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The 18 Greatest Restaurants Around Toronto

Toronto’s distinctive neighbourhoods and multicultural history make the city one of the most exciting places to eat in the country. Many of the city’s greatest restaurants merge Canadian food traditions with those from other parts of the world, showcasing what happens when the country’s ingredients meet those from Korea, China, Pakistan, and beyond.

And when the past several years pushed the city’s entire hospitality industry to the brink, restaurants in The 6 rose to the occasion, keeping Torontonians fed and their pantries full. There’s no better time to acknowledge and support the restaurants that have had an immeasurable influence on modern dining in Toronto: meet The Greats, the 18 restaurants that breathe life into the city.

A photo of Otlogo
Marion Brewer and Jessica Huras
18 Restaurants
Updated April 04, 2022
Restaurants:Steam Whistle Biergärten, Chiado, Giulietta
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Beer Garden, Portuguese, Italian
Neighborhoods:Downtown / Entertainment District, Little Italy / College St., Little Portugal / Dundas West
A photo of Steam Whistle Biergärten restaurant

Steam Whistle Biergärten

$$$$
Beer Garden
Downtown / Entertainment District
4.5
283 reviews
Toronto’s stalwart brewery has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding in 2000, evolving from the passion project of three laid-off brewery workers to a Downtown destination. The space now includes its own biergärten and restaurant along with a working brewery. Sitting in the shadow of the CN Tower, the biergärten patio has become a landmark in its own right: a place to try the brewery’s iconic pilsner alongside a menu of European and Canadian-inspired drinking foods, such as pork hock with mustard made from the brewery’s beer and house-made Nuremberg sausage served in a sandwich layered with crispy onions and Dijon mayo.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Chiado restaurant

Chiado

$$$$
Portuguese
Little Italy / College St.
4.9
1030 reviews
While some restaurants rely on high-wire techniques and trendy ingredients for their success, Albino Silva’s commitment to high-quality ingredients and consistently good cooking nabbed Chiado a spot on Toronto Life’s 100 best restaurants list. It’s also one of the city’s best spots for seafood, offering grilled tiger shrimp lathered in piri piri hot sauce, and grouper carpaccio studded with pine nuts, asparagus, and citrus preserves. Wash it all down with a bottle from the restaurant’s large collection of Portuguese wines or sample from the massive selection of port.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Giulietta restaurant

Giulietta

$$$$
Italian
Little Portugal / Dundas West
4.8
1087 reviews
Though Giulietta’s menu is Italian, the restaurant is a far cry from a rustic trattoria, serving refined food in a chic setting: a combination that drove Canada’s 100 Best to anoint it the country’s best new restaurant in 2019. Top Chef Canada star chef Rob Rossi borrows ingredients and techniques from all over Italy, adding his own flair without sacrificing the tradition behind the dish. For instance, the restaurant’s beloved cacio e pepe is the sauce for housemade tonnarelli (a noodle akin to thick, square spaghetti) while grilled octopus is poached and cooked in a wood oven to achieve the perfect tender texture.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Canoe Restaurant and Bar restaurant

Canoe Restaurant and Bar

$$$$
Contemporary Canadian
Downtown / Financial District
4.6
4743 reviews
Situated on the 54th floor of a downtown office building, a dinner at Canoe comes with a side of panoramic views — this top special occasion destination is one of the most dramatic dining rooms in the entire city. But it’s the restaurant’s inventive menu of contemporary Canadian cuisine that landed it a place on Canada’s Top 100 restaurant list. The menu sources the majority of its ingredients from provinces across the country, using foie gras from Quebec, Ontario pheasant, local vegetables, and foraged goods as a way to capture a portrait of Canada’s bounty during any given season. A recent refresh to mark the restaurant’s 25th anniversary in 2020 pays homage to its Canadian menu with flourishes including a braided ceiling installation inspired by the weaving techniques used to make snowshoes. Strategically placed mirrors enhance the restaurant’s naturally beautiful sunset lighting.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of KŌST restaurant

KŌST

$$$$
Californian
Downtown / Entertainment District
4.3
2948 reviews
From the Baja-inspired cuisine to the sun-soaked dining room, everything about Kōst (pronounced “coast”) is fresh and bright. Perched on the rooftop of the Bisha Hotel—which garnered attention for suites designed by rocker Lenny Kravitz—Kōst offers striking views over the city and waterfront. Pop art photographs add bursts of colour to a dining room decorated with clean lines, white banquettes, and blond wood. Light, prettily plated dishes such as tuna tartare with yuzu dressing and lamb barbacoa with radish slaw are influenced by varied Mexican, Asian, and seasonal flavours. The drinks menu is anchored by a lengthy list of sparkling wines by the glass and bottle—fitting for toasting Toronto from above.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Grey Gardens restaurant

Grey Gardens

$$$$
Contemporary American
Chinatown / Kensington Market
4.8
739 reviews
Grey Gardens is an understated wine bar from one of Toronto’s most well-known restaurateurs, Jen Agg. However, it only takes a quick scan of the menu to see that unlike many wine bars, food isn’t an afterthought here—this is one of the city’s most ambitious operations. It skips the typical meat and cheese boards, instead giving diners options such as smoked fish dip or canestri pasta with kale and chicken skin gremolata. The sprawling wine list offers a pairing for everything on the menu, covering both old world and emerging regions, such as the restaurant’s own orange wine that’s made in partnership with a producer in Niagara.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lai Wah Heen Restaurant restaurant

Lai Wah Heen Restaurant

$$$$
Chinese
Downtown / Financial District
4.6
951 reviews
Head Downtown to Lai Wah Heen for what has long been considered the city’s best dim sum, served with old-school flourish by vest-clad servers in a room full of white tablecloths. The dining room is filled with groups sampling dishes such as garlicky steamed spare ribs, or wontons filled with crab claws, shrimp, and chives. But don’t stop at dim sum; the restaurant is also known for one of Toronto’s finest versions of Peking duck, which is carved tableside.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Joso's restaurant

Joso's

$$$$
Seafood
Yorkville
4.9
677 reviews
As one of Yorkville’s longest-running restaurants, Joso's is known for its exceptional seafood and quirky atmosphere. The deliciously simple seafood preparation here is a contrast to the over-the-top decor, which includes a variety of nude artwork—much of which was created by the restaurant’s late founder Joso Spralja, a folk musician and artist who opened Joso’s as a bohemian cafe in the 1960s. While one might assume the restaurant’s notorious nude sculptures and paintings would be the showiest element of Joso’s interior, deep red tablecloths, red carpeting, and eclectic curio collections give the titillating artwork a run for its money. Drake, featured in Joso’s interior on the cover of his Take Care album, is just one of the celebrities who’s dined here over the decades. The restaurant is still in the family, now run by Spralja’s son and daughter-in-law. The fried calamari, which Spralja is said to have been the first to serve in Toronto, is a must-order.

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Takeout available
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A photo of Scaramouche Restaurant restaurant

Scaramouche Restaurant

$$$$
French
Midtown / Uptown
4.8
2007 reviews
Scaramouche opened its doors in 1980, making the restaurant older than many of the people that flock to the dining room to this day to celebrate special occasions at one of Toronto’s most storied fine dining destinations. The restaurant’s timeless menu and commitment to excellent service have kept Torontonians coming back for decades, and its continued appearances on best-of lists have introduced new generations of fans. Though the dining room is closed, in normal times, diners are treated to European dishes with creative flourishes, such as steak tartare served with a soft boiled quail egg, spicy caper dijon dressing, and paprika sourdough toasts.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of George Restaurant restaurant

George Restaurant

$$$$
Contemporary Canadian
Downtown / Financial District
4.6
2827 reviews
When Toronto residents really want to go all out, they head downtown to George for one of chef Lorenzo Loseto’s five-, seven-, or ten-course tasting menus. The menus feature ingredients from around the globe — on the same night, diners could find a dish of scallops with yuzu white soya co-existing on the menu with a plate of beef ribeye, shallot confit, and mango — both packing depth of flavour that belies the short ingredient list. Impeccable service and beautiful plating make the multi-course tasting menus an immersive experience. The restaurant’s industrial-chic decor also makes it a popular spot for local weddings.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Terroni Queen restaurant

Terroni Queen

$$$$
Italian
Queen West
4.5
1756 reviews
When the Terroni team opened their flagship Queen West market back in 1992, the neighborhood wasn’t a food destination. Fast-forward to the present day and that specialty Italian market has grown into a full-service restaurant that launched a Toronto empire for all things Italian, including several locations around the city, a bakery on Queen West, a wine importing business, and even a magazine. But the original location is still one of the city’s best places for a classic Italian meal, such as a rigatoni all’amatriciana and a glass of Montepulciano.

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A photo of Yasu Toronto restaurant

Yasu Toronto

$$$$
Japanese
Harbord Village
4.8
342 reviews
Toronto’s first omakase sushi restaurant is also one of its finest Japanese spots and at one point, was the 35th best restaurant in Canada, according to Canada’s 100 Best. Trained in Osaka, chef and owner Yasuhisa Ouchi wanted to introduce Canadians to the simple joys of well-crafted sushi. There is one menu, available at two or three nightly seatings depending on the day: a CA$175 procession of pristine cuts of fish. The minimalist interior and almost hushed ambiance keep the focus on revelling in the layered flavours of every bite.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Té restaurant

$$$$
Korean
Ossington
4.4
258 reviews
At Té, Korean cooking meets Canadian food traditions, creating a destination for modern East Asian cooking that represents the city’s culinary crossroads through dishes such as poutine topped with Korean brisket, cheese curds, sriracha mayo, and a sunny side-up egg. As the name suggests, tea also plays a large role here, making it into dishes such as the egg crate-shaped green tea egg waffle with bacon and eggs at the popular brunch, or the jasmine tea-infused gin that creates a base for the restaurant’s unique spin on a martini.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of El Catrin restaurant

El Catrin

$$$$
Mexican
Distillery District
4.5
4465 reviews
Boasting a sprawling, year-round patio, a custom mural that took three Mexican artists nearly 100 days to complete, and the city’s best margaritas, El Catrin is one of the city’s most impressive Mexican restaurants. The menu is a mix of crowd-pleasers such as Baja fish tacos and more original creations, such as braised short ribs with mole negro, corn puree, and wild mushrooms. Give yourself extra time to browse the restaurant’s menu of agave spirits — featuring more than 120 different producers, it’s one of Toronto’s most diverse collections of mezcal and tequila.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Parallel restaurant

Parallel

$$$$
Middle Eastern
The Junction
4.7
462 reviews
The Ozery brothers set a new standard for Middle Eastern food in Toronto with Parallel, their modern Israeli restaurant in The Junction. The three grew up eating tahini on almost everything and decided to translate their love of sesame butter into both a packaged product and the basis for a menu of cheffed-up classics. While many dishes on the restaurant’s menu seem familiar in name, almost all of them contain an unexpected twist, such as the gluten-free riff on tabbouleh that swaps cauliflower rice for the traditional bulgur wheat, or the addition of truffle oil to the fluffy homemade hummus. Given that two of the brothers also run the nationally distributed Ozery Bakery, it’s never a bad idea to order a few extra pitas with your meal. The restaurant’s lofty, factory-influenced interior channels the commercial heritage of its location on Geary Avenue – a strip that Parallel helped establish as a destination for innovative food ventures.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Fresh on Crawford restaurant

Fresh on Crawford

$$$$
Vegetarian / Vegan
Queen West
4.7
313 reviews
Way before plant-based dining was the rage, there was Fresh on Crawford. Since 1999, the now mini-chain of restaurants has been a Toronto destination for vegetarian and vegan dishes, along with cold-pressed juices. The restaurant’s cult-following is based on its ability to make plant-based food fun, a philosophy on full display through dishes such as the crispy buffalo cauliflower with ranch, or the nine-layer burrito, packed with mushroom and artichoke “chorizo,” marinated black beans, cashew queso, avocado, brown rice, pickled jalapeños, and more.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bar Isabel restaurant

Bar Isabel

$$$$
Spanish
Little Italy / College St.
4.7
958 reviews
Bar Isabel, a cozy room with plastered, curving walls, richly colored tiles, and warm lighting that encourages diners to linger for hours, is one of the city’s most romantic pockets. It also happens to serve some of the best Spanish food in town. Run by well-known Toronto chef and restaurateur Grant van Gameren, the menu sticks to tapas bar classics and executes them perfectly. The sharing-style menu lends itself well to snacks and drinks or a full dinner. Think crispy patatas bravas, tender grilled octopus, and olive oil-drenched pan con tomate that complement the extensive list of Spanish wines and vermouths.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of BlueBlood Steakhouse restaurant

BlueBlood Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Midtown / Uptown
4.6
2732 reviews
When you want to dine like royalty, head to BlueBlood Steakhouse — one of Toronto’s most luxurious steakhouses, located in the city’s historic castle, Casa Loma. The interior is part modern hunting lodge, with leather banquettes and antler chandeliers, and part art museum, with works by Dali, Warhol, and street artist Mr. Brainwash lining the walls. Against this backdrop, dishes such as a dry-aged striploin or a rare bottle from the restaurant’s wine cellar (built by the original owner of the castle to house over a thousand bottles) don’t feel extravagant — instead they’re right in line with the surroundings.The surf is as good as the turf, including a seafood tower piled high with king crab, jumbo prawns, lobster, oysters, and salmon crudo.

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Experiences available
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Takeout available
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