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Nov 22, 2013 09:41 AM

Amazing Toronto Eateries? Help me plan where to go.


i'll be in the Toronto area in the near future:

* Can you recommend some great, Chow-worthy restaurants in the Toronto (or west-of Toronto) area?

While i'll be in Hamilton, i'm going to make an effort to drive into Toronto to make sure to try some great food, wherever the restaurant may be. :>

i've tried Momofuku and Edulis (both were pretty good).

any great cuisine recommendation is appreciated, and also special thanks in advance for:

* Best Pizza Margherita
* Best Japanese (non-sushi or sushi ok)

all other cuisine recs also. :>

TIA! ^^

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  1. Here are some threads where CH'ers have mentioned essential and must have culinary experiences in GTA area.

    For sushi, we have Sushi Kaji and Chef Kaji San is argueably our sushi master in Toronto. He only does omakase and it's really worth the price. For more affordable options, a few names have been tossed around as being very good... Jabistro, Zen, and Cafe Michi are ones that I've seen being recommended over and over.

    As for pizza, we have a few places that specializes in Neopolitan pizza. Pizza Libretto, Pizza e Pazi, and Queen Margherita all have their respective fans. I do not believe there are any detractors. There are also a few other styles in Toronto (e.g. sicilian).

    1. I like Pizzeria Libretto Danforth's Margherita the best.

      I finally tried Zen in Scarborough, and enjoyed the best sushi I've had in years. That being said, I'm not sure if I'd drive out of my way for Zen (which is located in a strip mall in suburbia, at least a 20 minute drive east of downtown TO) if I was coming from LA. If you're planning to enjoy Japanese food in Toronto,perhaps be prepared to adjust your expectations a little? While I think our best sushi is great for Toronto, I know a lot of Torontonians who seek out and splurge on high-end sushi when visiting LA.

      10 Replies
      1. re: prima

        Libretto can't possibly be the best

        I am new to the city, does anyone have any better recommendations.

          1. re: MissBingBing

            In my opinion, Libretto's pizza is not as spectacular as some would have us believe. I think that some are more enamored by the idea of Libretto rather than the actual product. It is not the style of pizza that I am concerned by - there is a similar restaurant in my native Montreal that I like much better - it is the piling of bland on bland on bland and the often soggy crust that bothers me. So, as I said, there must be better pizza than Libretto's. They do make great calamari ;)

          2. re: frogsteak

            Libretto Danforth's version is the one I like best. I like the pizza better at the Danforth location than the Ossington location. It's just an opinion. It's also possible to order them more cooked, if you'd like the centre less soggy, should you give them another chance in the future.

            I like PLD's version better than the version at Queen Margherita, Falasca SPQR (which isn't Neapolitan-style), Terroni (which isn't Neapolitan-style, but has a dry crust, so maybe you'd like their version), the place on Roncesvalles or the place on Mt Pleasant.

            Feel free to disagree. This a discussion board, after all. :)

            1. re: prima

              I've been to the Ossington location on a number of locations but I will check them out on Danforth based on your recommendation.

              1. re: frogsteak

                If you found the Libretto pizza bland, maybe try Queen Margherita or another Neapolitan place before heading to the Danforth location.
                Margherita thread from 2012

                You might also want to try the pizza at Sud Forno or Forno Cultura. I haven't tried either yet.

                1. re: prima

                  Do you know the style of pizza at either bakery? Both of them are on my list to go forever.

                  I also want to add that Buca pizza is very good as well. Its similar to Neapolitan style but less wet in the middle.

                  1. re: prima

                    Forno Cultura's pizza isn't Neapolitan-style. It's a thicker crust, and cut into squares. It's already baked, rather than baked to order. They start serving pizza at 11 am.

                    I don't know anything about Sud Forno's pizza. Maybe another Chowhound could add their 2 cents. :)

                    1. re: prima

                      Prefer Sud Forno's pizza to Forno Cultura. Sud Forno is also cut into squares but I found the crust to be lighter and crisper and the toppings were much more flavourful. Really like the stuffed stirata sandwiches as well.

                      However, I adore the cookies at Forno Cultura.

                      1. re: prima

                        I don't know how to characterize Sud Forno's pizza. All I can say is that it's fantastic!!

                        As for Libretto, I agree with you prima. I think it's one of the best pizza's around.

            2. Your suggestion of Pizza and Japanese seems to have eliminated alternative cuisines.

              If I lived in Hamilton, the places I would potentially drive to would be (honestly I wouldn't drive 40 minutes each way for any Pizza!):
              Blacktree in Burlington - I drive more than 40 minutes to get there from Toronto! Hate their website. Love their food.
              In Toronto - more west than most -
              Actinolite - IMO what Edulis is trying to be (and watch the flak that raises - but I've been to each at least 3 times; my worst meal at Actinolite beats my best at Edulis).

              Chiado - Portuguese raised to fine dining standards. Think traditional French in style (and price), but with Portuguese ingredients and seasoning. I much prefer the modern dishes to the traditional (e.g. stews) ones. If there's a better Portuguese place in North America I've yet to find it.

              Neither of the above are 'cheap' - but an investment of significant time in a round-trip journey deserves a substantial pay-off.

              1 Reply
              1. re: estufarian

                thanks Nevy, prima, estufarian. :>

                I should clarify: I'm in search of *any* Chow worthy / noteworthy restaurants in the Toronto area, but was also seeking out recommendations for great Japanese and Pizza Margherita as well. :>

                I will check out those threads and your recs here. very helpful, thanx!

              2. I like Bread Bar in Hamilton for lunch.

                I like Libretto Danforth for Pizza.

                Great cuisine can also be found at Bar Isabel, Farmhouse and Enoteca Sociale, to name my recent tops.

                1. thanx for everyone's recommendations and the older threads Nevy linked up! :>

                  I need some help / ideas filling in the last few open meal slots for my trip, please. :> I need 1 more Dinner idea, and plenty of Lunch spot ideas.

                  * Day 1 *
                  Lunch: Memphis Fire BBQ [can change if someone has a better rec in Hamilton]
                  Dinner: Booked. [friends surprise]

                  * Day 2 *
                  L: Queen Margherita Pizzeria
                  D: Kingyo

                  * Day 3 *
                  L: Pizzeria Libretto Danforth (or something else if someone has a rec)
                  D: Rapscallion

                  * Day 4 *

                  * Day 5 *
                  D: [Booked]

                  I forgot to mention I've been to Enoteca Sociale last time (loved it! :>), besides Momofuku, Edulis, and Guu.

                  I don't mind going back to Enoteca, but if someone has a better Italian recommendation (for pastas), let me know.

                  I was thinking of fitting in Tutti Matti in there (maybe a lunch?). Also Actinolite is closed for the Day 4 Dinner. Darn.

                  also, how is Bairrada Churrassqueira? I saw that mentioned in another thread i was browsing here.

                  TIA for any help filling out the last few spots.