Restaurant recommendation: Little Italy, Toronto ON
February 2, 2019 8:44 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I will be in Toronto at the end of February and would appreciate some suggestions for restaurants. We will be in the Little Italy neighborhood with walking our preferred mode of transportation. Thanks in advance, AskMeFi. :)
posted by danep to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to live here. There's so many options it's hard to go wrong! All very walkable. I can't speak to fine dining but I used to love Bar Utopia. I always thought Cafe Diplomatico was overrated but YMMV.

Sneaky Dees is a legendary dive bar that's worth checking out for shows but also the breakfast is great.
posted by Pademelon at 8:55 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]

When I lived in Toronto Sidecar had really great food for the price and a $30 prix fixe mid-week.
posted by quaking fajita at 9:53 AM on February 2

A lot of what I used to like the most a few years ago seems to have moved along and been replaced by something else. has a reasonable overview of dining options in Toronto. I'd agree that Diplomatico is a fun hangout but not quite a dining destination.
posted by ovvl at 10:16 AM on February 2

Often people mix up Little Italy with Corso Italia. Will you be near College St or St Clair?
posted by alusru at 11:07 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]

Woodlot is very good, and right in the middle of Little Italy. It's bit on the spendier side, but excellent.

The Caledonian is a short stroll a little west of Little Italy on College. It's Scottish, and they do a good job of haggis (and vegetarian haggis, and haggis burgers). They do haggis fritters as well, and plenty of other stuff. If whisky is your thing they have an outstanding Scotch list. The place has a great cozy atmosphere in the winter.

If you are a beer person, slightly west of there is Folly Brewpub, and they do some interesting beers that are a bit off the beaten path. They have a small food menu, but they do a good job of it.

Pizzeria Libretto is good, and they have a takeout-only location on College Street.

Since it sounds like you're Walking People, you can walk from Little Italy to Kensington Market and Chinatown in 15-20 minutes. Our go-to in Chinatown is Swatow (near Dundas and Spadina), which is super no-frills. They make the best General Tso chicken in the city, IMHO. The sauce contains tons of whole dried chilis and isn't overly sweet.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:11 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]

Hi this is my hood! (Assuming you mean College not St Clair)

Bar Isabel at College and Ossington - great Spanish food, hard reservation but easy if you get the app DINR and are willing to sit at the bar. Bar Raval, same owner, more tapas, no res, also good for lunch and dinner.
Second woodlot.
Doma is neat French Korean fusion.
Bar Volo if you are beer drinkers.
Grey gardens in Kensington market - walk around there for good cheap eats too. Rasta pasta, North poke and Otto’s berlin donair are my favourites.
ND sushi is good cheap and cheerful sushi.

On Harbord (just north of college) piano piano is worth a look or Skippa for sushi.

In Chinatown second swatow, also taste of China or kings noodle. If you like pho then pho Pasteur on Dundas. Oh and Rhum Bar on Dundas is great.

Do not go to diplomatico for the food but can be fun if there is a sporting event.

Great eats around! Enjoy!
posted by Minnowish at 3:00 PM on February 2

Bar Isabel is delicious and has a cool, kind of intense atmosphere- it's dim and loud. Good for a boozy, somewhat shouty, yet intimate, date.

Terroni is at Queen and Claremont so it's about a 10 minute walk south of Little Italy, but it's the best Italian food in Toronto in my opinion- I prefer it to anything in actual Little Italy, and has a great atmosphere and helpful servers.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 6:21 PM on February 2

Funny, I always enjoyed the Cuban sandwich at Bar Italia. I’m surprised nobody mentioned it here.

Also, hasn’t Sneaky Dee’s closed down?
posted by storebought at 10:10 AM on February 3

Sneaky Dees was open before Christmas...
posted by tinkletown at 12:09 PM on February 3

Sneaky Dees seemed open last time I went by? It's a youth hangout bar with tex-ish bar food and gets pretty Loud at nite. Not an evening dinner destination. Breakfast is good.
posted by ovvl at 3:53 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]

Campagnolo. A bit pricey, but the food is delicious.
posted by Lescha at 4:15 PM on February 3

Holy moly. This is great.

I'm not near a map to confirm it's Little Italy but I'm almost certain it is. I remember using college St as a landmark.
posted by danep at 6:11 AM on February 5

I am too late for this but... walking distance from Little Italy would be Enoteca Sociale, my favorite restaurant in the city and easily better Italian food than anything in Little Italy.
posted by dobbs at 5:16 PM on April 12

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