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staple restaurants young and sheppard area?

just moved to yonge and sheppard area from yonge and st clair where we were a quick drive or walk from some amazing places. There are so many places up yonge all the way to, and past finch but I don't know were to start. Anyone have any 'its always hits the spot' type places? I want to say yes when people ask me if i have discovered any gems in my new neighbourhood

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  1. Everything on this list is asian.

    I actually don't really like anything at Yonge/Sheppard except that its a short drive anywhere. For things a bit closer than farther, I like Song Cook's (korean) at Yonge/Steeles. Its worth driving past the stuff at Yonge/finch. Its pretty much behind galleria supermarket (which is worth visiting if you haven't been). Get the jajamyun.

    Also some pretty decent cantonese at Sun Star on Finch, west of leslie. At Finch/Leslie there is an asian mall with a few decent options including sichuan, congee wong.

    4 Replies
    1. re: szw

      thanks! yeah seems to be mostly asian up here which I don't mind just want some good food

      1. re: Sarah1218

        Mezza Notte is decent. I like Mot Na Son for Korean. I haven't been in years, but I used to find the Mr Greek and Friendly Greek to be decent options for the neighbourhood. Ichiban Fish House on Spring Garden has decent sushi. Stoney's had ok pub food. Honey Bear on Sheppard E has a Hungarian hot table.
        If you don't mind heading south to Lawrence, I like Milagro, Trio, Gamberoni, ViVetha and the Abbot. There are better options on Yonge between Lawrence and Yonge Blvd than on Yonge near Sheppard.

        1. re: Sarah1218

          No problem. There are lots of asian places to choose from, but I think those ones I mentioned are the best in the area. Also useful to know is that Congee Wong will deliver to you!

          Here is an old thread about sun star.


          Also further up north there are many persian restaurants. I randomly tried a couple and didn't really like the food, so didn't explore further, but hopefully someone else can point out some gems!

          Oh there is also a good dumpling place south of finch....http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559889

        2. re: szw

          Agree completely. Yonge/Sheppard is a vast wasteland, food-wise. There isn't a decent restaurant in the area. If you don't want Korean or Persian, your choices are very limited, too. Chez Laurent is probably the best bet, and it's no better than C+.

        3. This post is still pretty up to date and has some good tips:

          1. Oh, something I failed to mention in the previous post:
            Not a restaurant, but check out the PAT on Spring Garden for groceries. You can save a fortune shopping there instead of the horribly over priced Loblaws at North York Center.

            4 Replies
            1. re: graydyn

              And if you want to drive, Tone Tai, a Chinese supermarket at Peanut Plaza on Don Mills is really good and cheap. IT was my main grocery store when I lived in the area. Produce there is so cheap....even much cheaper than PAT.

              1. re: szw

                I went to congee wong! thanks for the rec. cant say what exactly we got but some dumplings, noodles and congee it was all good. No dynasty as far as atmosphere and cleanliness goes but the food hit the spot

                1. re: Sarah1218

                  Glad you enjoyed it! This type of food is real comfort food to me, and I would guess most others who are dining there. Most things are decent, noodles, fried rice, various other stir fried or fried items. Good sized portions of everything.

                  One thing I love is the singapore turnip cake...always have to get that!

                  1. re: Sarah1218

                    I used to love congee wong (at Leslie & Finch), but feel that their quality has declined in recent years. As a replacement, we now get takeout from Congee Time - it's just north of Finch on Yonge. Same mall as Canada Computers.

              2. The Korean restaurant next to Pizza Pizza is very good for Stew beef ribs and korean soups.

                1. It's mentioned in passing in the link that graydyn provided, but I would second a recco for Inakaya - willowdale just north of Sheppard. It's a small place with tables for about 30 with another 5 or 6 seats at the sushi bar.

                  It's not cheap, and the sushi is good, but nothing spectacular. However, they have a 'specials' menu that offers whole fish either grilled or you can have it served as sashimi. We usually stick with that menu and get the robata and whole fish sashimi items.

                  It's certainly a step up from the run of the mill places on yonge or spring garden that everyone usually mentions. It's also probably not a place you'd want to go if you're very hungry. A recent meal for 3 ppl (without alcohol or dessert) including tax but without tip was $145. We all left feeling sated, but not full - which is probably a good thing.

                  - edit -

                  I forgot to mention that if you want some good take-home sashimi, it doesn't get better than Taro's Fish Market on Sheppard near Bessarion. They usually have a nice selection of fish that they will sashimi for you and they even carry spot prawns when in season. They label the regional origin of their fish if you want that info. I have seen people eating at the short counter at the front window, but I've never eaten-in.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: qman

                    hmmm thanks good to know I will probably try it! Japanese is definitely my fave but I don't want to Settle for any of the Korean mcsushi joints in my area. How is their cooked food? Of course I love sushi but I usually like to order a mix of meat, rice, noodle and fish dishes. Generally If I really feel like straight sushi I head to ZEN. My staple for cooked Japanese food has for years upon years been Ema-tei on st patrick but now its too far for a last minute dinner.

                    1. re: Sarah1218

                      We actually prefer the cooked food at Inakaya to the maki and nigiri. Those are typically just our way of getting rice filler. We usually get a couple appetizers, some sashimi and a grilled fish.

                      Our last meal (for 3) there was - dengaku tofu, yaki nasu, yakitori, grilled pork belly, whole seabream sashimi, grilled whole seabass and then 2 maki rolls for filler. 1 was the volcano roll - basically some roast veggies with torched beef wrapped around it and the serving dish set on fire - for the record, I didn't order this but I will admit it wasn't bad - just overpriced for the flame show and a somewhat uneasy feeling of what the fuel source was. The other roll had salmon, crab and butterfish? that were tempura'd and rolled into a standard california.

                      The pork belly, dengaku tofu and grilled seabass were my favourites.

                      I don't believe they take reservations between 630-8pm so we have ended up disappointed a few times - the place was only about 1/2 full last friday night. However, we live close to yonge/sheppard and find that it's a great place to go in the summer for a light meal and an after dinner stroll .

                      1. re: qman

                        I love how they bring a whole tray of different tiny sake cups for your choosing. (Izakaya)

                        And I agree with qman - IMO, their cooked items are more special (especially in this neighbourhood) and comparable to Guu on Church.

                        There's also an izakaya on Yonge that i've been meaning to try. It's at the end of thee strip mall with Asian Legend. heard good things about it too!

                  2. Thai Bistro (next to Mezza Notte) is a good place for authentic Thai. There's about 20 seats, and the decor hasn't change in 20 years so we usually do take out. It's a little on the greasy side, but the flavors are quite authentic. (greasy tables & chairs too, so don't eat there)
                    About $12-15 a noodle/curry/stir-fry dish.

                    Also agree with other replys:
                    - Mezza Notte for decent Italian
                    - Izakaya on Willowdale would be my #1 choice for a sit down meal in this area. great for tapas style, also sushi & noodles are pretty good too.

                    Oh, i also find this area lacks dessert places. Might want to try Butter Avenue just south of York Mills and Loblaws for some heavenly macroons..

                    There's also a small shop on Willowdale that sells frozen chinese dumplings (just north of Izakaya, same side). We love them and also have some in the freezer.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: urbanhaze

                      If the OP is prepared to drive a short distance from Yonge and Sheppard, there's a respectable Middle East joint in a strip plaza on the north side of Sheppard just east of Bathurst St. About a five-minute drive from the corner of Yonge and Sheppard. It's called Mr. Combo. Solid appetizers, pretty good mains (the rainbow trout seems to be the most popular main). Standard-issue prices for Middle East in Toronto, which means about $50 for two, without drinks.

                      Here's another vote for Sun Star, the Cantonese spot on Finch Ave. between Bayview and Leslie. I'm partial to the chicken with dry onion, and the Taiwanese-style spicy mixed (a vegetable dish).

                    2. These are the places I find myself frequenting when I am in the area (which is a lot of the time):

                      Happy Noodle near Yonge and Finch has very good pho with a clean-tasting broth. I especially like the spicy pickled garlic provided at the tables. The cold fruit drinks are nice as well, not too sweet and always made from real fruit.

                      I also like Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu next door for the portion size/value. I always get extra spicy (it is not really spicy).

                      Sushi One has decent quality sushi / bento at decent value, and has an added bonus of being at a very convenient location for me :P

                      As other posters have mentioned Mot Na Sun is also quite good, they have better flavour soups than most of the other Korean places. Their insane menu is worth checking out (you will know what I mean when you see it!).

                      I also like the pork bone soup at Owl of Minerva.

                      If you're willing to go a bit further north to Yonge/Steeles, the food court in Galleria is quite decent for more Korean food, I especially like the spicy ramen noodles in soup (forget what exactly it was, but it's from the double-stall serving both korean + japanese food near the washrooms). I do not find Song Cooks any better or worse than other places, though I agree their jajangmyun is nice.

                      1. Not a lot of mention goes to this place - went to Paramount Fine Foods (Yonge and Glen Cameron) recently for the first time.


                        Fresh baked (puffed up like balls) Pitas were great, Manakeesh (like pizza) made from pita dough and skewers.

                        Pretty decent food IMO. Pricing was quite reasonable. You order at a counter and they bring food to you.