Three hidden gems recommended by Toronto's top chefs
Small hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve up big tastes
Succulent seafood at Churrasquiera Martins.
Sometimes the mood calls for some spicy Portuguese chicken, and this authentic joint satisfies that need. This gem delivers fully on flavour. Chouriço sausage arrives tableside as it should (in flames); there’s grilled and salted cod (a.k.a. bacalhau); plus that barbecued chicken is all juicy inside and piri piri sauce outside. Make a reso on the weekend — it’s grilled octopus time. And leave your vegan pals behind.
605 Rogers Rd., #1
Perfectly blistered pizza crust, fresh tomato sauce and gooey mozza flagged with fresh basil? For only $10, three days a week? Somehow the Junction triangle has been gifted the dreamiest bodega there ever was. It’s the work of a former Terroni kid, David Mattachioni, who has taken his knowledge and run with it. There’s also panini (mortadella stuffed in house focaccia), dolce for sweet and, in true bodega style, groceries. Movin’ in.
1617 Dupont St.
It’s so hard to leave the Junction when everything you need is right there. Curry Twist is an easy night out, with its homey environs paired with a people-pleaser of a menu. Snack on crunchy onion bhajji and spiced paneer before tucking in to mains. Baigan bharta (smoked eggplant with tomato and caramelized onions) and yogurt-marinated chicken korma bathing in a rich cashew-based sauce are some of the standouts.
3034 Dundas St. W.