Toronto’s Unknown Gems
The Green Room
414 College St.
I am always on the prowl for a comfy and, more importantly, cozy restaurant. Last week, a friend invited me to eat at a bar/restaurant labelled online as an “unpretentious two storey hangout,” so I decided to check it out. At first glance, the Green Room appeared to be a hidden, run down spot with no originality. However, when I entered this establishment, all assumptions and reservations I had walked in with were discarded. It had a laid-back atmosphere, filled with 20-somethings and a vibrant, soulful green-themed surroundings. The Green Room is definitely a place designed for university students, hipsters and music lovers.
Upon arrival, we were presented with a menu with a perfect selection: not too long so as to overwhelm, and it had an interesting variety of dishes with Mexican, Danish, German, English and Chinese influences. Personally, I would recommend the schnitzel sandwich, which was both fresh and delicious. Top it off with a pint of Guinness for good measure and enjoy the company you’re with. The staff were also extremely genuine and friendly. Everything about this restaurant screamed good food, better people and was generally down-to-earth. They also have a patio for the spring and summer seasons. All in all, I was happy to have stumbled across this perfect little spot to enjoy with friends and I will definitely be returning in the near future.
550 Hwy 7 #108
This Richmond Hill restaurant serves the best pho I have ever had. Consider yourself warned, you should expect a long line-up; this place has a great reputation and, at peak times, you can tell before you even set foot inside! The place is always packed; in fact, much to my surprise, it was fully booked even at 5:30pm on a Sunday. I waited 30 minutes for a seat to open up, but it was worth every minute.
Deer Garden’s pho is enough to satisfy any hunger: it is massive and is packed with flavour. A simple custom menu makes for easy ordering and allows you to choose your soup base, ingredients, noodles and sides. Meals also come with your choice of cold tea or milk tea, which is absolutely delicious. Overall, I would say this restaurant is a must-try for any avid pho lover, and even if you aren’t one yet, the delicious broth will have you coming back again and again. Word to the wise though, if you’re planning on checking it out, make reservations ahead of time, as it is almost always busy — and for good reason!