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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 1:46 AM
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What are your favourite restaurants in your city?

I'll be heading back to BC next summer for at least a month, and I plan on going east (I haven't been east of Alberta since 1999) after a very long hiatus. I love food, and love dining out, so I thought this would be a good place to post your city's best restaurants. This can be opinion or by consensus. I just want to know the best, the underrated, the delicious.

Pictures would be great.

Oh, and this doesn't have to pertain to just your specific city or to Canadian cities in general. If you find a place here in Shanghai that I feel you guys need to know about, I'll post it.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 2:43 AM
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Originally Posted by giallo View Post
I'll be heading back to BC next summer for at least a month, and I plan on going east (I haven't been east of Alberta since 1999) after a very long hiatus. I love food, and love dining out, so I thought this would be a good place to post your city's best restaurants. This can be opinion or by consensus. I just want to know the best, the underrated, the delicious.

Pictures would be great.

Oh, and this doesn't have to pertain to just your specific city or to Canadian cities in general. If you find a place here in Shanghai that I feel you guys need to know about, I'll post it.
Though I don't have pictures, there are several worth checking out in Kingston, mostly downtown along Princess Street except where noted.

- Harper's - though no relation to our Prime Minister, they have a variety of gourmet burgers. A favourite of mine is their Greek burger, with lamb. Be sure to get the waffle fries.

- Pat's - excellent Cambodian restaurant. Recently moved from Divison & Elliott to Princess near Division. My favourite is their red curry chicken.

- Greco's - higher end Greek restaurant, and a large wine selection.

- Casa Dominica - higher end Italian restaurant, with tempting antipasti and some excellent pasta dishes. Located at Brock and King.

- Sima Sushi - Kingston has a large number of Japanese restaurants, but this one stands out as the best. Jina Sushi (Johnson at University) is also worth checking out, if for nothing else but their green tea.

- Pilot House - anyone I know who has been to England will profess to this being an authentic English pub, complete with great fish 'n' chips and a pint of Guinness. Located at King and Johnson. (Warning: Avoid the poutine)

And if you want late night eats, I look no further than Mr. Donair, right in the heart of the gritty Hub district.

If you like Chinese food, to me it's a three-way tie between East Side Village (Concession and Division), Silver Wok (King & Queen), and Leechee Gardens (Bath Road west of Days Road). Avoid the Cambodian dishes at East Side Village, their specialty is Chinese.

For its size, Kingston has a surprisingly high number of excellent restaurants. I haven't listed Chien Noir, which is supposedly the best restaurant in town, but I've never been so I can't comment on it.

As for London (Ontario)...it's now been a few years since I've lived there so I can't comment too much, but one I remember liking was Waldo's on King, inside the Covent Garden Market.
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Last edited by manny_santos; Nov 16, 2014 at 2:55 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 3:22 AM
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Viphalay Lao and Thai restaurant downtown. Plus, it's on the same block as my apartment building.
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2014, 7:16 AM
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Originally Posted by manny_santos View Post
Though I don't have pictures, there are several worth checking out in Kingston, mostly downtown along Princess Street except where noted.

- Harper's - though no relation to our Prime Minister, they have a variety of gourmet burgers. A favourite of mine is their Greek burger, with lamb. Be sure to get the waffle fries.

- Pat's - excellent Cambodian restaurant. Recently moved from Divison & Elliott to Princess near Division. My favourite is their red curry chicken.

- Greco's - higher end Greek restaurant, and a large wine selection.

- Casa Dominica - higher end Italian restaurant, with tempting antipasti and some excellent pasta dishes. Located at Brock and King.

- Sima Sushi - Kingston has a large number of Japanese restaurants, but this one stands out as the best. Jina Sushi (Johnson at University) is also worth checking out, if for nothing else but their green tea.

- Pilot House - anyone I know who has been to England will profess to this being an authentic English pub, complete with great fish 'n' chips and a pint of Guinness. Located at King and Johnson. (Warning: Avoid the poutine)

And if you want late night eats, I look no further than Mr. Donair, right in the heart of the gritty Hub district.

If you like Chinese food, to me it's a three-way tie between East Side Village (Concession and Division), Silver Wok (King & Queen), and Leechee Gardens (Bath Road west of Days Road). Avoid the Cambodian dishes at East Side Village, their specialty is Chinese.

For its size, Kingston has a surprisingly high number of excellent restaurants. I haven't listed Chien Noir, which is supposedly the best restaurant in town, but I've never been so I can't comment on it.

As for London (Ontario)...it's now been a few years since I've lived there so I can't comment too much, but one I remember liking was Waldo's on King, inside the Covent Garden Market.
Great list, some of Kingston's best. I have an aversion to Jina Sushi that's probably not fair: they used to be a different sushi joint called Sushi Q that was notorious for its food poisoning incidents. Have heard from many people that things have improved dramatically since it became Jina but still a little scared... (They also got in trouble last year for hiring foreigners not legally allowed to work in Canada).

Kingston's Japanese craze is a little off the walls (I honestly don't understand how this city can support so many of them!), but I'd like to add in Arisu (Division & Queen), Izumo Sushi (Princess & Chatham), and Aji Sai (Ontario & Johnson) as some of Kingston's best sushi.

Atomica at Market Square is another really good restaurant.. they do fancy pizzas that are really good.

In Ottawa, some amazing places are:
-Kettleman's Bagel in the Glebe
-Hintonburger on West Wellington
-And, a little tacky, but Zak's in the Byward Market makes awesome
milkshakes

Though no mention of Ottawa's food scene is complete without talk of O-Town's amazing shawarmas. I've heard it said that Ottawa has more Middle Eastern restaurants per capita than any other city in the world outside the Middle East, no idea if true. My personal favourite is that little one at Rideau & Dalhousie next to BarBurrito... I think they're called Shawarma Castle.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Kingston's Japanese craze is a little off the walls (I honestly don't understand how this city can support so many of them!), but I'd like to add in Arisu (Division & Queen), Izumo Sushi (Princess & Chatham), and Aji Sai (Ontario & Johnson) as some of Kingston's best sushi.

Atomica at Market Square is another really good restaurant.. they do fancy pizzas that are really good.

In Ottawa, some amazing places are:
-Kettleman's Bagel in the Glebe
-Hintonburger on West Wellington
-And, a little tacky, but Zak's in the Byward Market makes awesome
milkshakes

Though no mention of Ottawa's food scene is complete without talk of O-Town's amazing shawarmas. I've heard it said that Ottawa has more Middle Eastern restaurants per capita than any other city in the world outside the Middle East, no idea if true. My personal favourite is that little one at Rideau & Dalhousie next to BarBurrito... I think they're called Shawarma Castle.
Arisu closed very recently, turning into a Cash Money almost overnight. There were two Jina's for awhile, with the original on King Street in Portsmouth Village, but after the illegal workers were caught that location changed hands and is now called Eunice Sushi. Not bad, but you have to keep asking for soya sauce, they don't have bottles on the tables.

The sushi and other Asian restaurants likely only exist because of Queens and the international student population. In fact one of the Asian restaurants, Green Tray, normally closes during May-August (though this year it did not reopen in September). Once you're away from downtown, you won't find much sushi in the Township, in Rideau Heights, or Kingscourt - instead you'll find the likes of Arby's, Raxx, or On Larocks Bar and Grill. Though the Township has a few good places too. (My least favourite restaurant here is Jiffy Grill.)

I've had a schwarma in Ottawa once, and it was the best I'd ever had. It was somewhere near the airport but I forget where exactly.
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Last edited by manny_santos; Nov 18, 2014 at 1:55 AM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 12:50 AM
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Being haughty about what time people sit down to eat dinner is about as petty as it gets.

I'm sure Andalucians eat dinner at 10pm because, historically, it was too damn hot before air conditioning and not because they are at the apex of human cultural development.

English Canadians: be proud of what time you eat dinner and don't apologize if you eat early. If the only spot available is for 6, I usually make that reservation. As long as the kitchen is open and they're able to serve you, who gives a shit?
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 1:06 AM
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I'm sure Andalucians eat dinner at 10pm because, historically, it was too damn hot before air conditioning and not because they are at the apex of human cultural development.
Who said that there was a correlation between how late a given culture eats dinner and how "culturally developed" it is?

If anything, it's actually the opposite. You'll find as a correlation (at least in the Western world) that the later people have dinner in a given culture, the more likely people are to, for example, jaywalk all over, drive like maniacs, arrive late to appointments/meetings even after committing to a fixed hour for showing up, etc. All traits that I would consider culturally to be slightly barbaric, not refined.

Jaywalking sure isn't "the apex of human cultural development"...
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 1:58 AM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Being haughty about what time people sit down to eat dinner is about as petty as it gets.

I'm sure Andalucians eat dinner at 10pm because, historically, it was too damn hot before air conditioning and not because they are at the apex of human cultural development.

Perhaps, but the sort of puritan, early-to-bed, early-to-rise implication of it all fits in pretty neatly with the usual Acajack narrative of the stodgy, uptight, conservative Anglo Canada. This, as always, in opposition to groovy, free wheelin' Quebec of course.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 3:49 AM
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Probably the place I have referred the most people to is Antep Kabab (on de Maisonneuve, just west of Guy/Concordia).

I used to go there really often in my days at Concordia. I love the fresh made bread, mint sauce and charcoal-grilled chicken. Prices are fairly reasonable. I always get cravings for this place.


http://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/antep-...g23BQ4CNblp6EA
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 4:13 AM
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Last edited by manny_santos; Nov 16, 2014 at 7:18 PM. Reason: Double post
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 5:18 AM
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I was just going to say: Go to Schwartz's in Montreal!

Yes, it's a tourist cliche. Yes, you stand in line for half an hour to get in. Yes, you sit shoulder to shoulder with strangers at crowded little tables. Yes, you order the smoked meat, a pickle and a cherry Coke like you're supposed to.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 8:13 PM
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I was just going to say: Go to Schwartz's in Montreal!
I've always braced myself for the lineup but I have never experienced it first-hand. I guess I've gone at odd times. It's one of the places that is famous because it's good and worth going to.

La Banquise gets similar notoriety but I don't find it stands out as much compared to what you can get in other places (also worth noting that I've never gone there sober -- does anybody?). This may not be politically correct to admit but I'm not that into poutine in general.

Everybody I know who's gotten a table at Joe Beef or Au Pied de Cochon has liked them but I never managed to get a reservation.

Some Vancouver suggestions:

Cheap places - Lin, Shaolin Noodle House, Peaceful Restaurant, Baoguette, Saravanaa Bhavan (has changed now, not sure how good it is), Foundation, Sal y Limon...

Others- La Taqueria, Vij's, Via Tevere, Red Wagon, Biercraft, Peckinpah, Green Lettuce, Marutama Ramen, Fable. I kinda like De Dutch too (it was the Cora analogue before they started opening up around here). The Eatery is fun as a gimmicky tourist type spot. Pidgin and Wildebeest were pretty good.

Halifax suggestions: I went to Edna last time and thought it was good. They had a lot of local stuff that's worth trying if you're visiting. I've never been to a pricier (~$25+/plate) place in Halifax that hasn't been pretty solid. Halifax has a lot of Middle Eastern places; a lot of pizza places are Lebanese and sell Lebanese food. Mezza has a slightly up-market version of this food. I used to like the Turkish places too but they have changed (one of the new ones on Dresden Row is called Efendy). I also bring back pepperoni from Brothers Deli on Agricola Street from my visits. The farmers' market is good too.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 8:46 PM
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Thanks for all of the Toronto suggestions. My wife and I have standby places that we typically go to, but it's good to have all of these new places to try.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 4:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MTLskyline View Post
Probably the place I have referred the most people to is Antep Kabab (on de Maisonneuve, just west of Guy/Concordia).

I used to go there really often in my days at Concordia. I love the fresh made bread, mint sauce and charcoal-grilled chicken. Prices are fairly reasonable. I always get cravings for this place.


http://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/antep-...g23BQ4CNblp6EA
I really need to make another trip to Montreal and try some of the restaurants there. My one and only time there, the only place I ate was Schwartz's (though that was very much worth it). I never have even had poutine in Montreal.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2014, 6:40 AM
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I really need to make another trip to Montreal and try some of the restaurants there. My one and only time there, the only place I ate was Schwartz's (though that was very much worth it). I never have even had poutine in Montreal.
While I understand it can be a warming food in the cold of winter, poutine has never had specific attraction to me. While I had it on my last visit to Montreal, and I'll likely have it again someday, it isn't something I frequently order or desire to have.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 4:01 AM
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^That looks really good. You had me at charcoal-grilled chicken. It's my favourite way to cook it.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 5:45 AM
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The Rocket. Best pulled pork I've ever had, and the ONLY place I've ever found it in Newfoundland (I fell in love with it in Manitoba).

Fixed Coffee & Baking. Best octopus tacos.

Happy Hummus Hut. Best pop. Zevia, everything you can think of. So good. And everything on their menu is an interesting taste for a carnivore.

Jasmine's. Best fries, dressing, and gravy in the city. You can get that anywhere - even Greek and Indian restaurants sell it, it's our "national" dish. Giles Coren even tried it at The Reluctant Chef when he was here, . But Jasmine's does it best. Best fries, second-best gravy, best dressing.

Chafe's Landing. It's actually in Petty Harbour, about 15 mins outside the city, but it's the best fish'n'chips this side of the Atlantic. A very distant second place, but still second in the whole of Canada as well, is Leo's on Freshwater Road near the downtown.

Greensleeves. On George Street. Best white wine/garlic mussels in town.

Newfoundland Bagel Cafe. Duckworth Street. Cluttered mess, horrible place... but the toutons (breakfast speciality, fried bread dough served with molasses) is the best of the take-out variety on the island. But, be forewarned, ALL take-out versions are shitty compared to homemade. It's basicailly our only foodstuff like that.

Auntie Crae's. Gingerbread cookies.

Formosa Tea House. Best hot taro milk tea in the city. Best curry buns. Best dumplings. And CHEAP as fuck. You could order everything on their huge menu for $30.

Duke of Duckworth. English bar. Best fishcakes on the island.

Mary Brown's. Location on every streetcorner in Newfoundland and areas of Alberta dominated by us. Best fast-food fried chicken. Spicier and less greasy than KFC, but not as good as sit-down places.

Mohammed Ali's. Best shwarma.

Mama Soula's. Best gyros.

Zachary's. On Duckworth Street. Best eggs and toast.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 6:04 AM
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In Toronto I would recommend the following:

1. Bar Isabel. Hands down one of the best restaurants in Canada and just amazing. Every time I go here I'm just blown away by everything. It's not terribly unaffordable either. The octopus is the standout, but everything is just great. May have to reserve in advance unless you want to go late at night (after midnight). Vice did a thing on it (and another place I recommend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oxi0-E7eMs

2. Oddseoul. Amazing fusion between Korean and Philadelphia street food. Get the Bulgogi cheesesteak and the Loosey, which is their take on the Big Mac. Also can't go wrong with any specials and the incredibly strong Belgian beer they have on tap. Oh, and the BBQ pork bun. Yeah.

3. Pai, the new best Thai restaurant in the city. Pretty authentic from what I've been told. Everything I've had has been delicious.

4. Patois - Jamaican and Chinese fusion. Get the burger on the pineapple bun and the jerk chicken. It doesn't disappoint. Service has been off the last few times I've gone but I can overlook it.

5. La Carnita. IMO the best of the new wave of taco places in the city. It doesn't try and be authentic which is probably for the best. My friend from Mexico City thinks it's the best she's had. Put down your number and grab a drink at Mullin's Irish pub while waiting. Or if you are me, literally around the corner haha. If Asian is your thing you can check out Dailo next door. Formerly called Gwailo but had to change due to protest haha.

6. Home of the Brave. Owned by the same people as La Carnita, this is Toronto's take on classic American. A fried bologna sandwich? yeah that's a thing. The rib burger is my fave though, with a side of tater tots (seriously).

7. Pizza Libretto. Do you like Sicilian Pizza? This is legit - they have a certification. Get the duck confit (though probably not legit). Lineups are a thing if it's not a weeknight though (although this goes for everything on the list!).

8. 416 Snackbar. Is it late - do you want snacks? Or maybe mid-day and not quite a full meal? This is your place. Get their variation on Trinidadian Doubles. It's good!

And for some honourable mentions that aren't just restaurants but involve drinking:

9. Bellwoods Brewery. The food here is good. The beer is better. Go here.

10. Only Cafe / Bighouse Pizza. Go to the Only for the chill atmosphere and amazing tap list. Get takeout pizza from Bighouse and eat it at your table in the bar. It's not authentic anything, just crazy ingredients on thick crust pizza. I like the one with potato and steak.

11. Bar Hop. Pretty much just beer here. The food is good too though!! If you want a snack get the fried garlic donuts. I haven't eaten much else to be honest.

Top cheap eats?

12. Kinton Ramen. Holy shit is this good ramen. It seems to have mostly Japanese people working here too, unlike other ramen places which are Korean. Ate there tonight and I can still barely move.

13. Burger's Priest. You like good burgers? Go here. Toronto's version of In and Out.

14. Dangerous Dan's. Burgers again. Big ones - classic North American fare. Dirty diner style. Get the onion rings as a side.



That's just scratching the surface of the amazing food scene that is Toronto right now. I have more recommendations if you want specifics!! I have pictures of most of these but on my phone - I can try and post on request!

(yes, I may spend a large portion of my salary on food and drinks)

Last edited by niwell; Nov 16, 2014 at 8:49 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 3:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niwell View Post
In Toronto I would recommend the following:

1. Bar Isabel. Hands down one of the best restaurants in Canada and just amazing. Every time I go here I'm just blown away by everything. It's not terribly unaffordable either. The octopus is the standout, but everything is just great. May have to reserve in advance unless you want to go late at night (after midnight). Vice did a thing on it (and another place I recommend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oxi0-E7eMs

2. Oddseoul. Amazing fusion between Korean and Philadelphia street food. Get the Bulgogi cheesesteak and the Loosey, which is their take on the Big Mac. Also can't go wrong with any specials and the incredibly strong Belgian beer they have on tap. Oh, and the BBQ pork bun. Yeah.

3. Pai, the new best Thai restaurant in the city. Pretty authentic from what I've been told. Everything I've had has been delicious.

4. Patois - Jamaican and Chinese fusion. Get the burger on the pineapple bun and the jerk chicken. It doesn't disappoint. Service has been off the last few times I've gone but I can overlook it.

5. La Carnita. IMO the best of the new wave of taco places in the city. It doesn't try and be authentic which is probably for the best. My friend from Mexico City thinks it's the best she's had. Put down your number and grab a drink at Mullin's Irish pub while waiting. Or if you are me, literally around the corner haha. If Asian is your thing you can check out Dailo next door. Formerly called Gwailo but had to change due to protest haha.

6. Home of the Brave. Owned by the same people as La Carnita, this is Toronto's take on classic American. A fried bologna sandwich? yeah that's a thing. The rib burger is my fave though, with a side of tater tots (seriously).

7. Pizza Libretto. Do you like Sicilian Pizza? This is legit - they have a certification. Get the duck confit (though probably not legit). Lineups are a thing if it's not a weeknight though (although this goes for everything on the list!).

8. 416 Snackbar. Is it late - do you want snacks? Or maybe mid-day and not quite a full meal? This is your place. Get their variation on Trinidadian Doubles. It's good!

And for some honourable mentions that aren't just restaurants but involve drinking:

9. Bellwoods Brewery. The food here is good. The beer is better. Go here.

10. Only Cafe / Bighouse Pizza. Go to the Only for the chill atmosphere and amazing tap list. Get takeout pizza from Bighouse and eat it at your table in the bar. It's not authentic anything, just crazy ingredients on thick crust pizza. I like the one with potato and steak.

11. Bar Hop. Pretty much just beer here. The food is good too though!! If you want a snack get the fried garlic donuts. I haven't eaten much else to be honest.

Top cheap eats?

12. Kinton Ramen. Holy shit is this good ramen. It seems to have mostly Japanese people working here too, unlike other ramen places which are Korean. Ate there tonight and I can still barely move.

13. Burger's Priest. You like good burgers? Go here. Toronto's version of In and Out.

14. Dangerous Dan's. Burgers again. Big ones - classic North American fare. Dirty diner style. Get the onion rings as a side.



That's just scratching the surface of the amazing food scene that is Toronto right now. I have more recommendations if you want specifics!! I have pictures of most of these but on my phone - I can try and post on request!

(yes, I may spend a large portion of my salary on food and drinks)

I like and agree with just about your entire list except for Burgers Priest. I've given then numerous attempts at both Queen street locations and while it's a decent burger it's not worth the price or all the hype. Also Dangerous Dan's closed at the end of Spring.

Last edited by TorontoDrew; Aug 12, 2018 at 4:43 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 11:25 PM
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I like and agree with just about your entire list except for Burgers Priest. I've given then numerous attempts and both Queen street locations and while it's a decent burger it's not worth the price or all the hype.

I'm not a foodie. The slop served at the local waterholes are sufficient enough. Surprisingly, I have been to many of the places on the list but, that's not why I'm commenting. I've been to the Burger Priest by Coxwell and Queen. I believe it to be the original location. It is definitely an overpriced, over hyped burger.
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