Given the continued “controversy” over the growth of the Parkdale restaurant scene (y’know… trying to limit how many more new restaurants can open up there), we can’t help but wonder… pourquoi le fuss, City Council? The dining scene in Parkdale (namely the West Queen West strip) is one of the best in the city, peppered with unique eateries and hip bars slinging up crafty cocktails like it ain’t no thang. And we want to limit its growth?! For shame. These 10 Toronto restaurants in Parkdale represent some of the best cuisines and scenes in the city. Dear Councillor Perks, please take note of the bounty of beautiful bites you’re looking at quashing…
Small Town Food Co.
Innovative takes on shareable dishes – Small Town Food Co.’s Fish and Chips are a revelation – are only the start of this West Queen West restaurant’s glory. The cocktails are all crazily well-balanced here, and the service is always attentive – meaning you don’t have to wait 20 minutes between rounds. (Check out our recent restaurant review of Small Town Food Co.)
Chantecler has been a happening spot ever since opening its doors what now seems like forever ago. We go here for the lettuce wraps. Our friends go here for the convivial atmosphere. Everyone goes here for the perfect Manhattan.
Electric Mud BBQ
No matter what time of day you’re reading this, we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lineup already forming to hit up what is widely-regarded as Toronto’s top Southern/BBQ restaurant. The Crack Rolls are aptly named, and we can never say no EMBBQ’s damned fine Shrimp Po-Boy.
Food & Liquor
Sunday BBQs (there was one just this past weekend), late night eats, sippable treats, occasional live music… there’s really no reason to not haul ass over to Food & Liquor. The name itself is of the two things in life we give priority to over family and work.
With turn of the century sensibilities, Geraldine is a unique li’l spot we don’t get a chance to patronize as often as we’d like. The rotating selection of haute shareables is commendable, and always enticing. We kind of want to head back immediately to try out their Toulouse Sausages with Guinness Mustard; we bet they’d taste great with The Mayflower cocktail…
Do we even need to write a blurb for these guys? It’s Grand-freaking-Electric, folks. Just go. Eat tacos, drink bourbon, and strain your voice while trying to carry on a conversation.
Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
The li’l Italian resto that could, Local Kitchen & Wine Bar has actually been quite a favourite of ours even before Parkdale went from drab to fab. We’re loving the new Monday night Prezzo Fisso – a 4-course menu for only $40 with half price wine or no corkage fee. Talk about the perfect way to combat those Manic Mondays!
We’ll be honest here. Kanji Sushi isn’t our favourite sushi in Toronto (right now Kingyo in Cabbagetown is in our regular rotations for that). But we love the scene at Kanji. The aesthetic is perfect for a group dinner, and because we can snatch up some awesome sake while enjoying a few bites of maki while listening to eclectic beats, Kanji gets our seal of approval.
Parts & Labour
The burger here spawned a following so obsessive that a stand-alone burger shop (P&L Burger) had to be erected to pay it proper respect. Executive Chef Matty Matheson’s well-rounded menu (another shareable one, might we add) has flavours for every palate and budget. And… can you really go wrong with their Large Bastards? We think not…
Basilio Pesce’s Parkdale outpost is an homage to homestyle Italian cooking. We love his adventurous takes on such a ubiquitous cuisine style, and we also love that the restaurant doubles as a pretty effin’ trendy bar scene, too. All vibe here, folks… just how we like it!
What are your favourite Parkdale restaurants? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.