Hail to the ‘Dale

gatefishPeople don’t really think of Parkdale as being a foodie paradise. And yes, if you’re looking for high-end health food items, organic meat or artisanal bread or cheese, you’d be mostly out of luck. But as one of the most multi-cultural neighbours in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, we’ve got a lot of variety working in our favour.

Most folks tend to think of the ‘Dale as a low-end neighbourhood full of nothing but greasy spoons and burger joints. For sure, we’ve got two of the best. The Gate (1206 King Street West) sits at the corner of King and Dufferin and offers up filling breakfast, burgers and some damn fine fish and chips. Peggy, the waitress who’s been working the tables here since the late 60s when she came to Toronto to be a go-go dancer, tells regulars to help themselves to coffee. Further west along Queen, The Skyline (1402 Queen Street West) is about as retro as you can get in terms of diners, with that famous neon sign out front, and fast and efficient service inside from the flurry of activity that is Doris, once voted “best waitress in Toronto”. Other places that serve up a mean burger or all-day breakfast includes Harry’s Burgers (160 Springhurst Avenue) and Stavros (1530 Queen Street West).

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Good Phở Fo’ Shizzle

Phở Asia 21
1208 King Street West
Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beverage: $30

My immediate neighbourhood is not well known for its fine dining. Sure, there’s a couple of awesome Ethiopian places within walking distance, not to mention The Gladstone, The Drake, Beaver Cafe, and some interesting Tibetan restaurants if I’m willing to trek a bit. But anyone who’s ever found themselves at King & Dufferin looking for good food will know it’s a bit of a wasteland.

Once you rule out the two fast food burger joints and the two fast food sub chains, what you’re left with is a pretty awesome roti shop (Island Foods), a decent greasy spoon (The Gate) and a passable sports bar (Shoeless Joe’s). Which is why we were happy to see that a Vietnamese place had opened up around Christmas.

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