Funky restauarants in Toronto
My boyfriend & I are going to Toronto next week for a few days. Its both our first time there. We usually like to go to fun, hip, under the radar type of places. any suggestions? thanks
ok, without offering any sort of help as to what you're looking for, here you go!
Anywhere on Ossington
The County General
Jacob's & Co
Toronto Temperance Society
Agreed - I may quibble with a few of the choices but appreciating there's a range of views re: hip and funky, it's a great list. If the OP wants to offer up any specifics re: preferred cuising, price point or location, we can narrow the field a bit.
I think Guu and Khao San Road are also in the spirit of places the OP is looking for so I'd add them as well. And maybe Playa Cabana.
Edulis is more rustic than I expected. Food approaches 'comfort' rather than 'elegant'. But definitely worth a visit (although beware of 'upsells').
Ursa is a bit schizophrenic. Food is good but service is a bit unsettling - also a bit more expensive than would be expected.
But, if I've been - neither are 'hip'!
No, when you are in the Black Hoof or Grand Electric you feel like you are in a secret spot, you feel in the "know"... "usually" the people surounding you are not in suits and ties talking about the stock deal of the day.. it feels hip and under the radar (even if it isn't). They are rough around the edges and celebrate that... you can play "count the staffs' tattoos" .... J&Co does not have that feel, I see nothing about it except the choice in music that distiguishes it from any other steak house in the city to make it hip... Libbretto the same it just feels too subburban these days... I think IMHO they have lost their edge.. Origin too, I would recoment it for great food but I never get the feeling that I am discovering something there.. if origin is on the list you might as well add Note Bene and Splendito and god forbid Canoe!
She didn't specify what kind of "hip" she was looking for. Different strokes for different folks. J&C is hip for the young fashionable crowd. Libretto is hip for 20 and 30 somethings. Harbord room is hip among the industry and those in the know, and Origin is hip for the 30 something crowd who like decent food in a nicely decorated space with good staff. Some people don't consider the places that you enjoy 'hip' either - but it's just a general list. I'm not sure why it's such a big deal.
Then lets give a copy of last weeks menu:
671: rhubarb and strawberry bonanza
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
Menu # 670
Lebneh (pressed yogurt), fresh chutney, broa bread toast 4
Togarashi spiced crickets 4
Black chickpea humus with papadams 4
Steamed snap peas with Himalayan ses salt
Harpoon caught swordfish: Ceviche & smoked, Mustard greens, pickled oxe eye, chummichurri 12
Chilled pea, green garlic- sassafras hot and sour soup 6
‘Cosmic Greens’ with ume-flax dressing 7
Orwell cove mussels steamed with cava and strawberries 6
Tempura cod tongues
Pressed cucumber salad, raita, fennel seedlings 12
Cattail heart tortellini, milk weed, kefir 12
Gnuddi: Ricotta dumplings, beets, fennel seedlings 13
Hay-smoked BC halibut,
Grilled wild and domestic arugula, spruce dashi 16
Georgian Bay trout
Grilled asparagus, garlic scapes, red wine jus 15
Grilled quail marinated in xxx mustard
Wheat berry, peas & carrots, ketjap, mint salad 12
Fried chicken, callalloo,
crow garlic mash, grilled scallions 14
Cavendish blend tobacco brûlée 6
Wild flower panna cotta, wild rose & wild strawberries 6
Local & organic veggies, Organic and free range local poultry, Organic dairy
Spear caught swordfish, Orwell Cove mussels, free range cats and other ethical buzzwords.
We can often do vegetarian substitutions if that’s how you do…
You are at 1597 Dundas street west, Toronto Ontario.
If you want to talk or text: 416.219.3819 (we take reservations)
And our online presence can be felt at atlanticondundas.com, twit: @lanticondundas
Obviously haven't eaten much in Toronto recently, but I really did enjoy my meal at bestellen and chantecler, despite the mixed reviews. I feel that bestellen has a well executed charcuterie board and the steaks are pretty good. Chantecler is part of this new wave of ambitious small and more eclectic restaurant that goes beyond the whole farmhouse rustic cuisine that was so popular recently
This is great info, especially justxpete's amazing list, but perhaps a bit overwhelming (and not entirely "below" the radar). For an intimate sit-down dinner experience (as opposed to shared-plates) for 1st time Toronto visitors, I'd recommend (in order):
1. Enoteca Sociale on Dundas West.
2. Delux on Ossington.
3. Campagnolo on Dundas West (not very hip but exceptional quality and a nice room).
All require reservations.
General Electric (Queen West) is the most hip and fun, but loud, crowded, and super-casual.
The Black Hoof is still one of my faves for a good Toronto experience--everyone has to go at least once--but it's all shared plates and no reservations. On a warm summer's evening, you can not beat the patio at Terroni's on Queen West. Actually, I'd go there. You might have to wait in line 1/2 hour or so.
While I'm SURE any recommendation on JustXPete's list would satisfy any tourist looking for something different from their status quo ... Ortolan in Brockon Village might be considered hip and off the radar? And agreed, Moxie you can likely find what you're looking of on Ossington Ave. (if I'm reading into your vibe correctly).