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Toronto's Best Food Neighbourhoods

Breadcrumbs Apr 22, 2013 01:12 PM

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. kwass RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 22, 2013 01:21 PM

    The Ossington Strip (if it can be considered a "neighbourhood")
    -Libretto
    -Saint
    -Rock Lobster
    -Oddseul
    -Hawker Bar
    -Yours Truly
    -Foxley

    Parkdale
    -Chantecler
    -Grand Electric
    -Electric Mud BBQ
    -Porzia

    8 Replies
    1. re: kwass
      KhaoSanRoad RE: kwass Apr 23, 2013 02:38 PM

      add to ossington:
      thien thanh
      bellwoods

      add to parkdale:
      part & labour
      alis

      1. re: KhaoSanRoad
        s
        szw RE: KhaoSanRoad Apr 23, 2013 10:28 PM

        Add to parkdale: Ali's roti!

        1. re: szw
          s
          szw RE: szw Apr 24, 2013 12:09 AM

          Oops nevermind I assumed alis was something else!

      2. re: kwass
        KhaoSanRoad RE: kwass Apr 23, 2013 02:43 PM

        little italy:
        isabel
        woodlot
        la carnita
        sidecar
        duffs
        hey meatball
        acadia
        bestellen
        black skirt
        bittondos
        california sandwich
        auld spot

        1. re: kwass
          l
          LexiFirefly RE: kwass Apr 24, 2013 11:05 AM

          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
            prima RE: LexiFirefly Apr 24, 2013 11:49 AM

            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. http://www.nossotalho.com/aboutus.php 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
              l
              LexiFirefly RE: prima Apr 24, 2013 11:59 AM

              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
                prima RE: LexiFirefly Apr 24, 2013 12:00 PM

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

        2. CocoaChanel RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 22, 2013 03:31 PM

          SLM for shopping.

          1. r
            rstuart RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 22, 2013 06:58 PM

            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. l
              LemonLauren RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 23, 2013 09:19 AM

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

              1. prima RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 23, 2013 03:52 PM

                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
                  b
                  bytepusher RE: prima Apr 23, 2013 05:12 PM

                  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
                    KhaoSanRoad RE: prima Apr 24, 2013 10:52 AM

                    summerhill:
                    black camel
                    lcbo
                    holy chuck

                    1. re: prima
                      KhaoSanRoad RE: prima Apr 24, 2013 10:56 AM

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

                    2. Kagemusha RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 24, 2013 06:25 AM

                      Among my faves is the area on the east side of Kipling, south of Dundas down to the Queensway. Dimp's bakery, Tymek's, North Fish, various butchers, Pasquale Bros., bakeries, etc. Short on restos but long on food. Also Starsky's and Brandt Meat further west just over the line into Mississauga.

                      1. s
                        stayathomesommelier RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 24, 2013 01:42 PM

                        I like Bloor from Dufferin to past Christie area. Gasparo's is a fantastic butcher. Fiesta Farms is just a bit north. PAT asian market on Bloor. Lots of little Ethiopian stores selling injera and Berber. La Tortilleria and Tiera Azteca at Bloor and Dufferin.

                        Seems like a long stretch. But stop at Ella's Uncle or Gigi's for coffee along the way. Or at Northwood for something more potent.

                        1. ComerDemonio RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 24, 2013 06:28 PM

                          North of College and south of Bloor anywhere between Grace/Christie and Spadina. You have access to Little Italy (Grace, Woodlot, La Carnita, Sidecar, Acadia, Bar Isabel, etc) and to the Harbord strip (Splendido, Hardbord Room, Tati, Ici, et al). You can go north to Korea town and south to Kensington Market for shopping (Sanagan's, Hooked, Lavers, Karma Coop, Fiesta Farms) and for dinning (Torito, Via Mercanti, etc).

                          All these places and choices are within easy walking or biking distance.

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