Chef Andrew Carter, the culinary talent behind The Queen and Beaver, is on a mission to restore the good name of pub fare in Toronto, and with his second restaurant in the city, he’s well on his way. The Oxley, situated in the heart of Yorkville, boasts an over-the-top dining room in intense greens and intricate floral wallpapers that screams “pub” as loudly as the menu, which is filled with classic British dishes like fish and chips, lamb curry and duck and potato pie. The rare roast beef sandwich ($18) is one of the best in town: thick slices of rare beef and pickled onions are slathered in horseradish-laden Tewkesbury mustard, and are only improved with the sweet and tart brown spread of pickled root vegetables that comes in a little dish. On the side is the requisite bag of house-made potato chips, freshly fried that morning and completely addictive. The Oxley being a pub, we’d be remiss if we didn’t sample a local ale along with lunch. The Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale ($7.25), with its slightly floral nose and refreshing crispness, fits the bill perfectly.
The cost: $32, including tax and top
The time: A little over an hour