You may have heard that Toronto has it’s very own version of Time’s Square – or so we would like to think. Located right near the infamous Eaton Centre, Yonge-Dundas Square was publicly launched in 2002. Since then, it has become a tourist destination for its bright billboards, many free public events and central location. One thing that has been lacking in the area is great food options, but lucky for you, we uncovered some of the best (and underrated) restaurants in the area. Get hungry!
179 Dundas Street West
When it comes to ramen in the city, everybody has an opinion on what the best place is. But if we could cast our vote, it would be for Sansotei. With a variety of different broth bases to choose from and freshly made in-house noodles (either thick or thin) — the options are limitless. The broth base has good depth which means once your noodles, meats and other ingredients are added it makes for a slurping good time. Be warned: this place gets busy and some folks have ended up waiting upwards of 45 minutes (or more) for a bowl.
4 Elm Street
Like many Torontonians, we’re always on the hunt for the perfect patties and the most delicious doubles. So if you’re looking for somewhere totally underrated (and relatively unknown) – check out this tiny little takeout near Yonge-Dundas Square. To be fair, if you blink you may miss this space. But don’t do that because these patties come with piping hot filling (in chicken, beef and vegetarian) and three different spice levels. Great as a cheap snack ($2 + tax for a single patty) while you explore the downtown core.
111 Dundas Street West
I cannot explain how thrilled I was when American-based chain Bareburger announced that it would be expanding to Canada. All Bareburger locations are 100% committed to being local, organic and totally fresh making an effort to source (whenever possible) local produce and ingredients. This is not your typical burger joint – seriously! Also on the menu are healthy options including salads, bowls and even great veg sides rather than fries. Try the sweet fries, they are pretty dope.
The Queen And Beaver Public House
35 Elm Street
If you’re looking for a proper British style pub in the heart of downtown Toronto, then look no further than the Queen and Beaver. With an extensive taps and bottles list and a great outdoor patio space, this is a perfect summertime hang for when you’re cruising the downtown core. Does the food live up to the hype as well? Yes, it does and it also takes on a very British theme with terrines, pot pies and you guessed it… fish and chips. You need to order the sticky toffee pudding here too – it’s a must!
112 Elizabeth Street
We all know that the poke bowl trend has been having a big moment here in the city. Although there are many places to get your fill of poke goodness (essentially a deconstructed sushi bowl, for those not in the know), this place is legit. With big portion sizes, fresh fish offerings including salmon and crab, and a variety of different sauces to choose from, it’s nice to be able to create a unique and customizable bowl. Bowls cost anywhere from $10 to $14 and trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
249 Victoria Street
The diner has been around (in some form or fashion) since 1929 and thankfully most of the decor keeps up the retro charm. Known for their breakfast, The Senator has many of the greasy spoon delights of most diners like a stacked Clubhouse or roast beef. Everything they make is done with great attention and love, which is half the reason why this place is still open and has a lineup out the door most days. Fun fact: The Senator has been used in many films to replicate New York City diners including American Psycho.
117 Dundas Street West
If you’ve been waiting to try authentic Japanese curry, then now is your chance! The restaurant is small but gives off a cozy vibe. The menu offers a variety of different curries served up with a selection of meats or veggies with your choice of rice. The portion sizes are great and the prices even better ($10-14 for most curries) so if you’re going with friends, this may be a good way to share and try a few. Also, if you’re in a rush (hello, lunch!), go here immediately – the service is always fast and friendly.
Which underrated restaurants at Yonge and Dundas Square are you excited to try? Did we miss any? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.