555 Dundas Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 2B7Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: CAN$30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://paintboxbistro.ca/
- Phone: 6477480555x
- Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Contemporary European, Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
- Executive Chef: Chris Klugman
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
- Catering: Paintbox Bistro offers full catering and event planning services for parties up to 4,000. Ask for a tour of our brand new catering kitchen!
- Entertainment: Paintbox offers a unique venue in Toronto, intimate and with fine accoustics.
See events page on our website for details.
A word from Paint Box
Paintbox cuisine is a playful celebration of local bounty , full of inspiration from the community, a balance of sound culinary technique and whimsy, and featuring intense, earthy flavours and naturalistic presentations – simply beautiful.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Paint Box - Best Restaurants in Cabaggetown ›
Paint Box reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since May 24, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (18)great for brunch (8)kid-friendly (8)good for groups (8)great for lunch (8)special occasion (5)fit for foodies (5)hot spot (4)vibrant bar scene (4)great for outdoor dining (3)late-night find (2)romantic (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
- Junior Jazz Jam!geegzDined on 8/16/2014The Junior Jazz Jam was excellent, lots of audience participation. The only complaint might be to have more sturdy tables next to the stage. :)Special Features:
- Try againd123Dined on 8/16/2014I was so happy to meet a friend for a second Jr. Jazz Jam breakfast at the Paintbox, but unfortunately this experience was lacking. The young wait staff was polite and great when he arrived, but very slow to arrive and hard to find later. My order was disappointing and not well presented...a flat frittata in a round bowl, not fully cooked in the middle, with an odd assortment of greens atop it. My friend's order was fine, but overall the service needed to be better. In spite of this I really like what the Paintbox is doing in the neighbourhood and will definitely try again, maybe at a different time of day or evening.Special Features:
- Poor Sound SystemluvfoosicDined on 6/28/2014I made reservations for dinner and paid for tickets to attended a retirement concert for Archie Alleyne at the Paint Box. The restaurant was overcrowded, people walked in off the street and stood in front of our table so that we could not see the stage. Most disappointing was the terrible sound system.Special Features:
- Very poorly managed.TomBDined on 6/28/2014We were ignored while people around received drinks and appetizers. It took forever to get anybody's attention. Main course arrived before our cocktails. Everything took way too long. Hostess was clueless. Management was scurrying around organizing chairs while customers were being ignored. Understaffed. We had to track down wait staff ourselves to get any service. Sound quality was terrible, and musicians couldn't be heard. Only acceptable part of the experience was that the food was good and well priced.Special Features:
- Loved the Archie Alleyne gig!WoolymammothDined on 6/28/2014Wow, it was a terrific nite of tribute to Archie Alleyne, especially listening to Jackie Richardson sing her heart out and Sandy McGregor on piano, and great bass (can't remember his name)!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SoulpepperSubscriberDined on 6/27/2014Ordered Caesar salad to start but they brought a garden salad and only brought it with the main course instead of as a starter. Ordered medium-well steak and it came rare so sent it back. Ordered sweet potato fries and got regular fries. Friendly service and tried to compensate by not charging for the fries and the salad. Restaurant needs some overseeing by management I think.Special Features:
- Clean and well-runThimcdoDined on 6/22/2014Great room for a show during the Jazz Festival. Clean and well-run kitchen. A little too stark for my liking as a restaurant. I probably expected too much from the menu and the bar service.Special Features:
- jazz in Regent Park!RiskmannDined on 6/20/2014our main purpose in going to Paint Box was to listen to some jazz from a new find for us. We enjoyed a normally priced cocktail, (whoever heard of an $8 martini?!) before dinner. The club part of the venue was being set up during cocktails, so we waited. Once we went in to the club, and actually ordered dinner, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality coming out of the kitchen. The food was hot and cold when it should be and done to a turn, the service was attentive but not overbearing and the jazz was delightful. The venue was not overrun, so we even managed to sneak in a dance along the way. This is a hidden treasure and the staff are working hard to maintain it. Very enjoyable and well worth a return visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bistro is very goodDougDined on 6/7/2014Really liked this restaurant. The facility is quite new and was very clean (especially the bathrooms :)) The staff were friendly and the food was quite good. The beautiful grand piano was a highlight too.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Feast for body and soulcelebrATEDined on 6/6/2014We enjoyed our dinners very much - the steak frites a particular favourite. The servers were helpful , friendly, engaging and our meals arrived in a timely way, were beautifully presented. There was a lovely nut brown ale that we all thought was a great pairing with the pub-food entrees. The music of Mike Janzen, George Koller and Larnell Lewis flowed perfectly from our food and fellowship. Their individual and collective brilliance made for a memorable evening as the whole was once again greater than the sum of the parts. Concerns? The wine list choices aren't great and by the glass was stingyI would recommend this to a friend.
- Pre-event dinnernearneighbourDined on 6/5/2014My first visit to Paintbox. Reviews were varied, but our experience was very good and I would certainly come again and recommend it to others.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A very nice surpriseoperaloverDined on 6/4/2014Given that the Paint Box is in Regent Park, we didn't know quite what to expect. We rarely get into the area, but we were very agreeably surprised both by the changes that have taken place in Regent Park and by the restaurant. The meals my wife and I had included a very good lentil soup, tasty crab cakes, and a better-than-competent frittata. My glass of Niagara Peninsula Pinot Grigio was reasonably priced. Definitely recommended!Special Features:
- Local shinesLiseBiseDined on 6/1/2014A bright, colourful room, a casual atmosphere with friendly but not overbearing wait staff, a large, if egg-centric, brunch menu and a well-priced Ontario wine list, Paintbox might well become my new brunch go-to place. We were particularly delighted with our server. Our frittata was a bit on the dry side, but everything else was top notch. I'll definitely be back to try out lunch and dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently unevenCleoVIPDined on 5/31/2014Second time here. Both times very mixed experiences. Some dishes done very well some absolutely dreadful. A mixed greens salad with popped rice and compressed apples had virtually no dressing and the popped rice was just some cold clumped wild rice with perhaps melon balled rounds of apple, we couldn't tell. Also we thought the radicchio was wilted and brown but we were told it had been grilled at the edges - in any case, not very appetizing. The steak was well cooked and the fries were terrific. A salmon was also good but not cooked med. rare as requested. Lemon tart was nice and tart. Service is very sweet and polite but completely haphazard. They removed my tea from the bill as it arrived so late.Special Features:
- Good Jazz and FoodseenitallDined on 5/24/2014Went to see Pat Labarbra quartet. Food was freat, and the show terrificSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 76 reviews are from the Paint Box reviews archive.
- Very poor serviceTheatregoersDined on 5/12/2014Never greeted @ the door. Had to seat ourselves. Waited 20 minutes for someone to bring the menu. Wait staff not sure if first choice was available. Had to re-order because what was picked on the menu was no longer available. Took 1hr.before food came. Coffee was cold, spilled on to the table because the cups were filled to the brim. We arrived @ 5pm, got our food @ 6:15, left @ 6:55. Not a good dining experience. My guest travelled from Brampton & I travelled from Oakville.Special Features:
- poor brunch buffetAsolankiDined on 5/11/2014We went for Mother's day brunch. We have had brunch several times before, but this time we were surprised that it was a brunch buffet. Normally we love the regular brunch menu, but this time we were unpleasantly surprised by a sub-par buffet, which costed more, for something that was really lacking. Most of the food was cold, there was minimal service, and overall a disappointing experience. Paint box bistro, please don't venture out on a buffet again, you do a lovely regular brunch.Special Features:
- Poor service and foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/2/2014We were attending a play next door and wanted some place close to eat beforehand. The steak was cold and well done (ordered medium rare), the soup had no flavour and tasted like warm water, and they forgot the sorbet that comes with the dessert. Every time we needed a waiter (water, salt, cutlery, more wine) we could never find him. When we asked some one else they told us he was awfully busy! To top the evening off they charged us for beer on our bill which we did not order. Do not go here ... you will be disappointed!
- painting party munchiesluvjazzDined on 4/30/2014Went to the paint party event April 30th and it was so much fun. The munchies/appetizers were good. The servers were quick, friendly and attentive. Even though we were not dining the food presentation was great. Would go to this event on a monthly/semi-monthly basis if it were offered at the Paint Box.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Jazz for LoversStardustDined on 4/12/2014I found the Paint Box delightful; the proprietor was friendly, the ambiance pleasant, and the Jazz great. The menu was adequate, the wait staff pleasant. The noise level was sometimes too loudSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- magnet to a new neighbourhood!EGLFDined on 4/9/2014This restaurant has a conscience. It is a member of B-Corp, hires young people who have needed social assistance to get into the hospitality industry, strives to produce good and interesting food at reasonable prices, has jazz in a lovely second room and is in a revitalized area of the city that needed it badly. It is also a few feet from a theatre, beautiful new community centre/pool and soon to be big park. Perfect.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Jazz for kidsOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 3/29/2014Nice place to have a concert for kids. My two sons were very engaged with the music. Excellent food, Love the freshly squeezed orange juice.Special Features:
- great food on dundas.birthday5Dined on 3/22/2014Stopped in for dinner at the Paint Box before going to the Daniel Spectrum theatre to see Elegies. Put both on your must see/do list. The restaurant, bright clean and with great views of the street presented us with a small but excellent menu. The waitress and staff were outstanding. The pasta was great, large flat noodles with fresh cherry tomatoes, terrific veggie burger served on Nan, great fresh fish. Wonderful apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. Everything tasted fresh, home-made and a little unusual (in a good way) It looks like they open for jazz evenings, and I must say, that I'd make the drive all the way down town just to eat there again.Special Features:
- Has potential, needs a lot of workOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/1/2014Went on one of their special live music nights. Appetizer: soup - tasty, not amazing; fish cakes - very good Main: pork ribs with kale and mash - pretty "meh" Dessert: chocolate terrine - tasty; apple crumble - also tasty (both decent, just a little something sweet to finish the meal) Couldn't get two different drinks we ordered off their menu. Our server was very friendly, but possibly just very new and will (hopefully) get better with practice. Were given incorrect bills twice. We had been charged each item a la carte instead of the prix fixe deal. When alerted, he offered to charge our credit cards as is then reimburse us the difference with cash. We asked him to just fix the bills. Hope he wasn't over-charging the other tables too.Special Features:
- Mediocre food slow serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/20/2014Small portions. Food very slow to arrive. Soup cold, had to send back to reheat which took ages. Waitress forgot spoon. Overall an expensive lunch. Will not repeat.
- Food for thoughtluvjazzDined on 2/14/2014The atmosphere and staff were great. Went Feb 14/14 The food portions were too small and needed more than one dessert choice. The debt machine was not operating and have to pay at the cashier. That was a bit inconvenient. The taste and quality of the food was fantastic, again the portions were to small. More of the side dishes could have been served. Went to the kitchen to compliment the chef's and received no acknowledgement and a cold reaction. That was odd to me. None the less the staff were so great that it made the short falls easier to take.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Didn't Meet ExpectationsECoastFoodieDined on 2/5/2014We went for winterlicious -- first year this restaurant participated in the event. Since winterlicious is set at a reasonably low price, we were satisfied with our meal. However, I wouldn't recommend for winterlicious or otherwise. The food was good but nothing special.Special Features:
- Too littleOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 2/5/2014Portions are far too small, though quality is excellent. Tuna appetizer brilliant, but needed crackers, bread, or bruschetta. Mashed potatoes with brisket can be increased X6. Lemon tart dessert perfect in every way.Special Features:
- NEVER AGAINOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 1/23/2014NO NO NO NO NO Too bad, I get that it is a community project cafe, and i would like to support it, but WAY WAY over priced Bad service, because they had no staff, wrong wine came to table (but you dare not send it back) They have no clue about portion control - 5 gnocchi does not make a $17 pasta dish. This cafe will die soon, and something else will move in .......Good! BBATW
- Not good and expensive!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 1/18/2014Service was poor, with cutlery dropped on the floor, and the drinks under-poured. The food was not good. In fact the desert, a chocolate brownie, was so tough and stale that it couldn't be cut with a spoon without a chunk flying off to the floor. This meal cost $30.00, and then on top of that was the $20 cover charge for the music. We found out after booking that it is staffed with George Brown hospitality students, which is no recommendation for that course! The place is extremely noisy because of all the hard surfaces, and one has to almost yell to be heard across the table. The decor is more school-cafeteria than jazz-club, with bright lighting and worn wooden tables.
- Cabbagetown OptionsMozart1Dined on 1/11/2014Our first time visit to Paint Box was delightful. Employees were courteous and friendly; food was delcious with "right-sized" portions. We happened to make a reservation on an "Event" night where only a pre-fixe was available, but there were several choices for the starters and mains. Thanks! We'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bright LightsBeebeeDined on 1/11/2014We came for dinner and jazz last Saturday night. Main criticism is that there is no ambiance for jazz. If the lights were turned down, some candles lit, a bit of club-like atmosphere would help immensely. It came off as amateurish.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SpecialSUSIEDined on 1/10/2014A really unique community based restaurant with a beautiful menu that the server was very familiar with.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good time had by all!CeepeeDined on 11/2/2013Attended the Paintbox for a CD launch by the great jazz singer, Allyson Morris! A set price menu ($30)was prepared for the evening, with a choice of carrot soup or salad, beef brisket pie, trout or pasta, and berry crumble with ice cream for dessert. There were 8 of us at the table, and all the meals were highly rated. Service was a bit spotty, but reasonable considering the crowd! The wine list was reasonably prices. Would definitely go there again, on a quieter evening!Special Features:
- I have never had worse serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 10/28/2013I have never had worse service in any restaurant, and this was almost empty for lunch. Surly, uncommunicative staff at first, then garrulous whining. Food was OK, especially salads, but this place needs a short, sharp shake-up.
- Was very disappointed. I heardDisappointeddinerDined on 10/10/2013Was very disappointed. I heard that the food was good but the service was terrible. Unfortunately did not even find the food good.
- Enjoyable, delicious food, loved itFranticDined on 10/9/2013Very good food, not impressed with wine list and thought service was lacking in being attentive to us.Special Features:
- Not greatOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/9/2013The food was either over cooked or undercooked, depending on who ordered what. We told staff about it and all we got was a shrug. Our sides came out after we finished our mains though we asked about them repeatedly. Our server told us they were out of dessert, then a table who was seated after us was offered a variety of desserts. We were told on the phone that the meat would be Halal (1/2 of our table are Halal eaters) and then none of it was that day.
- After Work DrinkGetTogetherDined on 8/9/2013We enjoyed our time at Paintbox Bistro for an after-work drink.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Really lovely dinner lastRiversideDined on 7/25/2013Really lovely dinner last Thurs. Great food: innovative , delicious and well executed. All three courses were good and each had innovative touches (eg lemon curd with a tiny dollop of dulce di leche and raspberries) that really made food special. Salad and dressing light and fresh and their spin on fish and chips (tuna with light breading on outside and 3xbaked potatoes) was delicious. Friendly, attentive staff. Def. will be backSpecial Features: