Toronto restaurant recommendations?
March 26, 2018 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Hi Toronto people, I'm going to be in your town this weekend, staying a few blocks from the Rogers Centre. Any wonderful food experiences in that neighborhood you recommend? I doubt I'll have time to go anywhere that isn't reachable on foot so just that area only please. Any cuisine, any degree of fanciness/not fancy.
posted by JanetLand to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Pho Hung on Spadina between Dundas and Nassau is great Vietnamese. Cash only. Rol San is great for dim sum. Cash or credit only (no debit). (most places aren't so finicky about payment, but these places are delicious and popular enough that they can do whatever they want).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:16 AM on March 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

That area is a bit of a tourist trap- lots of chain restaurants... in my experience, Taverna Mercatto is probably your best bet. It's only a couple blocks away, and is tasty.

If you walk up to King Street (it's maybe a 10 walk?) there are a bunch of other places.
I quite like the roast-beef-stuffed-Yorkshire-pudding wrap at Elephant and Castle on King.

And 360', the CN Tower restaurant, is a bit pricey but it revolves and the view is cool. They probably have a deal where you get free admission if you spend a certain amount on food- you may be able to just get apps or desserts to enjoy the view affordably. Make sure to go during clear weather or all you'll be seeing the inside of a cloud.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:35 AM on March 26, 2018

Pai has the best Thai food I've had in Toronto. It's right by Metro Hall.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:43 AM on March 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

Agreed you'd be pretty well served by taking a not super long walk. Two spots I've really enjoyed that are Pai thai for really good norther style thai and Pizzeria Libretto has two locations less than 15 mins from the Rogers Center with really good neopolitan style pies.

on preview - I guess my recommendation of Pai has been turned into a second of APIAS's suggestion. We were there for a lunch last year and it was quite busy and there was a (short) wait for tables, if you are in a rush they had a back room market type deal with prepared dishes ready to be served quickly - something pretty much exactly approximating a lot of thai street eating in service style and perhaps unsurprisingly, flavor.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:46 AM on March 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

Nthing Pai, and if not, then Khao San Road or Sukhothai (furthest from you).
posted by spicytunaroll at 10:31 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Le Select bistro on Wellington is a traditional French bistro. The steak is excellent. Like 10-15 mins walk. $$$

Just down the street from there is Marben, which is great for cocktails and local food. $$

Gandhi Roti on Queen St, just east of bathurst on the north side is only open on weekdays, but the Butter Chicken roti is unbelievable. There are like 3 tables there, so it's not really a dine in place, but if you can get the window table on a sunny day, it's a good place to people watch. $

Momofuku is just north of Adelaide. There are 3 or 4 levels there, from simple tasty noodles on the ground floor to like a $200+ tasting menu on the top floor. The top two are under renovation, so try the noodle bar. $

It would be like a 50 minute walk from where you are, but through safe interesting neighbourhoods, to Antler on Dundas West. $$$ We sat at the Chef's table there for dinner one night about 8 months ago, and they kept putting all these amazing little appetizers and amuses boche in front of us before our main courses arrived.

Slightly closer than that is La Banane, on Ossignton, also highly recommended for fine French food. $$$$
posted by thenormshow at 10:33 AM on March 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm around this area a lot, here are some places I can think of off the top of my head:

La Carnita - great tacos and margaritas, it's also right beside Instagram famous Sweet Jesus, if you want an over the top ice cream after dinner.

Peter Pan Bistro- a great place for a nice meal but a low key atmosphere.

Rodney's Oyster House - if you are in the mood for delicious oysters

O&B Canteen - good for a quick meal (but does serve alcohol), menu changes a lot. Low key feel.

Ravi's Soups - also good for a quick meal, very delicious wraps and soups (I love the hot pot soup). You can eat in and they do serve beer.

Basil Box - they have like 4 types of boxes, also in the quick meal category/to go category. I usually get the five spice steak box with all the toppings.

Patria - Spanish tapas, higher end but very good. I loved the seafood paella!

Pai - seconding this one from above

Antler - also seconding from above
posted by devonia at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is it just you? Alo has space for one person at the Extended Tasting Menu Kitchen Counter on Friday evening.
posted by TORunner at 10:39 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, Barhop on King if you want to sample craft brews and eat yummy pub food.
posted by TORunner at 10:47 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's a 20 minute walk up to Assembly Chef's Hall on Richmond St from the Rogers Centre - it's kind of like an upscale, super-diverse food court. Each booth is like the little sibling to a fully-fledged restaurant in the city.

Everything I've had there has been great and it's perfect if you want to sample a bunch of small plates from different vendors without having to make a reservation. Nthing Pai, but Assembly Chef's Hall also offers Little Khao which is equally good in my opinion (though they only offer a couple of dishes).

For Mexican in that area I would recommend El Caballito over La Carnita.
posted by dotparker at 11:05 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I agree -- that area is very tourist trappy. I'd suggest Campagnolo for very tasty home-style Italian food. It's about a 30 minute walk. But if you hop on the Spadina streetcar you could be there in 15 minutes or so. And seconding Rodney's Oyster House -- amazing quality and a friendly, casual atmosphere.
posted by Lescha at 11:31 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Cafe 668 is a little bit of a hike (maybe 30 mins each way), but serves absolutely incredible vegetarian Asian fusion.
posted by 256 at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2018

Annie's Magic Kitchen in Chinatown is amazing for authentic Szechuan Chinese food.
posted by mossicle at 2:53 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

mossicle, Annie's just closed. Permanently. Last service was a week ago today. A real bummer.
posted by quince at 5:04 PM on March 26, 2018

If you like savoury pies I can recommend both The Pie Commission and Kanga Aussie Meat Pies. They're a bit of a walk but not too far.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:28 PM on March 26, 2018

Another 20-minute walk (mostly just up Spadina) - Maker Pizza is sincerely the best pizza I've ever had (So Mushroom and Frank's Best, specifically). We went there twice last summer despite having other carefully researched plans.
posted by carbide at 11:37 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks everybody -- these all sound great. I actually don't mind touristy, since I am after all a tourist, but it's nice to know where the other options are.
posted by JanetLand at 5:59 AM on March 27, 2018

@quince Noooo!! That is sad news :(
posted by mossicle at 12:38 PM on March 27, 2018

In case anybody searching is reading this, I ended up lunching at a fun pub called Sin & Redemption, on McCaul Street across from St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Huge beer selection and a yummy potato/leek/tomato soup.
posted by JanetLand at 7:15 AM on April 2, 2018

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