Riverside Eats & Shops | Taking a Lunch Break

 Out to Lunch

Enjoy this guest blog by Chef Scott Savoie (@TOfoodTourGuy)


This is one of the most famous lunch pic’s of all time. I absolutely love this photo. So much so that, I have a 6ft X 5ft version of this on my loft wall sitting proudly behind my couch. The piece is called “Lunch on a Beam” and was taken in 1932 and if you’re not familiar with it, check out what the Smithsonian has to say about it.

Lunch can either be a drawn out affair (think the 3 martini lunch), a 1- 2 hour social with friends or a quick grab and go when you really need to get on with your day. As the second meal of the day, it sometimes tends to get overshadowed by Breakfast or Brunch and Dinner. But it shouldn’t. As a matter of fact, there are many great spots in Riverside to have an amazingly delicious lunch. Especially if you are here to check out the Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside happening from July 8th to 10th in Jimmie Simpson Park.

The Grab-and-Go 

Let’s start with the quick stuff.  Dangerous Dan’s is a local institution and has been written up all over the world as having some of the most unhealthiest food on the planet. Not to fret because it also has some of the best when it comes to great tasting burgers and fries. If you don’t believe me check out an episode of “You Got to Eat Here” and you will see how it is. Take my word for it the burgers are big so come hungry. In case you missed it, I need to tell you about the magic that is


In case you missed it, I need to tell you about the magic that is Sugarloaf Bakery and Café. Everything is made in house and the menu choices are second to none. Heck, they even have salads in Mason Jars. How cool and delicious is that? Next up is the Opera House Grill with its big sunny patio and amazing gyros. In my honest opinion, they do a really good job on cooked to order, made from scratch Greek Food!

If Indian is what your craving, Siddhartha Indian Cuisine makes a wicked Dosa and an equally good Chana Battura. A great choice for Indian Cuisine and vegetarian-friendly to boot. Last but not least on the grab and go list is a little restaurant that looks like nothing on the outside but has an amazing menu of North American style Chinese food.


The Lucky Star Restaurant has been around for years and judging by the steady flow of city trucks, firemen, and ambulance and taxi drivers that grab some takeaway, it must be pretty good.


The Sit-Down

If a sit-down lunch is what you’re after then check out these great spots that I tend to frequent:

Aft Kitchen & Bar

You need to try the smoked wings. They are out of this world.

An Sibin Pub

The Fish and Chips are the real deal and the daily toasty is always a treat. Chev Av creates a new sandwich every day and it’s delish! A must try!

The Peasants Table

Get the Chicken Liver Pate and a side salad. If you’re in the mood for that 3 martini lunch I mentioned earlier, then this is the place to have it. I love a good martini and they do a mighty fine job on mixing them up. If you’re like me you’ll want to have it dirty. With a splash of olive juice. Lunch never tasted so good.


I have to be honest, this has got to be one of my fav spots in all of the east end. It is Mediterranean food at its best. Owners Diana and Ronnie are all about perfectly seasoned, simply food, cooked in house and that are true to their roots.  Tabülè has been on our food tours since they opened and our guests constantly rave about the food. My favorite dishes include the cauliflower with tahini sauce, the flash fried eggplant, the falafel and the tabülè, babaganüj and hummus dips.

County General

 The fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich is to die for. I got hooked on this at their original location on Queen West and can’t get enough. Ridiculously good!

Riverside-Lunch-Chef-ScottAbout the Author | Chef Scott is the Founder and Chief Eating Officer of Toronto Food Tours Inc. He is a World Traveled Chef + Culinary Instructor + Toronto Lover + Story Teller + Stroke Survivor. He has been leading food tours in the GTA since 2010 and is a staunch supporter of the Riverside community, local events and charities. Follow him on Twitter @TOFoodTourGuy

Toronto Food Tours #foodtoursTO)


Twitter and Instagram: @foodtoursTO

With all these great options (and more!) available during The Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside, it’s definitely hard to pick just one, but not to worry, you’re always welcome back for more! Be sure to snap and share a picture of your experience in any of our neighbourhood spots with hashtag #‎RiversideTO.

The Riverside Eats & Shops blog series is your handy everyday guide to some of Riverside’s best, including:

Big thanks to Beaches International Jazz Festival for bringing the awesome Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside to Riverside!