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Lunch and dinner near convention center

Hi all, It's my first trip to Toronto! I'll be at the Convention Center, staying at the Fairmont Hotel. I would really appreciate suggestions for lunch and dinner near the Convention Center. Deliciousness and ability to make a reservation are most important, cost isn't an issue. Thank you so much!

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  1. What do you consider "near"... i.e. 10 minute walk ? 10 minute cab ride? 10 minute transit ride?

    Your hotel is across the street from Union station so you can pretty much get around the city quiet easily. I would suggest not limiting yourself to around the convention centre (I will say Metro Convention Centre because we have more than one in Toronto) as there isn't a lot in that area. You could walk up to King Street.. maybe hit up Luma or Canteen in the Lightbox. I haven't been to either for lunch though

    Also suggest you search for Skydome/Roger's Centre/ACC on here as those are all in that area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ylsf

      Lunch needs to be as close to the Convention Center as possible. Dinner can be a 10 minute cab ride. Thanks for the ideas!

    2. How far are you willing to go? Walking only? Cuisine you want in particular?

      Some places around there - all should take reservations

      Canoe
      Biff's
      Momofuku - 3 different restos
      Epic
      Richmond Station

      2 Replies
      1. re: Wil

        We're open to cuisine. Lunch needs to be close, but dinner can be a 10 minute cab ride. Open to cuisine but would like to see the best of Toronto.

        1. re: Wil

          Canoe - fancy, higher end, but slightly more affordable at lunch. Not fast.

          Biff's - more bistro feel

          O&B at Yonge/Front - bar/bistro feel

          Momofuku - Noodle Bar for loud and boisterous, good hearty lunch, Daisho for nicer, etc.

          Richmond Station - good burger and amazing desserts

          Also not too far...
          The Queen and Beaver - pub, but AMAZING
          The Gabardine - comfort food done very well

        2. If you're here for the baking and sweets show, keep in mind that canoe won't be open on the weekend. I would see if you could make it today or tomorrow though!

          2 Replies
          1. re: LexiFirefly

            We're there next week, Wed-Sunday. But I wish I was there for the baking and sweets show!

            1. re: mtbwustl

              Be careful, the baking and sweets show is at the CONGRESS center which is way out near the airport. The GTA has at least 4 big convention/trade show facilities so always be sure you are looking at the right one.

          2. Options differ fairly radically depending on if you're in the north or south building of the MTCC. And in the North building, there's a little variance depending on if you're in the Constitution Ballroom, John Bassett Theatre, or the exhibit halls in between. Do you know where you are?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Googs

              Sadly I don't know where we'll be. I'll see if I can find out.

              1. re: mtbwustl

                Where are you coming FROM, how old are you, and how many people will you be for lunch and for dinner? I would answer very differently depending on your answers.

                In general, if you are short on time for lunch, don't even bother. There is nothing quick nearby and worth the effort. Right now I love Richmond Station for downtown lunch, but you can't get there, eat , and get back to business in less than an hour. Are you entertaining clients during lunch and that's why you want reservations? Canoe("Canadian" cuisine, definitely corporate, and 1%er views of the lake and islands)George(ambitious, a bit precious, very expensive, but a charming setting), Woods(new, spacious and modern, owner-chef), Starfish (seafood) are all good restaurants nearby that might work for lunch OR dinner. Also for the cheap delicious and NOISY nearby the Swish by Han(Korean),or a bit farther the Khao San Road(Thai). No reservations at either, and line-ups if you arrive between 11:55 am and 12:30.

                A bunch of co-workers who might share plates, needing to unwind after a tough day at a conference? Kingyo, Momfuku DAISHO (the mid-priced restaurant on the middle floor) or anything that appeals on the Ossington Strip.

                A 10 minute cab ride from your hotel or the Centre at dinner time? You're better off walking.

                BTW, genders and preferences are irrelevant... anywhere in downtown Toronto is safe and welcoming for all. I only mention it because some visitors (especially from dangerous cities) ask.

                And as I often am wandering alone at night in strange cities, _ I _ like to know!

                1. re: KAYLO

                  Certainly! Lunch is for three on Friday. Business lunch with friends, but some privacy would be nice. We have 2 hours, so it doesn't have to be fast. I'm coming from Dallas, one from NYC, one from Santa Fe. All into food.

                  Dinner Saturday is with 5 old friends. St. Louis, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville and Dallas. One doesn't share her food. We like great food, all but one are adventurous. Price isn't an issue, but I'd prefer a more relaxed, less formal/stuffy evening.

                  I'm a city girl, so I'm really excited to check it out. While this trip is all work, I'm coming back for fun in a few months.

                  1. re: mtbwustl

                    Very helpful! Five Americans for leisurely dinner, none from NY or LA. That rules out steak (Europeans go NUTS for the beef here) and strongly suggests awesome Asian food, which is an easy category for Toronto.

                    Toronto skews formal stuffy for the fine dining, or young and noisy. A food-focussed "more relaxed, less formal/stuffy evening" is an interesting challenge.

                    The usual suspects for fine dining are easy, and formal. Every hound here has his or her favorites, but Splendido and George are typical, and in both on a Saturday night you will be surrounded by middle-aged and older couples and quartets celebrating life events. SPecial occasion dining, but the food in both is excellent. Not necessarily right for your easy-going 5-some though.

                    Kingyo would work perfectly but for your non-sharing, non-adventurous friend. There are safer choices there , but it is awkward for four to tear into lots of convivial shared platters while one eats orderly courses. Alone. If she has to cancel her trip, go KINGYO and thank me later.

                    Farmhouse Tavern, Grove, The Harbord Room, HOpgood's FOodliner, Bar Isabel ,or Edulis maybe?ALl excellent food with something that raises it to special, all in the safe and familiar western idiom, all relaxed in atmosphere, but taken as a group, it's hard to hear across the tables in many of these. Does anyone have a strong sense of which is the most suitable?
                    C'mon, 'HOunds, help the lady out!

                    For lunch, absolutely NOTHING is going to blow away your New Yorker. It's a matter of principle with them/us. But as Santa Fe and Dallas are not strong on seafood or Asian and as you have two hours, for Asian near the Convention Centre I'm back to Momofuku Daisho AS THERE IS NO DAISHO IN NYC; it takes bookings, is quiet enough and elegant enough for catching up with business friends, will have you out in 90 minutes easily (and you need 10 each way to walk to/ from the convention centre)and most people find the food....powerful and memorable. It is NOT subtle. Check the menu and perhaps prepay and have them start making just one of the big meaty items if you are going to be walking in at 12:15. The Bo Ssam is classic, but don't expect three people to finish it. Not even close.As you are not price-sensitive, just order it, enjoy it, and take the rest out in a box or two and give it to homeless people you pass en route to the centre.

                    And I am a big fan of WOODS, modern Canadian locavore, chef/owner, wife makes the desserts, lovely relaxed but beautiful room, serves lunch and dinner, takes reservations. And if you cab you can definitely make it to Woods or Starfish (seafood) for lunch and be back to your convention.

                    Woods and Starfish are convenient to your hotel, by the way, but on the far side of the hotel from the convention centre.

            2. Toca at the Ritz Carlton is an option for lunch. Walking distance to the Convention Centre and they honor reservations.I have enjoyed Luma at the TIFF flightboz as well. I have enjoyed Aria and Eleven as well. Sunday brunch at the Ritz is a decadent treat - pricey but worth it if you have time to relax, enjoy and fill your belly.