Bo De Buyen 186 Spadina, at Queen W, 416-703-1247, bodeduyen.com.
Though it no longer serves sit-down meals, this Buddhist vegetarian café has temporarily evolved into a gourmet food shop. Its specialty: bags of frozen ready-to-stir-fry nuggets of Crispy Soy Chicken ($9). Call it the guilt-free General Tso's! Watch for BDB to finally reopen at 2219 Dundas West later this summer. Open daily 11 am to 6 pm. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN
Butter Chicken Factory 556 Parliament, at Prospect, 416-964-7583.
Virtually every Subcontinental kitchen in town does a version of butter chicken, but only this Cabbagetown cantina prepares three different versions of the buffet staple, including boneless breast or dark meat on the bone in mildly numbing tomato sauce punched with spice instead of whipping cream (all $12.99). Open for lunch Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 3 pm, dinner Monday to Thursday 5 to 10 pm, Friday to Sunday and holidays 5 to 10:30 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
Caplansky's 356 College, at Brunswick, 416-500-3852, caplansky.com.
Made from his mother's - former Ontario Health minister and federal Immigration minister Elinor Caplan - family recipe, Zane Caplansky's authentically retro chicken liver spread duplicates fancy French foie gras on the cheap ($6/$7 sandwich). Open Sunday to Tuesday 10 am to 10 pm, Wednesday to Saturday 10 am to 11 pm. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN
Le Petit Gourmet 1064 Yonge, at Roxborough, 416-966-3811. As picturesque as a Parisian postcard, Toronto's longest-running gourmet shop caters to la vie en rose, and its curried chicken salad studded with strawberries and cubed apple ($19/kilo) is second to none. Open Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 7:30 am to 6 pm. Closed Sunday. Unlicensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN
Makkah 1020 Danforth, at Donlands, 416-406-2056.
A dozen fire-engine-red wings, marinated in yogurt and fired in the tandoor until they're lightly blistered, served on a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, garnished with fresh coriander and dunked in sweet 'n' spicy tamarind sauce ($7). Open daily 11:30 am to 11 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN
Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder 699 St Clair W, at Christie, 416-658-9666, thestockyards.ca.
Tom Davis's righteous Carolina-style ribs usually get all the press, but his 2-pound grain-fed barbecued chickens ($14) are just as impressive, dry-rubbed in garlic and cumin and smoked upright over applewood for seven hours to render them virtually fat-free. Open Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5 pm till they sell out. Closed Monday, holidays. No reservations. Unlicensed. Access: steep ramp at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNNN