Toronto may not be known for its year-round pleasant weather, but there is one thing you can count on no matter the season: a delicious meal from one of the city’s greatest restaurants.
While there have been fatalities (Brothers and Woodlot are just two terrific venues COVID took off our list), the inventiveness and sheer grit of restaurateurs means that we’re still fortunate enough to enjoy an unending choice of world-class meals from the greatest restaurants in Toronto.
The top restaurants in Toronto are some of the best in the world, from sushi joints with finely made nigiri and Italian locations with heavenly platters of pasta to vegan eateries that consistently blow our minds with their seasonal options and culinary brilliance.
Always looking to New York for culinary inspiration, Toronto has grown up and developed its own distinct food style — and we couldn’t be more proud.
To honor the city and thank you for every full stomach and delighted customer, we’ve compiled a list of the 19 top restaurants in Toronto.
There are no minimum or maximum prices, and new restaurants that have opened in recent years are listed alongside institutions that have been established for decades (although, every restaurant mentioned has a dining room and offers a sit-down meal experience).
While the cuisine is of the biggest importance, we’ve considered every aspect of the evening, including the general environment and service.
Knives and forks at the ready, it’s time to sample some of Toronto’s top restaurants.
Fancy Restaurants in Toronto
1. Wonton Hut
This homey street food establishment, sandwiched between a McDonald’s and a commercial brunch location in a strip mall, recalls the dai pai dongs you’d find in Hong Kong.
Eddie Yeung, the chef and proprietor, serves massive bowls filled with silky egg noodle strands swimming in fortified broth, topped with unctuous fatty and collagen-laced pieces of slow-cooked beef brisket.
Don’t like beef? Replace it with his tiger shrimp and pork wontons, which only require a drizzle of his house chile oil before diving down the gullet.
2. Yu Seafood
While Toronto’s renowned Chinatowns remain an important part of the city’s cultural fabric, there are even greater Chinese food options in the suburbs.
In the 1950s and 1960s, successive waves of Asian immigration established a vibrant fusion of Asian cuisine in enclaves such as Markham, Richmond Hill, and Unionville.
Yu Seafood in Richmond Hill is a superb example of the outstanding dim sum on offer.
The restaurant isn’t inexpensive, but it does provide excellent service, high-quality ingredients, and gorgeous presentations of contemporary and classic bites: Consider siu mai with sea urchin and charcoal puffs with Malaysian durian.
3. Drake Hotel Restaurant
The Drake Hotel restaurant, run by one of the city’s most prominent hotel groups, is one of the few hotel venues with substantial culinary impact.
The hotel frequently organizes 86’ed Mondays, a monthly industry event organized by hospitality legend Ivy Knight that brings together local chefs for friendly themed culinary challenges open to the public.
The hotel’s rooftop dining area (voted one of the greatest in the world by Condé Nast Traveler) is worth a visit to sample one of the city’s best burgers and sip a spritz while admiring the city skyline.
The hardest part of dining at the Drake is picking when, where, and what to eat, with a lounge, cafe, and rooftop terrace, as well as breakfast, lunch, supper, and weekend brunch.
Exhibits that rotate to fit the hotel’s creative design ensure that there is always something new to admire with each visit.
The restaurant has a limited takeout menu with popular items including the Drake Burger and blistered shishito peppers, as well as a small variety of beer and wine.
All things can be ordered online through the hotel’s website.
Everything about Kōst (pronounced “coast”) is new and exciting, from the Baja-inspired food to the sun-drenched dining room.
Kōst is located on the rooftop of the Bisha Hotel, which gained prominence for suites created by rocker Lenny Kravitz.
It offers stunning views of the city and the harbor. Pop art images inject color into a dining area with clean lines, white banquettes, and blond wood.
Light, beautifully displayed meals like tuna tartare with yuzu dressing and lamb barbacoa with radish slaw are inspired by Mexican, Asian, and seasonal flavors.
The drinks menu is led by a long list of sparkling wines by the glass and bottle, perfect for toasting Toronto from above.
Kst is open for both indoor and outdoor dining.
While the open kitchen and geometric-patterned beam ceiling are certainly eye-catching, the dazzling infinity pool adjacent to the restaurant and breathtaking views of the CN Tower and lakeshore steal the show.
Pick-up and delivery are available for the whole all-day menu.
5. Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar & Grill
This entry, located on the first floor of a fancy condo complex in midtown near Casa Loma, is actually two restaurants in one.
On one side, there is haute food, while on the other, there is a more casual pasta bar and grill.
Both provide unrivaled views of the city as well as delicious meals — a rare combo.
Scaramouche constantly receives prizes and recognition for its refined yet approachable cuisine.
Complimentary valet parking, skilled service, and a spectacular perspective of the city are just a few of the reasons why locals and visitors have returned for over three decades.
Edulis’ husband-and-wife combination makes eating at the King West location feel like eating at home.
That example, if your family dinner table included a seasonal, five or seven-course tasting menu that could be tailored to your preferences or dietary requirements.
Edulis places a heavy emphasis on seafood, locally sourced foods, and friendly service — and it succeeds in all of these areas.
There’s a reason this restaurant keeps making national best restaurant lists, and it’s partly due to Edulis’ promotion of the practice of cooking and feasting together.
The meals change with the seasons, but the flair for hospitality remains constant.
The wine and champagne menus are magnificently extensive.
Nick Liu dislikes the phrase “fusion food,” but what he’s doing with Asian cuisine on College Street is far from traditional (and we mean that in the best way possible).
Liu, who grew up in Canada as the son of Hakka parents, consistently impresses diners with his own brand of Chinese cuisine prepared with French flare.
This cuisine has carved out a cultural blueprint for the city that others can only try to emulate, from the whimsical Big Mac Bao, a steamed bun stuffed with ground beef, pickles, and chef’s secret sauce, to the more sophisticated tasting menus that excited gastronomically starved Torontonians mid-pandemic.
Order the hakka wontons and truffle fried rice, then unwind with a well-crafted cocktail in the moodily elegant dining room.
8. Bar Isabel
Few restaurants can fill Torontonians’ hearts with pride like Bar Isabel, Little Italy’s counterpart to Barcelona’s moodily illuminated tavernas and tapas bars.
Step beneath the neon sign and through the wooden facade of this Iberian classic to discover a world of fun and flavor.
Music bursts and opulent delicacies (hello, theatrically slashed octopus) whirl around guests in such a way that it’s scientifically impossible to leave Bar Isabel without wanting to continue the party.
Let the good times roll with cocktails like the Rambla Highball or the Spanish Fizz, and don’t (we repeat, don’t) skip the basque cake covered in boiling hot sherry cream.
9. Avelo Restaurant
Avelo is a plant-based restaurant that even carnivores may support because of its attractive ambience, superb service culture, and unique menu.
This beautiful yet unpretentious plant-based restaurant, located in a classic Toronto Victorian townhouse, exemplifies everything that’s great about Church-Wellesley Village: it’s lively, it’s trendy, and it illustrates that new ways of eating can be just as enjoyable as old methods.
The menu at Avelo changes practically daily, and it may include dairy-free and nut-free cheeses, sautéed root vegetables in vegan béarnaise, mushroom ravioli in a creamy truffled cauliflower sauce, or zucchini caponata.
It also has one of the best vegan-friendly drink menus in town, with a variety of organic alternatives free of animal-based fining agents like egg whites or milk proteins.
As a sanctuary for all things plant-based, expect a younger and more funkier audience.
The dining area has only 22 chairs, so the atmosphere is quite intimate.
10. Canoe Restaurant and Bar
Canoe boasts the greatest view in Toronto, with the CN Tower to one side, planes landing at City Airport to the other, and Toronto’s magnificent skyline stretching into the distance.
And, yes, the food is as delicious as the real estate.
Canoe’s menu is an innovative, intriguing, and simply delightful celebration of flavors and ingredients from all over Canada.
There’s Quebec foie gras, the flakiest fresh Pacific salmon, and exquisite Ontario fruit and dairy.
Begin with Ontario burrata with birch-pickled cucumbers and prairie seeds or Quebec foie gras with rhubarb, pink peppercorn, and sumac meringue.
The tea-smoked duck breast with duck-liver mousse, parsnip, and poached Niagara pear is exquisite.