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Toronto - Couple Cheap Recs?

jonny8 Sep 18, 2013 11:15 AM

Coming into Tdot for 4-5 days this weekend and I am looking for a couple cheap but good eats. I am also going to Montreal afterwards for a few days (and used to live there) so am looking to try foods that I can't have in Montreal/that Toronto do better.

Places that I used to eat at in Montreal (to name a few) are: Kazu, Romados, Qing Hua Dumplings, Bottega, Bombay Mahal, Rumi.

Places that I want to try while I'm in Toronto:
- Sansotei
- Bahn Mi Boys
- Enoteca Sociale
- Banjara Indian Cuisine

Is there a good place for dumplings/XLB's? Same question for Korean BBQ? Middle eastern?

I also am debating where to go for Mexican? Last time I was in Toronto, I went to El Trompo and really liked it. Looking for something similar.

Staying in the Liberty Village area but will have access to metro/bixi so I am more than willing to travel for good food.


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  1. midtowngirl RE: jonny8 Sep 18, 2013 12:12 PM

    Mother's Dumplings in Chinatown


    Seven Lives in Kensington for what they describe on their website as "SoCal and Tijuana style seafood and Tacos"

    +1 for Bahn Mi Boys!

    5 Replies
    1. re: midtowngirl
      maple99 RE: midtowngirl Sep 18, 2013 12:47 PM

      The pork and dill at Mother's dumplings are great.

      For Mexican you might like Tenoch on St. Clair west (take St. Clair streetcar to Oakwood Avenue). Pozole (Fridays only) is excellent. Wide variety of pretty authentic Mex offerings with Mex City regional focus.

      1. re: midtowngirl
        disgusti RE: midtowngirl Sep 18, 2013 03:34 PM

        Absolutely make a point of having at least one meal at seven lives

        1. re: disgusti
          jonny8 RE: disgusti Sep 18, 2013 07:19 PM

          Thanks you three, I will hopefully have enough time to check out both!

          Disgusti and midtowngirl, what do you recommend trying at Seven Lives?

          1. re: jonny8
            disgusti RE: jonny8 Sep 19, 2013 06:41 AM

            The octopus taco is retardedly good and anyone who visits Toronto without trying it is making a big mistake. Worth inquiring about the catch of the day (rotating seafood taco) and the ceviche has never disappointed. The agua frescas are likewise delicious. In case you can't tell I love it there

            1. re: jonny8
              childofthestorm RE: jonny8 Sep 19, 2013 10:58 AM

              First timers at Seven Lives also have to try the Gobernador taco.

        2. l
          lsk RE: jonny8 Sep 18, 2013 05:31 PM

          Since you're checking out Sansotei, sounds like you're interested in ramen. If you can fit another bowl of ramen into your schedule, Santouka is highly recommended (if you haven't already tried it here or elsewhere).

          9 Replies
          1. re: lsk
            serpah RE: lsk Sep 18, 2013 06:11 PM

            I haven't had Santouka but I'll definitely check them out! Ramen is one of my favourite foods.

            I also recommend Kintaro Ramen on Baldwin, who has (IMO) better ramen than Momofuko Noodle Bar.

            1. re: serpah
              jonny8 RE: serpah Sep 18, 2013 07:17 PM

              Thanks lsk for the rec, I have had Santouka (which is awesome) in Vancouver hence why I am going to Sansotei. Just want to try their take on ramen.

              1. re: serpah
                MissBingBing RE: serpah Sep 19, 2013 06:16 AM

                Kinton Ramen on Baldwin.

                1. re: MissBingBing
                  LexiFirefly RE: MissBingBing Sep 19, 2013 06:40 AM

                  Kinton is guu, so he can probably get that in Van too. I think santouka is a good option or a-ok for non Vancouver ramen. :)

                  1. re: LexiFirefly
                    KhaoSanRoad RE: LexiFirefly Sep 19, 2013 07:54 AM

                    my understanding is kinton is not guu. the licensee of guu toronto also operates kinton and jabistro. but they are not guu.

                    - khao san road

                    1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                      LexiFirefly RE: KhaoSanRoad Sep 19, 2013 08:24 AM

                      My bad. All the articles I saw said guu so I assumed. :)

                      1. re: LexiFirefly
                        KhaoSanRoad RE: LexiFirefly Sep 19, 2013 09:10 AM

                        my info in not official either. but i also checked the websites and they do not link to each other as well.

                        - khao san road

                        1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                          ylsf RE: KhaoSanRoad Sep 19, 2013 11:42 AM

                          Yeah, your version of it is how I understand it too

                  2. re: MissBingBing
                    disgusti RE: MissBingBing Sep 19, 2013 06:41 AM

                    Kinton is fun. Their recently reimagined chicken ramen is kinda badass

              2. j
                JennaBean RE: jonny8 Sep 19, 2013 09:23 AM

                Grand Electric for tacos! Cheap and cheerful and by cheerful I mean loud!

                7 Replies
                1. re: JennaBean
                  jonny8 RE: JennaBean Sep 19, 2013 09:49 AM

                  Thanks JennaBean. My cous recommended that one, just not sure how busy they are to get into?

                  1. re: jonny8
                    JennaBean RE: jonny8 Sep 19, 2013 09:54 AM

                    If you don't want to wait at all lunch is usually a good time to go or right when they open for dinner. If you're flexible go whenever, get your name on the list and go across to the Rhino for a pint while you wait.

                    1. re: JennaBean
                      disgusti RE: JennaBean Sep 19, 2013 10:14 AM

                      Grand electric has been consistently disappointing in past months, not worth the wait, if you want tacos go to seven lives and if you want the GE atmosphere go to electric mud.

                      1. re: disgusti
                        justsayn RE: disgusti Sep 19, 2013 10:23 AM

                        I've only eaten outside, is Mud really like GE inside?

                        1. re: disgusti
                          JennaBean RE: disgusti Sep 19, 2013 10:56 AM

                          I disagree but to each his own. I personally dislike the lack of seating at seven lives.

                          1. re: JennaBean
                            justsayn RE: JennaBean Sep 19, 2013 11:19 AM

                            I like GE a lot! But for me, never has a taco been as awesome as those often had at 7 lives. But yea, don't go to 7 if you want to sit down in a restaurant....it doesn't exist.

                            1. re: justsayn
                              JennaBean RE: justsayn Sep 19, 2013 11:21 AM

                              I like seven lives but I also like a chair, table and bourbon with my taco. :-)

                  2. t
                    trombasteve RE: jonny8 Sep 19, 2013 11:37 AM

                    Middle Eastern - if you have a car, Al Tanoor in Scarborough is some of the best food of its kind I've had. (And I used to live in the Middle East.)

                    Indian - Moti Mahal (Gerrard, between Greenwood and Coxwell) won't win any prizes for ambience or decor, but the food is fast, cheap, and deliciously, explosively flavourful. A favourite.

                    Thai - Khao San Road is good, accessible, and not particularly expensive (mains c. $14). Sukhothai is also felt to be amazing - I've never been, so I can't say anything about it.

                    Sandwiches - Porchetta and Co. Everything you're looking for - tasty, not something I remember having in Montréal (although I left five or six years ago), cheap, fast, distinctive.

                    Regional American - Stockyards Larder and Diner. (Christie and St. Clair) Been many times, and have never had a bad meal there.

                    AVOID - anything "Montréal". Many of these exist here, but they seemingly exist only to separate people from their money. None of the Montréal/Québec specialties are worth eating here, IMO. (Which is okay, since many other things are better here.)

                    (Edit - I do occasionally weaken and have a poutine at Poutini's, though. The curds aren't as good, but the gravy is better (IMO) than many in Québec. The fries are also generally good.)

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