Sports fans will know Jay Onrait from his TSN show, SC with Jay and Dan, which recently returned to the air after their four-year stint with Fox Sports. As it turns out, it’s not all about sports for Onrait; he’s also quite the food lover. Here are some of his favourite Toronto restaurants and ones he’s itching to get back to since moving back from Los Angeles. Needless to say, classic poutine makes the list.
I’m not much of a go out to eat breakfast guy, but my wife and I like to take our daughter to Boom Breakfast. The ladies there are very sweet. They also make a nice eggs Benny, which is always important. If I’m feeling ambitious, Bar Raval is absolutely terrific in the morning, noon, and night, especially for brunch.
My wife is Chinese so we also love to go for dim sum. You have to head outside of downtown core for the best Chinese food. Our favourite is Golden Court in Richmond Hill, a real Cantonese powerhouse. I just sit there and let my mother-in-law do the ordering.
Again, I don’t go out that much for lunch. However, I used to live in Kensington market and I love it so much. Pete Sanagan is a hero of that market. Sanagan’s Meat Locker makes amazing sandwiches. They use bread from Blackbird Bakery next door, which I wish had been there when I lived in the area. If I’m feeling cheeky, it’s Fresco’s for fish n’ chips. I love their poutine too. Just basic poutine with fries, cheese curds, and gravy.
More recently I’ve been enjoying Momofuku Noodle Bar. We’re so lucky that Dave Chang decided to open up an outlet in our city. The food is consistently interesting and innovative. Shout out to chef Hans Vogels!
It’s tough to narrow down, but I have to give another shout out to Grant van Gameren. When we moved back to Toronto we wanted to be within walking distance of Bar Isabel. The way Grant styled it to look like it was 100 years old; he was so smart to go the route he went, like vintage store bric-à-brac. It’s really all about the food though. Your best bet is to name your dollar amount and have your waiter pick food for you. It’s my go to.
I really like Pizzeria Libretto too. I know it has expanded, but if you’re talking about a restaurant you can go to with your family and it won’t break the bank... the wine list is great and it’s very reasonably priced. Enoteca Sociale is fantastic Italian as well, and owned by same guys as Libretto.
For sushi, there’s Skippa, which just opened. The chef used to work with Kaji. It’s an up and comer that I think is going to be a real winner. Sushi Kaji is the best sushi in city though. If you’re looking to treat yourself, it would be hard to do better.
There’s a terrific divey and welcoming bar, Ronnie’s Local in Kensington market. They’ve got a great patio in summer. The Caledonian is a Scottish pub, authentic with an amazing Scotch list. They do great pub food and a Sunday roast too. For drinks and entertainment, there’s the Comedy Bar near Bloor and Ossington. It’s a great place to go to check out up and coming comedians, the best place to watch live comedy in the city.