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May 28, 2013 10:55 AM

Visiting Toronto Food Recommendations.

Hello everyone!

I'll be in the toronto area with some friends visiting and was looking for some restaurant recommendations. Hoping to find a solid chinese and seafood place, and quite honestly open to anything. Any and all tips would certainly be appreciated thanks for the help!

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  1. Where will you be staying? Do you have access to a car? Do prices matter? And where are you from? Might help us guide you.

    1. Thanks for the quick reply, anyway i'll be staying at the Sheraton in the downtown area. Will have access to a car, but the less distance i have to travel the better. Prices don't matter all too much, but probably not going to be looking to go to a place that'll break the bank i.e. French Laundry, Alinea, and so on. Will be traveling from michigan, but I use to live in Napa Valley, California.

      As for the recommendations for chinese restaurants, i'm open to all suggestions, obviously thats an extremely diverse category, would probably like to keep emphasis on either of the 3 categories : Authentic, Fusion, White table cloth.
      Will be there for 3 days and 2 nights so lunch spot recommendations will certainly be appreciated as well.

      Pretty much open for anything thats worth checking out. Food trucks, fine dining, hole in the walls. Doesn't really matter.

      6 Replies
      1. re: na3r0k

        in that general area --
        1) santouka for ramen
        2) guu izakaya
        3) crown princess dim sum
        4) yummy yummy dumpling
        5) swatow (noodle soups)
        6) momofoku noodle bar et al

        1. re: autopi

          awesome recs, forgot about momofuku in toronto, always wanted to check it out so will certainly make it a stop. Out of all the dim sum places do you have one you'd recommend over any other?

          1. re: na3r0k

            There are three Momofukus (all in the same building) with the Noodle bar the least expensive. Two-minute walk from your hotel.

            I'd go to Crown Princess or Pearl @ Harbourfront for dim sum. The hotel is right at Bay Street and CP is about a 10-minute ride north, Pearl about five minutes south overlooking the lake. Both are somewhat more expensive than the cheaper spots in Chinatown but have more memorable decor/better service.

            1. re: MissBingBing

              awesome will definitely look into those places!

        2. re: na3r0k

          Hello! If you're looking for some good chinese food, chances are you won't find that many in downtown toronto. I mean I guess Lai Wah Heen will be an exception but it is pricey but since you said price doesn't matter as much I would recommend that restaurant for you if you'd like to stay in the Downtown Area.

          Omei in Markham is a good chinese restaurant famous for their Lobsters cooked multiple ways. Lee restaurant downtown got some good reviews as well.

          -- Skinnychopsticks from

          1. re: Skinnychopsticks

            Thanks for the recommendations, although i would have to say i would trust you a lot more if instead of skinnychopsticks you were fatchopsticks, just saying.... All joking aside though thanks for the help!

        3. I always recommend visitors to head to St Lawrence Market for a great food experience. It'd be best to head there when you can see both North and South side (farmers market and inside food building). Anthony Boudain went there and loved the peameal bacon. I also highly recommend Buster Sea Cove for anything if you love super fresh seafood. The halibut and calamari are stand outs for me.

          I also recommend Soma Chocolates if you love anything sweet. They're amazing for their single source chocolate bars and gelato.

          If you don't want to travel far to find good Chinese food, I would recommend going to The Grand near the airport as you arrive or leave Toronto. To me, it beats anything downtown Toronto for Cantonese Chinese food and dim sum. It's not as good as the top restaurants in Richmond Hill but it's pretty amazing. It's also reasonably priced.

          Another restaurant I love downtown is Buca. It's trendy and loud but the food is amazing. You have to get the Bigoli hand cranked duck egg pasta with duck ragu. It's my standout dish there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nevy

            thanks so much for the help will definitely check some of these places out!

          2. I just made this list for some friends that are visiting. Most of the locations are around the core and should be easily accessible by car or even transit.

            - banh mi boys - on queen street just west of spadina (awesome fast food viet sandwhiches). Their kim-chi fries and pork belly bao are my fav
            - gilead cafe - in corktown on a hidden lane. Fantastic brunch/lunch stuff that's a bit fancy without it being crazy expensive. Chef is Jamie Kennedy, who is a prominent pioneer in Toronto's locavore stuff. His fries are pretty awesome.
            - Canteen and Bannock are owned by the same people as own some fancy restaurants like Canoe, Auberge du Pommier and Luma (pricey, but worth it if you can) but their price point is much lower. Bannock has duck poutine pizza that you have to try.
            - Stockyard's BBQ - some of the best fried chicken and ribs I've had, on St. Clair near Christie. Double check their website to see which nights they're doing ribs and chicken. They don't always have their smoker running:
            - Guu - this is a funky trendy (slightly pricy) Japanese place. The vibe is very awesome. When you walk in, the whole staff yell a welcome at you. You sit "family" style at long tables with other people. Food is really well done, tapas style (smaller portions) good for sharing. Might be worth going in for a quick snack to get the vibe. My wife loves their deep fried chicken skin.
            - Beast Restaurant - I've only ever been for their "beast-which" specials on Fridays. They are usually a guest chef that puts together a sandwhich, side and dessert for $10. Starts at noon, and usually sells out pretty quick. It's awesome if you're in the area (bathurst and king). On weekends they do brunch, including some nice looking doughnuts. I haven't been yet for brunch though.

            Here's some places I've had recommended, but haven't been... yet:
            - The Black Skirt -
            - Hopgoods foodliner (the Halifax donair was recommended
            )- Edulis restaurant
            - The Gabardine
            - Pomegranate (jeweled rice, lamb shank and yoghourt were recommended)
            - Manic Coffee (pistachio gelato)
            - Dumpling house (crispy rice Lang)
            - Momofuku (This is a big one right now. Probably the #1 in toronto in terms of fancy food. Some stuff that I saw recommended: parsley root, preserved Lemon, compressed/candied cukes, vanilla bean meringue || chic thighs shiitake and sir racha with Bibb lettuce || speckled trout || crispy rice cakes w sesame, melted onions and chili sauce || peameal buns, Dan Dan mien)
            - AokFoods - queen west (wings and ramen recommended)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mattrcs

              Good list, Mattrcs. Although I wouldn't recommend AoK foods for Ramen, there is far, far better in the city. Good wings though.

            2. Joso's is pretty reliable for seafood. You could also try John and Sons Oyster House or Redfish.

              4 Replies
              1. re: kwass

                Rumour has it redfish is for sale, so get it while you can! They're awesome.

                1. re: LexiFirefly

                  That's such a shame that they've put it up for sale. I'm not sure why it never caught on.

                  1. re: kwass

                    My guess would be lack of marketing. With chiado and bestelen on the same street, at their price point they would need to stand out. The rent is really high on that corner with the patio.

                    1. re: LexiFirefly

                      That makes sense. It's still too bad! But now that you've mentioned it Chiado would also be a great rec for the OP.