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The Best Restaurants in Woodbridge

Posted by Guest Contributor / June 11, 2012

Woodbridge RestaurantsThe best restaurants in Woodbridge have an Italian bent. For over thirty years Woodbridge has been a haven for Italian-Canadian families. For those not blessed with a nonna in the family, a Woodbridge restaurant or bakery/hot table is often the next best thing. For the purpose of this list, we'll focus on sit-down restaurants, from fine dining to casual, within the official borders of Woodbridge. The majority of these restaurants serve dishes from the boot-shaped peninsula but there are two exceptions.

Note: There are many fine restaurants outside of Woodbridge though still inside the Vaughan boundary, such as Vicentina Fine Foods in Concord, Yang's Teppanyaki & Sushi in Maple and The Doctor's House in Kleinburg just to name a few.

Here is my list of the best restaurants in Woodbridge.

See also:

8 great Italian bakeries in Woodbridge

Writing by Gina Bucci

Desserts Plus

Desserts Plus

My love affair with Desserts Plus' seafood risotto (shrimp, scallops, mussels & calamari in a red sauce) began at the original, cramped location. Now that the Piselli brothers have moved the family business to a larger space with an extra room and even a hall upstairs to accommodate special occasions, they are still packed all the time. While you’re waiting on a table, take the time to go through their menu (with 22 wood oven-cooked pizzas to choose from). If there’s a type of pasta dish or sauce that you don’t see, they have no issues interpreting your instructions and making it for you. My favourite pizza here is Rocky’s Choice, a potato pie named after their late father and culinary inspiration. More »

Oca Nera

Oca Nera

The first time I tried finding this excellent restaurant I drove by it three times. It’s tucked behind a gas station at the corner of Pine Grove. When you do find it, you’ve got the right setting for a romantic dinner or an intimate private party. The atmosphere at Oca Nera is elegant and the service is expedient and friendly. The menu changes seasonally but tasty dishes such as the Shrimp a la Strega and the Wild Boar Gnocchi are always available. Seafood lovers take note - Rodney’s Oysters are a permanent feature and PEI lobsters are served every weekend. More »

Koganei

Koganei

Woodbridge has a few popular sushi restaurants. My favourite is Koganei. It was, perhaps on my fifth visit to this charming Japanese restaurant that I finally noticed a large artwork depicting a Japanese businessman from the 19th century suckling the ’teet’ of his lover or concubine, right there above the entrance bar. Under the erotic print they also display live seafood, including the largest gooyduck clam I’ve ever seen. When you get over the weird awesomeness and move on to ordering, start with the delicious Salad Roll then try their tasty Koganei Roll and Salmon Pizza. They also have a few Tatami rooms which are fun for small parties. More »

Ice Cream Patio

Ice Cream Patio

I should tell you up front, they have a small outdoor patio. The name refers to the interior of the restaurant, fashioned as an outdoor village of sorts. It’s not as elaborate as the pavilion in Caesar’s Palace but it’s cute. The name also suggests an emphasis on ice cream but they have a modest gelato bar. You know what, forget the name. They are on this list because this is one of the best places in Woodbridge to get an excellent wood oven-cooked pizza or focaccia. Their Soppressa sandwiches are wonderful too. More »

Bocconcino Ristorante

Bocconcino Ristorante

This family restaurant is one of the best kept secrets in town. The food is delicious and cheap! If you’re looking for dishes only an Italian grandmother would serve, then this is the place. Pasta fagiole, stuffed zucchini, Calabrese style baccala (salted cod), oven roasted rabbit, oso bucco, penne a la vodka (pasta in a vodka spiked rose sauce), the list goes on and on. The best part is you can easily stuff yourself silly for under $20. More »

Zafferano Ristorante

Zafferano Ristorante

The pasta dishes are the star at Zafferano and my favourite is the Fettuccine al Tartufo (homemade mushroom infused fettuccine tossed with a variety of mushrooms and topped with garlic, black truffle and olive oil sauce). Other notable items include the Beet Gnocchi and the Italian Style Eggrolls (stuffed with prosciutto, smoked mozzarella and veggies). More »

Galaxie Diner

Galaxie Diner

This is a diner of the greasy spoon variety but seeing as its Woodbridge and sloppy doesn’t exactly fly here, it is very clean and the service is fast. The setting is 50’s Hollywood, so be prepared to eat your breakfast with Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis staring at you. I like coming here on Sunday mornings and seeing as my morning usually starts at say 1pm, it’s a good thing they serve breakfast all day, every day. The best items are the omelettes (large and in charge). More »

Peperoncino Trattoria

Peperoncino Trattoria

Walking into this place is the closest you’ll come to stepping inside a Claudio Villa song. It’s kind of like what Toronto’s little Italy must have felt like in the 60’s. This family run restaurant has Luigi greeting you at the door and his wife Ida cooking some delectable traditional dishes such as homemade lasagna, wood oven pizzas (the Calabrese is the best) and the wonderful Linguini Vongole (pasta with clams and diced tomatoes in a white wine sauce). More »

Ricci's Pizzeria

Ricci's Pizzeria

If you’re looking for a satisfying veal sandwich or need a party sized pizza with a side of wings to go, Ricci’s is a logical choice. For me however, Ricci’s is on this list because they have the best panzerotti in town. Now, I can’t speak for the fried version of this behemoth because I have never enjoyed a fried panzo. They just taste different and to be honest a huge mound of fried dough scares me a little. But the baked panzos at Ricci’s are incredible. Now, take the rest of the night off because if you can finish it, you will be in a food coma for a couple of hours afterward. Also, be sure to get spiced olives and a side marinara or meat sauce for dipping. Then call it a night. More »

Discussion

62 Comments

TJ / June 11, 2012 at 09:14 am
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My Woodbridge friends are going to flame this list...
OOO_____OOOO / June 11, 2012 at 09:16 am
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I look forward to the Best Dry Cleaners in Oakville installment.
JoeParez / June 11, 2012 at 09:22 am
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Did you really put Galaxie Diner and Ricci's pizza on this list? While leaving out Ginza and Mastro Roberto's trattoria?
sanjay / June 11, 2012 at 09:40 am
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maybe the next article should be the Best fried chicken in Barrie?
Welshgrrl / June 11, 2012 at 10:13 am
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Cue bitching about "This is BlogTO, not BlogGTA" in 3 ... 2 ... oh wait its already happening *yawn*
KSS / June 11, 2012 at 11:06 am
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Gina, thanks for this list. I really have been waiting for this list! Ignore the negative comments.
Arrow / June 11, 2012 at 11:25 am
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I can't wait for the best Gluten Free finger food restaurants in Whitby list.
Sarah / June 11, 2012 at 11:27 am
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GALAXIE DINER?!!
easy-E / June 11, 2012 at 11:38 am
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wow, no mastro roberto or autostrada. im wary about this article.
Michael / June 11, 2012 at 11:44 am
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Bocconcino really is great. Try their home-made hot peppers on some bread.
Dan / June 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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What about ZiZi Trattoria on Hwy 7 ? By far one of the better resto's with family recipes and great flavour !
Gina Bucci (The writer on this one) / June 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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Hey Everyone,

These are MY favourite restos/ places to eat in Woodbridge. Some are unconventional (and apparently controversial??) for sure but I fully explain why they are on the list. You all mention some good ones that are not there currently and if a sequel is in order then I shall consider them for sure.

Woodbridge critics - stop hating and start eating. The food up there is wonderful.

Salut ;-)

Thanks for reading...
BBQ / June 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm
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I'll try to overlook how terribly written this is, but I can't believe you failed to include Memphis BBQ on this list:


http://www.memphisbbq.ca/
wtfskies / June 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm
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where the hell is woodbridge? isn't woodbridge that stretch of st. clair west of dufferin? either way, too far north for this guy.

that galaxie diner sure looks fantastic though.
Gina Bucci / June 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm
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Re: BBQ- well, that's not very nice is it? And why, because your restaurant doesn't appear here?
I do like Memphis and like I said a sequel is order, so please mind your P's & Q's...
Larionov / June 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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how about cleanest public toilets in the city?

could be useful!
Teresa / June 11, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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I personally think that this is a great list. I have been to almost all restaurants and would agree with the author's choices. Thanks for the informative piece!
Moose / June 11, 2012 at 02:27 pm
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Nice list. I'm enjoying these outer area lists. +1 for Desserts Plus. Service is spotty but the food is always good. Also a good dinner place for large parties.
amy / June 11, 2012 at 03:38 pm
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Those are some beautiful looking locations! /sarcasm
Chris / June 11, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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I try to eat at Koganei at least one per month. Their business lunches are a great value!
Joe Scratch / June 11, 2012 at 04:27 pm
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To be fair the list says Best Restaurants in Woodbirdge. If you don't like it you don't have to read it.

Woodbridge has come to define much more then it originally was, this list would be more accurately be named "Best Restaurants in Vaughan"

With lots of condos going up and the TTC coming up in a few years, Vaughan is becoming more urban then even parts of Toronto (Sorry Scarborough)

I would add to the list:

Autostrada (Near Vaughan Mills.) - Italian restaurant that holds its own against anything Toronto has to offer
Memphis BBQ (Islington and 7) - Amazing ribs and smoked wings
Avenue Market Cafe (In Klienburg) - Cosy modern bistro with authentic regional italian cuisuine and wood fired oven pizza
Yang's Teppanyaki (Near Vaughan Mills) - Best Japanese In the Area and nightly Teppanyaki shows
La Grill (Hwy 7 and Keele) - Middle Eastern Cuisine
All Stars Wings (Jane and Rutherford) - IMO Better then the original


Haters / June 11, 2012 at 04:54 pm
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Lol look at these stupid haters. There is life north of Steeles, dumb asses.
Danielle / June 11, 2012 at 05:03 pm
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Oca Nera should really be number one on this list. Desserts Plus' portions are offensively large. Memphis BBQ should also be in the top 10. Steve agrees!!!
umimpressed / June 11, 2012 at 05:28 pm
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REALLY? DESSERTS PLUS? This list just gives people one more thing to razz us about.
person that lives in vaughan / June 11, 2012 at 05:44 pm
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i'm not too sure about deserts plus being number one...
Gina Bucci (The writer on this one) / June 11, 2012 at 06:03 pm
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Re Danielle - Oh I didn't number the restos when I wrote this. It's meant to be a random list of my favourite restaurants in that area.
InTheCity / June 11, 2012 at 06:05 pm
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Why is anyone shocked when people comment on how useless a list of this sorts is. When I have to scroll on that map miles north just to see the restaurants, shouldn't the editors of blogto wonder "will this be useful for the readership of blogto". The answer is NO BECAUSE NOBODY IN THE CITY IS GOING TO GO ALL THE WAY TO WESTON AND THE 401 FOR A DESSERT

thank you and goodnight
Liam replying to a comment from InTheCity / June 11, 2012 at 07:47 pm
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Because you are ignorant and self-centred and have no concept that Toronto is more than that which is south of Bloor/Danforth...no one really cares if you won't go ALL the way to Weston/401 for dessert...but guess what genius? Some people actually do and are probably better off for it than you. You should try leaving your house once in a while...it'll go a long ways to you getting an actual life.
Oknarf / June 11, 2012 at 09:06 pm
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Not a bad list at all. People need to lighten up a bit.
Dude / June 12, 2012 at 08:25 am
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Desserts Plus is horrible - everything is covered in butter. It tastes like bad banquet hall food.

Oca Nera on the other hand is an amazing restaurant.
Ricky replying to a comment from Liam / June 12, 2012 at 09:16 am
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Gina -Thanks for the list. I live downtown, but often travel to the GTA, this list will come in handy. I think it's smart for BlogTO to expand, given the large population of people/resto's in the GTA.

Ignore the trolls and keep up the good work!
Abe replying to a comment from InTheCity / June 12, 2012 at 01:01 pm
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for the record, Weston and the 401 is Toronto. It's also nowhere near Woodbridge.
Sir Mix Alot / June 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Desserts Plus is disgusting. I don't live in woodbridge but I have been there enough to know that this list is pretty horrid. I usually like BlogTo's lists but wow. Desserts Plus?? ew.
Chris / June 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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I can't speak to the food at any of these places (never been)so I'll trust the author that they're decent, but I have to say the photos look like these places are all located in drab, dreary industrial parks and strip plazas. Not terribly enticing, I'm afraid.

I have been / June 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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Okay seriously Dessert Plus is terrible.
WOW Galaxie Diner is disgusting...been there, and won't be back.
Ricci, pizza isn't bad but the rest of the food is terrible.
I am surprised you didn't put McDonalds and Diary Queen on Hwy 7 on the list, based on your other selections.
InTheCity replying to a comment from Liam / June 13, 2012 at 11:09 pm
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you clearly cared enough, judging by that response. If going all the way up there makes people "better off for it" than me, then I feel for them. You're right-I NEVER leave my house.

I feel for people like you
Torontotony / June 16, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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Is it April 1st yet?

Seriously????? Galaxie Diner?
Where's Autostrada or Mastro Roberto?

Ricci makes a great pie, but everything else on the menu is just an alternative to Pizza Pizza.
Brian Jakovina / June 16, 2012 at 03:09 pm
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So...I'm pretty disappointed in this list. 1. Because Galaxie Diner is on it (sit down restaurant? Are you kidding me?) and 2. because there are a few take out places (really) listed...including Ricci's.
I won't touch on the fact that Zafferano is #6 and that Desserts Plus beats them. But whatever.
Here are my top 5 categorized:

Sit Down:
1. Zafferano
2. AutoStrada
3. Motorino
4. Market Lane Pizzeria
5. Vin Santo
Honorable Mention: Oca Nera (I have never been but L raves about it. I don't like where it's located)
I will say I do enjoy Desserts Plus and Ice Cream Patio :: they are old-timers but very generous with their portions and always good.

Best TakeOut:
1. Memphis
2. Szechuan Szechuan
3. Ricci's
4. 5 Guys (yes, you can call ahead!)
5. Burrito Burrito

Best Hot Table/Italian Take Out:
1. Centro Panini
2. St. Philip's Bakery (rice balls!)
3. Emily's Bakery
4. Ciao Roma (pizza slices by weight!)
5. Dino Panino (spicy olives! and pretty good take out pasta)

Enjoy!
Marie / June 16, 2012 at 06:02 pm
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This is actually ridiculous. This isn't the "Best Restaurants in Woodbridge." This is one person's version of what might be decent restaurants in Woodbridge--the author admits such.

This is hardly like the "Best of" sections that Blog TO typically puts out.
joe mama replying to a comment from Joe Scratch / June 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm
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One thing that makes "downtown" unique is the different zoning laws. Being able to see both commercial and residential properties intermingled among a block of nicely restored Victorian homes. In Vaughan, no matter how populated it becomes, you'll just see more of the same sub divisions completely isolated from the super-mondo mega strip plaza's equipped with outlet stores, movie theatres, and huge parking lots like you see pictured above. Not to mention the traffic would be so much worse, and is currently getting pretty bad.
Chris replying to a comment from Haters / June 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm
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... but is there? ...I mean...C'mon!
Lord Lansdowne / June 22, 2012 at 10:44 am
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Ricci should front and centre. Great pizzas, great food, great service, great prices that beats any other more expensive place that caters the same type of delicious carbs. Dessert Plus is great too, still family run and operated by the Pisellos. Incredible food there. And don't forget "Gran Gusto" right next to "Studio on 7". If you like home made pasta, it's fantastic.
Lilian replying to a comment from InTheCity / June 24, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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Dude, calm down/get over yourself. At some point you'll have to come to the realization that BlogTO's readership dont all live in Kensington Market. It's really that simple.

Now...please breathe.
tito / June 26, 2012 at 11:12 am
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I
Luca / July 10, 2012 at 03:51 am
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Oca Nera should definitely be first. It easily can go head to head with any Italian restaurant downtown. Galaxie and Pepperoncini should not be on this list. While I agree that Memphis should be on this list, Rub BBQ on 7 and Pine Valley is much better. Having lived in 'the Bridge for the almost two decades, I know that, regardless of age, ethnicity, or musical preference, everyone in this town knows how to eat, and therefore, Woodbridge is full of the harshest food critics known to man. Gina Bucci, good for you in putting this article together. It took balls
dm / July 11, 2012 at 06:35 pm
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I ran away from the 'bridge' cause the resturants are over rated.
Danielle / July 11, 2012 at 09:43 pm
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who creates a list of the top restaurants and then says they aren't in numerical order?? i mean....hahahhaa
Dennis Escalante / July 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm
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Can't wait for BlogTO's best VCR repair in Milton list.
mc / August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm
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I live in Woodbridge, but am bred and born in downtown Toronto. I've been to the majority of the restaurants listed here, and can safely say none of them stand out in the crowd. There is very little to choose from in Woodbridge that would make you want to come "up" for the food. I was estactic when Grazie opened its doors near Vaughan Mills, but I just had lunch there last week and it already is lacking in taste (I've been to the Vaughan location before and in comparison, the recent visit was unremarkable). When it comes down to it, restaurants in Woodbridge/Vaughan are ok. I'm still searching for a great restaurant and I've been living here for 12 years. I think the "Woodbridgers" should venture south of Steeles to experience real gastronomic adventures. Try Sotto Sotto on Avenue Road, or Mistura, now that's good eatin'!
common sense / August 17, 2012 at 01:09 pm
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I went to Avenus in Kleinburg last night. The food and service was great, ambiance was also very lovely. It wasn't covered by stripmalls and home depots as some people here state. I live and work in the city, I was raised in york region. I find it somewhat bizarre that people who were born and raised in Toronto claim some level of superiority based on the geographic location of the home in which their parents raised them.

In truth, life and beauty exists everywhere - north and south of steeles - if you fail to recognize that, it likely is more representative or a narrow and short-sighted POV than it is about what actually exists in these cities/towns. I find that restaurants shoudl be judged on service, food, ambiance. If you can't manage to be open-minded and evaluate in this way because there is a Petro-canada nearby, then perhaps you should get out of your city block and realize that the more well-rounded opinions are based on knowledge and experience, not some self-indulgent false belief of superiority.

Just a thought...
OUCH!! / August 17, 2012 at 01:19 pm
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Sometimes when i read the comments of these so-called 'torontonians' in blogto, they actually remind me of the comments i hear from some americans, you know...the ones that sound so out of touch with everything outside their backyard that you almost wonder if they were home-schooled.

ironically, these 'torontoians' laughably think they're open-minded. which, in essence, makes them even more ridiculous than the aforementioned group of americans.

in closing, i'll leave you with this. you know that feeling of pity and being embarrassed for someone you get when you walk away from a person who thinks people in canada live in igloos and that canada is pronounced "canadia", that's the feeling most people get when they here 'torontonians' talk about anything outside the walls of their neighbourhood.

read a book, it'll do you some good :)
Joe replying to a comment from Gina Bucci (The writer on this one) / September 3, 2012 at 02:31 pm
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Il Cavallino. Right across from Memphis BBQ. Simply the best. Great Food. Great Service.

The Risotto is just to die for!!!
C / September 5, 2012 at 08:24 am
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For everyone that is being so critical about what restuarants were posted on here... maybe you didn't see the part where Gina wrote: "My list of best restaurants" meaning that's her opinion on what she likes. If your opinion and tastes differ, post your own list!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm
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Re Danielle - Oh I didn't number the restos when I wrote this. It's meant to be a random list of my favourite restaurants in that area.
Munah / November 13, 2012 at 04:45 pm
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Deserts Plus number one???? Probably the worst food and service Ive had in one place! Whoever deemed this as authentic Italian, is either A. not Italian B. doesnt know any better (eg. a mediocre cook or doesnt know how to cook) C. Hasnt been to Italy
Stag / December 26, 2012 at 01:04 pm
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Ok Gina, it's YOUR list of favorites; I get it. Having said that, I'd like to illuminate you on a couple of things:

1) Ricci's is not real pizza or panzerotti. It is no better than the crap Pizza Pizza gives you. Want real stuff? Try Libretto then go to Riccis and write a comparison.

2)Dessers Plus may have good food, but their attitude SUCKS. It's like they're doing ME a favour by dining there. Arrogant Ginos.
Natasha / January 24, 2014 at 02:20 pm
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Lara Kramer / May 12, 2014 at 02:08 pm
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How about Baton Rouge in Woodbridge, located at: 7520 Weston Rd? They offer two great coupons here. http://bestprintcoupons.com/Baton-Rouge-Woodbridge#.U3ENlvldXxA

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Antonio / June 16, 2014 at 05:10 pm
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I recommend that you check out Anna Maria Trattoria
tony / October 1, 2014 at 09:36 pm
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I would go more often to Woodbridge, if it wasn't for the people living there.
B / October 2, 2014 at 10:31 am
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I completely disagree with this list. Does the writer of the article even live in Woodbridge?
Michael / October 2, 2014 at 11:13 am
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Desserts Plus number one? That place the the very definition of 'quantity over quality'. I definitely agree with Koganei.

Vinsanto should also be on the list, probably the best Italian in Woodbridge.

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