Any really good restaurants in the Beach?
My husband and I live five minutes from Queen Street near Main, and we almost always end up leaving the area when we eat out. I've lived down here all my life, and I think the only places nearby that I like are The Feathers and Ed's Real Scoop, and there's a limit to the amount of pub food and ice cream that I should eat. Am I missing something? I know Bonjour Brioche is very nice but it's not within strolling-for-dinner range, and even El Sol is a bit far by foot (we don't have a car), and I'd love to find out about any great places we've missed.
Oh, yeah, The Sunset Grill is good, too, but as I said above, I should limit my grease intake (although I may eat lunch there tomorrow..)
Not a super close walk for you, and it definitely is pub food, but get yourself over to Castro's Lounge. Anthony, the manager, is a great guy, and while the lighting is dark, it's worth it just to look at the pictures on the wall. Loads of famous people, celebrities and dictators. The beer menu is excellent, and the prices are good. The food isn't killer, but you've got to have the nacho fries: passable fries, covered in salsa, sour cream, melted cheese, tomatoes, and gaucamole. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
I'll second Otabi and Urban Thai.
Also, my favourite Italian in the beach is, Ci Vediamo. It's on the north side of Queen about a block east of Woodbine. It's got a great patio in the warmer months, a huge menu, and good service.
I have never had a good meal at Ci Vediamo. (Except way back in the beginning, when they first opened and those guys ran it. Then it was quality Italian food.) Twice I have ordered fish (in an effort to avoid chewy undercooked "al dente" pasta), once it was overcooked and dry and the second time it was basically raw (and it was not a fish like tuna you don't mind eating raw). Nor do I find the service that great: four people in a not very busy room being served their mains at different times, even 15 minutes apart, with no apologies or explanation or warning, is inexcusable.
Found a new restau on Queen that is worthy of checking out. The place is called Green Eggplant and it is on the north side of queen over by Kenilworth (across from Nevada essentially). Went there last night. Started out with the server bringing three dips to munch on while looking at the menu: babaganoush, a mediterranian eggplant (with cilantro) and a fried eggplant dip (quite sweet). All were excellent. My SO's trout with garlic was apparently perfectly cooked snd my salmon in a cream sauce (though very heavy was excellent).
It seems to be a family run spot and very child friendly. The portion sizes are quite large (the fish disher were around $15 and came with salad and choice of mashed redskins, fries or rice)
Nice to finally find some decent restaurants opening in the beach!
i just tried out this place about 2 weeks ago too!
It was lunch on a weekday so there were maybe only 4
other people eating there when I went.
I enjoyed that bread with the three dips.. it was
a nice surprise and pretty good! Mine had the
mediterranean eggplant, babaganoush, and hummus.
The hummus wasn't actually good, it was quite pasty
and flavorless .. but the other two were great.
When we finished our bread and still had some of the dips
leftover, the waiter brought us more bread that was freshly
grilled so that was also good =)
I ordered the grilled veggie sandwich... it was alright, but
next time i wouldn't order it again.
Like Otonabee said, the portions are good for the price.
It's worth going back to try out their other dishes I think.
I'd vouch for several places that lie west just out of the beaches. They may be too far, but they are all closer than BonJour Brioche and El Sol.
In Leslieville (from Pape to Greenwood on Queen):
Sushi Marché -- best sushi I've had in TO except Kaji and Hiro. I've been to Otabe, and a whole bunch of others too (about 25 across the city in the last 5 years -- I have a list). Made to order take-away ONLY. (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/334882)
Barrio and Verveine offer excellent quality new french fare. There have been some thorough reviews of both so I'll just let you do a search. Barrio is the better of the two IMHO -- at least now.
Edward Levesque and Joy Bistro get more tepid endorsements. I'd go to either one again. But neither would be my first choice.
I really like Moti Mahal for quality fare. Excellent Samosas and great Saag. The butter chicken is good too.
You might also want to peruse some recent threads.
There was this very long discussion on Beach Eats recently:
I just saw that this is a zombie post from 3 years ago brought back to life! Oh well.
Best wings in the city are at "The Grover" Kingston rd (north side, east of Main) - a comment like this may invite some scrutiny, but I'm biased after growing up here (but the wings are fantastic).
Vi Vetha at nursewood and queen is delightful.
Corvina (Kingston Rd. east of Pickering) scored points with me - great description Otonabee (serious comfort food)
Happy Sailor (Queen west of Lee) has great burritos (as does Cyote Willie's Queen west of Broadview)
Best brunch around is Bonjour Brioche (Queen east of broadview)
Very quaint little place, I have enjoyed almost every dish I had there. Very hospitable staff as well. I recommend calling for a reservation too. Tuesdays they have a very reasonably priced prix fixe menue. The food was a little eclectic, not to crazy thought, pastas, seafoods, meats with a slight flare (but not over the top). The apps were nice too - baked brie with chutney stands out in my mind. I also hear that the brunch is great and very reasonable. They have a fairly limited wine list, but some decent bottles and very reasonably priced. Hope that helps.
I would totally recommend Vi Vetha. Excellent food and very hospitable staff. I went on a weekday with 2 other parents with babies and the staff really went out of their way to help us. I had the wild mushroom salad which was excellent! Overally, the food was tasty and fresh and the prices were prety good too.
I have noticed a couple of better restaus in the Beach lately. So far Vi Vetha, Pomegranate and Shenanigans have all proven themselves to be excellent spots.
- On Queen, East of Woodbine (opposite Lick's) there is a small place called Urban Thai Bistro. The food is really good, especially the vegetarian stuff (but it all is good) and it's well priced and friendly. Int he summer they have a patio at the back. It's not usually too busy.
- If you want the best Sushi in Toronto (and i'm not the only one who thinks so!) I suggest Otabe. It is at the far east end of Queen where the Street Car stops. It is worth the little walk though. They are very friendly and know most people on a first-name basis.
- For a quick, cheap meal go to Dang De Lion, also near Licks. They are also really friendly and the food is good (the other 2 above I would try first though).
There are two other good spots on Kingston Road - Corvina (Hungarian) and Copperpipe Pizza. I have been to both places a number of times and I have always enjoyed myself.
Copperpipe serves thin crust pizza and different Italian sandwiches, pasta etc. I know they do half price pizza on Tuesday, but be warned - sometime the service is spotty, especially when it is really busy!
Corvina has an excellent Chicken Parpikash (sp?) and it probably the best spots around for serious comfort food for the middle of the winter. The owners are really nice and very accomodating.
If you need contact info for either spot let me know!