John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown

4.7
601 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Seafood
Top tags:
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Business Meals
John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown is out of the way from the hustle and bustle of the financial core but at the same time right in the middle of it, hidden away. From ducking down our little street, you feel as though you are doing something deliciously wicked. When you walk in the door of our 40 seat joint, you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon the best speakeasy in town and you’re getting away with flouting all the rules while everyone else behaves. You may think you’ll only have a few oysters and a quick drink while you’re there, but everything around you conspires to make you want to stay longer. Our fare varies according to the time of year, coastal fishing quotas and weather conditions. We can always shuck to order from a selection of 5-10 different Oysters daily, drawn from both our own beds in P.E.I. and the best growers in Canada, the USA and further abroad.
What 601 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Caribbean
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a great meal and staff were pleasant . The best oysters we’ve had in a very long time

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OT
Mexico City
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Es un lugar con muy buena comida, muy cálido y placentero

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OT
Toronto
112 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the welcome greeting to fantastic service and the best food as we had octopus and smelts to start and fantastic pickeral. Staff and management here are so consitantly great

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 11 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time celebrating a work occasion here with colleagues. Great seafood and drinks. Great service. Would definitely come again.

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CF
Toronto
12 reviews
Dined on 10 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

As usual, John & Sons was excellent. The bar staff and servers are friendly, warm and attentive. The food is also very reliably excellent - and the oysters are top notch. One of my favorite "go to" spots in the downtown core.

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GC
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great Service and knowledgeable staff
Lots of fun. Sat at the bar and watched him shuck oysters. Great selection from the east coast. Oysters and Beer to start , Lobster Poutine and Mussels and Clams for dinner. Very Tasty and definitely recommend

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MC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 29 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

All great except the noise level for us....perfect, energetic but noise level makes it hard to hear for some people.

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WH
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on 29 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Business dinner with colleagues in from NYC, group loved the variety of oysters and raved about the scallops. Thanks J&SOH.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. The food and wine were excellent.

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JR
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Small place just off Bay is a perfect lunch/ pregame spot. Get the oysters, they shuck them right at the bar for you to see. The blue crab is good as well. Nice small seafood spot feel to it. I will be back

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t
New England
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best lobster roll in downtown Toronto! Great sevice and unhurried despite busy lunch hour. Has never disappointed over the years. Will go again and strongly recommend.

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OT
Toronto
113 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic lunch of soft shell crab sandwich

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TH
1 review
Dined on 14 May 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Over priced and nothing special: Made reservations, got seated right at the door. Water glass after initially being requested were not refilled until asked and with a bottle. (where was the bottle the first time?) Ordered oysters and they were so small for the price I wouldn't again.

The reason we went was because we thought it was an oyster specialty - we found out on this visit, it wasn't.

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S
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit to John & Sons. My friend suggested we go to celebrate our birthdays with oysters and bubbly. We sat at the bar and enjoyed every course, more specifically, the wine. We had two dozen oysters, the smelts and octopus as appetizers. Steak frites & tuna on a fried green tomato were our mains - I enjoyed the tuna and was told the frites dish was excellent. While the plan was to enjoy some bubbles, we were offered the suggestion of a Pino Nero, which neither of us had before. It was perfect with the oysters and the rest of our meal. The service was top notch - staff were knowledgeable, kind and attentive. The music was great, too. Two bottles of wine later, we had a little glow and were quite satisfied. So much in fact, I forgot my purse and had to return. My next visit will be for the ambiance, oysters & wine.

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MM
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service! Had an awesome time and experience

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NG
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Service was absolutely brutal. Food once served was excellent

John & Sons Oyster House - Downtown
Responded on 13 May 2019

Neil, I am sorry you had such a bad experience. We take our customer experience very seriously. Could you contact me directly john@johnandsonsoysterhouse.c and tell me a little bit more about what happened.. or didn't happen? I appreciate your feedback and your time.

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OT
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always great. Some of my favourite seafood in the city. The oysters are always perfectly fresh and the wine list is imaginative and pairs perfectly with the seafood. Will visit again and again.....

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MF
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Oysters and the Tuna Tartare was awesome. You have to try the lobster poutine too!

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved everything (food, oyster) except the room temperature beer.

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OT
Edmonton
6 reviews
Dined on 2 May 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 1

Easily the loudest restaurant we've ever been in. Our ears were hurting the minute we walked in. Food was delicious if not a bit expensive, drinks were even more expensive. Service was good. Don't go here for intimate conversation.

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NB
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Girls were so nice and explained everything. Food was amazing and excellent service!!

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Y
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 18 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just love it! My friends and I go to celebrate or just when we need a little something special!
Love the food, ambience and the way they make you feel as a guest! As a matter of fact, I feel like going now!

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L
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on 17 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Where do I start? Was an amazing dinner/evening start to finish!! Oysters were amazing! My seared tuna was probably best I’ve ever had! Staff were all attentive and super nice! Definitely going back!
I little hidden gem in the city! FYI, very intimate and noise level high...but well worth it!

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B
Toronto
79 reviews
Dined on 11 April 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Want fish with a down home feeling? This is your place. Would happily eat here several times a week.

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RF
1 review
Dined on 4 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server was friendly and very understanding. A bit pricey (just a little bit though maybe because of the season - I ordered scallops), I was prepared to cover the bill as the host but my business partner shouldered it so I guess price is not a big factor in my responses.

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P
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Save your money and go somewhere else. The servers here must get lows tips due to the quality of the food for the price you pay.

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C
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

I had the worst customer service I could possibly have. Unacceptable situation happened! Only 22 days after a refund was done. By mistake, the waitress split the bill in 3 instead of 4, so two of the people in the table paid more than supposed. I noticed the mistake and the manager told us it would be impossible to do the refund in that day. We suggested the other 2 people from the table pay the remaining amount but the manager said it was not possible because of a system limitation. She said we would have to pay again the correct amount and the wrong amount would be refund in the day after. Although we found this solution not correct, because it was a mistake from the restaurant and we would leave the place paying more than twice the correct amount, we trusted the restaurant and paid. After several calls and 20 emails exchanged with the owner of the restaurant, only 22 days after the refund was done and only because I had to go to the restaurant in person!
However, congrats to the chef, because the food was very good!

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c
Toronto
15 reviews
Dined on 27 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We visit John and Sons fairly often and always enjoy the oysters and the clam chowder. It is a very loud place so be prepared :)

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service

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KW
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very friendly and speedy service. The Cioppino is terrific !

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NV
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing Seafood and service!

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E
Miami
37 reviews
Dined on 19 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a wonderful spot. The oysters are great, and the menu has some wonderful choices. I had the nightly special that I thoroughly enjoyed - halibut and pork belly together was delicious. This is a gem.

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NV
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place!

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RW
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always first rate with a very welcoming and friendly staff. What’s not to like about great food . The daily special does not disappoint

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food is good. The oysters are fresh and tasty.
The service was excellent; the only problem was when we arrived, they took too long to attend and seat us.

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C
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A real hidden gem in Toronto. Not a huge menu but everything on it is awesome. The oysters are as good as they get! Whenever I travel to Toronto i always eat at John and Sons at least once.

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 5 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was amazing. Having one service person made the service a little slow but regardless the food was epic.

Thanks!

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everyone~ for your appetizers have clam chowder and KFC ssam!!! They are amazing~ This place is very cozy and not loud at all.

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K
1 review
Dined on 26 February 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Oysters were delicious.
Fish and chips were tasteless and the coating too thick

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BP
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best oysters I've ever had in Toronto. Tuna was spectacular.

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