Toronto’s incredible cultural diversity shines through in its wide range of restaurants. Covering every type of cuisine, from world class fine dining to casual pubs, there’s a wealth of choice. Here are a few of the city’s top options.
1.Kiin, owned by Chef Nuit Regular and Jeff Regular, is one of the best Thai restaurants in the world. The attention to detail, both in the presentation and the food itself, is superb. Kiin serves royal Thai inspired cuisine, focusing on beautiful presentation and the use of the freshest, seasonal ingredients to create dishes with delicate and complex flavors and textures. Sharing plates such as Yum Tua Plu, a dish made of wing beans with chilli shrimp paste, toasted coconut, peanut and soft boiled duck eggs is a riot of flavors and colors. Crab Curry with Wild Betel Leaves is fantastic. Gaeng Boombai, a braised beef short rib with tamarind, field cucumber and pearl onions is so tender it melts in your mouth.
2.Le Select bistro offers typical French bistro fare, beautifully prepared and presented, in chic surroundings. Toronto’s beloved Parisian restaurant, bought by Scale Hospitality and reopened this past June, is as excellent as ever. Expect omelettes, steak frites, fried mussels and boullabaisse all cooked to perfection, plus a croque madame that rivals any you’d find in Paris.
3.LouixLouis on the 31st floor of The St. Regis Toronto offers excellent views and brunch. The setting is glorious. The two-storey high Grand Bar, influenced by Toronto’s heritage as a major distillery district in the world during the turn of the 19th century, houses over 500 dark spirits, one of the largest collections in North America. Painted by local Toronto artist Madison van Rijn, the 60 foot ceiling mural ‘Bouquet of Whisky’ is inspired by a glass of Canadian whisky. The fabulous royal brunch, a lovely treat, includes lobster avocado toast, filet mignon, crepes and more. Also, if you still have space, there’s an astonishing thirteen layer chocolate cake, a real work of art.
4.Dog & Tiger is an excellent new gastropub with a real buzz. The chef-led kitchen and bar specializes in farm-to-table fare and handcrafted cocktails. The cozy interior combines a touch of London polish with an eccentric vibe where everyone is welcome. Tuna crudo, truffle fries, mushroom caesar salad and East coast oysters are among the menu highlights.
5.Byblos features superb Eastern Mediterranean cuisine using both traditional and local ingredients. Using classic techniques and modern methods, the dishes showcase the regionally specific spices and flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean seaboard. Menu highlights include pides, flatbreads with delicious toppings like black truffle and cheese or wagyu lahmeh. The fried chicken and short rib kebab are also real winners.
6.Set in a row of Victorian houses, Sassafraz has evolved through the decades to become one of the best-loved bistros in the heart of historic Yorkville. It’s another excellent brunch choice, with standout dishes like french toast with Niagara peaches, maple whipped mascarpone and toasted pecans, eggs benedict and pistachio crusted Itsumo tuna salad.
7.Minami is the latest opening from the restaurant group behind popular Miku and Aburi Hana. Swish, award-winning decor aside, the lengthy Asian menu includes colorful bento boxes, superb sushi and meat-based dishes like the citrus-glazed charcoal aburi chicken with truffle kimizu.
8.Chef Lawrence La Pianta’s Cherry Street Bar-b-que brings the barbecue traditions of the American South to Toronto in an attractive 1920s brick building that was once a bank. Pit-smoked meats, prepared over live oak fires include delicious Texas-style brisket, St. Louis-style ribs and wings.
9.Savoury is a really special ten-person dining experience at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel, tucked away in a finishing kitchen space besides a banquet hall. A customised tasting menu is specially prepared by the hotel’s head chef for a small group booking.
10.Voted the world’s best food market by National Geographic, vibrant St Lawrence Market, in the centre of historic Old Town Toronto, has been trading for over 200 years. Farmer’s products, hundreds of food merchants and restaurants offering locally grown produce, freshly baked goods, gourmet cured meats, specialty cheeses, preserves, soups, sandwiches and international foods.