10 Best Restaurants in Toronto
1. Alo Restaurat
When the elevator doors open to reveal a sleek bronze bar in a stunningly restored heritage building on Queen and Spadina, you’ll swear you’re in London or New York. Michelin-pedigreed chef Patrick Kriss’s technically brilliant and creative tasting menus are expertly crafted. Go if you’re looking for a high-end dining experience ideal for a special occasion or a romantic night out. The dishes are as beautiful and as meticulous as the service and space. If you can’t get a table (book in advance) or can’t justify the splurge, try sister spot Aloette, conveniently located downstairs.
2. Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar & Grill
Located on the first floor of a posh condo building in midtown near Casa Loma, this entry actually consists of two restaurants in one. Lucky you! One side features haute cuisine, while the other is a more casual pasta bar and grill. Both offer unbeatable views of the city with fabulous food – an often hard-to-find combination. Scaramouche consistently wins awards and accolades for its sophisticated yet accessible fare. Free valet parking, expert service, and a knock-out view of the city are the reasons why locals and visitors have been coming back for over three decades. Well, that and the divine food, of course.
The husband-and-wife team behind Edulis makes eating at the King West locale feel like home. That is if your family dinner table consisted of a seasonal, five or seven-course tasting menu that could be customized to suit your tastes or dietary needs. Edulis strongly focuses on seafood, locally sourced ingredients and warm service – and succeeds at it all. There is a reason why this restaurant keeps making it onto national best restaurant lists, and it is in part because Edulis promotes the tradition of cooking and feasting together. The menus may change with the season, but the knack for hospitality is ever-present. As for libations, the wine and champagne menu is gloriously extensive.
Byblos is an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that embraces coastal influences with contemporary technique, on display within each family-style dish flying out of the kitchen. Case in point: the whole grilled branzino with chermoula, saffron toum and watercress with an accompaniment of sweet jewelled barberry-flecked rice. Downstairs is a more laid-back affair in a beautifully designed lounge space. Upstairs, a moodily lit, dark forest green dining room with quiet nooks here and there, is ideal for couples looking for a romantic meal together.
Named after Jamaica’s national lingo, Patois is best described by chef/owner Craig Wong as “Caribbean meets Asian soul food.” It’s like a beach party in the west end of Toronto, where the music is loud, the cocktails creative, the room colourful, and the clientele ready for a good time. Go for one of the juiciest jerk chickens around, stay for the I-can’t-believe-that’s-not-meat crispy fried cauliflower and Chinese “pineapple bun” burgers. Next-level delicious with a side of party atmosphere? We’re in.
6. Black Camel
Since 2004, this small shop has dedicated itself to making stellar, flavourful sandwiches. Located in upscale Rosedale, the concise menu is restrained, but there is not a single letdown in the mix. There are a few small tables in the shop, and they fill up fast. If the weather's cooperating, take a stroll across the street to the small park and enjoy lunch al fresco. Five-day roasted brisket, one of the city's best BLTs, signature house-made sauces and mayos, quality sourced bread – just about everything at Black Camel is simple but spot-on delicious.
A tried-and-true Eastside favourite French restaurant in the middle of Toronto’s second Chinatown. For over a decade now, the friendly staff at Batifole has been serving on-point steak frites, perfect patés and other classic bistro fares in an intimate, cozy atmosphere. Why go? Three words: soufflé Grand Marnier. But you might also want to check out this “best-kept secret” for a relaxed dinner with friends, with your special someone or for a fabulous cocktail during their cinq-a-sept “happy hour.”
8. Fat Pasha
“Middle Eastern bubby food” is how one former food critic describes the tasty fare served at Fat Pasha. We will not disagree, but we will add it has that signature, updated Anthony Rose twist. Lively, fun and a great place to gather with friends who want to share bigger plates or order their own, you cannot go wrong with the chicken shawarma or the whole roasted cauliflower with tahini, halloumi and pomegranate seeds. Go for comfort food with a Middle Eastern/Jewish twist for lunch/brunch or dinner in a setting that feels like a home away from home.
A polished, elegant restaurant serving what owner and visionary Albino Silva calls “progressive Portuguese” cuisine. If you have an important meeting, a special occasion or simply long for beautifully prepared Portuguese food using top-notch ingredients, this is the place for you. Silva’s team flies in fresh fish from the Azores daily, presenting them to diners on a platter for selection. And, while seafood is the forte, there are land-based dishes that are just as meticulously prepared. Make sure not to skip dessert.
10. Assembly Chef’s Hall
If deciding on lunch or dinner isn't your forte, head to Assembly Chef’s Hall, a beacon of edible choices. At this chef-driven community market, there are options galore. Some of the city’s most innovative chefs have outposts here, an ideal destination for those who want food in a convivial, funky hall-like setting. Not only will you be met with menus from a bundle of Toronto's finest chefs and best restaurants, but you'll be able to sample everything from slippery noodles and crispy-crusted pizzas and omakase Japanese dishes. You will be seriously spoilt for choice.