Culinary smack talk a good sign for food city
Our cover story features some of the best foodie ’hoods in town
Toronto has often been described as a city of neighbourhoods. We like it like that, this idea of small, unique areas of the city knitted together to become cosmopolitan and world-class. Definitely worldclass, to the point of obsession.
But we also like to throw shade at each other, claiming the mantle of best neighbourhood for ourselves. Of course, what makes up the perfect little neighbourhood is a matter of much discussion and includes a vast array of somewhat subjective criteria.
For some, a massive chunk of gated land and heaps of privacy is all that is needed, for others, access to transit and parks and bike lanes, plenty of bike lanes. Those in the beautiful Beaches neighbourhood only need nod toward the lake and their own stretch of sand, for instance.
But there is one thing at or near the top of most lists: food, namely restaurants and plenty of them. Sure, downtown restaurants have long held the edge. The hippest and most creative chefs in town have sought out affordable locations on the west side of the core for years now, establishing culinary meccas in the most unlikely of place such as Ossington Avenue, and leaving high-priced hipster hovels in their haute-cuisine wakes.
But then the east side started luring a few bearded, tattooed chefs to the other side of the river. And what of Dupont and the land conquered by Anthony Rose? New culinary hot spots are opening up in some truly surprising places. Heck, even the industrial lands of Leaside have a new pizza spot considered by some to be one of the best in all of the land.
To wit, our cover story: a foodie brouhaha of epic proportions, where we highlight the best restaurants both new and old and try to determine whether or not the ’hoods outside of the core can compete with the hotshots hanging their aprons downtown.
Sure, there might not be competition when it comes to quantity, as there are literally hundreds if not thousands of restaurants downtown. But, we have our gems too.
Look at Rose’s new Madame Boeuf & Flea, serving up some of the city’s best burgers, or his now-iconic Fat Pasha — here is a guy with food so good he has almost single-handedly transformed a stretch of Dupont into a little foodie heaven.
There aren’t too many restaurants downtown that command that level of devotion, even if it’s helmed by someone with the initials GvG (yes, you, Grant van Gameren).
Have a look, and take to social media to let us know your thoughts. Let the culinary smack talk begin.
Chef Grant van Gameren