With more than 8,000 restaurants to choose from, Canada’s largest city has an abundance of dining options. But don’t get lured into the closest A&W; this list of 10 top Toronto restaurants was compiled by a few locals, so you know they’re going to be good. Toronto boasts a multicultural population and its food reflects that. Feast on some of the city’s best Italian and North and South American cuisines.
Located on one of the city’s busiest streets, Queen Street, this upscale, contemporary restaurant serves up BBQ and seafood platters with their signature cocktails. For group outings, book their chef’s table in advance for a family style tasting of their finest. Make a reservation at Carbon Bar.
A hip and lively place to stop for dinner before a night out, this hot spot is also committed to sourcing local items. “We are excited to showcase partners like Artisan Farms, whose Collingwood raised beef is the only filet we will serve along with our purveyors at Cheese Boutique, who provide us with our apple-cured Ontario pork belly,” said executive chef Tommy McHugh. Make a reservation at STK.
With multiple locations throughout the city, this Italian joint is practically a Toronto landmark. Since its humble beginnings on Queen Street West in the early 90s, Terroni has gone from selling fresh prosciutto to Italian nonna’s on Saturdays to opening several international restaurants. Make a reservation at Terroni.
Community and family are at the heart of the South American cooking here. “We’re striving to honour the traditions and rituals that go along with breaking bread with family and friends, promoting a ‘live to eat’ ethos.” said executive chef Anthony Walsh. The food is unpretentious, particularly with dishes like grilled rabbit and sweetbreads. Make a reservation at Leña.
Despite the name, this Toronto hotspot has no affiliation with the city’s famed rapper. But on the weekends, it’s not unusual to hear his music playing from their rooftop bar and dining area. Stop by earlier to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack at the Lounge or the Café. Then head upstairs to the Sky Lounge for cocktails. Make a reservation at Drake Hotel.
The Good Son
With a menu designed to honor the melting pot that is Toronto and Queen Street West, you’ll find everything from steak frites to wood oven pizzas. Like the food menu, the cocktails are also seasonal. Each plate is intended to be shared, so make sure you order a few different flavors of the housemade gelato. Make a reservation at The Good Son.
Come in for the Instagram-worthy mural, stay for the authentic Mexican food. The menu is made up of small tapas-style dishes including ceviches, tostadas, and tacos. This neighborhood favorite also boasts Canada’s largest mezcal and tequila bar, so you have plenty of sips to choose from. Make a reservation at El Catrin.
CIBO Wine Bar
This wine bar serves up both classic and modern Italian dishes paired with a variety of wines in a large, chic setting. Both the food and wine lists are long, so make sure you come hungry. Make a reservation at CIBO Wine Bar.
Copetin is a Latin-American word that means community, or social. That is what Claudio Aprile, one of the judges on Masterchef Canada, intended when conceiving his new restaurant. He wants guests to relax and have a good time with good food. “I have a story to tell in the kitchen… I have new ideas that I want to put on a plate — and I can’t wait for guests to experience them,” said Aprile. Make a reservation at Copetin.
A stylish vegan restaurant, you’ll find responsibly sourced plates including pizzas, burgers, lasagna, and carrot dogs at this spot. The upscale dining room is designed using only black and white, while the dishes make for a colorful contrast. Make a reservation at Planta.
What are your picks for top Toronto restaurants? Let us know where you’ve been sipping them here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Katie Lockhart is a Brooklyn-based food and travel writer. When she’s not writing, she’s eating her way around the world and posting it all on her Instagram @findyourhappyplate and blog findyourhappyplate.co.
Photo credits: Anthony Sheung (El Catrin); Dylan and Jeni (Terroni); Cindy La (Lena); Kayla Rocca (Drake Hotel).