Those words are nearly sacrilegious in this country. Until lately MONTREAL has been the go-to citiy for foodies, but “I feel we have lost the title in Montreal” writes David McMillan of Joe Beef in a Foodism Magazine guest column.  “MONTREAL was the pioneer and set the template for Canada. TORONTO has picked up the ball and run with it, because it’s a bigger place,” says John Bil, the seafood specialist behind Honest Weight in the JUNCTION. “I spend 90% of my time eating Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese and Korean food. It’s not just new age (downtown) chef-type restaurants. We can branch out to Scarborough, Mississauga and Brampton, where there are pretty amazing places to eat.”

Worth reading – a column in Montreal’s La Presse about TORONTO’s emergence as the foodie capital by Marie-Claude Lortie. http://startouch.thestar.com/screens/dbcc054b-3240-4265-9803-77c477ef6c3f%7C_0.html


RESTAURANTS2 <PHOTO – MOMOFUKU – Moe Doiron / The Globe and Mail>

With over 7000 restaurants in TORONTO the dining-out choice is unlimited.  These are some of my favourites – no promises, but they were good to excellent at the time.  Nearly all are located in the city centre, and accessible by public transport.  Reservations are recommended.

– BYMARK, 66 Wellington Street, in the Toronto-Dominion Centre, 416-777-1144, TTC subway: KING, ST. ANDREW or UNION $$$$$, http://www.bymark.mcewangroup.ca
– CHEF’S HOUSE, George Brown College restaurant, 215 King Street East, 416-415-2260, TTC eastbound streetcar: KING $$$$, http://www.thechefshouse.com
– BISTRO AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, TTC subway: ST. PATRICK $$$, http://www.ago.net/frank
– GRANO, 2035 Yonge Street, south of Eglinton subway station, excellent Italian, 26th year, ,$$$$, http://www.grano.ca
– HOPGOODS FOODLINER, contemporary East Coast comfort, 325 Roncesvalles Avenue, 416-533-2723, TTC westbound streetcars: KING, DUNDAS, COLLEGE $$$$, http://hopgoodsfoodliner.com
– LAI WAH HEEN at the Metropolitan Hotel, 108 Chestnut Street, TTC subway: ST. [PATRICK & walk east or DUNDAS & walk west $$$$, http://www.laiwahheen.com
– L’UNITA, 134 Avenue Road at Davenport, 416-964-8686, TTC subway: MUSEUM & walk north $$$, http://www.lunita.ca
– MILDRED PIERCE TEMPLE KITCHEN, 85 Hanna Avenue, suite 104, Liberty Village, 416-588-5695, TTC westbound streetcar: KING $$$$, http://www.templekitchen.com
– OYSTER BOY, mollusks for the masses, 872 Queen Street West, 416-534-3432, $$$, http://www.oysterboy.ca
– SCARAMOUCHE – 1 Benvenuto at Avenue Road, 416-961-8011, $$$$$, http://www.scaramoucherestaurant.com
– THE SENATOR, 249 Victoria Street, Yonge-Dundas Square area, 416-364-7517, opposite rear entrance to Ed Mirvish Theatre, TTC subway: DUNDAS $$$, http://www.thesenator.com
– 360 at the CN TOWER, 301 Front St. West at John St., 416-868-6937, TTC subway: -UNION & walk west $$$, http://www.cntower.ca/en-CA/360-Restaurant/Overview.html

Inexpensive, but very good:
– QUEEN MOTHER CAFE, 206 Queen Street West, $$, http://www.queenmothercafe.ca
– JULES BISTROT, 147 Spadina Avenue $$, http://www.julesbistrocafe.com
– GOLDEN TURTLE, Vietnamese restaurant, in the West Queen West arts district, rapid service, good food, cold beer, 125 Ossington Avenue $$,

With young children:
OLD SPAGHETTI FACTORY, 54 The Esplanade $, http://www.oldspaghettifactory.net

Restaurant strips and villages:
– CHINATOWN WEST – Dundas Street West at Spadina Avenue
– CHINATOWN EAST – Broadview Avenue at Gerrard Street East
– SOUTH ASIAN – Little India, Gerrard Street East at Coxwell Avenue
– GREEK – Danforth, from Broadview to Coxwell Avenue
– GAY and LESBIAN – Church Street, from Bloor to Alexander Street
– ITALIAN – Little Italy, College Street from Bathurst Street to Gladstone
– TRENDY – Ossington Avenue, between Dundas Street West and Queen
– PRE-THEATRE – King Street West, from John to Spadina Avenue
– PRE-THEATRE – Front Street, from Yonge to Jarvis
– PRE-THEATRE – Queen Street West, from University to Spadina Avenue
– BALDWIN STREET – a couple of blocks north of the Art Gallery of Ontario
– ELM STREET – between Yonge Street and Bay

and countless others . . . Bon appetit!


<PHOTO – DRAKEONEFIFTY, 150 York Street, Financial District>

Where to Eat in TORONTO (PART 2) – a Top25 list from NOW’s restaurant critics, April/2014

NOWRESTAURANTS2 NOW Weekly does an annual survey of the hottest TORONTO restaurants. Below is this spring’s TOP 25 list assembled by the magazine’s restaurant critics, along with their ratings (** to *****). All are located in or near the city centre, and accessible by public transport. Reservations are recommended for most.


#1 – BAR ISABEL, 797 College Street, 416-532-2222, http://www.barisabel.com *****
#2 – AGAVE Y AGUACATE, 25 Baldwin Street, 647-748-6448, http://www.agave-y-aguacate.com *****
#3 – CHANTECLER, 1320 Queen Street West at Brock Street, 416-628-3586, http://www.restaurantchantecler.ca *****
#4 – MOMOFUKU DAISHO, 190 University Avenue at Adelaide West, 647-253-8000, htp://www.momofuku.com/toronto/daisho *****
#5 – BARRIO COREANO, 642 Bloor Street West at Manning Avenue, 416-901-5188, http://www.playacabana.ca/locations/5/barrio-coreano ****#6 – RICHMOND STATION, 1 Richmond Street West, 647-748-1444, http://www.richmondstation.ca *****
#7 – ELECTRIC MUD, 5 Brock Street at Queen Street West, 416-516-8286, http://www.electricmudbbq.com *****
#8 – BAR BUCA, 75 Portland Street at King Street West, 416-599-2822, http://www.barbuca.com ****
#9 – BANH MI BOYS, 399 Yonge Street at Gerrard OR 392 Queen Street West at Spadina, 416-363-0588, http://www.banhmiboys.com *****
#10 – PATRIA, 480 King Street West at Brant, 416-367-0505, http://www.patriatoronto.com ****

#11 – SNACK BAR, 181 Bathurst Street at Queen West, 416-364-9320, http://www.416snackbar.com ****
#12 – BENT, 777 Dundas Street West at Markham, 647-352-0092, http://www.bentrestaurant.com *****
#13 – PUKKA, 778 St. Clair West at Arlington, 416-342-1906, http://www.pukka.ca ****
#14 – KINGYO, 518 Winchester Street at Parliament, 647-748-2121, http://www.kingyotoronto.ca ****
#15 – KINTON RAMEN, 51 Baldwin Street at Beverley, 647-748-8900, OR 668 Bloor Street West at Manning, 416-551-8177, http://www.kintonramen.com *****

#16 – GRAND ELECTRIC, 1330 Queen Street West at Elm Grove, 416-627-3459, http://www.grandelectricbar.com *****
#17 – DRAKE ONE FIFTY, 150 York Street at Adelaide West, financial district, 416-363-6150, http://www.drakeonefifty.com ***
#18 – SEVEN LIVES, 69 Kensington Avenue at Baldwin, 416-803-1086, http://www.sevenlives.ca **
#19 – VALDEZ, 606 King Street West at Portland, 416-363-8388, http://www.valdezrestaurant.com ***
#20 – BIG CROW, 176 Dupont at St. George Street, 647-748-3287, http://www.roseandsonsbigcrow.com ****

#21 – DISTRICT OVEN, 842 College Street at Ossington Avenue, 416-901-7717, http://www.districtoven.com ****
#22 – SKIN + BONES, 980 Queen Street East at Carlaw, 416-524-5209, http://www.skinandbonesto.com ****
#23 – HUDSON KITCHEN, 600 Dundas Street West at Palmerston, 416-644-8839, http://www.hudsonkitchen.com ***
#24 – URSA, 924 Queen Street West at Shaw, 416-536-8963, http://www.ursarestaurant.com *****
#25 – HOME OF THE BRAVE, 589 King Street West at Portland, 416-366-2736, http://www.thehotb.com ***



One of this city’s oldest restaurants got the New York Times treatment in the Sunday Travel Section on March 30. MICHAEL KAMINER writes: “A red neon sign warms the facade of the Senator Restaurant, TORONTO’s oldest, just as it did in the days when streetwear meant fedoras and overcoats.  “Inside, with its vinyl booths, shiny wood counter and huge mahogany mirror, it looks much the same as when it opened in 1929.”


BOB SNIDERMAN, who rescued the restaurant from demolition in 1984, has hired ANDREW TAYLOR, the chef at Langdon Hall (an acclaimed restaurant in nearby Cambridge, Ontario) to update and revamp the menu.  The new emphasis is on locally grown food. Typically, restaurants have one or two suppliers; The Senator now has 40 thanks to Mr. Taylor.  The dinner menu has been updated. Breakfast and lunch are coming next. “Mr. Taylor has already added irresistible home-made jams from Rose’s and maple syrup from Haggart’s Farm in Owen Sound.” Read the entire review on the website – http://www.thesenator.com


The Senator is at 249 Victoria Street, opposite the Ed Mirvish Theatre, 416-364-7517.