John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
Clam Chowder (like the Grits) is something to order again, and again. It looks gagginly creamy. It is not. The clams get right through ringing clear like a clam shaped bell. Large was terrific to share or a meal if flying solo. The crutch for the Chowder is the provided 3 sad nano-croustini - clearly the same joker portioning out the lobster struck here too.
Shrimp Chorizo Grits are something to enjoy and brag about. The tangy chorizo sings nicely contrasted to the smooth cheese grits. All tempered by the fresh shrimp.
The Lobster Poutine was unfortunate. Semi-warm poutine might have crawled to the finish line if the fries were immaculate - they were not. Note to chef, skip the frites trend. Thick cut, double fry will hold the heat for longer and, as important, will convey much more potato flavour. Cook till golden on the sides and hints of brown at the edges. Get the temperature right and there will not be greasy. The main issue? The sad specks of lobster filigree. Sad for me having ordered it and cringeworthy for a chef that allowed it to be served. If market price is too high strike it. This happened on your watch. Don’t punish the patron good enough to order it or embarrass the establishment by serving it and hoping it passes.
If you care about food dine at John & Sons it is Oceanwise aware and there are gems to be craved a few times over.
We were in Toronto for the weekend and after visiting St. Lawrence market, we were hungry for seafood. I had my eye on a couple of places to eat, but couldn't get a table at some and landed on John and Sons - so glad we did. I was a little concerned that the menu was thin, but we knew what we wanted, fish and chips and oysters and they had these on the menu. We were not disappointed! The oysters were fresh and delicious - we let our server put a platter together for us, they even brought me one oyster that was the last of it's kind and it was amazing. Our server, Maria was friendly, helpful and very attentive! They had a mussels special that we ordered and it was divine! We've had mussels plenty of times, but they put good crusty bread at the bottom of the bowl so all the delicious bowl is all soaked in the bread - genius! It was a good portion of mussels too! We shared the fish and chips and they were really good as well. Light batter, but very crispy and good fries. If we come back to the city, we would come back.
They serve mouth watering fresh oysters. The server gave us 4 variants of oysters that wete not written on their board coz they arrived fresh in the afternoon. Loved their calamari too! Great ambiance. Perfect for quick date nights.
Great bar. Obviously great oysters and seafood. Also maybe the best burger in the city.
Happy hour is great!
Good food in a small, but lively setting. Very attentive and prompt service that didn't feel rushed. Allowed us to eat, converse and leave at our own pace. That's what I want at a friendly business lunch. Only drawback is the proximity of other tables. It would not be a venue for a private conversation.
Best tuna fish in town!!!
Love the oysters at John and Sons, excellent as always! Clam chowder very hearty and almost a meal in itself. Only reason I gave 4 instead of 5 is a lack of craft beer selection.
I have dreamt of the smelt for a year since I last tasted them. Tonight brought me back...two dozen oysters to start, Prosecco and smelt. Can't ask for more than that!
Great experience, service and amazing food. Shrimp Sliders - don’t ever take this off the menu!!!!
A small restaurant. A bit of a disappointment. There bits of shell in my oysters. A limited menu but the food was good. The service was very friendly.
We dropped in on the evening of Friday October 12thfor the fresh oysters. Was served by a very pleasant young woman. Service was excellent and friendly. Oysters and fixings were fresh and tasty. Pork belly was presented well but portion was very small and a little less juicy then I expect for this cut and tasted like warmed over pork. Spatzle and red cabbage was good. We’d go back again. Liked the feel of the place and it would be worth trying again.
It was very loud and a little pricey but the food was awesome!!!!
I was very surprised at how loud it was. Good food though
Wonderful oysters, frites and Prosecco at great prices during happy hour. Unfortunately this restaurant is very popular with the after-work crowd and it does get loud.
The Best! So lovely! The service was amazing - - we had a lot of restrictions and they were able to meet every one of them while genuinely being nice about it!!! Definitely going back :)
Very good oysters they made selection for us . (We asked them to) server very friendly. Would go again.
It was very loud, the prices were unnecessarily high and the oysters were not that good
We had a fabulous server who made great suggestions. The food was fresh, and tasty.
Service is slow and menu limited, but pricey. Dinner for 3 w no alcohol was $137. Fish and frish saturated in cooking oil. Ironically, best dish at our table was the steak frites! May be a good place for a quick drink after work.
This is place is unpretentious and offers a good diversity of oysters. The appetizers and the meals are almost the same size which we felt was somewhat confusing and there was quite a wait between courses. Servers are very friendly though. Not for every dining but if you're looking for an oyster fix, definitely a place to consider.
Small, quirky, professional, friendly, innovative. And all that right in downtown. Especially fresh oysters, interesting dishes, and a warm environment. I'll certainly be back.
Great dinner at this hidden gem of downtown Toronto. Wonderful oysters and appetizers are delicious
Good afternoon. Great food but the portions could be a little larger on the mains or provided with something else to make to meal a little more filling.
service isn't great... lack of attention from the waitress; long wait for her to come over to us as we tried to get her attention for a long period of time, and the restaurant wasn't even busy at the time.
We mentioned it's for our anniversary, didn't acknowledge or do anything. Food was blend (especially the grilled octopus). fish and chips was good. oysters is decently fresh
A small simple restaurant with a limited but delicious menu.
Food was amazing especially the lobster poutine. Had me raving about it all weekend long. Can’t wait to visit again.
Love the vibe of this restaurant. So cozy and inviting. Ryan who was our server is very knowledgeable about oysters food and drink. He is one of the best features of the restaurant.
Knowledgeable staff, delicious food and great company!
Understated restaurant/bar with a limited but creative menu. The food was excellent and the staff was knowledgable. If we lived in Toronto we would be regulars.
Overall a decent meal. The oysters were a delight. We both had the tuna dish which was tasteful enough for what we were looking for.
Always a pleasure to go to John & Sons. Menu is consistent and dependable. We had the best seat in the house and good service. The only thing to note: we were celebrating a special occasion and they do not accommodate any fanfare (read: write greetings on dessert plates. Ultimately NBD)
Oysters were awesome. Great selection
Scallop dish was divine. Sauce equisite
Wonderful service and the Fish and Chips is a must!!! Would recommend to all!!
Overall the meal was enjoyed by both of us. Oysters were delicious with many options for flavoring. Seafood risotto and veggie tacos were very well prepared and tasteful.
Was a bit crowded when we arrived, but the Host got us settled quickly. Its obviously a popular spot!
Had a fab time! Great food! Lovely helpful staff. Can’t wait to go back!
Superb wine list and oyster selection. Many appetizing apps and mains to choose from. Great to share with your date or order individually. Staff were super friendly and knowledgeable. A great find!
Food was great. Oysters awesome. Service professional and knowledgeable about product.
We came here mainly because they offer fresh oysters. The place is small so it gets filled up quickly. It has a cozy feeling but you have to talk loudly to have a conversation. My fish tacos tasted really bland and dried. The taco itself had a weird texture, the lettuce is undressed, and they only squeezed a little bit of saracha mayo sauce on the dried deep-fried fish. It was supposed to be banh-mi style, but I didn’t find any pickled carrots or radish. So, I wouldn’t recommend this main.
All four entrees were overcooked and either lacked seasoning or were strangely seasoned. Service was lacking. Maybe the oysters are okay, but the rest should be avoided.