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Apr 22, 2013 01:12 PM

Toronto's Best Food Neighbourhoods

A colleague just relocated to Toronto and he loves to dine out and cook at home. He asked me what I thought Toronto's best "Food Neighbourhood" was. My first thought was Kensington Market/Chinatown for shopping and unique dining. I also sent him a link to the great Leslieville thread here but since I live in the burbs and don't know the neighbourhoods as well as you all do I thought I'd throw the question to the experts.

What neighbourhood(s) would you recommend for dining and food shopping? If you have specific restaurants or food shops you love there it would be great to hear about those as well.

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  1. The Ossington Strip (if it can be considered a "neighbourhood")
    -Rock Lobster
    -Hawker Bar
    -Yours Truly

    -Grand Electric
    -Electric Mud BBQ

    8 Replies
    1. re: kwass

      add to ossington:
      thien thanh

      add to parkdale:
      part & labour

        1. re: szw

          Oops nevermind I assumed alis was something else!

      1. re: kwass

        little italy:
        la carnita
        hey meatball
        black skirt
        california sandwich
        auld spot

        1. re: kwass

          The only issue with parkdale/ossington is it's really only restaurants. Trying to grocery shop in parkdale now is like pulling teeth.

          1. re: LexiFirefly

            It's good to see Venezia Bakery is still holding its own on Ossington. I'd think the rent is currently too high for any new food retailers to enter the neighbourhood.

            Dundas West, west of Ossington, still seems to have a fair number of indie, Portuguese-centric grocery options. I haven't bought anything at Nosso Talho, but it looks like a good option for the neighbourhood. I've also been quite impressed by most of the Portuguese bakeries on Dundas W. Does anyone have any recs for other shops/butchers/bakeries along Dundas W?

            1. re: prima

              I buy from there all the time! It's been my replacement since European closed in kensington for not expensive chicken and oxtail ect. Also they always have a wicked price on nice fatty pork bellies.

              1. re: LexiFirefly

                Good to know! I'll keep it in mind next time I'm shopping in the neighbourhood.

          1. Definitely Kensington/Chinatown for shopping and food. I agree with what kwass says below: great restaurants in the Ossington area.. I live in little Italy and think that it's great because I can walk to Kensington, eat at great restaurants around on College and shop at good greengrocers/butchers, and easily walk to Dundas W, Queen W and Ossington.

            1. I live somewhere between the Danforth, Leslieville and Gerrard India Bazaar - it's pretty perfect.

              1. For splurge shopping, I like Summerhill the best, with Petit Thuet, Patachou, Olliffe,Pisces Gourmet, Harvest Wagon and All the Best,as well as Summerhill Market.

                I can't say any one neighbourhood has more than 2 restaurants that I visit more than a few times a year. I probably end up eating out on Danforth and downtown the most frequently.

                I go a little out of my way every 2 months or so, to go shopping at the Big Carrot and Serano on Pape. Before most dinner parties or potlucks, I make a trip down to SLM for vegetables and meat.

                3 Replies
                1. re: prima

                  There's a reason that strip of stores south of Summerhill has been called the "five thieves" since basically forever, but yes, sometimes a splurge is what's needed...

                  1. re: prima

                    black camel
                    holy chuck

                    1. re: prima

                      what would you call dundas east from hurontario to qew in mississauga? its a solid strip:
                      bbq (tho have yet to try)
                      banh mi
                      asian grocery with excellent thai product
                      korean grocery