The Spend A Little list represents Joanne’s favourite 50 Toronto restaurants at which two people can eat for under $65 excluding taxes, tip and drinks.

#50 The Federal

The Federal

Hordes of hungover hipsters line up every weekend to get their protein pick-me-up and the hair of the dog. Like many downtown spots, the Federal is cramped and crowded, and you may have to ask twice to get your coffee, but their menu is inspired and their cooking a step above what you’d get for the same price elsewhere. French toast with foie gras is the perfect cure for Sunday morning: The toast is moist and eggy, topped with seared foie. Drizzled with maple syrup, the result is a sweet–salty masterpiece. Using green onion-infused oil for frying jazzes up the egg dishes and potato rosti, as does the delish homemade ketchup that co-owner Zach Slootsky pirated from his stint at Aunties and Uncles. Omelets are stuffed with carefully caramelized veg, and the mushroom tarragon sauce they use instead of hollandaise is packed with earthy flavor. Cuban Sammy is tender roast pork; great burgers are made with coarse ground chuck and brisket and smothered in their secret sauce and ballpark mustard (there’s a time and place for everything). Comfort food refined.

  • The Federal
  • 1438 Dundas St. W., Toronto (map)
  • 647-352-9120

  • Cuisine: Canadian
  • Cost of dinner for two: $35
  • Hours: Mon. to Sun. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tues. to Sun. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Reservations: Dinner only
  • Meals served: Brunch, dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 24+
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: No
  • Private party area: Entire venue can be rented
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Street parking
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