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  • John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown

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John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
  • Address:
    56 Temperance Street
    Toronto, ON M5H 3V5
    Neighborhood:
    Downtown/ Financial District
  • Cuisine:
    Seafood
    Price: CAN$31 to CAN$50

John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.johnandsonsoysterhouse.com/
  • Phone: (416) 703-5111
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Sonia Potochnyj
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Private Dining
  • Private Party Contact: Natalie (416) 703-5111
  • Entertainment: Half table seating, half bar seating this place is a bustling neighborhood gem. It can get a little loud and it is supposed to; it's an Oyster Saloon. It's a small place and everyone is there to have a good time and relax a little bit. We are not perfect, we are not a place for every occasion but we try our hardest to ensure you leave happy.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Call Natalie at 416.703.5111

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bay and Adelaide
  • Public Transit: King or Queen Station
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
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.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "We had the crab cake (pretty good) on top of an arugula and picked carrot salad (delicious), fried smelt that came with lightly battered, not too hot whole peppers (yum), corn and shrimp fritters (delicious again), spicy shrimp tacos with fresh mango salsa and I think it was salsa verde, which also had chunks of avocado I'm it (amazing and my fave; one order has 3 tacos), and baked oysters (fresh and really tasty). Overall the food was excellent and very fresh. I also had a Bloody Caesar to which they add fresh shredded horseradish. It was one of the best Caesars I've had. The service was equally excellent. Our wait staff was attentive, friendly, genuine and very helpful. The service really elevated our dining experience. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Always a delicious meal and the oysters couldn't be fresher."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Tucked away on a small street in the business district is this small fish restaurant. It seemed quiet on a Tuesday evening - but picked up a little. Everyone enjoyed their food. It's not really a destination spot - but if you're in the area and want to find a little spot that doesn't feel overly manufactured - this may be the place."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Close to King & Bay, but hard to find nestled as it is in a narrow street surrounded by tall buildings, the restaurant serves consistently good food. Staff are comfortably casual and efficient. Great place to have lunch."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "- always excellent food; is a bit loud so wouldn't recommend a "quiet" anything! - service is okay, not great"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "This is a great restaurant that I continue to enjoy when I can in the centre of the city. If you have a love for Oysters or other seafood this is the place."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "My partner and I were excited to give John & Sons a shot. The restaurant's history was a cute hook, and the menu looked interesting and delicious. Unfortunately, bad service and a poorly constructed main course took away from what could've been an OK dinner. When we first arrived, a hostess brought us to our seats and chatted about the oyster selection, ultimately offering us a tasting platter. Great. Then she switched with a server who was at best passive aggressive and at worst outright rude. We ordered sliders (the reason we'd come) and were totally disappointed. Half were burnt and all were fairly bland. It's the service that really stuck us, though, and a shame because I would've branched out more on the menu if it'd been better. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Very expensive for what you get. we went to the downtown location, i hear the uptown location is better."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Booked the day before and was seated at the bar not at a table Food was overpriced"
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "Food is always fresh and a taste sensation. The place always has a nice buzz to it and service efficient and simple."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Unpretentious, small and cosy restaurant. The dishes that we tried were good but nothing outstanding. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "I love that this place is tucked away on Temperance and has an interesting legacy. A great spot for after work drinks and eats - the staff are friendly and just the right amount of attentive."
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Oysters are good but service is slow and both items we ordered off the hot menu were terrible :( "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "The vibe, food and service are Manhattan'esque! Never disappointed I just wish there were more like this in Toronto!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We started with oysters which were very expensive but poor quality and flavour relative to other experiences. The menu was limited with selections being small portions and far too expensive for quality of food served. The dessert menu consists of about two items neither of which were very appetizing. They had neither crab nor lobster. I would not visit again. If you're looking for seafood, starfish is much higher quality and better priced. I can always get lobster there!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Went to thank business partners for closing a financing. Each person on the team each enjoyed seafood and was comfortable in a friendly, informal and open setting. We had Oysters and Shrimp as appetizers, Scallops and Tuna for mains. Great white wine selection and consider the dining experience as A + for food, ambience and value. Happy I choose the location as it was easy for each person to walk to from their respective offices."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We started with oysters - some Irish and some from Massachussetts. All were fresh and delicious - little need for the accompaniments. The calamari appetizer was perfectly cooked and zinged with spice. The squash soup with smoked oysters was delicious. The deep fried smelts were overcooked but at least not too oily. The fried oyster sliders were better. The black cod main was Asian-flavoured and had a lovely broth to sip. The doughnuts and brownie for dessert were both excellent. The atmosphere was a bit noisy and the service was a bit inattentive towards the end of the meal, then improved for dessert."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "amazing food, amazing ambience, cool atmosphere. look forward to visiting again"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Takes advantage of the financial district crowd to charge high prices for just decent food. Service is poor, server sat at bar with friends more than actually seeing to his tables, then automatically added 20% gratuity to the bill. Better off going to Rodney's for oysters."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "excellent seafood and very good and knowledgeable service"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "I had reservations for Valentines Day, was seated on time. Overall the service was great, the oysters were outstanding. The other items on the menu that we had were great as well, the fare (portion size) is a little lighter. But, what I expected. The wine, beer and drink selections were very good as well. I will definitely re-visit this establishment on a future trip to Toronto."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My husband and I really enjoyed our experience at John and Sons. We had a wonderful, tasty selection of oysters (the main attraction for us), and some well prepared appetizers (clams and fried smelts). The atmosphere is simple, warm and cozy and the service was friendly and unpretentious. We were on our way to a music event and it was a great pre-show destination. Would recommend for couples on dates."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "There's no parking around the area. If you are coming from outside of downtown and are driving, allot time to find parking. Closest is city hall parking P. Not a suitable place for families. I think all tables were high tables. We went on Valentines Day and the reservation was for 5:30pm. Wasn't too busy but they informed us that our seat was good only until 7pm, which was plenty of time. The problem was..the staff was a bit slow to take our order. We got beverages and waited 15-20mins before being asked about our order. They must have been understaffed. We had the grilled shrimp app which was mediocre. Mains were arctic char which was a small portion but tasty. The other main was scallop risotto which was very delicious."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great service, good food, funky little spot and very consistent. Best fish and chips around."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Been to John and Sons a few times now, and never disappointed! The oysters are fantastic and a great bar list... The staff are friendly and provide awesome service."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "I have been to John & Sons a number of times and it is always delicious. Staff is friendly and attentive. Portions are on the small side and prices are on the high side, so bring your expense account. I often recommend it."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We were expecting a vibrant restaurant however john and sons turned out to be more like a bar.. not the best food and the appetizers were a let down.. will not return or recommend"
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Loved the Oyster Sliders and the Clam Chowder. I have been to the midtown location and it has a little more room."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Food is fantastic...the place is always bustling. We love coming here!"
    Dined on 12/9/2013
  • "Good food, consistently prepared and presented, with attentive staff. A real bistro in the heart of downtown (others are just faking it!)."
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "Oysters were of good quality. Other dishes were underwhelming, aside from a very good Octopus crudo. Shrimp tacos served on semi-rigid, almost fridge-cold tortillas. Service was peculiar, with our waitress taking plates away before we were finished the dishes on the table and at one point hovering over one of us while so she could take her plate away. Just bizarre. Overall, an adequate experience, but I don't think I'll be back. Much better options within a short distance of here."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "I don't know why people are so thrilled to go to this place! The music of the 80's and the risotto were great. Other than that, the PEI oysters were a disappointment (in comparison, they are superb at Rodney's Oyster House!) and the Sauvignon blanc at 22 dollars + tx for 8 onces was a big rip-off. The so-called Tahitian vanilla ice cream was definitely not one! Lots of loud big shots from the Finance world as clientele. 12 oysters + 1 risotto + a glass of Sauvignon blanc + an ice cream = $100, taxes and tips included. Won't go back."
    Dined on 9/26/2013
  • "Food tasted good but 3 scallops and 2 scoops of ordinary risotto for $29? Asking $55 for an 8 ounce glass of wine when you can buy the whole bottle for $20 in the LCBO? Loud and crowded."
    Dined on 9/25/2013
  • "I love the atmosphere and the vibe as well as the perfectly prepared food! I've been going here for years and have taken friends, business associates and even alone and it always works. It has a very lively bar to eat at even as a single. They always know their wine list and I should go more often!"
    Dined on 9/24/2013
  • "John & Sons Oyster House consistently provides wonderful food with great service in a fun atmosphere. Keep up the great work!"
    Dined on 9/18/2013
  • "The Black cod was delicious. The Fish and Chips absolutely outstanding. The bartender was charming. Waitress unpleasant. Desserts very good."
    Dined on 8/27/2013
  • "I'm a foodie and am out often for lunches and dinners. John & Sons is way overpriced and the portions are extremely small. I paid $28 (excluding tax and tip) for 3 scallops and some greens. I was insulted by the portion size relative to what I paid. The scallops were on the main course menu and the dish was a size of an appetizer. I even asked the waitress if she didn't forget the other half of my meal in the kitchen. Apparently she didn't. I remember a few years ago, it was difficult to get a table there and needed to make reservations in advance. This time, however, the restaurant was 1/2 empty. something changed... A customer can only be fooled once. I, definitely, won't be back Yelena"
    Dined on 8/16/2013
  • "One of the best places to go for Oysters in Toronto - only surpassed by their other location in Midtown Toronto"
    Dined on 8/12/2013
  • "Went for lunch with 2 colleagues. We shared fried oysters as an appetizer and they were delicious and scalding fresh from the kitchen. We saved the delicious smoky dip it comes with to dip our frites. We all had Moules & Frites for lunch, they were ok. The frites were delicious but a over salted. The mussels were good, but tiny and most of them were a bit mangled, maybe from overzealous stirring. The service was VERY slow and the server sometimes seemed a bit confused. We reserved for an early lunch and were the first to arrive in the restaurant. We sat for 15 minutes before they even took our order. The oysters arrived quickly, then the mussels took another almost 25 minutes while others around us seemed to be served very quickly"
    Dined on 7/31/2013
  • "Did my homework and read all the negative reviews about the noise level and service. Decided to still try this place out since it was beside for a quick late lunch. We were greeted by a very miserable hostess. Luckily, the other waitor/waitress who served us were pleasant. Agreed that the space is very tight and can get extremely noisy when packed. I had the mussels and it was good but nothing spectacular. Mussel Bowl 101 - please provide bread to dip into the broth :) Husband had the fish & chips. We've had better. The coleslaw however was very good but not paying $19 for just coleslaw. The prices are definitely steep. It was an average place would probably will not return for a repeat visit."
    Dined on 7/26/2013