Baltimore chowhound requests recommendations
I realize you must get these requests frequently (we certainly do on the DC-Baltimore page) but I was wondering if anyone could recommend some truly singular restaurants in Toronto. My wife and I will be staying in a cheap hotel at Yonge and Carlton, and will rely on public transportation. Cuisines that are not well represented in my fair city include Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and most Southeast Asian (except Thai). Other suggestions would also be most appreciated, especially Canadian cuisine and authentic Chinese (read: no phlegm sauce-General Tso's. etc.)
Cheers and TIA,
Italian/Portuguese---College streetcar west to Clinton, try Bar Italia or Sotto Vocce, or further West to Ossington and try the very good, unique, and pricey Chiado.
Spanish--Walk north to Wellesley, eat Paella at Segovia
Asian--College streetcar west to Spadina, walk south to Lee Garden for Chinese or further south to Xe Lua for Vietnamese
Oh wow... where to begin...
First of all, you'll definitely have to make it to the St Lawrence Market on a saturday (take the subway south from your hotel to King, making sure you get a transfer when you get on, take the king streetcar eastbound to jarvis, and walk one block south--you can always ask the streetcar driver to let you off at the right stop). while you're there, be sure to have the quintessential canadian sandwich: back bacon (peameal bacon) on a bun. delicious. check out the farmer's market across the street for the best of ontario produce, as well as homemade jams, jellies, pies, and indeed a thousand other things.
After that, i would suggest walking up to queen street, and hopping on the streetcar eastbound. go out to the beaches, and check out Lick's--it's a toronto institution (the streetcar driver should be able to point it out). amazing burgers and fries, and the ice cream selection is fantastic. after your burger (served to you by singing staff!), get some ice cream to go, and walk along the beaches. (about a block south of Lick's).
and definitely while you're here you need to check out the greek neighbourhood. take the subway to chester station, walk down to the danforth, and start exploring. most of the restaurants in the area are very good, especially Mezes (reservations recommended), and Pappas Grill. if you want a late-night greek diner type of thing, go to Zorba's (danforth, south side, just east of Pape). make sure you have the saganaki (kefalotiri cheese, flambe'd tableside in ouzo, lemon juice, and olive oil). their hummus is deadly--i swear it's made out of pure garlic. yum!
hmmm... definitely check out the gelateria on st clair west at lansdowne.. i can't remember the name, but they have about three million different flavours. it's a bit pricy, but well worth it. (take the streetcar westbound from st clair station, ask the driver to let you off at lansdowne).
i'm not terribly well versed in italian food in this city, so it would be best to bow to the expertise of others on this board.
as for thai.. check out Young Thailand (john street, just north of queen west.. take the queen streetcar westbound from yonge, ask the driver to let you off at john; the restaurant is about 50 yards north of queen--huge yellow and purple sign). i can recommend one beef dish there especially--but not if you don't like food that bites back. it's *very* spicy. i can't remember what it's called, though.. the menu description says something about sliced grilled beef with ginger, or something. the satays are delicious, and the cocktails are incredible.
well, there's a few ideas.. hope they're helpful!
OT - You mentioned that you will be using public transportation. Suggest that you use TTC Day Passes to get to all of the great chowish sites in T.O.! Costs just $7.75 per person and provides unlimited travel by subway, street car and bus from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 the next morning on weekdays, anytime on Saturdays, and, on Sundays, both can ride on the same $7.75 pass. Day Passes can be purchased at any subway station.
I hope I'm not too late. Some good inexpensive local places accessable by public transit that you might want to consider are:
Country Style Hungarian
450 Bloor St. W
(just east of the Bathurst Subway Station)
This place is stuck in time. It's one step above a diner, but the foods is good. Great Schnitzel plus other Hungarian specialties, although I found their Chicken Paprikas a bit wanting.
Bairrada Churrasqueira Grill (http://bairrada.ca
)1000 College St
(take the College Streetcar West)
Portuguese BBQ Chicken is a real specialty in Toronto. It is possibly the best place for it outside of Portugal and its former colonies. There may be some better places in Toronto for churrasco, but this churrasqueira has somewhere to sit and is not too difficult to get to from where you will staying. There are also a couple others right in the neighbourhood.
For Italian I am in agreement with the Marcello's and La Paloma reccommendation on the Corso Italia. As Tony sez "they're gggrrreat." Take the subway to St Clair West station and then ride the street car west to Dufferin for Marcello's, the gelato is further west. When you ride the street car, look out the windows at the other restaurants. St Clair West has a real mix and you may see something that tweaks your interest. If you'd rather stick to the College St Little Italy, there are a lot of options. For take-out and walk around the San Francesco's on Clinton, just south of College has great veal sandwiches. Further west on College is the Sicilian Sidewalk's Gelateria.
Greek food is excellent in Toronto. I too like Pappas Grill, although I am no expert on Greek cuisine. There's a zillion Greek places on the danforth, so take your pick.
Have a good trip and let us know how it went.