Toronto’s food scene is one of the best in North America, its distinct cafes and restaurants reflecting the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and cultures. Renowned for its artisan markets and waterfront venues, it’s little wonder the 2016 list of Canada’s best restaurants recognised six Toronto eateries within the top 10.
1. Feast at FRANK
Eat within the walls of The Art Gallery of Ontario at FRANK, a casual chic restaurant, whose art and food has made it one of Toronto’s dining hot spots. This Frank Gehry-designed space hosts Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille’s mouth-watering global bistro cuisine, paired with Ontario wines.
2. Nota Bene
Nota Bene delivers a refined ambience, outstanding food and friendly hospitality in downtown Toronto. The globally-inspired cuisine of chef, David Lee, is known for its market fresh, contemporary gastronomy. Think rabbit Capellacci pasta, Quebec boileau venison and Cumbrae Farms hanger steak.
3. Cafe Belong
Head to Toronto’s lush Don Valley area for brunch. Tucked within the environmental centre of Evergreen Brick Works, Café Belong serves organic meals using sustainable produce, in a light-infused setting with wraparound windows. Owner, Brad Long, is one of Canada’s most highly acclaimed celebrity chefs.
4. The Peasant Table
This new gastropub in the hip neighbourhood of Leslieville is all about old-school themes, like gourmet crepes, surf & turf and classic desserts. Menu highlights include grilled octopus, smoked swordfish crudo and Wagyu beef carpaccio as well as ample vegetarian options.
5. Simit & Chai
This new bakery and cafe on King West specialises in Turkish style street bagels and divine loose leaf teas. Sample the signature baked goods in sandwich form loaded with toppings like cream cheese and smoked salmon or pastrami with fava bean puree and dill.
Queue for the best matcha desserts and teas in Toronto at Tsujiri on Dundas and Bay streets. Feast on sundaes of all flavours, shaved ice and pastries in this popular, Japanese flavoured outlet. With only 10 seats available, it’s worth the trip for luscious take-away sweets.
7. Fat Beet
A blend of Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern and Indian flavours makes this kitchen a hit. Newly opened in March 2016, bring your appetite for pan-roasted halibut with curried potatoes and rasam curry, tandoori lamb chops with fenugreek-mint sauce, and unique cocktails.
8. El Catrin
Stop here for authentic Mexican cuisine in a funky setting, complete with incredible murals and a relaxed, communal vibe. Three years ago, one of Mexico City’s top chefs was recruited to create El Catrin’s ambitious tapas-style menu, best enjoyed on the heated outdoor patio.
9. Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie
Cluny has the hallmarks of a classic Parisian bistro, with its cathedral ceilings and wine bottles displayed from floor to ceiling. This is French gastronomy at its best, served from an open kitchen complete with an Art Nouveau raw bar.
10. Kasa Moto
Make yourself at home on the sprawling rooftop terrace of Kasa Moto in Yorkville for modern Japanese cuisine. Wood ceilings and a thriving indoor topiary set the scene for an unforgettable dining experience that evolves from day to night.