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The Menu
No. 38: Bar Buca

No. 38: Bar Buca


Only Buca Executive Chef Rob Gentile would notice that the Toronto food scene had a major gap to fill in the form of a small Italian bar that had no pizza or pasta—but was there for you seven days a week should you feel the need for a little stigghiole (grilled lamb intestine) or spiedini (meat skewers—as in ewe’s meat or baby octopus).

Tucked away on the main level of a condominium on Portland Street, this bar actually begins its day as a smart café at 7 am sharp, peddling superior Italian pastries (pasticceria) and strong coffee.

“Bar” enters the equation at lunchtime, when the 38-odd seats—split between bar and communal high top tables—fill up with locals in need of a fiercely tasty lunch. Italian street food is, in fact, just a small part of the offering.

There is also good seafood and some sensational brightly-flavoured and well-textured salads—like raw pressed artichoke with buffalo yoghurt and bottarga. Bar Buca is designed to be many things. At dinner you can make a meal of it. Or you stop in for an appetite enhancing nibble before dinner elsewhere—or for that matter pass by for a restorative late night snack en route home (a fine idea if your dinner elsewhere was lacking). Plenty of good, reasonably priced wines are available by the glass.


Monday to Friday
7:00 AM until 2:00 AM

Saturday, Sunday
8:00 AM until 2:00 AM


Saturday, Sunday
10:00 AM until 4:00 PM

bar buca
bar buca

I just love the simple creative dishes and the casual scene. – MARIE-CLAUDE LORTIE

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