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Jun 8, 2013 08:35 PM

Recommendations for First Visit to Toronto

My sister and I (she from Chicago, me from New York; both definitely Chowish) are visiting Toronto for the first time in a couple of weeks. We'll be staying in King Street West or CBD without a car, but we do not have an issue using public transit to get anywhere worth eating (e.g., in NYC, we will happily travel 1+ hr. by subway/bus for Uzbeki food in Brighton Beach or Taiwanese food in Flushing). We love to use restaurants as destinations for exploring places where people live and create community. To that end, where are some places we might eat that will get us out of the city center and expose us to a range of Toronto's neighborhoods? [From the past posts, I am certain that we will spend some time in/around Kensington and St. Lawrence markets.] We will be in town Thursday - Sunday, and are happy for recommendations for all meals and snacks. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Chantecler on Queen West in Parkdale, Lardon on Roncevalles, Porchetta and Co. on Dundas in the Junction, the Saint on Ossington, and Luma in the TIFF Lightbox at King and John are great restaurants (and some of my faves!) that will get you to a lot of cool Toronto neighborhoods. There are so many nice spots, have a wonderful visit!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rosieintoronto

      The Junction is a cool area but it is a very long way from Porchetta.

      Kingyo in Cabbagetown

    2. Thanks, rosieintoronto and justsayn for the suggestions. They look like they will get us to some interesting neighborhoods for sure. Any other suggestions, esp. for interesting ethnic cuisine outside of Kensington Market?

      4 Replies
      1. re: clrnyc

        If you are willing to really invest some time into public transit then take the 25 bus from Pape Subway Station (or the 100 bus from Broadview Station) and get off in Thorncliffe Park, what you have there is a mixture of immigrant populations, mostly muslim that have moved into a commercial/industrial neighborhood, so you have the Pakistani grocery around the corner from the Coca Cola bottling plant. Good Afghan kebab place, search the forum for Overlea or Thorncliffe and you'll get some other ideas.

        1. re: bytepusher

          For reference to the out of town poster, I "think" bytepusher is referring to Baniyan Kabob.

          Although it is off the subway line - it is well serviced by bus. I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes to get a bus to the station.

          1. re: bytepusher

            The Coca-Cola bottling plant is up in Brampton? I wouldn't use this as a landmark.

            1. re: FrenchSoda

              There is one on Overlea Boulevard as well, where Coca-Cola Canada head office was also located. They recently (last month) moved out of the office but it's still has a big bronze sculpture of a coke bottle out front.

          1. re: MissBingBing

            Central Business District, what we call the Financial district

          2. I'm not exactly sure what CBD is and I've lived here for 10 years, but I live in King West.

            Bloor and Christie area is Koreatown, lots of good food options there.

            In King West I love 416 snackbar for late night drinks, music and snacks. Hawker Bar on Ossington is Singapore street food and delicious, and a stop off at Reposado for a pomegranate tequila before or after wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

            If you're late night on Queen West, make sure to get a Poutini poutine for a dose of Canadiana. (The same people that own Hawker own own Poutini and they do good work).

            1. pacific mall & j-town for noodles, chinese & japanese snacks, etc.

              leaside for tarte flambe, croissants, bagels, gelato, wings, fish&chips, brickworks market

              maybe add galleria in don mills to the thorncliffe tour

              st clair west streetcar for stockyards, wychwood, jamaican, pain perdu, south american, italian, vietnamese

              - khao san road

              3 Replies
              1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                Where in Leaside for the Tarte Flambe?

                1. re: bytepusher

                  Patisserie La Cigogne is the only place I know. Weekends only IIRC.

                  1. re: bytepusher

                    le cigogne. and they also make an excellent croque madame