John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown

4.6
579 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Seafood
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 579 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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Y
Toronto
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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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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
13 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
3 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
3 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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SG
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and food as usual. The only issue was just a bit cold where we sat.

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C
Stuttgart Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Four of us ate there this week for dinner. Happy hour oysters were very small but fresh. Tuna tartare is outstanding and my halibut too. Other items were very good. Waitress was not friendly or engaging and hope this was a one off. Beer selection needs major upgrade to reflect their stated focus on local. Would only go back for lunch to have the Tuna Tartare though Modus Ristorante has one that rivals too.

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CT
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

I had the oysters and a lobster roll. Was sick for the following 48 hrs.

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C
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food! The oysters are some o& the best I’ve ever had. Ryan does a great job. I’m from Arizona and had business in Toronto. I’ll be back there and definitely make John and Sons a stop when I visit.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was great except table of regulars, 3 women that were very loud and every second word was the F word, kinda ruins the dinning experience, vulgar and loud mouth , no class

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OT
Toronto
111 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always consistantly great. Lived the scallops today and my wife love fish and chips. Service was fantastic from Colleen

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great date here. Split a fish and chips and a bunch of their Salten Rock oysters. Fun time. Good service.

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OT
Kansas City
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 5ambience 1

Small cramped unattractive place.

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BR
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place, tucked away on Temperance St, offered a great night of delicious cocktails, fresh seafood and people watching. Perched at the bar, we could take in all of the action in this packed little restaurant. Ask for a variety of oysters and you get a beautiful platter with and explanation of where each oyster is from and what order it would be best to eat them in. Our seafood extravaganza main course was unique and delicious with an addictive mussel salad that was acidic enough to cut the richness of the lobster and shrimp, but not so acidic to blow out your taste buds. We really didn’t want to leave so we enjoyed some port and dessert, which was also fantastic. Just go.

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MB
Calgary
12 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time, had a fabulous set of oysters and sampled some appetizers. Really a great little spot.

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TC
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Small, neighbourhood spot, with a great variety on the menu. Good for pescatarians and carnivores alike, there are fish dishes among all the seafood. With tightly packed tables, as well as bar seats, the noise level is noticeably high. Food is fantastic though, and always fun to try the daily oyster specials. Will go again.

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JR
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food was awesome and the staff made it even better!

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