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York Mills and Leslie?

Going to be spending a week or so in this area.. Any reco's? (I'm not familiar with this area - at all).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Galleria Supermarket has a food court type thing. Good for some meals. Mom's Chicken (inside) is in there for some k-fried chicken. It's saucy. Takes a while, so browse the groceries while you wait. I also like their baked goods section. Sesame tapioca balls are yummy.

    There's Island Foods on Don Mills, south of YM.

    And then you can check out Linda over at Don Mills and Lawrence. I recall you mentioning in another thread you've been meaning to get over there.

    Congee Queen is at DM and Lawrence too. Turnip cakes are good! Sometimes better, sometimes worse though. Decent, quick, Chinese (canto).

    Taro's Fish on Sheppard, West of Leslie. I don't know if I love, but others do. You can get sushi, sashimi, and other cooked JP foods here.

    Yonge & Finch has Hot Hot Spicy (sichuan) I think still. And if you go early, Paradise should have dim sum happy hour. There's a bakery (Glouster?) in here too you could snag some buns from.

    High Street Fish & Chips - I love their Melton Mowbray pie (cold). They're in a little plaza North of Lawrence and West of Vic Park.

    17 Replies
    1. re: jlunar

      Awesome. Thanks Jen! You and Jo recommended Mom's chicken. I think I'll pay them a visit tomorrow.

      1. re: jlunar

        Just a small correction, Hot Spicy Spicy, Paradise and Gloucester are in a plaza located at Leslie and Finch, not Yonge and Finch.

        Agree with Mom's Chicken at Galleria, it's so yummy (and messy)!

        1. re: sumashi

          GOOD CATCH. Ooops. Thanks Sumashi. I totally meant Leslie and Finch!

        2. re: jlunar

          I tried to go to Galleria today for the KFC but for whatever reason they had just "changed the oil" and it would be an hour for the chicken - so, short on time, I just went to 5G again. Fwiw, the service is really friendly there. My burger was better than the the previous days', as were the fries.

          1. re: jlunar

            So I made my way to Galleria, and... well...

            You know when Chris Farley played the lost tourist in Japan?


            That felt very... familiar (and equally hilarious).

            I ended up with a ton of chicken, some drinks, some other stuff that I didn't know what it was... and no one knew what "vegetables" meant. Ha. Then people were walking by staring at my 10 tons of chicken wondering why someone would possibly want to try and eat that alone... with 4 pops (one of which I'd purchased separately) It was.. awesome. :)

            Back to the chicken, I thought it was delicious. County General is also serving KFC (and have been for a few months), has tried it for comparison's sake? (it's also served with delicious steamed milk buns).

            In any case, I'm definitely going to need a guide next time. That place is a gold mine!

            1. re: justxpete

              That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Glad you enjoyed the chicken. And yes, Galleria is awesome, worth some time to wander the aisles and buy odd-looking things that you have no idea about. :)

              1. re: justxpete

                Is the Galleria on York Mills the same as the Galleria @ Yonge and Steeles?

                  1. re: magic

                    Good to know, because I want to try that chicken now :) Boy does that sound yummy!!

                    1. re: kwass

                      It sure does. Been to Galleria many times but never had that chicken. Will have to fix that oversight.

                1. re: justxpete

                  HAHahaha! Glad you enjoyed. It's a fun time at Galleria - there are a lot of random things you'd not expect to see, but is totally NABD for Koreans.

              2. i think there's a taco bell at fairview mall at least there used to be in high school

                1 Reply
                1. re: disgusti

                  Good call... there's also a McDonalds here too, which I'll also never visit, unless it and Holy Chuck are the only places open in TO. :)

                2. The 5 Guys between Leslie and DM is one of the good ones. At least, that's from my couple visits. As well, I like the Mr. Greek beside the tracks. Not great Greek food but will certainly do in a pinch.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Davwud

                    I had 5 guys today - wasn't feeling overly adventurous (see twitter). 5G reminds me of a high end version of Burger King (which I haven't had for years). But the texture, bun and consistency all seem familiar. Perhaps that's what they were targeting?

                    I do like it better than HC, though. I think I'm going to give HC a third and final try.

                    1. re: justxpete

                      I'm not a burger guy, but the above-mentioned branch of Five Guys - in the same plaza as Galleria Supermarket - gets high marks from those I know who ARE burger guys. Kinda expensive, though.

                      Also in that plaza is Dragon Pearl, a huge buffet (if buffets are your thing) and a good one, as buffets go - one with an Asian slant. Once you get the hang of it - many many choices, some better than others - you can do quite well in there. Well-run. It's $13 (a.k.a. $12.99), if I recall, for lunch (20% off for seniors) - much better value than Five Guys. Wider range of dishes at dinner.

                      I also like Congee Queen, a good mid-level Chinese choice. Good lunch deals include a first-rate hot and sour soup. And the mid-level Sun Star, on Finch between Bayview and Leslie, with a slightly more sophisticated menu - and, in my view, a more knowledgeable clientele - than Congee Queen. Both are solid, though. I've never much cared for the above-mentioned Hot Spicy Spicy - in the all-Asian plaza at Finch and Leslie - and I ordinarily like most things spicy. Maybe I've just picked the wrong dishes, and can't be bothered with even more visits trying to identify the right ones. A kinda bleak space.

                      If you venture into Bayview Village (Bayview and Sheppard) for lunch, your best bet is the chained Aroma Cafe, with good sandwiches, soups and coffee. A tad overpriced, but then, so are all the other eateries in that upscale mall. Have to make back the high rent, I guess.

                      1. re: juno

                        Make that a 3rd endorsement of Congee Queen.

                  2. Well, I am going to boldly step out and recommend What A Bagel! in the Longo's plaza on the northeast corner of York Mills and Leslie. Not Montreal style bagels, so don't get excited, but their bagels are regularly falling off the oven conveyor, and they are delicious freshly baked. They will also make decent, but basic, sandwiches at the counter. Some of the baked goods are underwhelming, but I have a thing for the pecan bars. Not runny, not really pecan pie-ish, but I just like them.

                    Also, Shirini Sara at 1875 Leslie Street. Please go and enjoy! Amazing cream puffs, with real cream. Fabulous cookies. Just great stuff that I believe is now being sold in higher end stores, not just at their home bake shop. Here's their website:


                    For a quick slice, I like Pizzaiolo, in the Galleria plaza.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Full tummy

                      Shirini Sara is great! They sell their stuff at Pusateri's (Bayview for sure). Love their cookies.

                      1. re: jlunar

                        Shirini Sara is my go-to place also.
                        Pick up a box of their (imported) dates from Bam. Half the price of the less-complex tasting dates we commonly get from California.
                        But they no longer carry the boxes of 'candy disks' - various flavours, including saffron, - in fact can't find these in any of the Persian shops on Yonge (near Steeles). Has anyone seen them elsewhere?
                        +1 for their cookies!

                        1. re: jlunar

                          Wow, I never knew about this place at all. Will have to give it a try!

                        2. re: Full tummy

                          Ah yes, What a Bagel!, and one of the better outposts of that chain. I'd forgotten about that place in my earlier post. Just a few steps from the Longo's supermarket. Tasty bagels, because they're invariably fresh-baked. An ideal quick, inexpensive lunch on a bagel - I'm partial to the cream cheese filling.

                          Didn't know about Shirini Sara, though. I must inspect those cream puffs.

                          1. re: Full tummy

                            What's wrong with recommending What-A-Bagel? They're the supplier for Carousel "Bakery" at the SLM.

                            1. re: Googs

                              Agreed. I quite like What-A-Bagel.

                              1. re: Googs

                                I was hoping not to stir up Chowhound Ontario Bagel Battle XVII or something like that, hahaha.

                              2. If you care for Thai, I'd recommend Kinnaree - a little further east (Ellesmere/Victoria Park). I find they're more authentic than Linda (Don Mills/Lawrence).

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: knusprig

                                  I don't care (well, actually I do care a little) about authenticity.
                                  I just want it to taste great.
                                  What are the best dishes at Kinnaree?

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    I went for the first time last year from smfan's rec here on chowhound. My mom and I really liked the mango salad appetizer they make.

                                    1. re: estufarian

                                      Our family's favourite is mango salad. We always order dishes to share taking into consideration peanut allergy and how much 'heat' one can take to minimize heartburn. I cannot tell which are the best dishes. I found the dishes really have south east asian spices/flavour, and thick coconut milk where it belongs.

                                    2. re: knusprig

                                      Yeah, dish on the Kinnaree wouldya? That one's flown under my radar despite being really close to home. Must find good Thai!!!

                                      1. re: knusprig

                                        Does Kinnaree serve beer and wine?

                                        1. re: knusprig

                                          Scrap my last question. The online menu shows beer and wine. Besides... I'm so excited that there's a Thai restaurant nearby that's JUST Thai and not plus Chinese or plus Malaysian or whatever that I pretty much have to try it.

                                          1. re: knusprig

                                            I've heard good things about this place from someone who is a Sukhothai fanatic, so it must be pretty good lol. I'll have to give this place a try myself soon.

                                            1. re: pakmode

                                              Beau and I had delivery from Kinnaree Thai recently. It was really very good. We'll be taking a seat at the restaurant very soon.

                                          2. Chapman's! (for lovely but hella pricey deli/groceries).

                                            Think Pusateri's but much smaller.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: magic

                                              Their lemon artichoke dip is insane. As is their smoked trout dip.

                                            2. One more, though it's wandering farther now: Patisserie Royale. The wardeh is made in house, but I super love the swar. Great great great baklava-type patries all around. Also: mammouls and karabiges.

                                              My blab on swar:
                                              "Now, most of the pastries on offer consist of the same basic blocks, but my sister and I swear by their swar as being the perfect ratio of syrup to pastry, as well as the perfect form. Biting into the tubular ring of pastry allows for a sudden burst of syrup on the tongue as the crisp texture of pastry and butter mingle in each bite. All unified by the taste of crunchy pistachio. Heaven with a cup of tea – orange pekoe in particular."

                                              for pics: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2012/05/04/pa...

                                              So yummy.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jlunar

                                                Been going there for years. Good call on Patisserie Royale.

                                              2. So a compiled list of reco's...

                                                Mom's Kitchen
                                                Congee Queen
                                                Aroma Cafe
                                                What a Bagel
                                                Linda Modern Thai
                                                Shirini Shara
                                                Patisserie Royale

                                                I have a lot of eating to do! Thanks everyone, for your input!

                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: justxpete

                                                  And Galleria. Please, when you go to Galleria, get one of those triangle gimbap (found in the fridge where the premade sushi is). It's seasoned nori (seasoned with salt and sesame oil) folded over rice and a filling. I personally prefer the kimchi tuna mix, which I think is so yummy that even someone who doesn't like kimchi would find it agreeable. I find them much more delectable than the Japanese version (because of said sesame oil). And they're about $1.50 a piece, so no big investment. Great snack!!

                                                  Hope you enjoy yourself.

                                                  1. re: justxpete

                                                    Just a clarification -- You get Mom's fried chicken inside Galleria supermarket. You can't actually see Galleria from York Mills, but if you turn into where Dragon Pearl Buffet is, Galleria is right behind it.

                                                    And if you like Caribbean food, Island Foods is close and good.

                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                      Oh, yes, yes. Island Foods. My gosh, I knew I was missing something. Do you like roti? If so, you must make a trip:


                                                      1. re: Full tummy

                                                        See below, FT - if you're a fan of Roti, you need to go to Kori's - like yesterday.

                                                      2. re: TorontoJo

                                                        I have one of those near home. :)

                                                        Have you been to Kori's, TJ?

                                                        Best Roti shop in the GTA, IMO.

                                                        1. re: justxpete

                                                          Nope, not familiar with Kori's. Just did the google and the only one I saw was in Oakville. Is that the one you meant?

                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                            Indeed. Run. Do not walk.

                                                            I am also partial to the chicken + shrimp (not the shrimp + chicken). With the shrimp + chicken, you get 4 jumbo shrimp + chicken. WIth the chicken + shrimp, you get 2 jumbo shrimp, which is a better balance.

                                                            I've been going for 10+ years. Sometimes I drive 30-40 minutes when I have a craving. You can't get better. The owner told me once that there is a group from Orillia that drive down once a month and get a huge order - it's that good.

                                                            Speaking of which, I'm probably going to go there today after a meeting in 'ssauga.

                                                            1. re: justxpete

                                                              Nice, I will definitely make a trip. Thanks for the rec! The one roti shop I tried in Niagara so far was very meh.

                                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                It's one of my all time favs. Do make a trip in the near future. Well worth it. Promise.

                                                                1. re: justxpete

                                                                  Sounds great. I will have to make that trip.

                                                              2. re: justxpete

                                                                Hmn. Oakville eh. It's kinda on the way out to Niagara, right? *ponders*

                                                                1. re: jlunar

                                                                  3 minutes off the Dorval exit. Not that I checked or anything...

                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                    One could certainly make a trip to Niagara and bring it to you, hmm TJ?

                                                                    1. re: justxpete

                                                                      Oh, no worries, I will make my own trip soon enough. It's between Mapleview shopping centre and Bed Bath and Beyond, two semi-regular destinations. ;)

                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                        Oakville/Halton definitely have some destination worthy chow places. Stoney's Bread Company, Blacktree, Spencers off the top of my head.

                                                        2. re: justxpete

                                                          Hey JP, is this just for lunches? Yeah, Galleria is a pretty cool place to check out and they sure make a nice fried chicken (20 min wait unless you call ahead to order); you may be able to ask for half sauced and half unsauced and see what you prefer. Also can supplement with sides from their by-weight buffet bar. Linda Thai, try it out. Shirini yes but it's just sweets. Sun Star (10 min) is very good for Canto but moreso dinner than lunch. To be honest, the rest are just decent options because of the proximity (there's not much else, though I don't know about Kinnaree).

                                                          But for actual interesting options and if you did have time for a ten minute drive, you should spend more days in that Lawrence corridor between Pharmacy and Warden. In one plaza, Shawarma Empire (get one falafel pita, one chicken/beef shawarma pita) and Patna Kabab, try various Pakistani kababs - chicken-lamb (darbari) and ground chicken (silky) esp., ground beef (seekh), bihari - with some milky naan. That plaza also has Nasib's (shawarma), Coalpot (oxtail, curry goat, cow foot soup/mannish water - opens at 2pm, haven't tried yet), and a good Sri Lankan place (forget name now, replaced New Devi).

                                                          And of course, pick up goods from Patisserie Royale, one of my favourite spots in the city. So many great treats - knefeh (warmed up for you), bassma, mammoul with walnut/pistachio/dates, swar, wardeh, pistachio/almond/walnut/cashew baklava, borma. Try a couple things, and if it's your bag, get an assortment.

                                                          At the Warden/Pharm SW plaza, Makkalchon for Korean, Al Tanoor for Iraqi shawarma in a samoon, and A-One samosas in the Indian grocer. Diana's is also nearby. As an aside for the A-One lovers, you can likely find them as long as you find Indian grocery stores. I.e. I've gotten mine all along at Centre & Dufferin in Thornhill, and the bulk store in the Newtonbrook plaza at Yonge & Finch has them on Fri/Sat. But only veg though, which are still fantastic, but the beef ones at the store are even better. And they are amazing when you get them hot and fresh.

                                                          Also consider your chance at trying the jerk pork at Mr. Jerk in the Peanut Plaza (and patties at Allan's inside the plaza) and patties and jerk chicken on a bun at Allwyn's in the Parkwoods plaza on York Mills.

                                                          Awful lot of hole-in-the-walls in my post though, not gonna lie.

                                                          1. re: Chester Eleganté

                                                            Yes, Shawarma Empire. Now.

                                                            And yes, that was a huge post, Chester! Thanks for all your suggestions.

                                                            1. re: justxpete

                                                              Yes, Chester's suggestions are most compelling. Are you a Shawarma Empire hot sauce junkie now?

                                                              1. re: Googs

                                                                I've been wanting to try this place for a long time, because everyone says it's the best in TO - but I'd never really made an effort to find out where it was and make a trip - so a fortunate coincidence for me.

                                                                In any case - it's funny that you ask. I didn't know the hot sauce was "a thing", but I got one "regular" and one spicy chicken. I thought the shawarmas were delicious, but I found the hot sauce largely bland - the only thing it added was spice... but maybe they were having an off day w/ the spice? In any case - since you pointed it out specifically, I'm going to try it again.

                                                                The shawarma itself reminded me a lot of Monforte's (a mostly Oakville-based institution).

                                                                The only thing that bothered me about the place was that they were really busy - and the lady handling the money was also helping to make shawarmas periodically.

                                                                I'm not certain that's allowed.. ?

                                                                (and no, she didnt wash her hands in between handling the food & money).

                                                            2. re: Chester Eleganté

                                                              Chester - Allwyn's - I only found it by flipping through the back pages of Toronto Life. We stopped by and it looked shuttered. Maybe it wasn't open at the time. Saturday around noonish... no posted hours of op, it looked alittle run down. when was the last time you made it out there?

                                                          2. For "fast food" (although I think with all the other great recs you won't need it) - there was a Lick's at York Mills/Lesmill that was pretty good, relatively speaking of course.

                                                            1. I work in the area. I'm impressed with the range of options just on York Mills in between Don Mills and Leslie!

                                                              The Artisano on York Mills just east of Lesmill is great for lunches (and there's a Menchie's right beside it....) - it's where I usually take my business lunches. They sell fresh loaves of bread too - yummy. http://www.artisanobakery.com

                                                              Matsu Sushi - it's not bad for a cheap and tasty AYCE/a-la-carte combo place! You pay one price and order anything/everything you want from a full personal menu sheet with checkboxes. And you can keep it coming if you like. The best deal is at lunch, but beware the terrible (overactive, not underactive) service!

                                                              If you're in the mood for something a little different, check out Casa Manila at Don Mills & York Mills. It's pretty authentic Filipino cuisine. http://www.casamanila.ca/

                                                              If you want old classics, there is a Firkin-and-something-type pub in the same area as Matsu, Menchies and Artisano (also Wendy's Pizzaiolio, 5 Guys, etc.) as well as a Keg location around the corner on Leslie just North of York Mills.

                                                              1. I work and live around here too. A lot of great foods. A lot of people have already given great suggestions:

                                                                1. Roti at Island Foods is great
                                                                2. Keg is always a safe choice
                                                                3. St Louis wings

                                                                And if Don Mills and Lawrence isn't too far from you I would suggest going around Shop of Don Mills..there's Joeys and Bier Market

                                                                Also if you want to buy food to eat at home, I agree with jlunar with Galleria and Taro's Fish are great places to shop. Gallaria has a lot of premade korean food that are very good and great price. Taro's Fish has the fresh and great selection of sashimi (one of my fave places to get sashimi)

                                                                1. The only place I see missing on this thread is Bamiyan Kabob at Don Mills and Overlea.

                                                                  1. If you're willing to drive down to Overlea for Bamiyan...you could try Caribbean Palms in the Flemingdon Plaza (Don Mills...east side north of Overlea)...good roti and other items...I like the boneless chicken roti and have had some decent jerk chicken there....

                                                                      1. tks to justxpete for starting this thread and to all the hounds who replied! i'm starting a gig in the area and can't wait for weekday lunches!!