Toronto Restaurants

Guu Izakaya | Parkdale

It's SO MUCH FUN here! You really get the authentic izakaya experience at Guu on Queen West in Parkdale, which is all about eating, drinking and loving the vibe in your community. Expect a hearty welcome from the entire staff when you come in and a warm boisterous farewell when you leave. It's awesome. Also awesome is the menu, which features a delicious selection of Japanese faves from ramen to tataki, all perfect to soak up all the sake and Sapporo you are gonna drink.

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Butter Chicken Roti | West Queen West

This delicious roti restaurant is right on Queen West across from The Great Hall. The Butter Chicken Roti menu features classic Indian dishes with a contemporary take. The food is so tasty and the service is excellent. I like their spice scale:

Mild- Is water a spice?
Mild/Medium- I like it a little spicy
Medium- I never turn down the heat
Medium/Hot- Go Big, but not too big
Hot- Come at me, I got this
Extra Hot- What on earth is wrong with me?

Pictured below is my (mild/medium) butter chicken roti to go. One of my faves. Rosie :)


Butter Chicken Roti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Supermarket | Kensington Market

Countdown to spring... and shrimp tacos and Pimms on the patio at Supermarket. Hang in there... soon this winter will be a distant memory. Rosie :)



Supermarket Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Huevos Gourmet | South Etobicoke

Having lots of tasty reliable breakfast spots in the neighbourhood is always a bonus, but having one that serves up a plate of delicious huevos rancheros is the best ever. Huevos Gourmet on the Lakeshore serves authentic Mexican and all-day breakfast so you can get your fix of huevos allllll day long just like this:


I'm obsessed with my morning coffee and I love how there is a choice of a medium or dark roasted brew. The entire menu is delicious whether you are wanting brunch or lunch. On the Lakeshore just west of Islington, with plenty of paid parking spots nearby. Rosie :)

Huevos Gourmet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Moxie's | Downtown Toronto

The patio at this location of Moxie's is really nice. The atmosphere in the summertime depends on the day... if the Jays win, it's bananas. If they lose, it's chill and relaxed. The food is reliably tasty; steak and salmon are always good choices. The baked potato is next level. So delicious. It's a must-order side.


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La Cubana | Ossington

The food in Cuba is wonderful. On our trips to Havana we ate some really delicious stuff, drank some perfect cocktails and woke up every morning to the best coffee outside of Rome. I didn't think I would taste mojitos or medianoches like I had in Havana right here in Toronto. From the authentic pressed cubano sandwiches to the juicy guava bbq beef short ribs, La Cubana recreates delicious Cuban favourites in their two locations on Ossington and Roncesvalles. These pics are from a dinner at the Ossington location, but both spots are equally spot-on.

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'ONO Poké Bar | Liberty Village

Poké bowls are such a great meal; fresh, healthy and full of flavour. 'Ono Poké Bar in Liberty Village offers a lovely selection of bowls including spicy mango salmon, ahi honey tuna and the torched ahi tuna, which is pictured here:


This bowl is filled with avocado, carrot, edamame, green onion, pear, red cabbage tenkasu, fried onion, furikake and topped with the most delicious torched ahi tuna covered in sriracha aioli. You can choose from a poké bowl or sushi burrito base. This bowl was $15. You can use the Ritual app to order, which I lovvvvvve! Rosie :)

Ono Poke Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Joey Sherway Gardens | Etobicoke

SO GOOD! Loved everything about Joey, from the airy contemporary decor to the delicious and varied menu. This ahi tuna salad was perfect, light and refreshing.

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The Good Son | Queen West

What a gem The Good Son is! Cozy, inviting decor with a wall of grandfather clocks, varnished wood tables and a stunning vintage chandelier that gives a warm glow to the dining area (a good chandelier gets me every time.) The wood oven baked pizzas do not disappoint. I had heard lots of good things about the prosciutto one and it was perfect- crispy and flavourful topped with mascarpone, arugula and roasted tomato.


Chef Vittorio Colacitti was at lots of top Toronto restaurants including Lucien and Pizzeria Via Mercanti before opening The Good Son. Top Chef superfans like me will remember him from season four of Top Chef Canada. What a lovely addition to Queen West in the location that Nyood used to occupy. Rosie :)

The Good Son Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Keg | Sherway Gardens | Etobicoke

The renovated section of Sherway Gardens is gorgeous and the new Keg is just as pretty to match. The food is great and the atmosphere is luxe, contemporary and very inviting. Perfect for me and my bestie's annual Christmas lunch. The tuna tartare and avocado starter is delicious and so easy to eat with these crispy tasty chips.

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K&B Sushi | South Etobicoke

There are several high quality all-you-can-eat sushi spots in the GTA, but none in the west end of Toronto until K&B Sushi on the Queensway opened last year. It offers an excellent selection of pan-Asian dishes and sushi chefs that know their stuff.



Richmond Station | Downtown Toronto

Carl Heinrich, winner of Season 2 of Top Chef Canada, opened Richmond Station in 2012. It's downtown in Toronto's financial district at 1 Richmond Street West. He has turned his restaurant into a winner exactly like he won Top Chef- by focusing on the ingredients and keeping it simple and delicious. Every year during Nuit Blanche we make Richmond Station our stop for edible art. Some highlights from 2016 include the lamb crochette:

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Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie | Distillery District

Restaurants in the Distillery District really have a duty to live up to their picturesque surroundings. When you walk on lovely cobblestone past beautifully restored storefronts and popular public art like the love lock installation, when you finally sit down to dinner it really better be good. Cluny Bistro is lovely inside and out and the food is as good as it looks. Start with the salt cod doughnuts- they are light, tasty and delicious.

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Eden Trattoria | Etobicoke

One of my favourite places to eat in the summertime is Eden. The patio is right across from the Humber Bay shores which has a beautiful view of the Toronto skyline. First though, coffee.

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Il Paesano | Etobicoke

Il Paesano is a pizza place on Brown's Line in south Etobicoke. It's one of those neighbourhood restaurants that has been around forever and you are so glad to know about it because it is so authentic and delicious. The pizza is fantastic, and comes to your door in under half an hour with no delivery charge.


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Caplansky's Deli | College Street

So glad the deli king is back in business! Zane Caplansky made news in June when he had to get an injunction against his landlord for terminating the restaurant's lease because of failure "to effect repairs not authorized by the landlord." Caplansky said it was completely out of order, fought it, and now he's back making the best deli food in the city. And it's a good thing because Toronto was freaking out. The 6ix needs their smoked meat fix... where is Beyonce supposed to nosh when she's in town? This is the OG location of Caplansky's and the food is great whether you dine in or take it to go, which we did. My little man's favourite are the perfectly fried potato latkes, which did not make it home.

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Chaban | Etobicoke

Welcome to Chaban, a Korean restaurant in south Etobicoke. It's cheerful, casual, and crazy fresh. The bibimbap, which is a signature Korean dish that literally means "mixed rice", is delicious. The chili paste is served on the side.


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The Ace | Roncesvalles

Really enjoyed The Ace on Roncesvalles. I've been told their kale salad with beets, goat's cheese and crispy chick peas is a must-order but I'm pretty bored by all things kale right now so I chose the deep-fried brussels sprouts tossed in vinaigrette to start. So good. Order these even if you think you loathe brussels sprouts!


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India 360 | Scarborough

American economist Tyler Cowen recently made a bold declaration about the dining scene in Scarborough. After eating at four different restaurants in the area, he concluded that "Scarborough is the best ethnic food suburb I have seen in my life, ever, and by an order of magnitude." (I've included his blog post below.) Working on the border of Scarborough and Markham means having an amazing variety of lunch spots to choose from. I don't know if India 360 was one of the spots Cowen tried out, but to me it is a perfect example of why it's time we all start dining more east of the DVP.



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The Queen and Beaver Public House | Downtown

British comfort food is awesome... cobblers and flaky pies and rich meats and curries are delicious, especially when it's cold out. The Q&B on Elm Street is such a cozy, pretty place to dine and really takes these types of dishes to the next level. The lamb curry with rice and apple chutney is spicy and packed with flavour.


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Matsuda Japanese Cuisine

I should have written about Matsuda a long time ago because I eat here with my work peeps ALL THE TIME. We have consumed a large amount of sushi at this all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant! We order a selection of maki rolls, tempura and dumplings and we always start with the Golden Shrimp. They are a must-order.


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School Liberty Village

It's fun to go to school when you are a grown-up, especially when school is one of the best brunch spots in Toronto. I love French toast with lots of crispy bacon on top, and then pouring lots of maple syrup over the whole pile. When I heard the super cheesy bacon French toast at School Liberty Village was out of this world, I couldn't wait to try it. It was amazing. I loved the shot glass of maple syrup on the side.


The decor at School is great; there are apples on the tables and the patio looks like a hipster school yard.


Los Colibris

Located in the Theatre District right across from Roy Thomson Hall, Los Colibris (which means 'the hummingbirds') is Toronto's first upscale Mexican restaurant. It has a really cool decor, excellent service and inventive dishes. The Tijuana Caesar salad is covered with smoky homemade chorizo sausage, cotija cheese, and a Caesar dressing infused with anchovy and pomegranate seeds.

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Paramount Fine Foods in Yorkville

A favourite eatery of Toronto Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri, Paramount Fine Foods serves a selection of Middle Eastern favourites made in-house daily, with Ontario-raised hormone-free halal meat. The newly opened location in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood boasts a contemporary and very comfortable decor ideal for sit-down dinners or quick and casual lunches. The fresh baked pita is a must, arriving at your table directly from the wood-burning ovens piping hot and puffy:



Rawlicious Bloor West Village

We eat regularly at Fresh and Thrive Organic so I was excited to see a Rawlicious pop up nearby. Rawlicious differs from other vegan and organic eateries because it just offers raw food, which is food that has not been heated above 48 degrees centigrade (117 degrees Fahrenheit). So, all the menu items are foods in their natural state. Rawlicious is delicious. The taco wrap is great for lunch. It is a collard leaf stuffed with seasoned nut loaf, guacamole, romaine lettuce, salsa and almond nut cheese.


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This restaurant is an escape to southwestern France right in the Kingsway. The ambience feels like you've truly left the country. Merlot has been an Etobicoke dining destination for decades- the food is fantastic.

The fragrance of the white wine, garlic, shallots and butter in the escargots Bourguignonne was a perfect way to start the meal. The snails were so tasty:

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Hoai Huong Vietnamese Restaurant

This south Etobicoke Vietnamese restaurant offers simple and straightforward dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients. I love how beautifully presented the plates are:



The Beech Tree

There is a real warmth to this Kingston Road restaurant in Toronto's Upper Beaches. The atmosphere makes you feel like you're inside a Manhattan bistro in Greenwich Village. It's one of those spots that feels so good to walk into.


The menu features the best local ingredients with plates putting a modern spin on traditional English country cooking. This approach is expertly displayed by the whey-fed Ontario pork chop with rye dumplings, brussel spouts, celeriac, apple and sage:


Chef Jamie Newman's dinner special of quail and sweetbreads prepared sous-vide was flavourful and perfectly cooked.


The Ontario fruit crumble with buffalo milk semifreddo and apple fritter was the perfect combination of tart and sweet:


The flourless Equadorian chocolate cake is sprinkled with Maldon salt and topped with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraiche. It was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. This cake, along with the burger, are the only two items that have been on the menu since day one.


A bonus of visiting The Beech Tree during the holiday season is the homemade eggnog, which is prepared with twelve eggs yolks, Maker's Mark bourbon and Remy XO cognac. The cocktail menu features classics with a twist such as the White Old Fashioned and are prepared with bitters and grenadines that are made in house.


Owner Robert Maxwell has created a wonderful dining experience at The Beech Tree. The ambience is a perfect combination of casual and elegant without a hint of pretension. The menu is complex but not overly complicated. Details like the glasses of water with fresh mint and sliced cucumber are simple, lovely and luxurious. An amazing experience. Rosie :)

The Beech Tree on Urbanspoon


Buca (King Street West)

Finally! Buca. Sensational. The salumi is cured onsite and the cheese and preserve selection is outstanding. Highlights include the wild boar and the ricotta di bufala.

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Lamb's brains alla saltimbocca and fried pig ears to start.



The signature pastas are handmade. While the menu changes regularly, the bigoli is a staple and always available. The torchio-cranked duck egg pasta is tossed with duck offal ragu, venetian spices, mascarpone and basil.


The hand-cut pork blood pasta is tossed right at the table with smoked burrata cheese.


This double-stuffed ravioli is one of the most beautifully presented dishes I have ever seen. Each one is filled with braised goose, roasted squash, hazelnut crackle and fonduta di parmigiano.


Milk-poached veal tenderloin.

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This was hands down the best dessert I have ever eaten- parmigiano reggiano ice cream. It was perfect. And I don't even really like ice cream.


Executive Chef Rob Gentile does not disappoint. What an experience.


Buca Osteria & Enoteca on Urbanspoon

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momofuku shōtō

Shōtō's multi-course dinner offering is only available Tuesday to Thursday. You sit at high stools in the open kitchen and watch the cooks prepare and plate. The serving begins as soon as you are seated with an amuse selection. Highlights from the October 8th 10-course tasting menu:

Mackerel with fennel, shiso and green chili.


Beef tendon with eggplant, black garlic and onion.


Halibut with zucchini, razor clam and confit tomato.


Tamago wtih lobster, black bean and jalapeno.


Corn ravioli with chorizo, scallion and cotija.


Delicious and a really fun vibe, with unpretentious service. Rosie :)

Momofuku Shoto on Urbanspoon


momofuku noodle bar

Absolutely outstanding. I love David Chang. If you don't have a lot of time, do this. Start with the pork buns, which have hoisin, scallion and cucumber:

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Then order the momofuku ramen with pork belly and shoulder, fish cake and egg. The egg in this bowl... it is what all eggs should hope to have happen to them.

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Ontario pork from Kunan Farm. Menu changes daily. An absolute must-visit. If you live in the downtown core, noodle bar now delivers within an hour. Rosie :)

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon


Rhum Corner

Wow. I loved eating and drinking and sitting in Rhum Corner, Black Hoof owner Jen Agg's Caribbean restaurant. It's great. Accra to start, and then oxtail and boulettes (meatballs) for mains:




An incredible selection of rum to choose from. We went with the classic rum and coke.


We also had griot to start, which is a very popular Haitian dish of fried pork with peppers. Rosie :)

Rhum Corner on Urbanspoon



This is a tapas-style restaurant with great atmosphere and delicious food. I like restaurants that can pull off a vibe where jeans work, but also a really pretty dress. It's fun with a group. It's best to order several dishes, because the portions are small and everything is excellent.

Oysters (Malpeques PEI)


Blackened catfish tacos


Bacon seared scallops


Highly recommend the lamb sliders.

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I hope your server is the lovely and VERY funny Catherine, an aspiring actor who does an hysterical Robin Williams impersonation. She recited a routine he did about golf and had the table belly laughing. Rosie :)

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Azarias on Urbanspoon

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Grand Electric

Best tacos in the city hands down. Yes, it's noisy and the wait for a table can be long. But it's worth it. Pictured below, Muskoka shrimp, pork belly, beef cheek, Baja fish and scrapple tacos.







Just order anything off the chalk board, it all tastes delicious. The Baja fish tacos will blow your mind, as will the tuna ceviche. Rosie

Grand Electric on Urbanspoon


Brunch at The Drake Hotel

Brunch at the Drake is awesome, especially if you eat outside on the patio on a sunny morning. The 'Southern Fried Chicken and Waffle' comes topped with Niagara cherry jam and crème fraîche. So good.


The "Lumberjack" is a plate piled with eggs, Perth bacon, apple and sage sausage, homefries, lots of marble rye and a huge pancake.


The Americanos are perfect.


We were too early to order real drinks but the options were great; mojitos, mimosas and three different types of Caesars... my favourite! Rosie :)

The Drake Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Viking Fish and Chips

Every year on Good Friday, we go to Viking Fish and Chips on the Queensway. It's a neighbourhood gem.The halibut is so fresh and the batter is perfect; light and crispy.

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Wondering where to buy Irn Bru in Toronto? It's here:

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Viking Fish and Chips has been in business for over 50 years. It was starting to show it's age but has recently been renovated and now looks as great as the food tastes. Rosie :)

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Viking Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon


Mezza Lebanese Kitchen: NOW CLOSED

Recently I had lunch at an excellent Lebanese restaurant in Toronto called Mezza. The food was delicious, fresh and beautifully presented. I drove by yesterday and was surprised to see it is now a Japanese restaurant! I was quite disappointed, as I definitely would have returned. The service, decor and cuisine were top-notch. Rosie :)


Mezza Lebanese Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Toji Sushi

There is a strip of restaurants along Dundas in Islington Village with some real treasures including Chodang Soon Tofu and Anatolia. Toji Sushi is nestled in this rapidly growing restaurant row and a great spot to try if you are looking for some of the best sushi in Etobicoke. I recommend the "Rose" roll (spicy tuna with shrimp tempura) and the Black Dragon (Dynamite roll with BBQ eel on top.)

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Fresh delicious fish, and the complimentary miso is some of the best I've ever had. Rosie :)

Toji Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Yours Truly- NOW CLOSED

It's easy to eat at Yours Truly. The five-course tasting menu focuses on a main ingredient for each dish. You have two options for each course. You pick, and the server brings, along with five amuses. There is also a wine pairing option. The wine selection is excellent. The food looks like art, and the flavours are insane. Some highlights:

Main ingredient... Uni:




Beef cheek raviolo:




Toronto Life chose Yours Truly as the best new restaurant in 2012. Jeff Claudio has since left but Lachlan Culjak is doing just fine. Your Truly also offers a Carte Blanche menu, which is a blind tasting menu. The kitchen selects 20 courses based on your preference of meat or vegetarian.There is a limited number of Carte Blanche seatings so reserve in advance. Rosie :)

Yours Truly on Urbanspoon

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Kelsey's on The Queensway

I've haven't been to a Kelsey's in a very long time. At least a decade! But the one on the Queensway across from the Cineplex was recently renovated, and it looked so pretty with it's sparkly colourful lights we decided to check it out after seeing Anchorman 2. It's a perfect place to dine if you want good food and a fun vibe.


The starter calamari was perfect, lightly battered and very flavourful:


The sandwiches and burgers are just enormous, and delicious. The messy fish sandwich is beer-battered:


This burger had avocado on it, and many other tasty toppings. I could only eat half.


The bar was very lively, and stocked with good stuff. I've never seen wine on tap before, so I had to try it. $1 an ounce. I had nine of them. The Sauvignon blanc was really nice!

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Fun, casual and really good. I'd return! Rosie :)


Kelsey's on Urbanspoon


Amsterdam Brewhouse | Harbourfront

Amsterdam Brewhouse is the perfect place to go if you want to meet a bunch of friends on a Saturday night to watch the Leaf game, in a really nice bar with really good food. I love anyplace on the water that has a view like this:


In addition to an excellent beer selection, the menu has some really well-above-average tasting pub food. Highlights for me were this poached pear salad with bruleed goat cheese, and brown butter lobster rolls with poutine:



A casual, lively and lovely spot that overlooks the harbourfront. Rosie :)

Amsterdam BrewHouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Egglicious Cafe

With omelettes that look like this, it is fair to say that this restaurant is aptly named:


As delicious as that Canadian Omelette special was, I wanted to try this restaurant because I heard the corned beef sandwiches were amazing. I love corned beef sandwiches, and this one lived up to the hype. Moist and flavourful, with perfectly buttered rye bread:


I know it is dwarfed by the giant salad but it was really filling. A great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Rosie :)

Egglicious Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Jodie's Restaurant

There are some mornings when you need someone else to make you coffee and eggs. On those mornings, we go to Jodie's Restaurant, where a lovely person will park these in front of us very quickly.


Jodie's "Light Breakfast" is my favourite. Eggs and tomato with toast for $3.95 (that includes coffee before 11am.) I love that they have rye toast, which is the only toast I really like.


The "Rise & Shine" includes meat and hash browns for $4.95. You can swap out the potato for salad or tomato if that's how you are feeling.


There are no hipsters or trendy cocktails to be found here, just hungry people getting their breakfast/brunch on. It's perfect for non-morning-people like me! Rosie :)

Jodie's Restaurant on Urbanspoon



On the second floor of the TIFF Lightbox there is an Oliver & Bonacini restaurant called Luma. We went to Luma for our 10th anniversary because I love the view of the city from this spot (and the other O&B restaurant I love with a perfect city view is closed Saturday nights.) It was fantastic! Duck lettuce rolls and lamb kofta to start:

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For our mains, we had the duck confit special (as good as we've had in Paris) and the signature Luma shrimp and lobster burger with lettuce, tomato and togarashi mayonnaise.



Dessert was outstanding. Here is the Luma chocolate bar made with soft dark chocolate and served with banana and peanut butter ice cream. The lemon tart was also amazing. Anything with chocolate and lemon are our favourite desserts.

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The view of King Street and the CN Tower is spectacular, if you go, try to get a table by the window. I can't even get annoyed about the shadows on my photos because they are from all the twinkling city lights. Rosie :)

Luma on Urbanspoon

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Snug Harbour in Port Credit

Snug Harbour is a seafood restaurant right in the Port Credit Marina. I love it. It feels like you've gone on vacation when you eat there. If you enjoy waterfront dining, this is such a perfect spot to have lunch or dinner. Check out these views:



The menu has a great selection of fresh seafood. Here are some Glacier Bay and Blue Point oysters:


Highlights of the antipasto platter include the kiwi mussels, genoa salami, sweet chili marinated shrimp and incredibly flavourful ciabatta loaf and cheese:


The blackened catfish is seared and seasoned with Cajun spices:


And the tiger shrimp were cooked perfectly with garlic, shallots, white wine, lemon juice and chili peppers.


There is also selection of pizzas and pasta as well as burgers and sandwiches if you don't dig seafood. Snug Harbour was recently renovated and now has a much more modern, hip atmosphere, so if you haven't been in awhile it's definitely worth a revisit. Rosie :)

Snug Harbour Seafood Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Nota Bene on Queen St. West

Some chefs may phone in their Summer/Winterlicious menus, but not Nota Bene's David Lee. The 2013 Summerlicious lunch was excellent. This wild salmon sashimi starter had delicious bursts of chili, apple and lemon grass, and was plated beautifully.


The butter-milk fried chicken "club" was topped with maple bacon, arugula and lemon aioli. The bun was so light and the fries were perfect.


The strawberry sorbet with rhubarb compote such a refreshing way to finish lunch, and the sugar cookie on the side was a lovely sweet touch.


It's no surprise Nota Bene has received so many accolades, including being named Canada's best new restaurant by Toronto Life and Air Canada's En Route magazine. Not only is the food great, but its location on Queen West just steps from Toronto's theatre and business district makes for a hip and buzzy atmosphere. Rosie :)

Nota Bene on Urbanspoon


Terroni on Queen West

The original Terroni on Queen West is great. I love their 'no modifications, no substitutions' policy. Just order your food and eat it. Their pizzas are truly the stars of the menu; here is one covered with prosciutto di parma:

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A tuna special crusted with sesame:

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And a pretty perfect bolognese.

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Due to the large amount of white wine that was consumed with this meal, I forgot to take a photo of the Funghi Assoluti, our favourite salad of baked oyster mushrooms, parmigiana and bread crumbs. It is only available at this location. Next time. Rosie :)

Terroni on Urbanspoon

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Play Cafe: The Best Meatball Sandwiches in Toronto

If you drive by this sign enough times, you really start to think "I have to try these meatballs." This is a big sign. You have to deliver the goods to hang a sign like this in front of your restaurant.


Play Cafe meatball sandwiches are amazing. They were recently serving them up at the Celebrate the Queensway festival- look at this sauce. It doesn't get more authentic Italian than that.

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I enjoyed the look on Matteo's face when I initially told him I didn't want any cheese on top. He waited patiently until my momentary lapse in sanity passed, then proceeded to cover it with lots and lots of cheese after I said- obviously- "changed my mind."

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Play Cafe is one of those lovely neighbourhood cafes where happy people are always enjoying espressos on the patio. It's awesome. Rosie :)

Play Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Lardon on Roncesvalles: NOW CLOSED

Cowbell was one of our favourite restaurants so we were pretty disappointed when it went out of business. It's really too bad, especially as chef Mark Cutrara was one of the first to bring local, organic, nose-to-tail dining to the city- and one of the first to do it in Parkdale. By following Chef Cutrara on Twitter, I saw that he was a fan of the foie gras at Lardon so we decided to check it out. The foie was amazing, and so was the venison striploin with Ontario asparagus, baby carrots, brussel sprouts and roasted shallot jus:

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Also lovely- the in-house smoked duck breast with Ontario asparagus, Yukon gold mash, mushrooms and blueberry sauce.

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Lardon is located right on Roncesvalles across the street from one of the best cafes in Toronto, Roncy's Bean. Rosie :)

Lardon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Buster's Fish House

You hear a lot about Buster's Sea Cove in the St. Lawrence Market (and their awesome food truck) but now I'm going to tell you about Buster's Fish House on the Lakeshore. It is also very delicious. This is what their Boston bluefish sandwich looks like:

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There is a great selection of fish sandwiches, (saw lots of people ordering the grilled salmon) the service is friendly and the menu is affordable. You can dine-in or take-out. Buster's Fish House is located in Long Branch, it's close to Woody's Burgers, Ice Cream Junction and Melt. Call 416-251-7777 for more info as they don't appear to have a website. Rosie :)

Buster's Fish House on Urbanspoon


Porchetta & Co.

One way to turn around a rough week is to have lunch at Porchetta & Co. Their sandwiches are an outstanding meal for two under $20. You can spend even less if you just do straight-up pork, but we could not resist today's special.


The pork is perfectly done, the crackling is divine, and the Caldense buns are so moist and fresh.


Impossible to not have a better day after eating here. Rosie :)

Porchetta & Co on Urbanspoon


Celebrate National 'Eat Italian Food' Day at Palma Pasta

February 13th is National 'Eat Italian Food' Day. It is also National Tortellini Day. I know this because Foodimentary tells me so. You should honour this day by eating really good Italian food, and if you can't make that happen yourself, then turn to the experts at Palma Pasta. Do you see this lasagna? It tastes as delicious as it looks.

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What I love about Palma Pasta's food is how much tastes like the simple but incredibly flavourful meals I ate in Italy. The sauce is perfect, and we all know how crucial that is. The Petrucci family, who have been in the food industry for over 40 years, know their pasta. We talk about Anthony's signature heart-shaped ravioli on our latest podcast; people order in anticipation of Valentine's Day. I'll take a bowl of ricotta-filled heart-shaped pasta over a box of chocolates any day of the year. Palma Pasta has locations in Mississauga and Oakville with the closest one to the 416 located at Hurontario and Queensway. Buon appetito. Rosie :)

Palma Pasta on Urbanspoon


Restaurant Chantecler in Parkdale

Went to Chantecler last night, where we were squeezed in despite not having a reservation. It was amazing. Here is the beef tartare, served with seaweed wraps:


Crispy soggy calamari:


The beef and pork shoulder that comes with the Korean-style lettuce wraps was perfect. Fall-apart moist with tons and tons of flavour.


Other highlights include the fish tacos and the Toronto cocktail. Rosie :)

Chantecler on Urbanspoon


Salads at the Thompson Diner

The Thompson Diner is a 24-hour restaurant in the Thompson Hotel. It's very handy if you require a nice place to eat that is fairly cheap and cheerful. My dear friend Trina and I met there last night and had salads. My preferred type of salad is one with little actual lettuce, which is why I ordered the Turkey Cobb. There isn't too much iceberg getting in the way of the bacon, blue cheese, turkey and avocado.


Trina's Seafood Salad was also fairly unencumbered by many greens. (They did a good job holding up the fried calamari.) This place, being a diner, is all about the comfort food.

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The Thompson Diner is located in the Thompson Hotel at King and Bathurst. It is also home to Scott Conant's Scarpetta and Minsoo Kim's Wabora. Rosie :)

Thompson Diner on Urbanspoon


NOW CLOSED: The Saint | Ossington

*The Saint on Ossington closed in spring of 2016.* I don't know why I don't hear more about the Saint. It is one of the best restaurants I've been to on Ossington. The vibe is hipster pub, but the food is inspired Jacobs Steakhouse quality (they actually use the same supplier as Jacobs & Co.) Everything is made in-house, and I love a server who is not only genuinely knowledgeable about the menu but so passionate about the food that I found myself totally excited about the wedge salad, and as Homer Simpson so wisely put it, you don't win friends with salad. I think Homer would have made friends with this one. It had delicious salty meat in it.

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We all had steak, and our server organized the most ideal cut in the kitchen to ensure an optimal meat-eating experience. It tasted like candy.

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There is a 40-ounce porterhouse on the menu, apparently it is very popular. Not surprised. The Saint is open for dinner and weekend brunch; you can reserve on Open Table. Rosie :)

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Canoe: One Of The Best Restaurants In Canada

There are a lot of luxe restaurants in Toronto, but my very favourite is Canoe. It is expensive, but justifiably so. The food and service are consistently amazing. I completely and totally get why it's considered one of the best restaurants in Canada. The view from the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower in downtown Toronto is really something special. If you are going there for a happy occasion (like your ninth wedding anniversary, just say) request a table by the window. And get the sticky toffee date pudding with passion fruit ice cream and almond foam for dessert- it isn't nearly as precious as it sounds. Rosie :)


Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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I never ate at Angelo D's, which was for years one of the most popular Italian restaurants in the west end. It has closed down, but the very talented chef who ran it has popped back up on the Queensway with a new restaurant called Prego. I figured we would get around to trying it eventually but the urgency increased when I saw a huge sign advertising Coniglio Wednesday Nights. That would be rabbit night. That is awesome. Bunnies are delicious! We ended up going on a Saturday night hoping rabbit would still be worked into one of the specials and it was. In addition to a delicious rabbit ravioli in a rabbit ragu, the house-made goat cheese salad was incredible. This is my kind of salad- a huge hunk of perfect cheese with some greens making it look pretty.


The mushroom salad was also very, very good.


You don't have to love coniglio to enjoy dinner at Prego; the menu has a lovely selection of Italian favourites. Despite being of Italian descent I'm actually not a huge rabbit fan. I had the penne alla vodka. It's my Canadian husband with the Italian soul who loves rabbit. Rosie :)

Prego Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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Tokyo Sushi on the Queensway

Thank you Tokyo Sushi for opening up on the Queensway. Etobicoke needs more excellent take-out sushi options.


You can dine-in too, the restaurant and the service is lovely. Rosie :)

Tokyo Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Fishbar on Ossington: NOW CLOSED

If you dig seafood, you have to eat at Fishbar. I am a big, big fan of little salty fishes and look at who arrived at our table. Fried lake smelts with sea salt and lemon.

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The menu is tapas-style with a great selection of creative dishes. We also had grilled calamari with capers, olives, cherry tomatoes and lemon zest, tacos with halibut and shrimp ceviche, guacamole and chili, and this grilled whole fish. It was stuffed with a totally delicious green olive gremolata.


Not only was the food fantastic but the vibe is great too, all energetic and buzzy without being annoying. Everyone was happily eating oysters and drinking Prosecco, the way happy people should on a beautiful Friday night on Ossington. I'll be back for you, Portuguese sardines. Rosie :)

Fishbar on Urbanspoon

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Kensington Market in Toronto: Market Sundays

I have always loved Kensington Market. It is a historic part of the city with tons of character and a really cool vibe. This summer, the market is closed to cars on Sundays. (You may have heard the ruckus over the swing gates that were installed to block off traffic.) I think anything that endeavours to support local businesses is great. Making Kensington pedestrian-only one day a week gets people walking and shopping and that is good for everybody.

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Kensington is home to some very popular shops like Cheese Magic on Baldwin. Serious cheese-a-holics freak out over Cheese Magic.

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It is also home to Mexican restaurant El Trompo on Augusta, beloved by Toronto foodies. The patio is a major hotspot. It is always packed.

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There are lots of tasty things to eat in the market and a lovely selection of bakeries and coffee shops. The coffee from The Grindhouse on Augusta is so, so good.

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You don't have to wait for Sundays to check out Kensington Market, it's always bustling. Visit the Kensington Market website for a schedule of upcoming events. Rosie :)

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Melt Grilled Cheese on Lakeshore: NOW CLOSED

Aren't you enjoying how grilled cheese sandwiches are trending in Toronto these days? I quite like that there are eateries entirely devoted to melting cheese between bread. The classic grilled cheese at Melt in Long Branch is crazy good. Here it is on asiago and red pepper bread. You can also add several free toppings but I kept it simple.


Melt is another yummy spot in Long Branch, a lovely part of Etobicoke which is home to my other guilty pleasure Ice Cream Junction. Look how happy the staff is, and why shouldn't they be? They delight people all day long serving them insanely delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. And poutine. Everyone in this place is smiling.



You may have noticed in this pic a sign in the window advertising "Toonie Tuesday." On Tuesdays, you can get Melt's classic grilled cheese sandwich with Canadian cheddar for two bucks. Melt tweets their specials every day; you can follow them on Twitter @Meltgrilledchz Rosie :)

Melt Grilled Cheese on Urbanspoon

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Hawker Bar on Ossington

Pictures often speak louder than words. I think that is the case when describing the food at Hawker Bar. Let's start with the son-in-law eggs.


I like dishes that require instruction- wait 15-20 seconds then eat the whole thing in one bite. It is said that Thai mothers prepare these eggs for their future son-in-laws as a warning of what fate could befall their family jewels if they are unfaithful husbands. No idea if this is true or not, but, eek. Those eggs get deep-fried. Behave fellas.

The curry pork satay was covered in a really fresh and flavourful peanut sauce:


Here is the laksa... OMFG. It was perfect. Rich, spicy and incredibly flavourful. I was dying to try Hawker's laksa and it did not disappoint.


I have read complaints on foodie forums that Toronto's first spot for Singapore-inspired street food isn't authentic enough. Oh please. I have never eaten street food in Singapore but even if I had I wouldn't be comparing; I like when restaurants give tradition a twist. Rosie :)

Hawker Bar on Urbanspoon

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Campagnolo on Dundas St. West

Erin's latest dining adventure took her to Campagnolo for Italian food inspired by the chef's Venetian nonna. Campagnolo means "country bumpkin" in Italian, but as Erin tells us, you wouldn't know that from the cuisine. Rosie :)

I love Dundas West. What used to be a tired strip of dilapidated real estate is now a thriving restaurant destination attracting diners from all over the city. Nestled amongst an eclectic group of newly sprung eateries is Campagnolo, where hipster gentrification meets the farm-to-table movement. The menu is concise - just 13 items with five staples, and is printed daily to take advantage of what's fresh and seasonally available. To start, our knowledgeable waiter wisely steered us towards the fresh burrata cheese on top of delicately flavoured toasted bread, drizzled in olive oil, garlic and adorned with roasted grapes. I fell in love.


However, I was less enamoured with our second appetizer, the ceviche. Normally bursting with citrus, this one mostly tasted of salt. Fortunately, our mains reminded us of why a dinner reservation at Campagnolo is so sought after. Smoky Norwegian trout tasted freshly caught, and my delicately stuffed ricotta agnolotti was paired perfectly with firm, fresh summer peas and beet puree. Farm-to-table indeed. Salted caramel budino capped off our excellent summer meal.


Budino (Italian for pudding) was smooth decadence with just the right amount of salt to complement the caramel.

Campagnolo's popularity is evident the moment we walk in the door, no doubt thanks to great word-of-mouth and glowing reviews. The room itself is fairly compact (so make a reservation) and sparsely decorated. Wood beams, tables and unadorned walls pay homage to the rustic menu, but the hard surfaces do little to soften the noise of other patrons. I frequently had to ask my dining companion to repeat himself throughout our meal, so if you're hoping to have an intimate conversation over dinner this may not be the spot for you. After dinner, we lingered over our wine - well chosen by our waiter who convinced us to try it after sharing that the producer frequently played opera to the grapes on the vine for a more robust flavor. Well played Campagnolo. Erin.

Campagnolo on Urbanspoon

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Victor Restaurant

I was so happy when David Chrystian cooked his way back into the finale of season two of Top Chef Canada. He is my favourite kind of chef. He took interesting chances all throughout the competition and was so exciting to watch. I also really loved his passion for Toronto, which was evident in the final challenge where all his dishes were inspired by a neighbourhood in the city. We decided we had to have dinner at his restaurant Victor in the Hotel Le Germain. He is the executive chef and co-owner. The flavours in the deconstructed chicken noodle soup blew away the judges, and I loved that it was inspired by the farmers' market at Wychwood Barns. The little triangle of jelly on top of the terrine was very concentrated and had a tasty chicken noodle soup flavour, and there was a dusting of crushed soda cracker crumbs on the plate:

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All the plates in the Toronto tasting menu were beautiful and delicious, inspired by areas such as Little Portugal, Koreatown and Little India. The Roncesvalles cabbage rolls were topped with the beetroot horseradish that judge Marcus Samuelsson (owner of Red Rooster Harlem in New York City) said he wanted to take home with him. The corn pudding dessert that the judges also were so impressed by is my favourite kind of dessert, both sweet and savoury and very, very light. Those are truffles rolled in sage beside it:

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I nearly freaked right out when David himself came out of the kitchen to visit the table beside us. Our lovely waiter, seeing my unconcealed excitement, made sure to introduce us. David Chrystian is not just an amazing chef, he is also super sweet to take the time to chat with us while he was clearly running a very busy kitchen. I can't wait to rub my steaks with his Original Toronto Spice Blend, David's signature spice mixture inspired by the multicultural flavours of the city. Awesome chef and an awesome night. Rosie :)

Victor Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon


La Société on Bloor

I have a fabulous friend who goes to lots of posh Toronto restaurants. She goes mostly on Friday nights. Then she tells me all about it on Saturdays. Now she is going to start telling you. Erin's first scoop for the Scoop is all about Bloor and Ave hotspot La Société. Rosie :)

For me, Friday is the perfect night to dine out. The end of a hectic work week is an occasion worth raising a cocktail to, and most Toronto establishments have a celebratory yet relaxed vibe heralding the onset of the weekend. Also worth celebrating is the return of warm weather, which led me to this week's boîte, La Société. The inside of La Société is truly beautiful with its stained glass ceilings, dark interiors and chandeliers reminiscent of a 1920's Parisian bistro.

But outside on one of the restaurant's two patios is really the only place to dine and be dined. After cocktails on the lower patio, we took our spots upstairs at a small, candelit table over looking Bloor street (and Toronto's best-dressed pedestrians). After ordering from the extensive wine list, we settled on our appetizers - simple fresh oysters with house made horseradish, lemon and mignonette, and a meltingly delicious yellow fin tuna tartar with apple and pine nut mixed in for sweetness and crunch.

The bistro's mains are full of French classics, which I sheepishly veered away from in favour of a Linguini with pesto, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. My dining companion went with the wiser choice - a perfectly pan-seared Rainbow Trout Grenoboise, accompanied by a side of roast Yukon potatoes.

And of course because no meal is adequately judged without a sampling of dessert, we went with the lemon baked Alaska - perfectly browned on the outside, cold, crisp and lemony on the inside. Served with raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream, it was devoured before it had the chance to melt on the plate.

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Summer fine dining in the heart of the city doesn't get much better than this. Erin

La Société Bistro on Urbanspoon


Dependable Diplomatico

Last night, five girls from all over the city needed an easy place to meet for dinner. That place was Café Diplomatico. It's like an old friend who has been around forever, just waiting for you on College with decent white wine and really solid antipasto plates.

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Diplomatico, ti voglio bene! Rosie :)

Cafe Diplomatico on Urbanspoon

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Tonight we dined with very dear friends at Anatolia, a Turkish restaurant in Etobicoke. It is one of those restaurants in a strip mall that you don't even notice until Toronto Life is like, this place is really good. On the first Friday of each month, there are belly dancers and fortune tellers and all sorts of other fun raucous business. We were not there on the first Friday of the month, so we provided the raucousness. Luckily we find ourselves extremely entertaining. The dish pictured below is the Adana kebab, a spicy mix of lamb and beef. The food is incredibly flavourful and the Baklava is perfect. I'm really glad we went; I love totally unpretentious places like this. And in an attempt to carry on the unpretentious theme, we wanted to go to Hollywood on the Queensway after (which is now Legends on the Queensway) but couldn't bring ourselves to pay a $5 cover charge for the Pink Floyd cover band. We almost certainly will regret that decision someday, but the Galway Arms proved to be a suitable post-dinner venue. Rosie :)

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Anatolia on Urbanspoon

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FBI Pizza | Mimico

We have been excited to order from FBI Pizza, which Toronto Life named one of the top delivery spots in the west end. FBI Pizza (which stands for Full-Blooded Italian, hee!) is brought to the awesome Mimico neighbourhood by the owners of Queen Margherita, so we had high expectations. It did not disappoint. We got a "bigger" pie with a whole-wheat crust, topped with with bocconcini, caramelized onions and pepperoni (I can't have pizza without pepperoni.) Here is the pizza in its entirety. It does not look like that anymore.

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The Beaver | Queen West

Like everyone else in this city, my husband and I really wanted to try Grand Electric. But at the end of the day, we couldn't line up for half an hour for pork tacos, no matter how delicious I'm sure they are. So we went to The Beaver, which has been around for awhile. The Beaver offers one of my favourite kind of dining experiences- excellent food in completely unpretentious surroundings. We had lamb burgers and a starter with pear, cambazola and the most flavourful fig preserves that was as good as anything I've ever eaten at Canoe. Two people can easily dine here for under $50, which is another lovely bonus about this spot. Rosie :)

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The Beaver Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Keriwa Cafe: NOW CLOSED

I am really enjoying this new trend of friggin amazing chefs opening their amazing little restaurants in Parkdale. First of all, it's just fun to see these gorgeous spots gently gentrifying this area, but in a cool way, not in a Starbucks way. Plus I love the proximity of all this culinary fabulousness to my hood. Keriwa Cafe is as good as everyone says. I love a good cocktail and the bacon-washed old fashioneds were tumblers straight from heaven after a very stressful week. I ❤ Parkdale! Rosie :)


Keriwa Cafe on Urbanspoon

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