Brunette's West End Toronto food guide.
The Good Fork (1550 Dundas St W)
The Good Fork is a hidden gem in the city that offers some seriously flavourful plates. The bistros menu changes seasonally, so you can expect consistent new features to draw your interest. (It’s also important to mention that the food is always made with fresh ingredients!) If you decide to visit, you can expect a spacious and laid back environment with big windows that provide lots of natural light. Don’t forget to put your name on the waitlist in advance to avoid missing out on this dining experience – the idea of The Good Fork’s amazing food tends to herd a large crowd that can result in a bit of a line up, but don’t let that scare you. The overall dining experience at this establishment explains why the customers ALWAYS come back for more.
Craig's Cookies (1537A Queen St W)
If you haven’t tried Craig's Cookies yet, you might want to re-evaluate your life choices! They have some of the best (if not THE best) cookies in the entire world. The shop itself is cute and small, tastefully decorated on the inside and painted a bright yellow on the outside making it hard to miss while adventuring the streets of Parkdale. Because it’s so small, there’s usually a line up going down the street, but don’t take it as discouragement. Every second of the wait is worth it once you get to sink your teeth into the softest, most scrumptious cookie to ever exist. Trust us on this one.
Grand Electric (1330 Queen St W)
Are you craving Mexican? Grand Electric has got your back. Located just a hop and a skip away from Trinity Bellwoods, it provides a great atmosphere for unwinding after a long day of hanging out in the park. They make an array of exquisitely plated & flavourful authentic tacos, that it’s hard to choose just one off of the menu. The restaurant itself is industrial with lots of colourful touches and eccentric details. The music is always bumpin’- overall, Grand Electric provides a beautifully curated vibe throughout the entire dining experience.
The MoMo House (1422 Queen St W)
We all know Parkdales community has a great appreciation for Tibetan culture, so The MoMo House really couldn’t be located in a better place. They serve up some of the most superlative Tibetan momos that you can find in the GTA (hence the name!) The menu is simple & easy to navigate, and it’s quite clear that the establishment not only takes great pride in the authentication of the food, but also the comfortability of the environment. It's warm and welcoming, industrial-chic, with quick and friendly service. So if you’re ever in the West End craving some dumplings, The MoMo House is your place!
La Banane (227 Ossington Ave)
If you’re looking for somewhere with a good balance between casual and formal, La Banane is a stellar option. The atmosphere is elegantly industrial (major art deco vibes!), and the menu boasts unique and ravishingly plated food served by professional and kind staff. The establishment is also a fan favourite of a few celebs after it proudly hosted the Female Filmmaker Dinner, so keep an eye out for some A-listers when you visit!
Union (72 Ossington Ave)
Union is beloved by Toronto locals for a few different reasons. Firstly, it was opened by chef Teo Paul, a well recognized and appreciated chef in the GTA. The restaurant makes daily menu changes based on the freshest ingredients that are available to them from Ontario farms. This is not only an exciting feature for the guests to enjoy, but also goes towards helping support local and family run businesses. As you can probably assume due to the fresh ingredients, the food is absolutely to die for. The establishment itself is cozy – to be more specific, you can expect to feel as though you’re stepping into a Parisian bistro. Between the atmosphere, the food and the tremendous staff, you can expect to have a homely visit at Union.
ODDSEOUL (90 Ossington Ave)
As most Ossington establishments are, ODDSEOUL is what you could call a hipster's paradise. What at first appears to be a hole in the wall from the exterior, the aesthetic feels as if you’re genuinely stepping into a small marketplace in Seoul – the walls are industrial and lined with worn posters & exposed brick, the lighting is dim and moody, and the space is small, making it easy to fraternize with the friendly staff and guests around you. Once you choose something off of the menu, you’ll get to experience the perfect blend of Korean-American flavour. ODDSEOUL is truly one of Toronto's best kept secrets.
Sam James Coffee Bar (141 Ossington Ave)
Sam James is one of the best places to grab your cup of Joe in the entire city, and the staff is so friendly, but let's get real; you want to know about what their caffeine can do for you. Let’s put it this way: if you could only have coffee from one place for the rest of your life, you can bet Sam James should be one of your options to choose from. They have definitely got coffee all figured out. It’s thick and flavourful, with some intense aromatics and flavours. An all in all good start to a great day.
Bar Piquette (1084 Queen St W)
Bar Piquette is a small & sophisticated wine bar located in Ossington. The establishment itself is quite charming, with cozy and bright touches throughout. They offer a unique wine selection with plenty of by-the-glass options, and if you’re hungry, they’ve got lots of scrumptious food items on the menu that are sure to pair well with your bevvy. The variety might be overwhelming, but the always helpful staff are there to help you make decisions based on your taste.
Dandylion (1198 Queen St W)
If you’re looking to dine at Dandylion, keep an eye out. Their storefront is inconspicuous, but once you find it, you’ll never want to leave. The restaurant provides its guests with inventive dishes majorly influenced by cuisine all around the world. All of their ingredients are seasonally fresh, and the menu is small & overall easy to navigate. The guests are served in a minimalist decorated room with beautiful bare brick walls. They’ve been featured on Canada's 100 Best Restaurants every year since the beginning of the publication, a reflection of how wildly deserving they are of your appetite!
The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street W)
The Drake hotel already has a fantastic reputation for their trendy lodging, so you already know that they kill it when it comes to serving food. The establishment is home to one of Toronto's most treasured trendy patios, so if you can snag a spot outside, we encourage that you do so. Beyond the seating arrangements, they have their delectable freshly baked goods on display, teasing what incredible dishes are coming your way in the very near future. Their menu items include appropriate and classic dishes for anyone's acquired taste, so if you catch yourself strolling through the streets of West Queen West craving some brunch, don’t hesitate to make your way over to the Drake Cafe.
Nana (785 Queen St W)
Sister to the entertainment district's cherished Khao San Road restaurant, you can only expect greatness if the establishment is owned by Monte Wan. Visiting this Thai spot makes its guests feel as though they’ve meen immediately transported to Bangkok's lively entertainment district – the room is scattered with bright pops of colour, cobblestone stretches across the floor, and decorative shutters are evenly sequenced across the concrete wall. Aesthetic aside – the food is next level desirable. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the chef's special of the day!
Terroni (720 Queen St W)
Terroni has been around Toronto for almost 30 years, and it’s definitely here to stay. They’ve acquired quite a fanbase over the years thanks to the perfect balance of incredible service and delicious authentic Italian cuisine. The pizza crust is cooked to crispy perfection, and the pasta is made in house – guaranteeing a satisfactory meal. Italy has a great reputation when it comes to desserts, and Terroni does not disappoint in that department. If you still have room after you’ve devoured your entree, we suggest splurging on that third course. It’ll be worth it, trust us.
3 Monks and a Duck (811 Queen St W)
3 Monks and a Duck resides in a tight space which totally ends up working in its favour due to the friendly crowd and amiable staff. Its engulfed in some quirky outlandish decor, setting it apart from all of the dining experiences offered throughout Toronto. The food is reasonably priced, and the menu has vegetarians and vegans covered with a wide assortment of plant based dishes. Their banana desserts are renowned, so be sure to save room for dessert!
Rodneys Oyster House (469 King St W)
Rodneys is another long-lived Toronto institution. They have some of the most sought out seafood in Toronto, probably as a result of their seasonal options which inevitably produce the best quality dishes the GTA could offer. Upon entering, you’re met with live crab and lobster for you to take your pick ensuring a fresh meal that will ultimately leave you entirely satiated. If you’re unsure what exactly it is you’re craving, the well informed staff are there to help you make your choice. Overall, they’ll provide you with a 10/10 dining experience.
La Palette (492 Queen St W)
La Palette is known to be Toronto’s very own little piece of Paris. The outside of this adorable bistro is painted a vibrant red, with tall floor to ceiling windows, which already automatically catches the eyes of each passersby. The interior has an eclectic decor taste, one of the most interesting attributes being the open kitchen front and centre of the restaurant so that guests can watch the kitchen staff do their magic. You can expect them to put together some classic french dishes, and boy do they do it well! It’s safe to say that La Palette hits all of the important points.
Aloette (163 Spadina Ave)
Aloette without a doubt has a 5 star review from Brunette. The staff go above and beyond to make your experience superb throughout- they have great knowledge of the menu, making it easier to navigate if you’re a new guest. The laid back vibe of the atmosphere really coincides with the attitude of the staff as well as the menu choices. If you ever choose a day to be indulgent, it should be the day that you visit Aloette. They’ve got some great comfort food that is always sure to hit the spot.
North of Brooklyn Pizzeria (650 Queen St W)
North of Brooklyn takes the art of pizza making very seriously. They believe it’s all in the ingredients, which is why they use the finest cheese and meat that they can find, they make their own sauce, and they always use freshly made dough. Brooklyn-style pizza is about the ardor that New Yorkers have for their ‘za, and that passion derives inspiration for the owners at North of Brooklyn. If you’re anywhere near as enthusiastic about pizza as they are, you’ve really got to try it out.
Superpoint (184 Ossington Ave)
Superpoint is definitely one of Toronto's trendiest pizza joints, as you would expect for a place residing in one of the hippest neighbourhoods in town. The crust is cooked to excellence, the slightest crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They go above and beyond for more than just the food- the establishment is strategically scattered with cool and moody decor, there’s always a fun tune playing in the background, and the lighting is dim tying together the perfect ambience.
Cote De Boeuf (130 Ossington Ave)
You can find this cozy wine bar in Toronto's Ossington neighbourhood. It shares an owner with Union, which is a massive indication for how sensational the food is. It would be an understatement to say that they know their meat, (they are a butcher shop, after all,) it’s consistently juicy & tender, and loaded with flavour. The space is small, but the staff have a great way of accommodating the guests ensuring a satisfactory visit. They also offer a great selection of wine, so be sure to ask your server for the perfect food and drink pairing!
Paris Paris (1161 Dundas St W)
This cute bottle shop-bistro in Dundas West has really outdone itself; the words “small but mighty,” come to mind. The staff are very obviously prideful of the dishes served at Paris Paris, and well educated in case guests have any questions. Anyone who visits HAS to try the homemade bread and salted whipped butter- trust us. It’s an absolute must. Otherwise, the establishment serves out tapas style dishes so in order to experience it to the fullest potential, bring some friends and share a few plates.
Famiglia Baldassarre (122 Geary Ave)
Okay, you caught us. Baldassarre isn’t apart of Toronto’s West End. Although they don’t reside here, it’s important to consider that they’re one of the biggest pasta suppliers to some of the most beloved Italian restaurants across town (including some in the West End!) Our bias for delicious pasta aside, we figured it would only be fair to include them in this list because of the good they do for pasta lovers all over the Greater Toronto Area.
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