Gate 403 Jazz Club and Restaurant (Gate 403 Bar & Grill)

403 Roncesvalles Avenue
(416) 588-2930

Located right in the heart of Roncesvalles Village in the west end of Toronto, I visited this bar/cafe one afternoon in the summer of 2002 with my aunt Susie. We were hungry and we had some time to eat before seeing our movie at the Revue cinema across the street (we were seeing the movie About a Boy).

This place is really cool. It is dark inside and it resembles a small neighbourhood bar/pub/cafe with friendly staff. Gate 403 has live Jazz music, and good affordable bar/pub/ food as well as full meals. I ordered the grilled vegetables topped with tomato sauce. It was excellent. My aunt had a caesar salad and she said she really liked it. Since this was also a bar, be prepared to be around smokers (like my aunt). I would definitely go back because the overall vibe is a friendly, laid back, non-pretentious ambiance.

Friendly Thai, The

500 Queen W
(416) 366-1221

Very funky, exotic ambiance, dimly lit, soothing, calm, atmosphere. They have a variety of mildly spicy, spicy, and very spicy authentic Thai dishes with many vegetarian selections. On my first visit to The Friendly Thai in September 2001, I ordered the vegetable stir fry with cashews and the portion was large and there were so many vegetables, it was a paradise for me. The sauce was wonderful and I was quite full. On my other visits, I had the vegetarian hot and sour soup which was very piping hot, very spicy and very fresh and flavourful. I then had the green vegetarian curry ( they also serve a red curry) with tofu and vegetables. Portions are decent and the food is fresh and tasty. Most items contain fish sauce or anchovy paste so if you are vegetarian, please notify staff. They are very accomodating.

Prices are reasonable, some below $10.00 but expect to pay between $10-$15 a plate. Very large menu with a vegetarian section. Many locations in the city but surprisingly does not have that “restaurant chain” ambiance. This particular location is in the heart of Queen West between Spadina and Bathurst.