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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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Quote:
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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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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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, 4:01 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, 4:13 AM
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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 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, 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, 6:57 AM
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^Toronto sounds like it's got some spectacular places to go eat. I'd try every single place you mentioned.

niwell, please post photos of whatever you can. Food is best looked at than read about.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 7:22 AM
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Burrito Boyz is another good place in Toronto in the cheap eats category. Their burritos are so huge and satisfying I've yet to even try a large, the "small" is always more than enough for me!
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 7:55 AM
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Calgary

1. Long's Chinese Food - great little Szechuan place just off of 17th Ave and 14th Street S.W. Small place that is tucked in behind a Green Chili and a Chianti restaurant. Their shredded pork with chili and garlic sauce is amazing.

2. Golden Bell Saigon - hands down best Vietnamese in Calgary, and that's saying something. Great selection that pretty much hits all the favourites. Recommend the phở bò kho or the bánh xèo. They also make a pretty mean pad thai, and have subs, vietnamese coffee, bubble tea, etc. The 17th ave location is the one I have the most experience with and they, like most vietnamese places around Calgary, are really fast.

3. Pig and Duke - pub just off the corner of 12th and 12th SW. Fine selection of pork-infused dishes. Get The Hammer (kielbasa sausage with smoked applewood bacon), The Duke (8oz beef patty with Canadian bacon, pulled pork and double smoked bacon) or the Swinetine (fries, curds, pig sauce, bacon, pulled pork, fried egg). They also have a competition -- if you can eat The Pig (16oz burger) in less than 40 minutes it's free.

4. GAGA Pizzeria - just down the street from the Pig and Duke is this little pizza place run by a Hungarian couple. They have calzones, greek salads, baklava, homemade soups, etc. Try the Signora Gaga pizza (Mozzarella, Spinach, Olives, Prosciutto, Bocconcini and Figs) or the Mafiosa (Mozzarella, Ham, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Hot Peppers, Capiccollo, Garlic and Oregano). And did I mention that this place goes really easy on your wallet? Alternatively, if you want greek-style pizza, head over to Niko's.

5. Jimmy's A&A - great donair and shawarma place. Huge portions. Recommend against getting anything bigger than a medium unless you are really hungry (actually, even then, not a good idea). I personally stick with the shawarma here. There are a couple of locations around town -- I've tended to go to the Beltline one but I've heard that the Capitol Hill location is a lot more fun.

6. Peter's Drive In - a Calgary staple. The burgers aren't really praiseworthy, but the milkshakes will bring the boys to the yard. Pretty much guaranteed long lines on any sunny day. And actually, if you are looking into milkshakes but don't want to get up to Edmonton Trail, you could also try Fat City Franks for their malted milkshakes.

7. Khao San Thai - you will probably have to reserve a bit in advance, but it's worth it if you want what Thai food Calgary has to offer. Not sure I have any specific dish to mention, but the pineapple red curry is among the more interesting dishes. Alternatively, if you are on a budget, it's lunch, and you want some really good, quick Thai, try Jacky's Thai in Eau Claire Market.

8. Tango Bistro - it's in a location that demands driving, but among Calgary's admittedly small selection of decent brunch spots, this tops my list. The chefs change the main dishes each week but you are guaranteed a wide selection from a buffet-style brunch. Alternatively, if driving out isn't that appealing, try Red's Diner or Galaxie Diner in Beltline.

9. Green Chili - hard to say what is the best Indian food in Calgary, but Green Chili makes a fairly convincing choice. They have five locations around the city, one of them just at the corner of 17th and 14th (mentioned above). They also offer takeout! I'm rather fond of the chicken korma as well as the goat curry.

10. Crepes 'n' Cravings - rounding out the list is my favourite crepe shop, nestled in on 17th ave. You can get savoury crepes, like the Montreal smoked meat crepe, or satisfy your sweet tooth with something like the cherry cheesecake or the Waffle-cone crepes. They also have gelato and belgian waffles. The man working behind the counter there (the owner maybe?) is just about the nicest guy ever. Alternatively, if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and aren't quite in the mood for crepes, head over to Village Ice Cream.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 8:24 AM
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Some pictures of the places I mentioned - dug through my phone and found some.

Kinton Ramen (from tonight!):




La Carnita:




Big House Pizza at Only Cafe:




Patois:



And something I didn't mention in the above post, but one of my favourite sandwich places - Porchetta and Co. This is a special - they change it up every week and do specials on Thurs/Fri/Sat. This one is fried jerk chicken with oxtail gravy in a coconut bun. So good!


Last edited by niwell; Nov 16, 2014 at 8:39 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 8:38 AM
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Originally Posted by softee View Post
Burrito Boyz is another good place in Toronto in the cheap eats category. Their burritos are so huge and satisfying I've yet to even try a large, the "small" is always more than enough for me!
Yeah definitely! There's too many restaurants it's easy to forget things. Although I prefer Burro Burrito on College St. Both are good though. The burritos I had in San Francisco were better, but Toronto isn't much far behind anymore, surprisingly.

Also in the cheap eats I can't believe I forgot the Poutine options. Toronto has appropriated poutine in a big way and I'm into it. Smoke's is great for poutine with loaded toppings. But if you want something that rivals the best of Montreal, go to Poutini's on Queen West. Unless it's 3am on a friday/saturday. Then lineups will ruin your early morning.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 1:42 PM
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Côte St Luc Bar-B-Q.....yummy.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 2:16 PM
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The Underground Café in Winnipeg. Not open in the evenings.

The Works in Ottawa.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 3:01 PM
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I can usually only afford fast food.
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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 and both Queen street locations and while it's a decent burger it's not worth the price or all the hype.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2014, 3:45 PM
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Kitchener has been into tapas/small plates lately. I enjoy Public (foodies), Belmont Bistro and Gilt (trendy, decent cocktails). The food at Imbibe is good, but it's mainly about the craft beer.

In Waterloo, I like King Street Trio (contemporary, local ingredients) and Taco Farm (taco bar/Mexican fusion). The Bauer Kitchen is comparable to Trio and very popular but somehow doesn't do it for me (it has been a while, I need to go back).

Plus, of course, any place in town or out in the villages that serves schmecky food!
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