Yorkville might seem to be populated by over-tanned blond anorexics in skimpy white outfits and tinted shades dashing from bistro to boutique in Jaguar XK8s, but others have been known to attend the film fest for the movies.
They also want to find fast, affordable food that won't make them regret a cheap lunch halfway through the next three-hour Patagonian blockbuster.
For several years, Roy's Square -- a laneway just south and east of Bloor and Yonge -- has attracted the budget-minded. It's quite the street scene -- instead of cars, the block is dominated by umbrellas, patio furniture and the occasional cyclist. A jazz trio often sets up under the mural.
By day, Biryani House (see sidebar) is a busy Indian take-away with a super meal deal, its $5.29 multi-dish thali. At night it turns into a first-rate sit-down diner. As well, there's Thai (Banana Leaf, 416-927-8255), Caribbean (the Ritz, 416-972-7480) and a secluded backyard patio at Toby's Goodeats (725 Yonge, 416-925-9908) around the corner if you want to grab a burger.
Popular Green Mango (730 Yonge, 416-928-0021) has opened a second spot across the street (Soup Stories, 707 Yonge, 416-930-5448) that specializes in Asian noodle soups (most $4.95). With its great view overlooking the park, Pho Hung (see sidebar) brings Little Saigon uptown. Back in the distant past -- November 1974 -- Okonomi House (23 Charles West, 416-925-6176) was considered cutting-edge. Today, its Japanese yakitori omelettes ($5.05 and up) seem quaint. And though swanky Patriot (131 Bloor West, 416- 922-0025) has lost remarkable chef David Chrystian to Accolade, it continues to offer its top-value $25 three-course prix fixe every evening.
Wanna see stars? Publicists regularly take their B-list celebrity clients to the atrium of Sassafraz (100 Cumberland, 416-964-2222), the private party room at Bistro 990 (990 Bay, 416-931-9990) and upstairs at Joso's (202 Davenport, 416-925-1903) to get their pictures in the paper.
Old-time show-biz types slurp goulash ($4.75) at the Coffee Mill (99 Yorkville, 416-920-2108) under autographed 8-by-10 glossies of Roger Ebert and Barbarella Amiel. Hipper industry people gather at Gus (1033 Bay, 416-923-8159) and ultra-chic Amber (119 Yorkville, 416-926-9037). But not on the patio. Strictly Siberia.