John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown

4.6
591 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Seafood
Top tags:
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Lunch
John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown is out of the way from the hustle and bustle of the financial core but at the same time right in the middle of it, hidden away. From ducking down our little street, you feel as though you are doing something deliciously wicked. When you walk in the door of our 40 seat joint, you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon the best speakeasy in town and you’re getting away with flouting all the rules while everyone else behaves. You may think you’ll only have a few oysters and a quick drink while you’re there, but everything around you conspires to make you want to stay longer. Our fare varies according to the time of year, coastal fishing quotas and weather conditions. We can always shuck to order from a selection of 5-10 different Oysters daily, drawn from both our own beds in P.E.I. and the best growers in Canada, the USA and further abroad.
What 591 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.5
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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t
New England
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Best lobster roll in downtown Toronto! Great sevice and unhurried despite busy lunch hour. Has never disappointed over the years. Will go again and strongly recommend.

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OT
Toronto
112 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic lunch of soft shell crab sandwich

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TH
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 1

Over priced and nothing special: Made reservations, got seated right at the door. Water glass after initially being requested were not refilled until asked and with a bottle. (where was the bottle the first time?) Ordered oysters and they were so small for the price I wouldn't again.

The reason we went was because we thought it was an oyster specialty - we found out on this visit, it wasn't.

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S
Toronto
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This was my first visit to John & Sons. My friend suggested we go to celebrate our birthdays with oysters and bubbly. We sat at the bar and enjoyed every course, more specifically, the wine. We had two dozen oysters, the smelts and octopus as appetizers. Steak frites & tuna on a fried green tomato were our mains - I enjoyed the tuna and was told the frites dish was excellent. While the plan was to enjoy some bubbles, we were offered the suggestion of a Pino Nero, which neither of us had before. It was perfect with the oysters and the rest of our meal. The service was top notch - staff were knowledgeable, kind and attentive. The music was great, too. Two bottles of wine later, we had a little glow and were quite satisfied. So much in fact, I forgot my purse and had to return. My next visit will be for the ambiance, oysters & wine.

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MM
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and great service! Had an awesome time and experience

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NG
Toronto
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 2Ambience 3

Service was absolutely brutal. Food once served was excellent

John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
Responded on May 13, 2019

Neil, I am sorry you had such a bad experience. We take our customer experience very seriously. Could you contact me directly john@johnandsonsoysterhouse.c and tell me a little bit more about what happened.. or didn't happen? I appreciate your feedback and your time.

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OT
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Always great. Some of my favourite seafood in the city. The oysters are always perfectly fresh and the wine list is imaginative and pairs perfectly with the seafood. Will visit again and again.....

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MF
Toronto
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great Oysters and the Tuna Tartare was awesome. You have to try the lobster poutine too!

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I loved everything (food, oyster) except the room temperature beer.

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OT
Edmonton
6 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 1

Easily the loudest restaurant we've ever been in. Our ears were hurting the minute we walked in. Food was delicious if not a bit expensive, drinks were even more expensive. Service was good. Don't go here for intimate conversation.

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NB
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Girls were so nice and explained everything. Food was amazing and excellent service!!

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Y
Toronto
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Just love it! My friends and I go to celebrate or just when we need a little something special!
Love the food, ambience and the way they make you feel as a guest! As a matter of fact, I feel like going now!

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L
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Where do I start? Was an amazing dinner/evening start to finish!! Oysters were amazing! My seared tuna was probably best I’ve ever had! Staff were all attentive and super nice! Definitely going back!
I little hidden gem in the city! FYI, very intimate and noise level high...but well worth it!

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B
Toronto
75 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Want fish with a down home feeling? This is your place. Would happily eat here several times a week.

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RF
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Server was friendly and very understanding. A bit pricey (just a little bit though maybe because of the season - I ordered scallops), I was prepared to cover the bill as the host but my business partner shouldered it so I guess price is not a big factor in my responses.

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P
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

Save your money and go somewhere else. The servers here must get lows tips due to the quality of the food for the price you pay.

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C
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 2Food 5Service 1Ambience 3

I had the worst customer service I could possibly have. Unacceptable situation happened! Only 22 days after a refund was done. By mistake, the waitress split the bill in 3 instead of 4, so two of the people in the table paid more than supposed. I noticed the mistake and the manager told us it would be impossible to do the refund in that day. We suggested the other 2 people from the table pay the remaining amount but the manager said it was not possible because of a system limitation. She said we would have to pay again the correct amount and the wrong amount would be refund in the day after. Although we found this solution not correct, because it was a mistake from the restaurant and we would leave the place paying more than twice the correct amount, we trusted the restaurant and paid. After several calls and 20 emails exchanged with the owner of the restaurant, only 22 days after the refund was done and only because I had to go to the restaurant in person!
However, congrats to the chef, because the food was very good!

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c
Toronto
15 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We visit John and Sons fairly often and always enjoy the oysters and the clam chowder. It is a very loud place so be prepared :)

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and service

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KW
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very friendly and speedy service. The Cioppino is terrific !

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NV
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing Seafood and service!

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E
Miami
37 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This is a wonderful spot. The oysters are great, and the menu has some wonderful choices. I had the nightly special that I thoroughly enjoyed - halibut and pork belly together was delicious. This is a gem.

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NV
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place!

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RW
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always first rate with a very welcoming and friendly staff. What’s not to like about great food . The daily special does not disappoint

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Food is good. The oysters are fresh and tasty.
The service was excellent; the only problem was when we arrived, they took too long to attend and seat us.

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C
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

A real hidden gem in Toronto. Not a huge menu but everything on it is awesome. The oysters are as good as they get! Whenever I travel to Toronto i always eat at John and Sons at least once.

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

The food was amazing. Having one service person made the service a little slow but regardless the food was epic.

Thanks!

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everyone~ for your appetizers have clam chowder and KFC ssam!!! They are amazing~ This place is very cozy and not loud at all.

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K
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Oysters were delicious.
Fish and chips were tasteless and the coating too thick

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BP
London
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Best oysters I've ever had in Toronto. Tuna was spectacular.

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TV
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The staff went out of their way to find us a table (we booked only an hour before dining, so that’s our fault), the service was excellent, always checking in with us, and the food was outstanding.

The atmosphere was casual and cozy, easy to converse among our table, yet private. That’s very difficult to achieve in such a small setting.

I can’t wait to go back!
Tomislav & Julie

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R
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 3

Small quaint place, inviting. Came in sat at the bar and proceeded to wait 20 min for our first drink order. Now after that order we wanted food but it took the server a ridiculous amount of time to serve us. Unacceptable because the place is small and there was really no reason other than they lacked the basic service requirements. Horrible!!!

John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
Responded on April 17, 2019

My sincerest apologies for your experience, as the owner I want to make sure every experience is memorable in the best possible way. Reading your review breaks my heart and I want to fix the problem. If you could private message me with some details; the time you came in as well as the name of your server or if you sat at the bar or table, and I will address the situation internally. We take these matters seriously and understand your frustration My email is john@johnandsonsoysterhousecom

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LC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

It was a really busy Friday night...we ordered appetizers and oysters which were a amazing..little pricier but still good. We were satisfied by the time we left but because it was busy we didn’t notice we were charged for someone else’s drinks. Guess the waitress didn’t notice either

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

Too loud. Was very difficult to converse.

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AS
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Perfect combination of high quality with laid back feel.

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JJ
Toronto
16 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Delicious seafood, some of the best oysters in the City.

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TO
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Excellent oysters and seafood dishes. Very flavourful. Great spot for quiet intimate dining.

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l
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

First time here and was happy with the service (Kendall) was very informative and nice to chat with. Started off with a fantastic Burgundy and a few oysters. Nice pairing and a good selection of oysters from B.C. Nova Scotia PEI etc The smelts were next and very tasty. We ordered another Burgundy and then the main , a Halibut dish with spinach roasted tomatoes and white beans. Really enjoyed it but I thought for $29 the fish was small with way to many beans. I will recommend to friends and will be back for more. Cheers

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b
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and service!
I would highly recommend it.

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j
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

delightful space
best seafood in Toronto...uber fresh oysters and the bouillabaisse is superb

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