Toronto Neighbourhood Food Fight: Part One
How do the neighbourhoods' dishes fare when pitted against the city's best?
We scoured our favourite Toronto nabes in order to come up with the best bites — poke, lasagna, pasta and more — and pitched them against the city's top-ranked foodie hot spots. Who comes out on top? Who gets the glory? Read on to find out.
There’s nothing run-of-the-mill about the T.O. sammie scene, but one shop is truly tops.
Get here before the lunch rush and order up the renowned brisket sammie.
4 Crescent Rd.
PORCHETTA & CO
Pork shoulder, prosciutto and belly are combined, resulting in this inimitable porchetta.
825 Dundas St. W.
This smoked brisket is loaded with crispy curls of sweet onion and lotsa BBQ sauce.
929 Queen St. E.
WINNER: BLACK CAMEL
FINE FRENCH FISTICUFFS
Which purveyor of la grande cuisine does haute better?
Haute French spots come and go, but this mainstay has nailed the recipe to success.
1 Benvenuto Pl.
Brandon Olsen made old school French cool again thanks to his well-executed menu.
227 Ossington Ave.
1235 Bay St.
BIG TUNA POKÉ BAR
599 Bloor St. W.
At Calii Love, a brand new addition to Yorkville, an edited selection of poke bowls is dished out on the daily. We heart this number with salmon, avo, watermelon radish and spicy mayo topping black rice. But Big Tuna puts up a good fight with its refreshing, ponzu-laden take loaded with ahi tuna, macadamia nuts and sesame seeds.
WINNER: CALII LOVE
Indian food abounds in the city, but these standouts always hold their ground.
THE COPPER CHIMNEY
Dishes like baingan patiala (stir-fried eggplant) continue to wow at this north Indian resto.
2050 Avenue Rd.
Aloo gobi is but one of the stellar options at this space, which serves eats from across India.
796 Bloor St. W.
T.O. is home to plenty of great tacos, but which taqueria gets the gold?
YONGE & EG
Thank the heavens that this joint opened in our ’hood. Can’t resist the Mexican chorizo.
130 Eglinton Ave. E.
The originators of the T.O. taco craze are still going muy strong. Go Baja fish.
1330 Queen St. W.
PLAYA CABANA CANTINA
Always buzzing, this far west ender does rounds with chipotle-marinated kalbi beef.
2883 Dundas St. W.
WINNER: GRAND ELECTRIC
516 Eglinton Ave. W.
849 Dundas St. W.
Our hearts forever belong to Mama Rosa Marinuzzi’s southern Italian soul food. At 7 Numbers, she dishes out her oh-so-tasty lasagna, packed with ground veal, sugo and loadsa mozza. But over at La Palma, Craig Harding’s in-demand resto, diners are going nuts for the 100-layer lasagna, which borrows from Italy’s north and south. A battle extraordinaire.
WINNER: IT'S A TIE!
Two star chefs deliver juicy chicken with crisp skin. But who does it best?
Cory Vitiello’s whole bird comes with both Caribbean pepper sauce and chimichurri.
97 Harbord St.
Chef Daniel Boulud’s poulet is sat handsomely on a bed of rotisserie potatoes.
60 Yorkville Ave.
WINNER: CAFÉ BOULUD
Toronto is home to incredible Indigenous fare, which doesn’t fail to impress.
This French-influenced resto offers a tasting menu with elk, parsnips and squash purée.
581 Mount Pleasant Rd.
POW WOW CAFE
Arrive seriously hungry before tucking into hearty Ojibwa tacos on the wee patio.
213 Augusta Ave.