toronto restaurant feuds

5 legendary Toronto restaurant feuds

Restaurants, in many ways, can be like families - with dynamics that can be nurturing or volatile. As an outside observer and potential patron, it's not all bad: these rivalries between eateries and chefs often result in price wars and offer diners a chance to decide for themselves who does it better.

I've rounded up five of the Toronto food scene's most legendary feuds - all well-publicized instances where a line in the sand has been drawn, either by competing directly for the same clientele or by getting lawyers involved.

Paoletti's vs. Dante's
When restaurant namesake Dante was ousted by the new management, he started from scratch by opening a new establishment ... directly across the street. Paoletti's takes the family name for this new take-out and delivery spot, and is serving up the same family pizza recipes as always. The new spot knocks a couple bucks off what has always been considered pricey pizza in an effort to win back its longtime clientele.

King Place vs. King Palace
These two Pakistani eateries have deceivingly similar names and almost identical menus. The two restaurants are in no way affiliated, and are the perfect example of sparring exes. The restaurants only share similarities because King's Place proprietor (and ex-partner at King's Palace), the self-appointed Mr. Butt, replicated the original restaurant to a tee after parting ways in 2012.

Burrito Boyz vs. Burrito Bandidos
Joe Vassallo and Ian Angus ended their partnership in 2008 when Burrito Boyz was just a fledgling franchise with three locations. Since the split, both Burrito Boyz and Burrito Bandidos have continued to offer what is essentially the same product, and both are thriving. Burrito Boyz now boasts over 20 locations while Burrito Banditos has five outposts - personally, I'm not sure I've eaten at either since 2008.

Dufflet vs. Sweet Olenka's
The Toronto Star reports that Dufflet has staked its claim on the term "cakelet" and sent a cease and desist letter to Sweet Olenka's for trademark infringement. Even though Olenka's spelled theirs "cakelette" (in reference to its diminutive size), and the cake products aren't even all that similar, they bowed to the pressure, renaming the dessert the "cakester."

Pai vs. Khao San Road
Nuit Regular gained acclaim in the kitchen of Khao San Road but since leaving has gone on to open her own empire of Thai restaurants (including Sabai Sabai and Sukhothai). According to local lore, the Financial District location chosen for Pai is no accident, but rather a strategic play to court the same customers who once lined up down the street for her pad thai.

Did I miss any? Leave your picks for Toronto's biggest restaurant feuds in the comments.


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