Suggestions for a quiet weekday lunch downtown
Three of us (all ex-Torontonians reconverging in the old city) are meeting up this December for lunch and coffee. Here are our guidelines for a venue :
- relatively quiet, as one of our party is hard of hearing. We will be lunching at 1:30 so this requirement will hopefully not be too difficult to fulfill.
- price : on the cheaper side
- location : downtown, as one is arriving by train and has limited time -- let's say between College and Waterfront and between Spadina and Jarvis.
- cuisine : European or North American preferred
- bonus points if located close to a really good cafe that we can move to afterwards for macchiatos and gift-exchanging.
I am trying to wrack my memories, but I mostly ate at Asian restos when I lived in Toronto and the only European ones I knew other than bad pubs were loud, trendy, young numbers. Would really appreciate any suggestions !
Hotel Ocho on Spadina, north of Queen, is a gem. It's a spacious, quiet lounge/restaurant. $10-15 for lunch mains. Very nice European cuisine. Also serves excellent coffee and tea (and wine and cocktail), but if you want to shift location afterwards, step next door to Dark Horse for coffee (a little loud, tough).
If you do go to Hotel Ocho for lunch, then I'd suggest either Strada 241 or Little Nicky's for coffee afterwards. Both are a lot more quiet than Dark Horse, while also serving great espresso drinks.
Actually, Strada 241 would also make a good spot for lunch. At 1:30 it would be quite quiet.
Second Le Select. There are some reasonably priced lunch options.
While Biff's isn't cheap, it's got some reasonably priced lunch specials http://www.oliverbonacini.com/OliverBonacini/media/pdfs/Biffs_Lunch.pdf , it's located close to Union, and it should be relatively quiet by 1:30 pm, since the business lunch crowd usually returns to their offices by 1 pm. While Biff's serves good coffee, there are several chain coffee shops located on Front St between Biff's and the St. Lawrence Market.
Epic Lounge in the Royal York, while pricey ($19 for soup & sandwich http://www.epicrestaurant.ca/ ) is quieter than Biff's, and is a good option for the hearing impaired, in my experience.