Looking for great restaurants in Toronto for a memorable dining experience? One thing for sure is that the diverse city has a dining scene that’s hard to define. Even so, the city’s chefs and culinary talents are free to imagine and conjure up new dishes without any cultural constraints. Restaurants in Toronto span from rustic greasy-spoon diners to funky gastropubs to elegant fine dining spots overlooking the city. They offer an almost bewildering choice of cuisines, including Italian, Indian, Eastern European, Chinese, Jamaican, and French.

    Many Toronto chefs like to reinvent and blend cuisines, using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients to create fresh dishes as pleasing to the eye as the palate. As a result, diners in Toronto are spoilt for choice and those who are willing to try new tastes are richly rewarded. 

    1

    Richmond Station

    A lively dining spot in downtown Toronto

    • Food
    • Families
    • Luxury
    • Group

    Richmond Station is a busy eatery in the heart of Toronto’s downtown area. It's opened by an award-winning chef, has a friendly, welcoming feel with a long bar in the front room, and a dining room in the back that offers views into an open kitchen.

    The menu offers a mix of culinary styles, with sharing plates and hearty mains like beef burgers, slow-roasted salmon and Muscovy duck. There’s a sizeable vegetarian selection and a kids’ menu, too. Every Wednesday, the chefs prepare a new tasting menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients. Be sure to leave room for dessert, as Richmond Station’s pastry chef is a chocolate master whose creations are delicious works of art.

    Location: 1 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5H 3W4, Canada

    Open: Daily from 4.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 647-748-1444

    Map
    2

    Canoe Restaurant

    Contemporary Canadian cuisine with spectacular city views

    • Food
    • Photo
    • Luxury
    • Group

    Canoe has been Toronto’s go-to spot for an elegant dining experience for more than 20 years. Set on the 54th floor of Toronto-Dominion Centre in the Financial District, the restaurant offers fantastic views over the city and has earned acclaim for its creative cocktails and 9-course tasting menu featuring regional Canadian dishes. You’ll see a dressed-up crowd since it’s a popular place for celebrating special occasions and small events. 

    Canoe’s tasting menu can be modified by advance notice to accommodate different dietary needs, such as vegan and halal. It also offers a raw bar with daily seafood selections, plus well-presented main dishes like roast Ontario chicken and Atlantic salmon and oxtail.

    Location: 66 Wellington St W 54th floor, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6, Canada

    Open: Monday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Tuesday–Wednesday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Thursday–Friday from 11.45 am to 1.15 pm and from 5 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 416-364-0054

    Map

    photo by Navjot Singh (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Grey Gardens

    Vibrant wine bar and seafood spot in Kensington Market

    Grey Gardens is a restaurant in Kensington Market founded by well-known Toronto restaurateurs Mitchell Bates and Jen Agg. Much of the restaurant’s retro, vivid ambience was driven by Agg, whose outsized personality has been highlighted in her memoir.

    Patrons can enjoy their seafood dishes paired with wine or cider in Grey Gardens’ small dining room or patio, or book ahead to enjoy an intimate meal in the private dining area. Dishes like foie gras, halibut and ravioli are expertly plated and prepared in a style that the owners describe as, “let’s call it New North American or whatever, I dunno”.

    Location: 199 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L4, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 647-351-1552

    Map
    4

    Scaramouche Restaurant

    European fare in an elegant setting with city skyline views

    Scaramouche Restaurant is a long-running upscale eatery that offers classic French dishes and some inventive touches in its menu offerings. Known for its impeccable service with attentive wait staff and a sommelier, Scaramouche has earned a place high on the list of Canada’s best restaurants. The menu’s main dishes include such decadent items as lobster, rack of lamb, smoked and roasted duck, and filet mignon.

    Scaramouche is in a high-end rental apartment building in the residential South Hill neighbourhood near Avenue Road and St Clair. Reservations are strongly recommended, and be sure to request a table by the window to enjoy fine views of the city. Scaramouche also offers complimentary valet parking services. 

    Location: 1 Benvenuto Pl, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 416-961-8011

    Map
    5

    Pukka

    Modern Indian fare in an airy exposed-brick interior

    Pukka offers diners craving Indian food a great variety of dishes that span several regions. The restaurant is popular with families and groups, for its many sharing dishes and a good range of wines and desserts to round out the meal. Among the tasty mains, which are presented with panache, include Punjabi chicken curry and South Indian vegetable curry.

    Diners will also find a notable wine list at Pukka, and there’s an expert sommelier on-site to help you navigate the choices. They have a weekly featured wine and suggest the best dishes for pairing.

    Location: 778 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 1B6, Canada

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 4.30 pm to 9.45 pm, Sunday–Thursday from 4.30 pm to 9.15 pm

    Phone: +1 416-342-1906

    Map
    6

    416 Snack Bar

    Fun spot for late-night snacking with friends

    416 Snack Bar is a cool spot in Toronto featuring tapas-style dishes that could be shared and eaten by hand. It was opened over a decade ago by a food blogger-turned-restaurateur, who also designed the menu. The atmosphere is casual and industrial-chic, all concrete and steel, with a corrugated metal exterior and bar counters designed to look like vintage streetcars.

    416 Snack Bar’s menu items are literally “all over the map”, with varied choices such as West Indian pumpkin fritters, Tuscan winter gnocchi and Jamaican beef patties. Found near Alexandra Park on Bathurst Street, it’s a great spot to come and gather with friends – ordering a few dishes at a time and lingering over your food and drinks is very encouraged. 


    Location: 181 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5T 2R7, Canada

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 2 am

    Phone: +1 416-364-9320

    Map
    7

    DaiLo

    Downtown eatery with inventive French-Cantonese fare

    DaiLo pulls in the crowds to its downtown College Street location for its creative, delicious pan-Asian offerings. The dimly-lit restaurant has the feel of an old Chinatown spot with its vintage style dining room and upstairs bar. While its atmosphere is retro, its food is decidedly modern and fresh.  

    The chef’s unique dishes bring together his training in classic French techniques and his Hakka Chinese heritage. Flavourful concoctions include smoked duck Bokkeum with kimchi pickled spring vegetables and whole fried Giggie trout. Those who wish to roll the dice and have a more adventurous meal could try DaiLo’s Choice, which lets the chef choose a selection of dishes for you.

    Location: 503 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1A5, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 5 pm to 11 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 647-341-8882

    Map

    photo by Mack Male (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Gusto 101

    Southern Italian classics served in a converted garage

    Gusto 101 is a favourite for Italian food fans in Toronto, with soulful Southern Italian fare served in the stylish setting of a renovated auto repair garage. Diners can enjoy their meal in the cosy dining area with the kitchen’s wood-fired grill in view or, weather permitting, up on the rooftop patio. The menu changes with the seasons, with a range of pasta, pizza and grilled main dishes to try like grilled branzino and an Americano burger. 

    Gusto 101 is found in Downtown Toronto, in the busy King Street West area. It’s as popular as a local gathering spot as it is for visitors to the city.

    Location: 101 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N3, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 4 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 416-504-9669

    Map
    9

    Patois Toronto

    Lively dining spot serving Asian-Caribbean cuisine

    Patois Toronto is a restaurant that has a celebratory feel, with a tasty range of dishes designed for sharing, colourful cocktails and upbeat, friendly service. Patois describes itself as a place where “Caribbean meets Asian soul food”. A peek at its menu confirms this statement with standouts like jerk chicken chow mein, jerk pork belly yakisoba, and deep-fried oxtail with rice and peas.

    Patois is on Dundas Street in Kensington Market, with outdoor dining on the sidewalk patio available. It’s a great place for groups to dine, but if you come alone or in a pair, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to “join the party” at the bar to meet and mingle. 

    Location: 794 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V1, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from noon to 11 pm, Sunday from noon to 10 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 647-350-8999

    Map
    10

    Joso’s

    Seafood restaurant inspired by Croatian coastal fare

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Luxury
    • Group

    Joso’s is a great spot to try Croatian fare in Toronto. The restaurant first opened in the 1960s as a bohemian cafe by folk singer Joso Spralja and his wife. Over the years, it has evolved into an upscale seafood spot that’s often seen near the top of any “best restaurant” lists. It also enjoys a coveted address, being found in Toronto’s ritzy Yorkville neighbourhood.

    Still run by Spralja family members, Joso’s is a place to enjoy a refined meal in a setting inspired by the family’s coastal Dalmatian roots. The menu is also influenced by Joso’s upbringing near the Adriatic Sea, with an enticing range of seafood dishes like grilled calamari, grilled octopus, and a selection of soups, salads and pasta.

    Location: 202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 1J2, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 416-925-1903

    Map
    Lana Willocks | Contributing Writer

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