Foodie Finds: The 5 Best Places to Eat in Toronto

by Cambria Ravenhill / Jul 04, 2008 / 4 comments

Toronto is known as the multi-cultural capital of Canada, and the range of restaurants doesn’t disappoint. If it’s a particular country or a cuisine you seek, you’ll find it here! The city has a Greektown, Indiatown, two Chinatowns plus large Portuguese, Spanish and Italian areas (the Italian restaurants in Toronto are so numerous, they deserve their own list). Below are my favorites, which I love not only because the food is consistently great, but also the ambience in each makes eating there extra special.


5 best places to eat in Toronto - advice from a local

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Rob, adapted by Wandering Educators

1. Barberians Steakhouse
7 Elm St. 416-597-0335

This is a landmark Toronto classic, known for serving the best steaks in the city for almost five decades. Located in a historic building, its like stepping back in time and leaving the crowds and noise of the downtown behind. The restaurant is full of Canadian art and antiques, and has one of the largest wine cellars in the city - 30,000 bottles. Its steak at its best, with very little to offer vegetarians! Unless of course you love great seafood - the Nova Scotia lobster is a standout.

2. Batifole
744 Gerrard St East. 416-462-9965

A hard-to-find French restaurant in the middle of Toronto’s east-end Chinatown. Rated by Zagat Guides as a “hidden jewel” and listed as one of the 100 best restaurants in Canada, it’s worth the trip to the out-of-the-way location. The chef actually visits each table during the evening to ensure everyone is enjoying their food. The menu reflects the season, is always authentic Gaelic and they serve the best escargot in Toronto Go early in the week, when there are less crowds and less noise.

3. Canoe
54th floor, 66 Wellington St West, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, 416-364-0054

You can’t get more Canadian than the name or the food. Main dishes include Canadian-themed items such as bison and Arctic Char. There is also more mainstream fare, and a special “tasting menu”, which highlights seasonal produce. The food is consistently first-rate, making this a very popular spot (reservations are recommended). The location is the top floor of a downtown business tower, so the décor is sophisticated and the view is simply amazing.

4. Allen’s Restaurant Bar and Backyard
143 Danforth Ave. 416-463-3086

Located in the trendy Danforth strip, this restaurant/bar has Toronto’s widest choice of beers and whiskies. The menu also has something to please everyone, even kids and they serve a truly fantastic hamburger. The décor is a tribute to a New York Irish saloon, with high-ceilings, dark wood and tables with blue-checked tablecloths. Don’t miss the sister establishment next store, the Dora Keogh, which is a traditional Irish pub and hosts incredibly popular Celtic music concerts every Sunday afternoon.

5. Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine
207 Queens Quay West, 2nd floor 416-203-1233

The Pearl has been a Toronto institution for over 20 years, with a reputation for great service and a fabulous Sunday Dim Sum brunch. It’s located in the historic Queens Quay building on the Toronto waterfront, so the views are as good as the food. The huge windows overlook Lake Ontario and you can spend a lovely afternoon pricing the yachts in the adjacent marinas. For an equally good - though lakeless - meal, try the The Pink Pearl, in Yorkville. If its September, your view here just might be celebrities attending the nearby Toronto Film Festival.


List of more Best Places To Eat




Comments (4)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 10 months ago


    Cambria - what fantastic finds you've given us! I can't wait to get to Toronto!


    Jessie Voigts


  • monacake

    15 years 1 month ago

    i am hoping to get up there this year and will take this list with me. as for the lack of vegetarian fare, we can always get the chef to make someting - even if it's just a fancy salad of baked veg!

  • Kate Cookee

    14 years 9 months ago

    Hi my vote goes to  New & Vintage look, rare motorcycle art, detail &branding style in every way including Fuss's new hand picked playlist, it's an experience You have to try!!! Featuring "The Original Steak Burger", AAA Ground Fresh on Site,highest quality ingredients, everything is made to order, variety of Original Steak Burgers, Free Range Chicken, Veggie Burgers, Fussy Wings, Soup & Salads, Original Fries, Sweet Potato Fries & Onion Rings.

  • LadyExpat

    14 years 1 month ago


    Toronto has so many great places. This is a wonderful list.


    [email protected]

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