Restaurants in Toronto

It might not be on the Michelin radar, but Toronto is still one of the top foodie cities in North America. Whether you’re a fine diner, a takeaway addict or a simply prefer snuggling up in a local pub and tucking into decent comfort grub, you won’t leave disappointed. The city has a small selection of lauded restaurants with the obligatory celebrity chef connection, but its real asset is its world cuisine. From French pastry shops to Korean takeaways, nowhere is Toronto’s cosmopolitan character more evident than in its gastronomic offering.

The Toronto restaurants listed below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over C$60)
Moderate (C$40 to C$60)
Cheap (up to C$40)
These Toronto restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent – they do not include taxes, service charge or tip. Restaurant prices are subject to a provincial sales tax (PST) of 8% (10% on alcohol) and a federal goods and services tax (GST) of 5%. All taxes are usually added to the bill at the end of the meal. It is not usual for a compulsory service charge to be added to the bill, but a tip of between 10 and 20% is expected.

Lolita's Lust

Price: Expensive

In an increasingly franchised part of Greektown, Lolita's Lust remains a funky favourite. Bohemian in atmosphere, this upscale eatery features a delightful range of internationally inspired meat and fish dishes - intriguing combinations include lobster dumplings and mushroom salad with miso chile sauce. Tucked away like a best-kept secret the intimate Lolita's Lust is a dimly lit hotspot frequented by celebrities when they are in town. Reservations are essential.

Address: 513 Danforth Avenue, Greektown, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 465 1751.

Sassafraz Restaurant

Price: Expensive

This classy, atmospheric restaurant, which is located in the heart of historical and posh Yorkville, serves cuisine du soleil , a flavoursome combination of French, Italian and Californian. With an interior blending the minimalist and the exotic elements in art deco, this is a seriously stylish place - well known also for being a favourite among celebrities visiting Toronto.

Address: 100 Cumberland Street, Yorkville, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 964 2222.

360 The Restaurant at the Tower

Price: Expensive

Floor-to-ceiling windows, 114 storeys above the lakeshore, with a view as good as it gets - blue lake as far as the eye can see to the south and Toronto spreading out in every other direction. And because 360 revolves, none of the view will be missed. The food is not quite as memorable, but it is still pretty good. In recent years, 360 has won awards for its cuisine and wine as well as its ambience. A reservation at this restaurant also includes a post-dinner walk on the glass-floored lookout - for those who can stomach it.

Address: CN Tower, 301 Front Street West, Downtown, Canada
Telephone: (416) 362 5411.

The Paddock Tavern

Price: Moderate

The sumptuous, wooden 1940s décor of this bar/restaurant tends to get obscured on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights by crowds of youngish drinkers. They congregate at the large L-shaped bar in search of draught beer, a well-shaken Martini or their inner Humphrey Bogart. On other nights of the week, it is a bit quieter. The menu changes seasonally, but highlights might include cassoulet, bison sirloin with garlic mash, or smoked pork tenderloin with baby turnip, rösti potatoes and a maple-preserved apple jus.

Address: 178 Bathurst Street, Queen and Bathurst, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 504 9997.

Brownes Bistro

Price: Moderate

Prized by the well-heeled residents of Rosedale, this long-lived neighbourhood bistro might be lacking in culinary adventurousness and is equally unpretentious in décor, but its longevity and continued popularity speak for its quality. Some of the dishes come with a nice Gallic touch, and the meat dishes are deliciously tasty. The pastas and pizzas are lovely.

Address: 4 Woodlawn Avenue East, Summerhill, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 924 8132.

Richmond Station

Price: Moderate

This new venture by Top Chef Canada star Carl Heinrich is predictably cutting-edge, with urban décor and a selection of dishes that are mainly twists on old favourites (try the signature rib-stuffed burger dish for a true flavour kick). The quality of both food and presentation suggests that Richmond Station could see prices rocket in the next few years, but at the moment it’s an affordable take on modern haute cuisine.

Address: 1 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (647) 748 1444.


Price: Cheap

Unpretentious food served whenever you're hungry - it's a recipe that has made Fran's a Toronto institution since 1940. Don't expect anything gourmet, but this diner offers a slice of old Toronto at a reasonable price. Old favourites like meatloaf and tuna melts share the menu with newer fare like Baja chicken wraps. There's a second Toronto location across from Massey Hall. Both are open 24 hours, every day of the year, and the Big Breakfast - a groaning platter of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, home fries and toast - is served around the clock.

Address: 20 College Street, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 923 9867.

Dr. Laffa

Price: Cheap

Specialising in delicious Middle Eastern vegetarian fare, Dr. Laffa is relatively new on the restaurant scene but is already making a name for itself among the city’s hipster population. It’s a relaxed, informal venue where many of the customers are on first name terms with the staff and the chefs use traditional Iraqi cooking methods. Try a traditional laffa with falafel and hummus – perfect as a snatched lunch between sightseeing stops.

Address: 401 Magnetic Drive, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 739 7134.

Rol San

Price: Cheap

Rol San is easy to overlook amid the hundred or so Chinese restaurants that line Spadina Avenue between College Street and the Lakeshore, especially as it has the same large round tables, plastic tablecloths and bright cardboard signs announcing specials in Chinese. However, this restaurant serves delicious dim sum (such as deep fried shrimp and chive cake) by day and crave-worthy portions of fried rice, Szechwan shrimp and crispy chicken until the wee hours (0200 Sun to Wed, 0400 Thurs, 0500 Fri to Sat).

Address: 323 Spadina Avenue, Chinatown, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 977 1128.