HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

Yes? Hi!

We were having the talking about if there was the old restaurant in the Toronto that did the closing which would be the one that you would want to do the reopening again.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mamma's Pizza in Yorkdale (circa 30 years ago)
    Tony's Place in Yorkdale
    La Lucciola
    Young Lok
    Elizabeth's Chinese Food
    Plaka Restaurant on the Danforth
    Dip & Sip Donuts
    Cake Master

    1 Reply
    1. re: magic

      Also, long gone "Subs Plus" in Yonge/Eglinton Centre food court.

      Schnitzel sub. Drool.

    2. Thai Magic
      A pre-Marche-style Movenpick serving good seafood
      Lichee Gardens
      Magic Pan at the Eaton Centre

      7 Replies
        1. re: prima

          Oh... the original Movenpick! I had my first waffle there and it was a complete delight for an Asian kid who has never had a pancake or waffle. The Movenpick pre-Marche was MUCH better than it's 3rd reincarnation. I will say the Movenpick in Germany is close to the Toronto original

          1. re: Nevy

            Movenpick in Yorkville - I enjoyed quite a few meals there.

            1. re: Full tummy

              You're not alone!! I totally forgot about that Movenpick!!

              1. re: kwass

                And the squid ink pasta served in the lower level!!

                1. re: canadianbeaver

                  That's right...they did have a lower level...the memories are just flooding back now :)

              2. re: Full tummy

                As surprising as this might seem, I had the BEST ceviche ever at that location! Superb balance of texture and flavour, heat and salt. This was in their downstairs seafood room, before they closed.

          2. Copper Kettle on Lawrence!
            not a restaurant but Mister Donut
            Paul's Deep Sea somethingorother on Dundas.

            28 Replies
            1. re: petek

              My parents miss Archer's on St. Clair. They used to love those artichoke leaves for dipping, and the hearts of palm salad. So 80s!

              Oh my (Mamma's Pizza and La Lucciola)! Have to add Bentley's at Bathurst and Eglinton (late 80s) for donuts laced with eau de cigarette. What a blast from the past! For me, Toby's, Slime Rickey's, smoothies and sandwiches at Cultures in Yorkville, Michel's Baguette and Smitty's (just for the headgear) in Yorkdale, and Just Desserts on Davenport.

              I've since graduated to a healthier adult diet. LOL.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                Yonge/Eg Lime Rickey's. Sigh. Good times.

                1. re: magic

                  I'm thinking we must have crossed paths, either in high school or somewhere along Eglinton, Magic. Were you a late night regular at the Fire Pit or King Shawarma? Did you lunch at Jerusalem Restaurant?

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    We probably did cross paths yeah.

                    Fire Pit on Yonge? Yes. But not a late night regular. I was probably watching The Simpsons late at night.

                    Not sure I've heard of King Shawarma. King Falafel on the other hand has always been my go-to, yes.

                    Jerusalem, of course. But always for dinner. La Lucciola was lunch, RIP :(

                    Eglinton 32B!

                    1. re: magic

                      Brain farts on multiple fronts. I meant King Falafel. I also meant the Burger Shack at Chaplin and Eglinton, not the Fire Pit. D'uh. Must have been distracted this morning while typing.

                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                        Both were (and still are) go-tos absolutely :)

                        Nice when some of them stand the tests of time.

                  2. re: magic

                    Talk about memories magic!! I loved Lime Ricky's!!

                      1. re: magic

                        Magic, like 1sweatpea, I think we must have crossed paths as well.

                        1. re: kwass

                          That would not surprise me. :-)

                          1. re: magic

                            I should ask you what school you went to, what shul you went to, and what camp you went to, but I won't, because I don't think we're allowed to do that :)

                            1. re: kwass

                              One day all will be illuminated. It's a part of a master plan, you see. :)

                              1. re: magic

                                You've piqued my interest magic :)

                              2. re: kwass

                                I think you just did, Kwass! Too funny. However, it's probably more fun to just name neighbourhood haunts. How about Coronation Billiard Academy, The Wiz candy store and Grandmother's Nut Shop (a.k.a. Mother's Sweets and Nuts), Kiku, China House, Sabatino's, Monte Carlo, Lox, Stock and Bagel?

                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                  The Wiz...OMG you're killing me 1sweetpea!! How could I forget that?

                                  1. re: kwass

                                    Mwahaha. I spent all of my allowance there week after week for many years, particularly the pre bat mitzvah hebrew school years. ;-) Not sure why I have a mouth full of crowns now.

                                  2. re: 1sweetpea

                                    Jesus, The Wiz.

                                    I once found $20 on my way walking to The Wiz when I was 10.

                                    I don't have to tell you it was the best day of my life.

                                      1. re: magic

                                        great story. I'm guessing a pretty serious stomach ache "companion story" story as well?

                                        1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                          I was like a little Al Pacino in Scarface. But subsitute Fun Dip for the cocaine.

                                          1. re: magic

                                            Now that's the funniest thing I've ever heard :)

                                            1. re: kwass

                                              Haha, if you went to The Wiz back in the day I'm sure you can relate :)

                                              1. re: magic

                                                Fun Dip? Oh yeah...I can relate :)

                                      2. re: 1sweetpea

                                        Loved the grilled cheese and tomato on challah, and the chocolate chip cookies from Lox, Stock and Bagel.
                                        Also liked the West Indian curry chicken salad from Hazelton Gourmet.
                                        And the spinach and prosciutto panini, tuna egg panini and veal Milanese panini from the Hazelton Lanes' Lettieri, before the Lettieri expansion.

                          2. re: 1sweetpea

                            Those might well have been my cigarettes!

                          3. re: petek

                            I ate two quarter pounders at the Copper Kettle every Sunday, followed by a Vanilla Milkshake at Rutherford's Dairy. I was a skinny kid and the Dr. told my parents to feed me hamburgers and eggnog.
                            This thread is seriously jogging some memories loose!

                          4. Flower Drum in Mimico. Awesome westernized Chinese food in the 80's. I think it may still be there, although the original owner sold it in the 90's.

                            1. JOV Bistro

                              Yung Sing's on Baldwin

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bytepusher

                                Another one I wonder if anyone else remembers.

                                The Gourmet Picnic on Church Street between Shuter and Dundas, didn't have a storefront so you had to know it was there, they made a chicken cutlet stuffed with cheese on a big kaiser roll that was my downfall when I worked in that hood, a lot of the SCTV people would walk up there from the Old Firehall for lunch.

                              2. Sai Woo on Dundas&Bay
                                Bemelmans Bloor&Bay
                                Bregman's Yonge&St Clair

                                5 Replies
                                    1. re: magic

                                      I worked at the Keg Mansion, and Bemelman's is where we would head after a long shift. Great food, good vibe. I miss it.

                                      But there were so many great places around there - original Toby's, Le Provencal, first take on 3 Small Rooms. I lived at Bloor & St. George so I was in the area all the time.

                                    2. re: petek

                                      Hi petek (I mean Yes? Hi! )

                                      I used to go to the Bemelmans around 78 - 79 with some friends, and we also went to the "Foxtrap". Do you remember that place?

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        Yes? Hi! foodyDudey.
                                        Bemelmans was en early to mid 80's hangout for me and my buddies ,mostly the bar side occasionally the restaurant(great eggs benny). Where was Foxtrap, The name sounds very familiar.

                                    3. Love this, btw.

                                      The Noshery
                                      Shrimp Kitchen
                                      Magic Pan

                                      Not for the food, but the memories. Fun times.
                                      Although I do miss the Noshery food.

                                      8 Replies
                                          1. re: millygirl

                                            I miss the Noshery too. It was our go to restarant almost every Saturday night after a movie with our group of friends. We especially loved those little spareribs...I forget what they called the dish.

                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                The Noshery never quite leaves my memory bank... Your post, justsayn, reminded me of the titles for menu-items at the Noshery--"Lolla and Brigida": a double burger, and the "Ebony Kiss" [I think]: a big chocolate eclaire.

                                                I loved the indoor awnings over the banquettes, and the latkes, and just about anything the parents let me order.

                                                1. re: pearl3

                                                  Well I just did a little bit of searching for you and look what I found! http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthre...

                                                  The full menu!

                                                  It seems there are pages and pages of pictures on this site. I will have to check it closer later on!

                                                  1. re: justsayn

                                                    Thanks so much for the link!

                                                    Yup it looks like the whole menu...memories...

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              Old friend of mine's father owned the Shrimp Kitchen back in the 80's. All you can eat shrimp.......those were the days!!!!!!

                                            2. The Green Valley restaurant in Ottawa. Ate many special lunches there as a teen and young adult. It was the "fancy" family lunch place, and the food never changed over the decade plus that I ate there.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                Oh yes, the Green Valley with my grandmother and her friends for a special "ladies lunch" which always started with a tiny glass of tomato juice!

                                                And while we're talking about Ottawa, the first solid food I ate as a toddler was at The Golden Palace. I can still taste their eggrolls! Mmmmmm.

                                              2. JOV Bistro,
                                                Bayview Garden
                                                Cuisine of India
                                                Big Joy Congee and Noodle
                                                Tang Chai Kee

                                                1. Leslies family restaurant
                                                  the crock and block
                                                  Bobby Orr pizza

                                                  1. Fire Pit
                                                    Crumbs (sandwich joint at Yonge and Yonge Blvd)
                                                    Vanipha Lana
                                                    Ginsberg & Wong
                                                    Hunan Palace
                                                    Lichee Garden
                                                    H. Salt Fish N' Chips
                                                    Alpine Hut (Awesome schnitzel ..Yonge between Eg. & Lawrence)

                                                      1. Indianguy,
                                                        do you mean restaurants from 10 or 20 years ago or more, or any place that closed, even if it was 3 years ago? I see that people are interpreting it both ways.
                                                        Maybe you meant any restaurant that is no longer open?

                                                        I actually liked Splendido in the early nineties when Arpi Magyar owned it, and it would nice to see Dukem and Aravind open again, as both those were more recent closures.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. Underground Railroad
                                                          Madras Durbar
                                                          Varsity diner at Bloor and Spadina
                                                          Those Hungarian restaurants on Bloor near Bathurst

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Frids

                                                            Agree with Madras Durbar. Lovely vegetarian food. And I definitely miss the other Hungarian restaurants. Continental had perhaps the best schnitzel, wooden plate, and cabbage rolls. Korona had the best variety overall.

                                                              1. re: Frids

                                                                Underground Railroad- soul food and great jazz singers. What a memory.

                                                              2. There's a certain amount of nostalgia for some genuinely horrible places here, I mean Ponderosa? Seriously? I mean I get the nostalgia factor but if Ponderosa were to open a location in Toronto today serving what they did back in the day I wouldn't even consider going.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: bytepusher

                                                                  Do you not get that nostalgia is the point of this thread.

                                                                  It doesn’t matter if you wouldn’t eat there. Others would.

                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                    The question specifically was restaurants you wish would come back, lots of great dives fit that category, Ponderosa maybe not so much, I think people forget how truly awful it was, I mean they "cooked" the gravy in the dishwasher....

                                                                    1. re: bytepusher

                                                                      Wasn't Ponderosa the place that served tenderized steaks sourced from Australia? Unique tasting...I miss them.

                                                                  2. re: bytepusher

                                                                    Nobody set a 4-star minimum rule. Most of the places I've mentioned were dives. They seem easier and more fun to pull from the cobwebs.

                                                                    Huge second for Vanipha Lanna! Loved the food there.

                                                                  3. Michelangelo's on Gerrard East. So many memories...

                                                                    1. La Maison du Croissant Tree (sp?). Excellent almond croissants and great location next to the Delta Chelsea hotel which, many years ago, we stayed at several times.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Enigma3

                                                                        This goes way back from Leaside High School days. King Wah Gardens in Sunnybrook Plaza. We could sit for hours with an egg roll and a coke.

                                                                      2. Geppetto's, Ryan's, Neptune's Cove, Biffy's, Le Grenouille, Young Lok, Bloor street Diner, The Fiesta Room, Greenjeans, Da Dante, Celestino, Autogrill, The Original Le Select Bistro, the Original Sabatino's, Fenton's, The Jolly Cafe, Bower's, Allo Bistro, Trattoria Primavera, Arlequin, Rugantino and Prego Della Piazza

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: DarthRiesling

                                                                          Gepetto's sounds so familiar. Can you remind me where it was?

                                                                            1. re: DarthRiesling

                                                                              OMG! My family loved that place! We used to go there all the time.

                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                It was a fave of my ex and me. Unpretentious Italian on checked tablecloths that got slightly romantic as the light got lower..

                                                                          1. re: DarthRiesling

                                                                            Definitely Fenton's Garden and the downstairs. Both were great.

                                                                                1. re: GRobin

                                                                                  Had the most romantic dinner of my entire life in Fenton's front room, Veal Zuricoise with watercress and Rostii, at the table by the fireplace, with big candles and artful bowls of fruit on the bar, and amazing unhurried service. It was perhaps Toronto's most perfect restaurant. The garden room was also wonderful, a different ambience, but the same great food. I always wondered what happened..... I think the building is now some diabolical taco chain joint.

                                                                                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                                    Fenton's went bankrupt around 1990. Nobody expected that to happen. I was there a week before they closed, and we could not get over how quiet it was. Usually, it was lively with a good mix of clients in both the Front Room and the Garden. However, this particular time, it was deadly quiet, which seemed surreal. Little did we know that they were going through a rough time, and the next week we saw the story in the Globe & Mail.

                                                                                    After Fenton's left the premises, the former Front Room because a Tex-Mex restaurant (Tijuana Flats). It was that for a few years and then the pizza restaurant (Olympic 76) which was across the road moved in.

                                                                                    Later, the Garden Room and the Downstairs restaurants were re-vamped. The garden was removed and it became a gay nightclub (Fly). Patrons enter through the downstairs portion and then come up to the big dance room. If you've seen any of the TV series, "Queer as Folk", the club scenes were often filmed there.

                                                                                    Fenton's also had a food shop and that space has been a number of different restaurants (martini bar type of place). There has been a City sign on the area that talks about putting in a condo there, but keeping the facade of the yellow Fenton's house.

                                                                                    And speaking of Fenton's and closures, Dinah's Cupboard in Yorkville (Cumberland Av.) has recently closed after many years (another condo development to go there.) Until the closing, Dinah's was still selling Fenton's blend coffee beans. They supplied the restaurant in its heyday and then continued to sell the blend. I still have some of this, which I am guarding rather carefully!

                                                                                    1. re: gardenclub5755

                                                                                      You must have been there soon after my last visit - I hoarded my gift certificate for dinner for 2 never imagining that my beloved Fenton's would go so drastically downhill compared to so many magical romantic delicious dinners we enjoyed there before. Sadly, everything that night was off, the magic was gone.

                                                                                2. re: Dr. John

                                                                                  The shrimp quenelles at Fenton's *swoon*. The owners moved to Nova Scotia and opened a small cafe there. They have since retired, but for those who are curious, here's a link to an article mentioning them.


                                                                                  1. re: mizmel

                                                                                    Acton's has been closed for over a year -- it is now something else, two owners removed from Pearce and Barrette...

                                                                              1. Monte Carlos on Eglinton
                                                                                Paisano's in Bayview Village

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                                    Paisano's is still in business! They just moved further away to 'Willowdale', thats all!

                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                      I know. But it just isn't the same :(

                                                                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                        yeah but they changed the pepperoni on their pizza a few years ago. After maple leaf got listeriosis

                                                                                    2. Canton Terrace on Bathurst Street. THE BEST egg rolls and chicken fried rice.

                                                                                      1. La Scala
                                                                                        Brother's restaurant on Yonge

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: meathead2

                                                                                          +1 La Scala!!! Boy was that ever a good restaurant!!

                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                            Sequel, on Yonge St. near St. Germain. Gone now about two years. The best, most imaginative resto on that strip of Yonge between York Mills Rd. and Lawrence Ave.

                                                                                            The Bagel, on College St. just west of Spadina.

                                                                                            + for the Noshery, and Monte Carlo, on Eglinton Ave. west of Bathurst.

                                                                                            1. re: juno

                                                                                              Finally a shout-out to the Noshey!! How many Sunday nights did we wait to hear those wonderful words, "Goodman (Goldman, Schwartz, Brown), table for 4". Kishka a la Tony, Spiced Beef Egg Rolls, Adam's Ribs. I could go on forever.

                                                                                              1. re: toosie

                                                                                                Ahhh, not to be picky but I nominated The Noshery way back on Feb 13th. LOL!!!

                                                                                                No list would be complete without it and I love your recollection of the maitre de. I spent many a Sunday evening staring at those pies go round and round waiting for our names to be called out.

                                                                                          2. re: meathead2

                                                                                            La Scala had a cocktail bar on Charles (called 2 Charles I think) When I was courting my now wife around 1978 we would meet there and hear the wonderful Gene DeNovi play jazz piano and eat wonderful toasted almonds with our martinis or rob roys.

                                                                                          3. Pretty sure I've mentioned it before on a similar thread:

                                                                                            also, the original PRONTO on Mt. Pleasant

                                                                                            Partners (Mt. Pleasant) for burgers, etc.

                                                                                            MOTHER's sandwich shop

                                                                                            and the ORIGINAL Pickle Barrel (2 storefronts in the Leslie Cummer Plaza, before they built the big one on the end of the plaza)

                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                              I loved CIBO!!

                                                                                              And you're right, the ORIGINAL Pickle Barrel was fantastic!

                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                kwass, I suspect we have quite similar tastes in food...

                                                                                                I was pretty much at Cibo on a weekly basis.

                                                                                                and Friday nights "table hopping" at the OLD Pickle Barrel (ahhh.. to be a teen again).

                                                                                                Speaking of old... really feeling it now (thanks to this thread :) )

                                                                                                1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                  Me too! And yes, table hopping at the Pickle Barrel...that does being back memories :)

                                                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                                                    Cibo's brings back memories as well. An ex-boyfriend 's parents used to take us there all the time.

                                                                                                  2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                    The original Leslie Pickle Barrel was totally fantastic.

                                                                                                    Oh how times have changed.

                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                      I remember lining up many times, and never being disappointed after it was all said and done. You could order just about anything on that HUGE menu, and it was good. Not gourmet or anything, just good. tasty. consistent.

                                                                                                      Suffice it to say I haven't set foot in one in many, many years.


                                                                                                      1. re: magic

                                                                                                        It was great....spent many Sunday dinners with the family there (original pickle Barrel) and ate at so many of the places on this thread....what wonderful memories.

                                                                                                  3. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                    Ah Mother's Sandwich shop, a must stop after a show at the Concert Hall/Masonic Temple/Rockpile

                                                                                                    1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                      bytepusher, we used to hit up the one at Y&E after a serious night of clubbing. All dressed in our jeans, "suit" vests, and LEATHER ties... hilarious!

                                                                                                    2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                      Pronto! Wow! That sure brought back fond memories! How about ' Square ' that occupied the location a few years later?
                                                                                                      Agree with Juno about 'Sequel'. Pretty romantic as well
                                                                                                      How about 'Goldfish' downtown? Very similar in style?!

                                                                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                        Loved Mother's . Study at Library on Yonge and then treat myself to a sandwich. sometimes went to Bogey's in Yorkville for a sandwich.

                                                                                                        1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                          Mother's Sandwich - on College, around the corner from the ElMo? They had the best veal sub in the city, and part of the appeal was the crusty roll it was served on. So much better than the pasty stuff we get at California or San Francesca these days.

                                                                                                        2. Mother's Pizza and Frank Vetere's.

                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                            Where was Frank Vetere's prima? That also sounds familiar.

                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                              Not sure where the TO/GTA locations were located. I went to a location in London way back when.

                                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                The flagship of the chain was just west of Maple Leaf Gardens.

                                                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                  I didn't realize it was a chain. I must have been thinking of another place.

                                                                                                                  1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                    Vetere's was also on Bloor just across from the Conservatory.

                                                                                                                2. re: prima

                                                                                                                  Mother's is back, sort of

                                                                                                                  The same guy who revived Pop Shoppe found out that the trademarks on Mother's had been allowed to expire so he snapped them up and has been working with an experienced restaurant team to reboot the restaurant, they contacted old franchisees to get old recipes and have one location open in East end Hamilton on Queenston Road. Haven't been but they claim to be attempting to accurately recreate the 70s/80s Mother's with only slight updates.

                                                                                                                  1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                                    Glad to hear that a revived Mother's has opened. I remember reading online that he was planning to open a Mother's, but didn't realize it was already open.

                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                      Wondering if anyone here has been?

                                                                                                                  1. re: LJS2

                                                                                                                    You beat me to it LJS2. La Chaumierre had that delightful hors d'oeuvres trolly with about two dozen items from which to select. And the amazing traditional French bistro items, perfectly executed, that came out of what had to be Toronto's smallest kitchen, about 80 square feet.

                                                                                                                    I also miss Three Small Rooms in the Windsor Arms. Exceptional service, a 6,000 bottle wine cellar, and a lot of table-side cookery.

                                                                                                                    Ports of Call and The 54th (now Canoe) could be exceptional too for an evening of dining and dancing. Who does that any more?

                                                                                                                    I recall how the Westbury Hotel next to Maple Leaf Gardens originally set the Toronto standard for culinary excellence led by Chef Tony Roldan and his all-star brigade.

                                                                                                                    The Benvenuto Hotel, now Scaramouche, and The Walker House, on the corner just west of Union Station were also superior dining venues.

                                                                                                                    I miss them all.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LJS2

                                                                                                                      Thanks LJS2. My wife and I have fond memories of La Chaumière and the hors d'oeuvres trolly. We heard stories of people coming from New York City to samples its wares, and we believed them. Sadly missed.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LJS2

                                                                                                                        This was going to be my contribution, but you got there first. We went when I was young (10? 12?), and it was my first experience with French food. I loved the trolley, and even tried snails and frog's legs!

                                                                                                                        I never ate at the Ports, but I met a lot of new friends for the first time there :}

                                                                                                                      2. I responded to a few individual posts, but here is my list (as best as I can recall):

                                                                                                                        JK ROM
                                                                                                                        Cafe Asia
                                                                                                                        Yung Sing
                                                                                                                        Sai Woo
                                                                                                                        El Basha (falafel place in the Annex)
                                                                                                                        Toronto Gomtang (Korean place in Koreatown)
                                                                                                                        Movenpick La Pecherie
                                                                                                                        Cuisine of India
                                                                                                                        Tai Sun (Mandarin place on College)
                                                                                                                        Mimi's (the breakfast place, not the Vietnamese place)
                                                                                                                        Vienna Home Bakery

                                                                                                                        Not really a restaurant... J.S. Bonbons

                                                                                                                        And for the nostalgia (but not the food):

                                                                                                                        The various Ed's restaurants
                                                                                                                        Diana Sweet's

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                          OMG!! Boba...one of my favourite restaurants ever! I was so sorry to see it close!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                            ...especially Youki, Perigee, Avalon and Vienna Home Bakery!!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                              Oh man, Boba, first nice meal in Toronto so many years ago, it was a great dining experience too

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                                  Another vote for:

                                                                                                                                  L'Entrecote and the Auberge Gavroche
                                                                                                                                  Vienna Home Bakery

                                                                                                                                2. Ok, this is a tough one, as it was mostly a neighborhood thing, I suspect...

                                                                                                                                  Anyone from Clarkson area remember Auntie Alba's? Right on Lakeshore Rd.

                                                                                                                                  Just great homemade food, amazing breakfasts, nice touches like (actually edible) fruit on the plates waaaaay before CORA's (meh) , fresh cut fries (natch) and all around good folks. Only lived in Mississauga for a short time, but I miss it.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                    I've lived in Clarkson for 6 years now and Its interesting to hear that. Where abouts was it located?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fryerlover

                                                                                                                                      fryerlover... D'oh!... I meant Port Credit area (I used to live in Clarkson when I went there) but it's been gone much longer than 6 years. It used to be on the South side of Lakeshore Rd E, right on the corner of a side street I think it was 1 block (light?) west of Hurontario.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                        Ohhh, okay. I was just trying to picture what the area looked like before my time here. For a moment I was thinking it must be the Satalite Restaurant.

                                                                                                                                  2. Zocalo (Chris Mcdonald's)
                                                                                                                                    The Mermaid
                                                                                                                                    The Balkans
                                                                                                                                    Steak Pit

                                                                                                                                    *** Napoleon's ***


                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                      I forgot about Napolean's what a ground breaking place. The one and only time I had pernod and lobster that was balanced.
                                                                                                                                      I also loved Dante's for their Risotto.

                                                                                                                                    2. Bogart's (sandwich place across from the ROM)
                                                                                                                                      The Blue Cellar Room at Bloor & Spadina
                                                                                                                                      Danish Food Centre

                                                                                                                                      1. Three Small Rooms (Windsor Arms)
                                                                                                                                        Le Provencal

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                          Noodle's was the coolest. I remember going there as a kid...lots of neon and delish lasagna.

                                                                                                                                        2. Ports, the Tikki? room in particular

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: blogs

                                                                                                                                            Kon Tikki, I think. They served a Johnny Pineapple rum drink, with the alcohol in the real pineapple. If you were the last person to have the pineapple at 1AM (that was the closing time in those days), you got to take the pineapple home -- just wring it out!!

                                                                                                                                            I liked the Last Chance Saloon, all you can eat for 50 cents. I was almost thrown out (just warned) for overeating...At that time, you had to have food with your drink.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                              I almost listed this one, but honestly can't remember what I ate there. It was a really long time ago!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                                  Beef knish with gravy--they were the best.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gooditsall

                                                                                                                                                    oh my god i miss those. i've had others since but they were the best!

                                                                                                                                              1. Troy's was the best for me, followed by Napoleon's and Fenton's -- my, my, all these possessives...

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                                  Troy's! We were driving across Marlborough just recently and I was trying to pick out the house. Failed.

                                                                                                                                                    1. The Mt Pleasant Lunch (we had our wedding 'reception' there...what can I say? Cheap and cheerful)

                                                                                                                                                      The original Mastro's (not Maestro's) Pizza on Wilson. I'm talking 50 years ago. Such great pizza.

                                                                                                                                                      Lhardy's and Quenelles on Church

                                                                                                                                                      Bumpkins in it's previous location (forget where)

                                                                                                                                                      Hungarian Restaurants on Bloor

                                                                                                                                                      1. I admit I didn't get there much, but i still think about Bofinger.

                                                                                                                                                        1. In addition to many already listed..

                                                                                                                                                          Original Licks
                                                                                                                                                          Massimos on Queen at Portland
                                                                                                                                                          La Pizza
                                                                                                                                                          Partners Too
                                                                                                                                                          Sutton Place Sunday Brunch
                                                                                                                                                          Original Mother Tuckers on Dixon
                                                                                                                                                          Mercer Street Grill
                                                                                                                                                          Tim Hortons when they made donuts
                                                                                                                                                          Chi Chi's
                                                                                                                                                          Viva Zapata
                                                                                                                                                          Two for one falafel guy on Yonge
                                                                                                                                                          Stem Open Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                          Casa Mendoza
                                                                                                                                                          The Bamboo
                                                                                                                                                          Gypsy Co-op
                                                                                                                                                          Irie Food Joint
                                                                                                                                                          Bar Italia when it was a pool hall with paninis
                                                                                                                                                          Chung King
                                                                                                                                                          Taro Grill
                                                                                                                                                          Ultra Supper Club when they opened
                                                                                                                                                          Alice Fazooli's when they opened
                                                                                                                                                          Original Amatos
                                                                                                                                                          Groaning Board on Jarvis
                                                                                                                                                          Prague Deli
                                                                                                                                                          Mildred Pierce when on Sudbury
                                                                                                                                                          XXX Diner

                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                            I was going to put Chi Chi's on my list. My parents used to take us there when we were kids :)

                                                                                                                                                            And Mercer Street Grill...aaaah...memories...I still miss that place!! Remember how Simon used to come around to all of the tables to say hello and make sure that everything was to your satisfaction?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                              I remember long line-ups at the Chi Chis in London.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                Ha, Chi Chi's

                                                                                                                                                                Years ago savagehenry and I went to the one in Scarborough because, wait for it..... we had a coupon

                                                                                                                                                                That one was half restaurant and half nightclub with a dance floor

                                                                                                                                                                It was long enough ago that she still smoked so we wanted to sit in the smoking section, sorry no tables in smoking you'll have to wait, so wait we did, I want to say it was an hour, it was certainly a very long time while people streamed in and out of the very noisy nightclub not much seemed to be happening on the restaurant side. Finally someone came to seat us and led us though a virtually empty restaurant into a half empty smoking room and sat us right next to a single diner who was smoking a very stinky cigar, when we asked to move we were told that the server for the other tables had already left for the day. It was the biggest F you move I think I ever got from a restaurant. To this day I'm still baffled as to what the heck was really going on, I guess they were hoping we would just leave

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                                                                                  It was at that Chi Chi's where I discovered the ice I thought was unusually crunchy was actually glass. The waiter didn't seem shocked and just brought me a new drink. Very relaxed about a bit of glass in my drink.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                Loved Chi Chi's on Markham Rd. in Scarborough. I think I went there for my 12th birthday dinner. I miss it...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                    Without a doubt!! Do I ever miss that!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                  The Bamboo had great Thai food once long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                  Bar Italia was fabulous when it was still a pool hall. Great sandwiches and my favourite gelato.

                                                                                                                                                                  I too enjoyed Alice Fazooli's when it first opened. Was it already a chain then?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                                                                    The Bamboo was awesome for food and for music. The rooftop was so much fun too. We were regulars and missed it so much when they closed. They tried to keep it going down on Queen's Quay I believe, but I never went.

                                                                                                                                                                    Bar Italia was insane good and was long known to have the best espresso in the city. Although I had some great meals at their reincarnation, it was never the same.

                                                                                                                                                                    AF opened in 1991 on Adelaide and according to what I've been able to find online, it was opened by SIR Corp. It was a huge hit from the start. Always packed with people looking to have a good time. I am not sure how long after the second location opened but I am thinking a couple of years.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                    Anyone remember XXX? I think it was Fresh that replaced it.

                                                                                                                                                                    XXX epitomized the flavour of West Queen West we've mostly lost.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                      I used to live down the street and used to have breakfast/brunch there. I agree it was 'Queen West West' along with Citron, Gypsy Co-op, Terroni (loved to sit at the counter at the original space)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mammoth

                                                                                                                                                                        The tight quarters of the Terroni counter!! Great memory. : )

                                                                                                                                                                        I loved to stand and watch them make my sandwich bit by bit with the final sprinkle of rock salt from a foot above. It was always a magical sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                        The food and the rustic desserts were so special in those early days when there was nothing else like it.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                      GYPSY CO-OP!! Good one! Wow, way back machine.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: catherine88

                                                                                                                                                                        : )

                                                                                                                                                                        Cuz I loved it there!

                                                                                                                                                                        Never forget my first butternut squash tortellini with cream sauce and pine nuts!!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: justsayn


                                                                                                                                                                          I remember that dish! I think it was my first butternut squash experience. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                                                                                                                            Yep! Was mine! Over and over again. Lol

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                                                                                                                              Don't forget the cool candy store. I recall they had great desserts too!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: crawfish

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yea squeeze club for sure! : ) I believe that became the co-op.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Nick and Leslie's Hungarian Goulash Party Tavern
                                                                                                                                                                          Yerushalayim of Gold when grandfather Uzieli was running it.
                                                                                                                                                                          Thai Plate

                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                            ha! i used to work for a company that received calls for hungarian goulash party. even after owning the number for nearly a decade. sometimes out of frustration they would just grant the reservation anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                            - khao san road

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                                                                                                                                                                              Strange that you should say that.KSR.
                                                                                                                                                                              I used to work in Halifax. My number was very similar to that of a local restaurant, the Garden View. Otherwise known as the Gag and Spew. Drunks would call me at 1 am for deliver . I would answer the phone still half asleep and tell the, wrong number. Ten minutes later the same drunk would call again. Finally, I took matters into my own hands . I took the order. That would be the end of it.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                              How could I forget!
                                                                                                                                                                              Thw Acropolis, but only when it was on Dundas, above Lindy's (religious goods).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                                I remember it well -- my first introduction to a kitchen where you could pick out the food you wanted from somebody with a cigarette dangling, behind the steam table.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                                                                                                  Wasn't it called, "The Acropole"? It was certainly my first intro to Greek cuisine. LOL on the cigarette, DT.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I think it was The Acropole. When I got to it, about 1967, you could get a full lunch with iceberg lettuce, lamb shank/leg, boiled potato, peas? carrots? gravy, and coffee for $1.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Can't believe how this thread has grown in less than 24 hours. Speaks volumes.

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't recall the name, it's been so long ago, but there was a place in the Hazelton Lanes, upstairs, that had the best onion soup ever. Man I wish they were still around.

                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Doesn't anybody remember the restaurant on the 2nd floor of Hazelton Lanes back about 30 years ago? Its really bugging me now. It had exposed brick walls....and all I remember was the fantastic onion soup.


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eppicurious

                                                                                                                                                                                      Nope! Although I liked that place too! Chicken divan crepe was my all time fav!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                        And mine was the strawberry crepes with whipped cream. Nobody makes strawberry crepes like that anymore :(

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: eppicurious

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thought that place was so fancy when I was in high school. then later had friends who worked there-called it the "The Tragic Scam"

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I very much enjoyed any restaurant where Greg Couillard was the chef. Many years ago I went to China Blues and was introduced to spices that I'd never had before -- it opened up a whole new world for me. Later he was at Avec and The Spice Room. I understand he's now in Mexico and I'm sure he's cooking up a storm there. He is a great chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: farmgirl1836

                                                                                                                                                                                        Was China Blues his place on Yonge just north of Crescent Road?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: crawfish

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yep, close to the Calamari Joint, another long gone place in your old neighbourhood...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                                                                            Calamari Joint, that's the one I was thinking of.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: farmgirl1836

                                                                                                                                                                                          Greg probably owns the record for most restaurants in Toronto.
                                                                                                                                                                                          When he's back in Toronto he regularly runs dinners at The Depanneur on College (I've been to two, but there were more).

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Does anyone remember PM's on Yonge at Summerhill?

                                                                                                                                                                                          One of the first "Gourmet" burgers IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And speaking of burgers, need to mention the ORIGINAL Toby's GoodEats on Bloor. Spinach salad, fries with cheese sauce at 2am! (EDIT: ooops... I see Prima already did!)

                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                            My first exposure to poutine (made with Toby's fries that looked like steak fries) was at the Yonge and Bloor location, just south of Bloor.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                              And do you remember the apple brown betty?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                I actually have a recipe for Toby's apple brown betty. Haven't made it in many years, but now that you've brought it to my attention, maybe I'll give it a try this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: farmgirl1836

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yum! You have to share the recipe :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10-12 medium applies, peeled and sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tsp cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup softened butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2/3 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup hot water
                                                                                                                                                                                                    juice of half a lemon

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Make topping first. Combine all topping ingredients and use a knife to cut butter into flour. Put aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mix all of syrup ingredients into a separate bowl and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Arrange apple slices in lightly greased lasagna pan. I use Pam. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Drizzle half of the syrup over the apples. Cover with the topping mixture and drizzle the remaining syrup on top of topping mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.


                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                  the recipe was printed in the toronto star many years ago. i still have it, though the newspaper is quite tattered. i love that you don't peel the apples!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                Used to play a lot of tennis at Yonge & Summerhill...used to love PM's. Haven't thought about it in over 30 years!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember PM's! I had the onion rings, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of which, anyone remember the Flying Food Circus on Cumberland next door to the Pilot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I miss Lime Rickeys not so much for the food but for the atmosphere. Shout outs to Chi Chi's and Viva Zapata's too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: callitasicit

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viva Zapata big time! Chi Chi's at Front and Church was a lot of fun too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Anyone remember the Italian restaurant named 'Galileo'? Been there a couple of times. Very good! At that time rave of the town!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No but I remember Rosa's in a strip mall and then they expanded to a huge place, I think on Finch. It was amazing homestyle Italian. I think it moved yet again. But back in the day.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been there! It was amazing. They're still around, but on Langstaff in Vaughan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It really was a special place. Does anybody remember when they were in a strip mall? Was it on Weston Rd? Or Keele? They were so hugely successful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure it was Finch and Weston Road. I haven't been since they moved to Langstaff, but if you're ever up that way justsayn, it might be worth a try :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes! My memory is that it was at Finch and Weston Road. Is that also where the small one in the strip mall was?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. never been, but it was a landmark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        captain john's

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I used to love The Bishop and Belcher on Queen West.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: A flock of seagulls

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I loved the wings at the old B&B. Also- Mama Zambris for old school pizza & the New Grand for dim sum - both on Gerrard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: terrycar

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mama Zambris was the best. She always remembered our order-anchovies on half, and onions in the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Perhaps bytepusher could organize a Top 5 or 10 list of CH's favourite closed restaurants?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's my list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Susur
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. JOV Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Spice Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Mercer Street Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. Cuisine of india
                                                                                                                                                                                                            6. JK ROM
                                                                                                                                                                                                            7. JK Wine Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                            8. Oddfellows
                                                                                                                                                                                                            9. Copper Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                            10. Atelier Thuet in Liberty Village

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: vidkid

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't have any kind of license on running votes here, if you think it's worth it, go for it, knock yourself out

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: vidkid

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oddfellows comes up a few times, and yet Parts and Labour which has the same chef and same design team (and the same Winnebago) and a lot of the other same people (but different owners) doesn't get much love here generally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. just throwing it out there:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyone remeber the Red Barn?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                And the Prime Rib at ED's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kayia1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <Anyone remeber the Red Barn?>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do! I was just going to ask the same question.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used to frequent the Pharmacy and Lawrence location many, many, many years ago.. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: petek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL: I used to frequent the same location, correct me if I'm wrong but was Copper Kettle directly across the street

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kayia1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Small world eh? :D
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Copper Kettle was in fact across the street about a block east. It's now a used car dealership I think :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: petek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We used to go there when we were young... not sure if I really liked it... I think even as kids we all felt it was an A&W rip off and was therefore inferior. I really wondered as a kid too what their hamburgers were made of... don't want to know now. One of their locations in Mississauga (maybe on Dundas) is still standing and has been reincarnated a dozen times. Not even sure what it is now. That would have been in the late 60's, early 70's....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Moimoi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <We used to go there when we were young... not sure if I really liked it... >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        we used to call it "The Dead Barn"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: petek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used to go to the Red Barn on Islington near Rexdale Blvd back in the mid sixties. They used to send a birthday card good for a free burger each year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Didn't the Red Barn have 10 cent burgers then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: kayia1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At Ed's with the frozen peas and instant mashed, we loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iamafoodie


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope you're not referring to Ed's Warehouse (famous for prime Rib -at one time) using that stuff...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I could see that at "Old Ed's" which was a bargain (trio?) of "affordable" (cheap?) restos that Ed did later... But Ed's Warehouse (original, tiffany lamps, etc.) was decidedly more high end as I recall?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's been so long...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. I remember Parigo's at Parkside and Bloor, French bistro food with a rotating Champagne list, marked up only $15 over retail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was also the High Park Cafe, at Quebec and Bloor: died because it was prohibited from having a liquor license (dry area).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and downtown, Paul's Sichiuan -- he's the guy that brought hot Chinese food to Toronto in the early 1970s. Followed by Thai Shan Inn with Wandee Yeung in the 1980s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Does anyone remember the Chinese bakery in the Dragon mall in downtown Toronto that sold freshly made 'dragonbeard' candy and also freshly made mochi with your preferred filling? I remember getting the mochi with the hot and freshly roasted peanuts, brown sugar, and sesame seeds in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's been decades since it closed down but I still remember saving up my dimes and nickels for every second Saturday afternoon for that chewy goodness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Need help...there used to be an awesome diner on the East side of Bathurst,..north of Glencairn..it was in a 3-store strip-mall set back form Bathurst. It was there for decades and then closed and was replaced by a kosher cookie joint. Used to make the best club sandwiches and chicken salad...gone for over 10 years I would say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: robb


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Based on the location, you seem to be describing Hamburger King? It was originally just a small takeout with a couple of stools (later became Mike's Munchies - their "Hoisin" burger is a completely different story, YUM!) next door to the famous STUBBY's (variety store and VERY popular lunch counter) Later, Tony (owner) moved across the street to a small 3 (or 4?) store strip set back from Bathurst (with a half dozen parking spots in front of the stores) In spite of the name, he made all kinds of good stuff, especially clubs and souvlaki, greek salad - that kind of stuff. Not a huge step from the standard burger drive in menu, but always very good and mostly homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mike's Munchies...there's a name I haven't heard in years. That place was awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The owner was an older Asian immigrant who came here and went to George Brown culinary school, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He used to make a Homeburger (his own patties) and his BBQ sauce was a dark brown color and tasted like Hoisin sauce. (maybe it was?) The combination of burger, bacon and the Hoisin BBQ worked amazingly well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Kwass and KWF,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HamburGer King...nice!! Never knew the Asia guy owned it, Was never of fan of Mike's Munchies..or the Asian guy..way too grumpy and he served me practically raw fried wings one time. I remember a really nice Greek man who owned Hamburger KIng...best club in the city...miss it a lot!! Just couldn't remember the name!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: robb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah... Tony (Hamburger King) was a great guy. Ate at both his establishments numerous times over the course of many years...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mike's Munchie's owner was a nice guy but I don't think he spoke much English... people interpreted his quietness as grumpiness, but he was always nice to me. and that Hoisin burger...KILLER!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: robb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He was a total grump to me too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never liked it there. Even when I was 10 I was like "What's the big deal?!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was a fun place to hang out with friends though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't dream of taking that away from anyone. I'm sure it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was around long enough so he must have been doing something right!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never knew about this hoisin burger. But then again, I was 10 :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At first I thought robb was talking about Mike's Munchie's, but that's the west side of Bathurst :S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Other than MM though I can't think of any diner that was on Bathurst around there, much less on the east side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. RD's BBQ and Blues at was located at Duncan and Pearl Streets was a really good spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, JJ Muggs, especially for the great patio at Bloor and Bathurst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thrillhouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JJ Mugs...I completely forgot about that place. I loved it there!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. the Arkpit is what it said on the the sigh but all the regulars called it Nicks, on Eglington at Petman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simply the best hole in the wall diner that i have ever eaten at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All day breakfasts and diner standards and on Friday night a 12 rib Prime rib cooked to perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. So, if I follow this thread all the way through, I find that there are 1,678 restaurants that we are all missing, and that we loved each one of them every moment of every time we were there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Memories, memories..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Chubby Subby: grilled pepperoni needs to make a come back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peter Street Deli: Miss the mix of classic diner fare with Chinese rice and noodle dishes. There used to be a regular who ordered BBQ pork but instead of on rice would get it with mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Massimo's (the original on College): Great classic Toronto style pizza topped generously and crust that wasn't too thick and not too thin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicago Diner: Their nachos still can't be beat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: num nums

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Even the Massimo's branch on Yonge and John was pretty good too! Loved their thin crusted wood fire gourmet pizzas. Of course those were the days before all the Libretto's and Queen Mar...offer 'award winning ones'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: num nums

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The calzone at the College Massimo's were fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Abundance - on Adelaide East - amazing clam chowder, cheese burgers and Key Lime Pie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fenton's - beautiful rooms and food, the veal Zurichoise with watercress and potato rosti was amazing - served by the fireplace in the front room, so romantic! The back room had a brick floor, a skylight and fairy lights - amazing in those times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bemelmans on Bloor West - just west of Bay - the bar, and the patio were lovely, New York glam style, the food not amazing - we went for the scene and the music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Copenhagen Room - such a civilized place to have a delicious lunch, I still have the stub from my last bill!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An Indian restaurant, across for the AGO, can't remember the name, chef was a woman from Kenya I think who had been an accountant and switched to cooking the most amazing Indian food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Madras Durbar, the original, in Little India, all vegetarian, with spicing so delicate and subtle they could have sold their dishes for $20 a plate in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peter's Szechwan on College - probably not very authentic, but delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An authentic Szechwan place on Broadview just south of Gerrard - amazingly hot dishes, very oily but good, enormous prawns, all dishes loaded with hot peppers, orange beef was outstanding, generous portions, I used to get their take out all the time in the early 80's - sadly long since gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            L'Entrecote - a French place on Avenue Road, fixed price menu just like a lot of affordable places in Paris, bib lettuce and walnut salad with a lovely vinaigrette, steak and frites with cognac/jus sauce, apple tart afterwards. Divine! It was up stairs, a windowless room, gloomy in a good way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cuisine of India - best tandoori cooking at the time - amazing tandoori whole cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JK Wine Bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom sushi bar on Yonge street - in a basement south of Wellesley - authentic sushi - one of the very first in Toronto. Warm vinegared rice, raw shrimp, he was such a welcoming man. (Early 80's)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Was 'Copenhagen Room' the place on Bloor where they were the only place in town to have freshly house-made Gravlax served with dill honey mustard sauce?!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If so? Yeah! I too miss them!! A lot!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was the smorgasbord buffet that got my attention...AYCE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was associated with the Jensen silver shop on the ground floor, no? Think Ikea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  By any road their open-faced lunch sandwiches were superb and reasonably priced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, the Jensen silver shop, and the open faced sandwiches were superb, and unique in Toronto at that time,.....we never knew we had it so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Many, many good recollections here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best ever Hungarian on the Bloor strip, or ever in Toronto for that matter, The Continental near Bathurst. Thursdays featured stuffed Veal Roast with Bread Dumpling. Hungarian Fish Soup (Halaszlé) on Fridays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No-one has mentioned Steak'n'Burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the 70s we enjoyed pizza from Vesuvios at the Junction and sadly abandoned it when we bought our first house near Rogers and Dufferin. There we found Franks Pizza. After a later move we found Tony's at Yonge and Finch which was by no measure shabby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Truth be told, aside from a few Hungarian, Italian and Jewish spots, Toronto was a dismal culinary scene in the 60/70s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An edition and addition: 9th floor Hudson's Bay prime-rib roast beef lunch with all the trimmings circa mid/late 80s. A choice of rare or outer with jus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DockPotato


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was a huge Tony's fan back in the day. Watched them go from a takeout joint with a Canada Dry clock on the wall and pizza ovens up front, through renovations (resto out front, pizza takeout around the back) and eventually to a fine dining establishment (not very good, IMO) But their pizza was (and still is) one of the best (of that style) I have ever eaten and I miss them. Just a heads up if you're craving: there was a cousin(?) who was running a "Tony's" (more of a resto) on Yonge a block north of Sheppard on the west side (beside the cleaners IIRC). He had the "family recipe" and was making a close approximation to the Tony's original pie. Not sure he is there anymore though... I know he changed the name of the place after a while, so it could still be the same guy there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tony's at Yonge and Finch was pretty much the only place you could get pizza in that neighbourhood 40+ years ago. I used to go pick up our order with parents and it was literally a little shack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The original Young Thailand was good and I always have had a soft spot for Mr. Greenjeans in the Eaton Centre and their enormous desserts. Had a few memorable birthday parties there in the 70's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Original YT served fantastic food. Always so fresh and on the mark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mr. Greenjeans on Adelaide was the original and we couldn't get there often enough! They did a great job expanding to the Eaton Centre although the store area was never as good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Perigee - really enjoyed sitting at the breakfast bar overlooking the open kitchen. We had great conversations with the chefs who were preparing the omakase tasting menus, particularly Pat Riley and Chris Brown. My wife and I had many fine meals there before enjoying a play at Soulpepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The original Jamie Kennedy's wine bar. Love sitting at the kitchen bar and watching the cooks cook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Flexitarian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At that time, especially in the beginning, food was pretty spectacular tasting too! Love that 'Chicken mousse'!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Anybody remember the Mexican place at Bloor and Major (next to Trinity-St Paul's, and currently a Kinko's) that lasted less than a year ca. 1989? Way ahead of its time – they had a tortilla machine when we were all still doing Old El Paso crispy shells. Who were the people involved, and what became of them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: schmecks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember it, forget the name, did not forget the food -- damm good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also remember the great food, but forget the name. My intro to Mexican food was a year living in Mexico City in 1979, I became addicted to the taco stalls in Mexico City, so to see a tortilla machine in the Annex was amazing! As schmecks said, they were way ahead of their time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The Organ Grinder. I went there as a kid in the seventies, it was noisy, chaotic and fun! I remember the pizza was delicious but that was the opinion of a ten year old so take from that what you will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I recall the Prime Restaurant on the corner of Oakwood and Eglinton. Had my first egg roll there. Long gone now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I really miss Bo De Duyen, the Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant on Spadina just south of Dundas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Le Rendezvous on Prince Arthur. Most amazing cheese fondues I've ever had. Nothing comes close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I liked Viva Zapata too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There was a fondue place on Wellington East, La Fondue? Mousetrap? Mousehole? Different types and styles. In that area, and gone now, was Toronto's first wine bar (Vines) from 1973?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Auberge Gavroche on Avenue Road (pre-Boba),
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stadlander's on John St, his Neekah at Wellington East.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beaujolais (pre-Boba) resto took over from Stadlander's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dean Tudor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Auberge Gavroche was also great. I think they also ran L'Entrecote upstairs, which I ate at more being on a student budget at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beaujolais was also great and they also did The Avocado Club, which I also enjoyed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Lots of places in the time machine come to mind, from old nostalgia to the places that provided such strong performances, but couldn't keep it up, either for cost or the places had to be full all the time to work. Under the Nostalgia heading, Taj Mahal (former Pastis space) was my first try of Indian food, and opened up huge possibilities. Thai Magic wasn't the first, but they upped the presentation and service. Cibo and Panache were decent and steady neighbourhood places that made good efforts at working the crowds. And JK Rom had a number of years of being a completely under-the-radar place to see the Santa Claus Parade. Masaniello was one of the better family style College places 30 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brief shining lights included Perigee, Spice Room, Toto, Boca, and El Patio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Anybody remember The Puffin on Eglinton or the Avocado Club?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sign Of The Steer Davenport and Dupont.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah yes, Sign of the Steer - the first fancy resto I ever went to. With real linen napkins yet! My, I was impressed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And Tipplers, on Yonge St. south of St. Clair: the first resto in Toronto that I recall allowed you - indeed, encouraged you - to order wines by the glass, instead of forcing you to buy the whole bottle. Pretty good food as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And 12 1/2 (a.k.a. Hop Sam's), in Toronto's original Chinatown, upstairs at 12 1/2 Elizabeth St., south of Dundas St., the only Chinese resto my pals and I could afford in those days (the mid-Fifties).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Three Small Rooms & Courtyard Cafe At Windsor Arms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Definitely!!!! Three Small Rooms remains my most nostalgic place ever!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What was the place that was across the road from there - theme building with pretty nice food. Had my wedding dinner there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was La Provençal, another fine establishment with superior food and and epic wine list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It later burned down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I miss the original Toby's. The fries were amazing from what I recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JK wine bar (the original)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Original le Papillion on Church.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I loved Alice Fazzooli's. Mr. Vuitton and I had our second date there, he accidentally tipped his beer glass, landed all over me. I decide that night I wanted to marry him. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. In broke-ass grad student days, the old Dundas St. W Chinatown strip was home to some of my favorites, like Paul's Deep Sea Shantung and a weird tiny walk-down open-kitchen seafood joint, Tao Yuan(Peach Garden)with no English name other than "The Green Door," thanks to its cheap ugly paint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Paul's was the best! Bloody hot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The Bagel -- south side of College St. just west of Spadina Ave.-- traditional Jewish food, cheap and plentiful, served by motherly waitresses amid an atmosphere of friendly loudness and total chaos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Affectionately known as The "Dirty" Bagel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of my memories of the Bagel from the '70's was being told I didn't want Borscht with meat I wanted Borscht without meat. I agreed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Julie's Mansion on Jarvis St.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your host, the late Julie Fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Rathskeller in the Walker House Hotel on Front Street.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Many years ago there used to a Greek restaurant on the south side at the beginning of the Danforth. I'm trying to remember but it might have been called The Byzantium. When you went in, they would take you into the kitchen and point at what they were cooking and you could choose some of this and that. This type of cooking was very different than you'd get today along the trendy part of Greektown. I expect it was more home-style. I remember getting a wonderful lamb stew once with artichokes and lemon - amazing! They'd also serve you a wonderful Greek salad that was simply ripe tomatoes, black olives, mild onions and feta cheese with a greek vinaigrette (no lettuce like you see today). The price was so reasonable too. Where did these type of places go? If you know of any, tell me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember that place when it was on Pape and then they moved. Sound right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Back in the day there were a few places that worked that way, I think the one you are thinking of on Pape was Ella's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Could be. I was actually a kid at the time so I cheated and asked my dad. I just remember the experience of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I`m pretty sure it was Ella`s on Pape - I remember the steam tables, and how unusual it was in those days to pick out your food instead of ordering from a menu. I seem to remember the food was greasy and the veggies were pretty limp and soggy, so I wasn`t much of a fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The same family runs Ellas Banquet Hall on Danforth Rd, north of Danforth Ave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That type of salad is still widely available but called a village salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Byzantium was on the south side, I think it was the place that had a ceiling with a bunch of pot lights that they plastered over and cut out little stars at each of the lights then painted it gold. I don't remember them ever doing the pick from the kitchen style but they did have a killer moussaka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was one called Oddedsy (i am pretty sure) on the south side; that I remember in the 70s when we used to come visit family here in TO and have lunch there. It had the open kitchen at the back. It was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Byzantium was my favourite on the Danforth and the food/operation as you say. These old style Greek restaurants much better than what you can get today and the food higher quality and much different than the Macedonian restaurants that served very homestyle great food. On Dundas, north side, above a religious store, there was another great one, fabulous food, very busy and I think it was called the Acropole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Never went to Byzantium but there was also Hellenic Palace on the north side of that west stretch of the Danforth. It was very similar and had great stewed rabbit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ellas, mentioned by others went through several incarnations and also had that lamb, artichoke and lemon dish you mentioned. I have not tried their banquet hall though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dr. John

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember the open kitchens--and the Acropole--that takes me back. Didn't it overlook a bowling alley or something?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But there was one Greek restaurant originally on the Danforth [later moved to Bloor around Ossington, I think], called the Round Window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The specialty was seafood, and it was incredible! Best of all was a kind of massive seafood platter with a wine, tomato, and magic sauce. I've never tasted the like since--I'd sure like to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pearl3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Round Window was on the South side of Danforth, quite a bit east of the rest of the strip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Only went once and I guess we didn't really understand what to order back then I wound up with a dish that I can only describe as shrimp cooked in Kraft catalina dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pearl3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd forgotten about Round Window. I thought it was quite good. Over the years there were various Greek seafood restaurants that came and went. Another was Piraeus My Love and had really good smelt among other things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pearl3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Do not remember much more about the Acropole, at Yonge and Dundas, the march up the steps to the second floor, great food , busy spot so easy to get to filled with a cliental varying from office workers, Greek restaurant owners running from their Canadian greasy spoons to have real Greek food. Yes, the Acropole was quite the place,!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Calam1ty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That used to be par for the course, literally and figuratively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Danforth place I miss is Piraeus My Love, a very nice seafood restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Remember Arviv's Disco? Bloor St . just west of Yonge St on the south side. Popular with the Beautiful elite "coke" snorting set. Next door to Bemelman's I think.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Closed with a big bang, i.e. explosion, when the owner had it dynamited in order to collect insurance on the premises. Went to prison, I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also Rooney's restaurant and disco on Pleasant Ave.?? just south of Yonge St. and St. Clair. Lineups to get in on weekends. Hip, well-heeled clientel, Upwardly-mobile, Cool drug scene. Expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yup, Pleasant Ave I just walked past it the other day on the way to Holy Chuck but can't recall what's in that space now. At one point it was the Shark Club I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If I'm not mistaken Rooney's was owned by Frank Stronach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The decor was so over the top, Edwardian mens club style with nekkid ladies engraved into the mirrors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG Rooney's!!! Hated that place but went anyways. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Interesting no one wanted to see 'Susur' make a comeback?!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why do you say that Charles?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Susur was listed three times; twice emphatically and Lotus got a nod as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With 230+ replies, I must have missed that?! Thanks Justsayn!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wondered which of all those listed I would want to see actually come back and I couldn't pick just one. But Susur would be in my top three comebacks for sure. That being said, he would need to up the ante [again].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To round out the other two I think I would pick Perigee, JOV, Continental, Young Lok, Partners, Partners too, Original Young Thailand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Couldn't stop at three : P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The Carousel Drive-In Restaurant on west side of Bathurst Street, south of Wilson Ave. Could easily have been a substitute for "Arnold's" Drive-In in the beloved sitcom "Happy Days' with Richard Cunningham etc., and of course, The Fonz.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And they really were happy days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Stefoff''s Restaurant on Bathurst St.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Basil's Restaurant Yonge and Gerrard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't actually remember Bassel's as I was pretty young but I remember how we had to go there when my aunt came to town. It was always a competition between Fran's and Bassel's for the best rice pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember driving down Yonge St to get there and somewhere around Summerhill you could see the HUGE billboard for Benson and Hedges (I believe) - that always seemed bigger than life to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On second thought, I believe Stefoff's Restaurant wwas on Eglinton Ave West, not Bathurst St.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Sam The Chinese Food Man. Upstairs from Sam The Record Man on Yonge and Elm Sts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It looks like Sam the Chinese Food Man was north on Yonge, up from the record store.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Ginsberg and Wong. McCaul Street near the Art Gallery.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, I can't stop. The memories keep back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's worth re-reading the list because it is easy to miss some. Ginsberg was such a fun place. I used to love the Sunday brunch because you would make your own garlic bread using as much butter as you wanted! The whole place smelled from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You've made me think of Alice Fazooli's garlic bread which dripped with butter and made you want more. It was probably the only truly great thing on the menu! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ginsberg and Wong...how could I forget that place?! We used to love that as kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            +1 Ginsberg and Wong. Does anyone remember what was in their French burger? That was my go-to meal. Loved their physically huge menus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mphoenix88

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They had a burger with a spicy cheese topping which was one of the most delicious things I've ever had. Have tried to replicate the topping without success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bigtigger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think they called it the Fast Lane Burger. I have done the same to no avail. And their Caesars in mason jars was a radical concept back then!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mphoenix88

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So weird... I still think about that place sometimes... probably when I see the name "Ginsberg". I was young when it was open and lived out the outskirts of the city so I never went there, but I can still remember their signage... I think it was sort of carnival-like... "Step right up, step right up..." Would you say that it was like that or did I unconsciously modify that memory?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooooh - used to love their Chinese food even though it was all sugar, salt and heavily battered meats. At the time, the atmosphere was unique in Toronto, and they usually had line ups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. The original Mars on College was the paradigmatic haute greasy spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In its earlier incarnations, Country Style on Bloor did killer schnitzels even a destitute student couple could afford.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Loved the early version of Petit Gourmet on Yonge west side, south of Summerhill. Sobered up there with friends on many a Saturday morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mars on College is still in business as is a similar greasy spoon diner known as Vesta Lunch at Bathurst and Dupont. Rumor has it that Vesta Lunch is open 24 hrs. a day 365 days a year because the owner lost the key to the door lock many years ago and never bothered to replace the lost key.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For a trip down memory lane, I had a chicken souvlaki in a pita at Vesta last fall after a play, and it was awful. Possibly the worst souvlaki in a pita I can remember ordering. Friendly server, but stale pita brushed with rancid oil, I'm guessing the souvlaki sticks are bought pre-marinated, as they had a somewhat weird chemical/processed food kind of taste to them. Slightly scary clientele the night I was there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never been to the Mars on College, but the Mars on Yonge had been purchased by some of their non-Greek/non-Macedonian short order cooks a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess that might be considered an urban myth, but I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kagemusha, do you know that Jimmy, the counter guy at the Mars from the '70's-80's is still there? At least he was last year. I used to love the corned beef hash with the best homefries for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is the corned beef hash made from canned corned beef or fresh - I loved it at Mars many years ago and would love to sample it again, but just wondering.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hmmm, great question KV. When I think way back, I didn't really analyze it; I pretty much just devoured it, with the eggs on top, dark rye toast and amazing cole slaw. I do know that the patties of hash were prepared in the basement kitchen and finished on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LePetit Gourmet is still there. Same owners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MissBingBing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hmmm. Not sure about that. One of the several took a hike to Rockwood outside Guelph years ago to run a bistro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Kagemusha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Le Petit Gourmet started in Leaside (on Millwood) - it was my first 'fake-out' (take-out dishes you reheat and can pretend were made in your own kitchen).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        never liked it after the move to Yonge (and still don't).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: estufarian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Speaking of "fake-out" remember David Wood's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Does anyone remember a Romanian restaurant? I'm very hazy on the details but I recall it being somewhat close to or in downtown and being east of Yonge. I went there many times in the 80's. Can't really remember much else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: radiopolitic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There was a Romanian restaurant on Yonge north of Eglinton circa 2002-2004. I had a lamb dinner there for Orthodox Easter in 2003.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: radiopolitic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At Eglinton and Avenue Rd, north side , a couple stores in from the corner, an older couple ran it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: radiopolitic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Zakker, I'm trying to recall a small Italian place in the same rough area, same time that did a wonderful gnocchi in tomato sauce. Run by an older man and his wife - well, actually kids through my present lenses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: radiopolitic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll never forget it... I was in my 20's and didn't know much about food at the time, but it was my first lesson in sticking with the heritage of the cuisine... I ordered a pasta that was way over-cooked and I swear they used ketchup for sauce. Maybe the wife was sick that day and hubby took over the kitchen and guessed how to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The original Fry Basket on Yonge north of Steeles in Thornhill. It was run by two brothers and one of their wives was a waitress. (This was back circa 1984). I used to work just down the street and had their all-day breakfast for dinner at least once a week. The recession of 1990-ish did them in and they sold. Same name, different owner but it was never the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: barneyvernon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And it's sister place next door, Midway. Spent many nights sobering up from partying at The Jolly Miller with their all night breakfasts. Makeup running down our sweaty faces with guys we met at the bar all shovelling greasy eggs and home fries down our beer soaked throats. Damn I miss those days!!!!! Greek owners retired last year and sold the place. I hope they're enjoying, the deserve it!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. 4 more 'used to be popular ones' that no one has mentioned and IMHO, one of them 'Herbs' is a really notable one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 'Amuse Bouche' for their after dinner 'dessert tasting menu' and more!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 'Curiosity'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 'Blu Bistro'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 'Herbs'!! Really missed Antony Nuth's cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And Nonna's now that you mention Amuse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also miss the Baker's Dozen at King and Tecumseth for their fresh from the fryer donuts everyday at 4pm. The chocolate cruller was insane when fresh. Why can't this still exist?? : (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Herbs was one of my favourites! I miss that place! I still don't understand why it closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I miss Cajun Corner!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bar One
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sugar was good
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Loved Verveine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No mention of Colborne Lane?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And Rosebud - had some great meals there!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Acme Bar and Grill

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Way back - Hughies Burgers when they opened on Front.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahhh Verveine, that was my go to place!!! Had many a celebration there. Loved it. So warm and friendly, and excellent food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Such a shame when they closed down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea it really was SO good! Best pancakes ever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Acme Bar and Grill did a steak salad that I have been trying to recreate ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Does anybody remember a place on Adelaide I think where you paid an entry price or something and then the dishes were all super cheap? It was like a wholesale concept or something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Don't remember that place, but you jogged my memory about the Purple Pig. I miss the Purple Pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Purple Pig reminds me of the Purple Onion on Yorkville.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Remember "Just Desserts" on Davenport Rd.?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Doctormhl1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do. I can still remember very clearly some of my visits there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They never made them on site, but in early days they did bring in better quality than what they brought in later.