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Hungarian Food Restaurants in T.O.

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  • Steve Jan 18, 2004 08:27 AM

Up until a few years ago there used to be a very good Hungarian food restaurant around the Parliment and Queen area of the city called the Constantinople. Then, one day I arrived at the restaurant only to find out that it was gone. Closed! Vanished without a trace and without any advance notice.

This was very strange as the Constantinople had been there forever.

So, chowhounds, please help me out as my Hungarian food fix is long overdue. Please suggest some affordable Hungarian food restaurants and your experiences with them. What was your favourite item on the menu?

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  1. Theres that joint in Kensington market called The Hungary Thai (i think) I went in there once and ordered a chicken schnitzel. I swear it was bigger than my head! (and I have a big head!) It was served w/pan fried potatoes and some banana peppers (the ones you get from the hot dog vendors) It was pretty good. If I recall correctly, it set me back about $20 or so. I can't vouche for its authenticity, but I can say what I had tasted pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chin

      its ok but there are better ones and less pricey as well.

      my fav is paprika on bathurst south of wilson. if you think that was big, then you hbave seen nothing yet <S>

      there is the schitzel house on steels just west of yonge. not bad and they run a buffret on the weekened.

    2. Tuske, on north side of Bloor W of Bathurst, is cheap and has great Hungarian goulash. They have a takeout counter as well as seats in the back. Cheapest european desserts (plum and cherry filled pastries, strudels, etc)that I've seen in Toronto, and generous portions. Country Style, on Bloor E of Bathurst also serves decent food, but you get more bang for your buck at Tuske IMHO.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sunnyside

        We are in hamilton and trying to find authentic Dobos torte for my parents who are Hungarian. I see somewhere called Tuske? does it have website? is it good? My parents are 90 and would love to get them real dobos torte, Thanks for any help you can offer

        1. re: noodoo

          The Sweet Gallery bakes Dobos torte. They have a few locations, check out their website -
          http://www.thesweetgallery.com/

          1. re: noodoo

            I wouldn't go to Tuske for Dobos torte...it's a lunch counter that's good for a quick bowl of goulash, or a pastry. They don't make the fancier desserts.

            Konditor on Queen East makes Dobos torte. I haven't tried it, but I've enjoyed some of their other desserts. The pastry chef is Austrian.

            http://www.konditor.ca/dessertse.html

            1. re: noodoo

              Don't they sell Dobos torte in the Hamilton market at the Hungarian stall in the corner on the lower floor? Granted, it's sorta gross having all the meats hanging over the pastries but maybe that's just me.

          2. Check out Paprika, on Bathurst St, north of Lawrence Ave. In my opinion, it is the most authentic Hungarian restaurant in TO. Really quaint atmosphere reminded me of my travels through rural Hungary last year. Being vegetarian isn't an easy task in a meat-oriented society such as Hungary but Paprika had many non-meat dishes available. The menu goes way beyond the standard schnitzel dishes (although there are many offered) with a large variety of noodle options, more of what I consider Hungarian comfort food. Save room for dessert. They usually have a great selection of cakes and pasteries and of course, the obligatory palascinta.

            11 Replies
            1. re: jeffs

              I used to be a relative frequenter of this establishment due to the schnitzel that was so large it hung off the sides of the plate. However, recent experiences left me duly unimpressed with the service which took way too long.

              Link: http://reviews.degrassi.ca

              1. re: jeffs

                I have to agree that Paprika is infamous among the Hungarian community due to the lack of service. The food is not bad but to wait 45-60 minutes for a schnitzel in that environment is unacceptable. (For this reason we have stoped going there two years ago.) We have tried Cosmo on St. Clair which has a much more contemporary environment, however, their cooking is lighter and also they fusion their menu with French dishes. Never the less, we had a great meal there on a few occassions. If I would want to take someone out for a meal I would choose them over Paprika.

                1. re: BluGlasses

                  I would add my agreement. Delicious schnitzel. Laughable service. But I really don't think they care if the service is lousy or not. I make a bi-annual visit. The food, well, the schnitzel (their other food.....meh) keep me coming back.

                  1. re: magic

                    "(their other food.....meh)"

                    They have good, honest, Hungarian home cooking with no bells or whistles. There are selections you can't get elsewhere, selections in fact that you couldn't get along Bloor Street in the 60's. Gomboc and Paprikas Mushrooms spring to mind. Where else can you sit down to a meal consisting only of egg noodles and poppy seed?

                    We never found the service inattentive once the meal was before us - I can't recall any impatience or anxiety before that because we usually socialized or gossiped.

                2. re: jeffs
                  j
                  johan lazenby

                  what is the traditional starch dish served with rindergulash and what alternative starch dish is available?

                  1. re: jeffs

                    Paprika is BY FAR the best Hungarian resto...my family stayed with me for a month and we went to Paprika EIGHTEEN times in that period! The schnitzel was consistently awesome (I had 14 of them over the 4 weeks).

                    There are some things that are only on the Hungarian side of the menu (breaded ligaments....take 9 hours to make)...

                    Other choices are Country Style at Bathurst and Bloor, Schnitzel House, and the Courtyard in Yorkville.

                    1. re: loftman

                      does this schitzel come with sides? if so, what are they?

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        nockalee (sp). and red cabbage, (but you can get cucumber salad etc if you want as well) all the traditional Hungarian sides in fact.

                        1. re: galambo

                          thanks galambo, but what is nockalee exactly ?

                          1. re: hungryabbey

                            i don't know how to spell it (I can speak hungarian but can't write) but he is referring to nokedlee...basically it's like noodles but in a different shape (shaped like cheese curds).

                            you can also get the schnitzel with mashed or fried potatoes.

                            they also have several variations of the schnitzel, such as holstein (with eggs), gypsy (naked with fried onions on top) etc.

                            I should add that the schnitzel is pork by default...you can pay extra for veal (though it is a smaller portion)..my advice is to stick with the pork

                            1. re: loftman

                              thanks, thats good to know

                  2. Try Corvina at Kingston Road and Beech (west of Victoria Park). Excellent food and the owners are really nice. Try either the Mushroom Dish or the Chicken Parprikash (sp?) they are both excellent!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Otonabee

                      Was not impressed (i am hungarian) and found it was 'americanzied' and the services was not that great either.

                      1. re: galambo

                        Sorry to hear it. I haven't been in a couple of years, so I don't know what the service is like now.

                        I had taken a Hungarian friend there a couple of years ago who liked it but admittedly didn't find it as genuine as what he grew up with.

                    2. The Coffee Mill in Yorkville also serves up some great goulash...and it's reasonably priced.

                      1. A few friends of mine rave about this place in Richmond Hill... a little too uptown for me but due to my Hungarian heritage something I would one day like to try. Is anyone familiar with the name/quality of this restaurant? Thanks.

                        Link: http://reviews.degrassi.ca

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: airsy

                          Yes, it's the Rhapsody, in the middle of the Richmond Hill village, 10152 Yonge. Been there a couple of times, good schnitzel and cabbage rolls, homey atmosphere.

                        2. Although not Hungarian, another option is Transilvania up on Yonge at Sherwood. It's Romanian, weblink below.

                          Link: http://www.thebans.com/transilvaniare...

                          1. The Constantinople was actually one of the several Macedonian Restaurants that were in the area. The Baked Pork Hock dinner was superb and embarrassing in that other diners would see you with your plate of potatoes,beans,rice, and cabbage and on a separate plate a huge fantastic Baked Pork Hock. I just posted a search for any Macedonian restaurant, gonna be a tough find!

                            1. The Coffee Mill

                              after expressing our mutual love for this little Hungarian hideaway, three girls couldn’t resist the opportunity to rally there for a late lunch date. This old world Toronto establishment nestled amongst several trendy oh so seen and be seen hot spots, is a humble hangout for the true Torontonian through and through. Tables filled with downtown dwellers…young and old alike, this classic European coffee house serves up delicious delights for the both the sweetest and most savory tooth. Normally ordering the signature goulash (meal size of course), today in a last minute game time decision after much discussion over the veal paprikash I decided to take a leap of faith….. I was not disappointed. The tender dish was oh so succulent and has one of those sauces that you couldn’t help but soak up with your well buttered bread. Over good conversation and hearty dishes we laughed, dined and relished in the company of this time honored resturant. A Coffee Mill meal would not be complete without a slice of their infamously sinful carrot cake. So moist and yummy with the perfect amount of icing, this sweet treat is so coveted that it is not uncommon to come across a diner who refuses to share even one single bite…… I love this little treasure, it is cute, quaint and a little spot that i always come home to....Dieter beware, the Coffee Mill’s menu is heavy, rich and not fit for the calorie counter at heart but let me tell you it is worth every weight watchers point…..guaranteed! - from kates kitchen escapades : www.kategertner.blogspot.com

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kategertner

                                I also ate at the coffee mill this past week and must agree that it is one of a kind. Goulash was exemplary, as per usual. Shnitzel was amazingly light (and large) with not a drop of oil on the plate when it was finished. Came with two sides and was very reasonable. The place just oozes atmosphere - not trendy but rather trend-free. Trendproof, if you will. It will be around forever, I suspect.

                              2. Country Style Hungarian Restaurant, on Bloor in the Annex, is not only my favorite Hungarian restaurant in Toronto, it may well be my favorite restaurant of any type, anywhere.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                  for me its number two on my list of Hungarian rest. number is Paprika But it is according to taste.

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    I uesd to like country style but after having eaten at paprika 18 times in one month before my last visit, it felt vastly inferior to paprika.

                                  2. Hey Steve,

                                    I also like country Style at Bathurst and Bloor (just east) . . . Their food is always great and the staff is always friendly . . . I recently ate there and they did not have their daily specials menu which was a little disturbing . . . I asked them about this and the waitress said that they haven't had it for a while but they will soon bring it back . . . It will be nice to see it as it has a lot of more comforty foods on it

                                    SB