hill has no apparent connection with Jaipur Grille of midtown. They have different names.

      1. re: garfield

        Thanks for the clarification! Will give the mid-town one a try!

      2. re: Charles Yu

        Are you sure simple has no prix fixe anymore? I was there just maybe 2-3 weeks ago, and they still had it going.

        1. re: hungryabbey

          Prix Fixe was eliminated ever since Chef Cowan took the helm. Have to order a la carte!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            They brought it back. Apparently the regulars kicked up a fuss.

        2. re: Charles Yu

          What places would you recommend for dim sum that are better than those I mentioned?

          1. re: TeacherFoodie

            Dragon Dynasty - Sheppard & Brimley
            Yang's - 9665 Bayview Ave.,
            Casa Imperial - Steeles & Warden
            Casa Victoria - Warden & Hwy 7
            Empire Court - Hilton Suite, Hwy 7, Markham
   name a few 'up town' ones
            Only downtown one worth trying is Lai Wah Heen. However, have not been there for a long while!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              I like Dynasty on Yorkville Ave when I want dim sum and I'm close to Yonge & Bloor and/or Yorkville. While the dim sum at Dynasty might not be as good as the dim sum at Yang's, Empire Court or other good places north of the city, I still like Dynasty's dim sum, and think it's one of the better places to eat in Yorkville.

              I've found the Bayview Village Pearl to be decent. Not the very best dim sum, and kind of expensive, but better than most places in Chinatown, and a good addition to the mall. One of the better places to eat on a Saturday morning, if you're looking for a decent meal in North York.

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Kaji trumps all other Japanese restaurants, and maybe most in any category.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Indian: A lot of people say Banjara at the south-west corner of Christie Pits on Bloor is the best Indian in town. My fave is actually Pakistani: Lahore Tikka way out on Gerrard East. It's a wild and sweaty ride! A Must Try for sure just for the experience.
              Japanese: I like Japango on Elizabeth behind City Hall for sushi. Best I've had in Toronto, but only because I can't afford Sushi Kaji on the Queensway--by all accounts a Must Try.. I would say Guu on Church is a Must Try for non-sushi (the one on Bloor is too loud for me).
              Italian: I still say Terroni--Queen West-- is Toronto's best Italian restaurant, though I am told Buca on King West, east of Bathurst, is THE best. I've been told Buca is a Must Try. Sadly, I haven't been yet.
              Mexican: Best Mexican is Agave y Aguacate in Kensington on Augusta. Not great for impressing a date though. Must Try for the Kensington experience.
              Black Hoof and Grand Electric are Must Try's for sure!!
              BBQ: Barque Smokehouse on Roncesvalles is pretty not that bad for BBQ.

            2. Not that I've gone, but some here would say you need to add Kaji and Hashimoto to your "must try" list for Japanese.

              1. I'm not familiar with a Vietnamese restaurant named Yuen Tung. Where is it?

                There is a Chinese restaurant called Yueh Tung on Elizabeth downtown which has "good" lunch time specials....mainly Cantonese/Hakka dishes on rice.

                Happy eating!

                1. For Mexican, Frida on Eglinton W and Agave and Aguacate in Kensington

                  Greek, Volos on Richmond, skip the Danforth

                  I hear good things about Paramount for Lebanese

                  You might consider adding Bamiyan Kebab for Afghan

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bytepusher

                    Greek, skip Volos on Richmond, and go to a real Greek restaurant,. not some trendy new fusion craphouse. The Pantheon is a good choice.

                    1. re: evansl

                      For Greek, Kalyvia is also a pretty good choice.

                      1. re: BIGeater100

                        Second the Kalyvia. Really like the Beefteckia (spelling maybe different). Don't like dinner with 3 starches though.

                  2. Big Bone BBQ now has a place in Maple at 10040 Keele Street which is probably half the distance from Toronto than the Newmarket location.