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Jan 9, 2013 07:46 AM

Weekend in Toronto: Dinner, Brunch, Dim sum?

Coming to Toronto in a few weeks for a girls weekend trip and looking for some advice on where to eat.

We are staying at Le Germain and are looking for places for dinners, a brunch or two and hopefully dim sum. Any recommendations? We are all adventurous eaters and open to almost anything as long as it's fun. I would also appreciate any recs for places to drink before or after dinners, or even just neighborhoods to check out.


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  1. The downtown Chinatown's about a 10 to 15 minute walk north if the weather's favorable tho easy to get to on public transit. For dim sum, try Rol San, Gold Diamond or Dim Sum King tho there'll be lineups by 11 am. Mother's Dumplings is more northern-style. Wherever you go, go early to avoid the crowds!

    For dinner or brunch are you willing to travel a little further than the area immediately surrounding the hotel?

    8 Replies
    1. re: MissBingBing

      We are definitely willing to travel, especially if the neighborhood we head to is worth staying in. Caught the episode of the Layover and were considering the Black Hoof or Beast, do you recommend those places and can you get reservations? Are there bars nearby?

      1. re: caphill2320

        Black Hoof doesn't take reservations. Beast does. Have you been to Momofuku Noodle Bar? There's one close to your hotel. No reservations though.

        1. re: MissBingBing

          If you ever travel to MYC and hit it up in NYC not here. Too many Toronto born options IMHO :-)

          1. re: JennaBean

            Thanks! We are actually all from NY, so we'll pass on Momofuku. Beast and Black Hoof sound like a good options and we don't mind walking, so long as it's not *too cold*

            Any other brunch or lunch recommendations?

        2. re: caphill2320

          i think Black Hoof is great. Hoof Raw Bar imo is fantastic if you like seafood. you can also have cocktails at the Cocktail bar (all 3 are on the same street)

          1. re: caphill2320

            I like brunch at Beast. I have heard great things about the Friday sandwich special at Beast but I haven't been yet.
            Beast is kind of tucked away on a side street. What would you consider near by? 10 min walk?
            As someone else has mentioned, although Black Hoof does not take reservations the cocktail bar is right across the street so the wait might not be too bad.

            1. re: sweetie

              I haven't had success at Beast for brunch. I know others on here have really enjoyed it. What dishes are the attraction that I may have missed?

              1. re: sweetie

                Just so you understand, the Friday sandwich thing at Beast is a mostly takeout affair, they will allow you to sit in the dining room and eat your sandwich if you want and some groups of people do this but there's no table service and no booze.

          2. If you are looking for just ONE Dim Sum lunch. Why bother with the rest? Just head over to the best - Lai Wah Heen!! For a bunch of you ladies, economy of scale will kick in, so won't be too expensive,. For sure, nothing like that in the Capital!! ( unless the Chinese President is visiting and brings along his own chef?! Ha!! )

            For drinks:

            dBar at the new Four Seasons for desserts and drinks ( they serve the grapefruit pave there now! Yummm!)

            Museum Tavern

            Canoe bar – Great for out of town visitors! if you want to see the view.

            Harbord Room

            Bar Volo - if you’re into beer, a crazy selection of craft beers here

            With so many new Japanese Ramen places and Izakayas opening up, I would suggest one of those as well, Santouko, Guu, Zukkashi, Kingyo are a few names that come to mind. Great atmosphere and food to match.

            A couple of interesting 'western cuisine' places I think you'll like:

            Grove - Award winning British Gastro-pub food ( voted best new restaurant 2012 by major magazine, also top 50 restaurants in Canada ). Check out my posting.
            Yours Truly - Very interesting and value for money tasting menu. Portions not too big, so great for lady diners. Head Chef trained and worked in the famous NOMA in Denmark for a few years!!!

            Welcome to TO and Have Fun!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Charles Yu

              Claudio worked at Noma "for several years"? He took a stage. That's usually a couple of months at most. Weeks more likely.

              1. re: MissBingBing

                Still, a resume that includes Alinea, Blackbird, Per Se and Noma IMO is pretty impressive!!
                Also, it all depends on the individual! Claudio Aprile also 'staged' at El Bulli, but he managed to come back and creates some mighty fine molecular cuisine at Senses, Colborne Lane...etc!

            2. +1 for Lai Wah Heen dim sum

              Brunch: I like Marben and origin (I actually enjoy Origin more for the vibe at dinner, but there are very mixed opinions; the food is very good, not great)