Julie's Cuban Restaurant, Toronto

I’ll say it up front. I didn’t love my experience at Julie’s Cuban Restaurant BUT it wasn’t them, it was us. Julie’s is a breezy, romantic place to linger and graze. We were starving and in the mood to wolf things down. So really, it was bad timing and not a reflection of Julie’s.

The restaurant is in a cute Victorian house with a cute little patio on a quiet residential street. I’m kicking myself for forgetting to take a photo of the outside.

The menu is mostly tapas with a handful of main plates. We got several tapas to taste including:

Julie's Cuban Restaurant, Toronto

  • tortilla chips with fresh guacamole ($7.50)
  • sweet plantains with picadillo, a kind of ground beef ($7.75)
  • camarones al ajillo: shrimp, white wine, in garlic butter ($7.25)
  • chorizos: spicy Spanish sausages in red wine ($6.95).

The ceviche ($8.95) was really really good, fresh white fish marinated in lime juice and herbs with diced peppers, onions and corn.

My favourite was the frituras de maís ($6.95), peppery corn fritters and sour cream. Hot and crunchy on the outside, sweet and soft inside.

Julie's Cuban Restaurant, TorontoThe ropa vieja ($16.95) was our only main plate. It’s shredded beef in a tomato sauce with red and green peppers, garlic, served with rice and ripe plantains. The photo doesn’t do it justice because it was delicious.

We also ordered a litre of sangria ($32.50), which was disappointingly bland. A mojito was deemed “not bad.”

We left hungry, but again it’s not fair to Julie’s. We could’ve eaten a whole roasted pig that night and probably still would’ve been munchy. I whole-heartedly recommend this place for a great date or a quiet night with friends who don’t have ridiculous appetites.

Julie’s Cuban Restaurant, 202 Dovercourt Rd., Toronto, (416) 532-7397. Reservations recommended. Open Tues-Sun, 5:30 pm to closing. Closed Mondays. Menu here.

Julie's Cuban Restaurant, Toronto