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Toronto Food Scene : Your Pros & Cons

As the light of a new year shines upon us, let's take stock what makes
the Toronto Food Scene great and not so great.

This may sound like a monumental task, but how would you describe the
Toronto food scene's Pros / Cons to a food savvy first time visitor ?

If I may offer up a small amuse-bouche :

PROS: Diverse Neighborhood pockets producing Amazing authentic ethnic foods. I really think we take this for granted, only a handful of cities can boast such a selection.

CONS: Limited cheeses, butter, and fresh quality bread. Lack of Street
Food.

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  1. Pros: Better choices emerging and overall food quality improving.

    Cons: Lousy service...still.

    1. After travelling almost non-stop for the past 2 years, I appreciate Toronto a lot more!

      PROS - We do mid-range pretty well, IMO. Pretty diverse offerings, a chatty community, and things change relatively often so it's not hard to network and find new gems to try on a regular basis. I wish there were more 'underground'-esque dinners, food trucks, and other creative outlets - but I don't think we do a bad job overall so I'll slide this into the PRO column. Lastly, I appreciate the quick-and-healthy options that we have!

      CONS - I agree about the bread and dairy...but by North American standards, I don't think we're doing so bad. On a global scale - we need improvement. I feel like the great vs. not-so-great ratio has been slipping (but I've been pretty out of touch, compared to before, so that's definitely debatable).

      3 Replies
          1. re: ekim256

            Thanks :-)

            The board looks soooo different now!

          2. Pros: Generally fabulous restaurants. I've been all over and Toronto's is still my fave food scene.

            Cons: Generally awful service: indifferent, uncaring, inattentive, bored, and inept. Not universally, but certainly generally.

            1. Pro - Low range (<$10) is also very good. Emergence of really good BBQ and Pizza (finally !!).
              Con - Obscene price of wine (not to mention the selection).

              1. Pro's: Neighbourhood places doing a better job of respecting and servicing their neighbours.

                Con's: Bread, bread, and bread. God, can't we get more than a couple of places that know how to bake.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Googs

                  AND that actually sell freshly made bread. Passing off a loaf for dinner use that has set out since 3am seems to be the norm.

                  I truly believe that if someone opens a real quality bakery, the response will be overwhelming. Any other volunteers for investment backing ?

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    I'm so lucky that my local is Montmartre where most days I have to wait for the bread to cool before I bag it.

                  2. re: Googs

                    I think the problem with bakeries in Toronto is that many who end up doing things like organic ingredients, specialty flours, flour ground on premises and with bakers who really know how to bake, end up going out of business because people won't pay higher prices for quality bread. There was a guy on Bayview south of Eglinton who tried it about 5 years ago and he ended up going out of business because of lack of demand. Toronto can only support a few really great bakeries because of this.

                    1. re: Flexitarian

                      Maybe more places should follow the Woodlot model - bakery by day, restaurant by night. That way, bread isn't the only source of income (and it gets used in the restaurant). Speaking of which, while limited in its options, Woodlot produces darn good bread.