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Jan 30, 2013 03:44 PM

Please Critique My Toronto Must-Try List (Updated and Revised)

Here is my newly revised list for places I would like to try. Essentially I am hoping my list reflects Toronto’s “best of” for various price-points. Comments and suggestions are welcome! Let me know if you think I am missing any cateogories. I am happy to remove restaurants if necessary as well.

Aboriginal – Keriwa Cafe

Afghan – Bamiyan Kebab, Pamier Kabab

American/Canadian – Actinolite, Ursa, Harbord Room, Acadia, Black Hoof, Marben, Woodlot, Grand Electric, (have been to Burger’s Priest and Holy Chuck)

Bakeries/Ice Cream/Treats - Patisserie Royale for Middle Eastern (have been to Prairie Girl)

BBQ/Burgers – Barque, Big Smoke Burger, Goody’s Diner, Hadley’s, Paul and Sandy’s, Queen and Beaver (for the burger) and Buster Rhino's in Whitby (have been to Big Bone BBQ in Newmarket, Stack and Stockyards)

Chinese - New Sky, Yuen Tung, Spadina Garden, Congee Queen (Don Mills and Lawrence) and Brilliant Chinese in Markham (have been to Asian Legend at Leslie/7 and Lee Garden)

Dim Sum – Bamboo, Crown Princess, Rol San or Pearl

Dim Sum (Uptown) - Dragon Dynasty - Sheppard & Brimley, Yang's - 9665 Bayview Ave.,,Casa Imperial - Steeles & Warden, Casa Victoria - Warden & Hwy 7, Empire Court - Hilton Suite, Hwy 7, Markham

Ethiopian – Dukem

French - Pastis, Le Select, La Cigogne (tarte flambee on Saturdays) (have been to Didier, Celestin, Coquine and Le Papillon)

Greek – Pantheon, Avli, Pan, Volos

Indian - Copper Chimney or Jaipur Grille, Sher-E-Punjab, Savera and Saravanna Bhavann

Italian – Splendido, Scaramouche, Paese (King location), Tutti Mati, Mistura and Enoteca Sociale (have been to Buca, Campagnolo and Scarpetta)

Japanese - Zen, Guu Izakaya, Koyoi (have been to Qi and Solo Sushi-Ya in Newmarket)

Korean - ?

Lebanese – Paramount?

“Mexican” – Frida, Grand Electric, Agave y Aguacate, Rebozos, La Bella Managua (have been to El Rincon, Milagro and Playa Cabana ).

Pizza - Pizzeria Libretto, Pizza e Pazzi, Queen Margherita (going to Danforth location of Libretto this weekend)

Polish - Cafe Polonez

Portuguese - Bairrada Churrassqueira, Churrasqueira Estrela, Banaboia (have been to Bloor Village Grill and Chiado)

Sandwiches - Porchetta & Co, Cora's Kitchen, Buster’s Sea Cove, Bahn Mi Boys, Hey Meatball, California Sandwiches, Nino D'Aversa Italian Salumi

Seafood – Starfish, Catch, Rodney’s

Thai – Suko Thai (have been to Khao San Road, Linda and Mengrai)

Vietnamese – Pho Phuong, Tien Thanh

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    1. Quite the list!

      Agree with Cafe Polonez, Patisserie Royale, Frida.

      Did not like Paramount for Lebanese. Not a fan of Barque either.

      For Korean can I suggest Mot Na Son? Haven't been yet but it's on my list. For pizza, maybe Danforth Pizza House for some old school pizza?

      1 Reply
      1. re: deabot

        Thanks deabot for the suggestions. I've added/taken away from my list.

        What did you try at Barque?

      2. Brilliant in Markham is closed!
        For higher end Chinese, head over to Yang's or the Emperor, both in Richmond Hill, instead.
        For less formal, try Maple Yip or Honest Kitchen at Sheppard and Midland in Scarborough.

        British Gastro-pub: The Grove!!

        Middle Eastern/Lebanese - Instead of Paramount, I like Sababa, on Steeles, between Yonge and Bathurst.

        Seafood: Instead of Rodney's either Zee Grill or Diana's

        BTW, Splendido, despite of the name IS NOT Italian. Its fine dining French/Continental. So is Scaramouche!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Charles Yu

          Thank for the info. Charles. I also like Sababa!

          I'm hoping to be able to join you for a Chow meet sometime.

        2. Lunch only -- Gallery Grill

          Spadina Chinese - Mother's Dumplings


          BBQ - Lou Dawg's

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dean Tudor

            Thanks Dean. What do you like at Lou Dawg's and Gallery Grill?

            1. re: TeacherFoodie

              Lou Dawg has whole wings (including the tip which i gnaw on) so all three pieces are together,

              Gallery Grill's menu changes every 10 days or so. It is only open for lunch and Sun brunch. Soups are great, so are the rabbit variations.

            2. re: Dean Tudor

              For Persian Kabab, I recommend Akbar Joojeh (267 Bay Thorn Drive, off Yonge/South of 7)

              I'm picky with other Persian foods but the wife like Gilaneh @ Don Mills/York MIlls.

            3. I'd describe Keriwa as upscale/contemporary/continental with a few traditional First Nations ingredients/elements thrown in the mix rather than Aboriginal.

              Mot Na Son and Seoul House for Korean

              Black Camel for sandwiches

              Not a fan of Tutti Matti. I plan to try the Italian brunch at Lil Baci Taverna on Yonge near Davisville in the near future. I also want to try Black Skirt, for its southern Italian food.

              9 Replies
              1. re: prima

                Yours Truly is original and innovative.., and unique in Toronto. ANd highly polarizing. Several threads here can attest to that! I happen to adore it,but I encourage you to try it at least once.

                1. re: prima

                  Thanks prima! I've been to Black Skirt, and did not enjoy, for the simple fact that the spaghetti I had seemed like the type you buy at the grocery store in a box/bag. If I'm going out to eat Italian, I want "home made" pasta.

                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                    Have you tried Strada 241? That's also on my list.

                    1. re: prima

                      I haven't tried it. The menu looks really reasonably priced, although I do find it ridiculous that they charge $2 for bread and oil when a lot of restaurants bring it for free.

                      I am looking forward to your report!

                      1. re: prima

                        Strada 241 is good, but not particularly memorable. It's definitely not a destination place, but someplace you should try If you happen to be in the area.

                        1. re: kwass

                          Horrible. Just horrible. I would never go back to that place again. Worst pizza ever.

                          1. re: celtgirl

                            Sorry to hear. I went when it 1st opened, but haven't been back since. My experience wasn't horrible, but I wasn't particularly impressed either.