307 Spadina Ave., 416-792-1784
The owners of 416 Snack Bar have replicated the bourbon-jacked buzz that made their first place so fun. Peoples fills up in the after-work hours with Bay Street freshmen and chic young women flaunting bandeau bras, sleeve tattoos and status handbags. The dishes, made by the wandering former Top Chef contestant Dustin Gallagher, are divided between Chinese-American snacks and Jewish deli staples to represent the neighborhood’s dual heritage. The just-fatty-enough tongue sandwich with grainy mustard on a salt-crusted pretzel bun is the best thing to order. Deep-fried tofu cubes are a close second—golden-crisp with custardy centres, they’re an excellent version of the pan-Asian cheap eat. You can probably get better Peking duck on Spadina, but it won’t come with the fancy cocktails, craft beers and cred you get from hitting the latest hot spot.