Top Places to Dine in Toronto and the GTA
When it comes to dining in Toronto and the GTA, there is a bevy of food talent in some of the finest and most noteworthy restaurants. Here’s a selection of some of the top-quality restaurants in the area that are tried and true among locals, foodies and food experts. Whether you enjoy an evening out in the big city of TO, or prefer to stay close to home, there is no shortage of fine restos, trattorias, bistros, and kitchens right in your own backyard. Bring out your inner foodie and satisfy your cravings at one or all of these fabulous favourites.
Alo Restaurant – Voted #1 on the top 100 for 2018 in the annual contest by Canadas100Best.com. This major coup for Toronto proves that the T.dot is a major player in the dining scene. Alo is a high-end French tasting-menu restaurant located in Toronto’s Chinatown district at the corner of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue. It’s pricey, it’s not easy to get into, however, the feedback on this place is through the roof! If you’re looking to give it a try, plan ahead because unfortunately, they are closed on Sundays and Mondays for special events. Alo Restaurant
Buca Yorkville – Rated No. 4 on Canada’s top 100 Restaurants in 2018, https://canadas100best.com/jacob-richler/ is Buca Yorkville. Set in the heart of Yorkville, Buca has consistently been admired for using the freshest ingredients, having an exciting seasonal menu, and for its ability to provide unpresented service. Although it’s rooted in Italian tradition, Buca offers more than traditional Italian fare. Critically acclaimed Director Chef Rob Gentile has the passion and creativity to bring to the table, seasonal and inventive dishes that satisfy the most discerning palettes. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner, Buca offers something for everyone. Must try: Just about anything. Buca Yorkville
Fishbone Bistro – Located on the eastern side of the GTA in Stouffville, Fishbone Bistro is one of three Fishbone eateries. They also have one in Aurora and one in Musselman’s Lake, where you can enjoy the great tasting food all summer long. Rated a 4.7/5 on Open Table - a reservation tool where customers can directly give reviews and feedback after they have eaten there, Fishbone is a popular hit. Due to its fine dining experience, it’s highly favoured by locals and returning patrons. It offers a Mediterranean/Portuguese menu which includes fresh fish, snapper, sea bass, and oysters. Dishes to try: Deep fried brussel sprouts, paella, and shrimp tacos. Ambiance: casual-elegant. Open for dinner only. Fishbone Bistro
La Palma – Located on Dundas West, La Palma invites you into its Venice Beach vibe. Serving everything from breakfast favourites to lunch and dinner, this airy Italian eatery offers morning fare, grab-&-go food plus savoury drinks. BlogTO has also described it as “a cafe and Italian takeaway spot during the day that turns into an elegant restaurant with sexy cocktails at night.” From unique cocktails to specialty coffees, a classic signature dish - 100-layer lasagna to salted caramel doughnuts, La Palma serves up classic meals while adding a little flare to each dish. Offering both decadent and healthy options is how La Palma continues to attract a line-up day in and day out. So, make sure you plan ahead when going here because you do not want to miss out. La Palma
Terra Restaurant – Since opening in 1995, Terra’s reputation has stood the test of time. This Thornhill location provides an excellent dining experience that displays high culinary standards in an elegant, comfortable interior. Terra offers special rooms for private functions and seats up to 200 guests. The restaurant’s entertainment is one to see, offering live jazz music on Friday and Saturday evenings from 9pm – midnight. Enjoy dishes like crispy prawn tacos, pastas, risotto, and duck confit spring rolls to lobster bisque, crab coquettes and delicious speciality cocktails. Terra is an award-winning recipient of the following awards - Best Eclectic Cuisine Toronto Restaurant Guide, 4x Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator, 10x Award of Excellence Wine Spectator and the Cuvee Award Best Ontario Wine List.Terra Restaurant
Dandylion - This small, 30-odd seat room has much charm in its simple design, but the reason this restaurant is full, night after night according to the people at Canada’s top 100, has mostly to do with the Chef and co-owner Jason Carter who trained and worked with the best—Susur Lee, Marc Thuet—and since has quietly earned his reputation as being one of the most skilled chefs in the City of Toronto. Offering a French European cuisine, Chef Carter describes his food as simple, but its simplicity goes beyond its proficiencies. Enjoy warm bread made fresh daily, hearty soups, a variety of pork, chicken and fish dishes all succulent and seasoned perfectly and served in a casual setting. Sitting at the No. 12 spot on Canada’s top 100, I’d say it’s worth the trip to 1198 Queen Street West. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Il Postino Restaurant – A tried and true favourite located in the charming village of Unionville, Il Postino serves up classic Italian favourites, pastas, meat dishes, seafood and pizza. The setting is a spacious historical building in the heart of Main Street Unionville with a large patio for dining al fresco in the summer. Rated 4.7/5 by consumers on Open Table, Il Postino is in the top places to dine in Markham. Be sure to try favourites like their seafood antipasto platter- great for sharing, confit chicken entrée, or their funghi pizza. When was the last time you tried penne alla vodka? Il Postino Restaurant
Oca Nera – Tucked away beside a gas station in Woodbridge off Islington Avenue, Oca Nera is far from obscure and one of Vaughan’s finest. Chef Corrado Giliberto, also known as Corrie, is the man behind the exceptional menu. Chef Corrie is passionate about the meals he makes and bringing people together with food. Some of the must try dishes are: Signature Strega which is wild Argentinian shrimp laced in a crisp spaghettini twist cradled in a warm Strega remoulade, (Whoa!) Rodney’s Oysters, grappa lacquered baby back ribs, and their wild boar gnocchi. Judge the menu for yourself and attend a nice balance of what seems complicated and simple but comes together perfectly. Either way, there is not a dish that doesn’t sound succulently delicious! Oca Nera
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen – If you’ve never been, it’s a must go destination for scrumptious brunch with your bestie, your tribe, or as a couple. But don’t kid yourself, this resto has more to offer than brunch. Have a look at their lunch and dinner menu. Catchy names make the entire menu worth reading, get ‘All Shakshuka’d Up’ with a yummy red pepper stuffed with eggs, tomato, cumin and smoked paprika. Every dish more appetizing than the next, and finding a favourite won’t be difficult as long as you bring your best appetite. Once you’re hooked, you’ll be having cravings to eat here time and time again. Since Mother’s Day is fast approaching, try Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, it’s has a casual vibe, but line-ups can be long if you don’t get there early. There’s too many great dishes to mention, so just go there and check it out for yourself! Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Belsito Trattoria – Vino – It’s not just another Italian restaurant. Often passion and experience can transform the way we enjoy Italian cuisine. That’s why Belsito Trattoria in Kleinburg is catching some attention among Vaughan patrons because it’s more than an ordinary new Italian trattoria, it’s an exceptional culinary experience. Chef Gino Guercio has won numerous awards and has a background in executive chef roles that include, the Four Seasons and many others. What can you expect at Belsito? Menu highlights include: baccala fritto alla belsitese (salted cod with a warm tomato, caper & chive salsa), orecchiette alla calabrese, "Napoléon" di filetto di manzo (8oz. Alberta Black Angus filet mignon layered with rosti potatoes & grilled asparagus, barolo red wine jus), linguine frutti di mare "al cartoccio" (wrapped in a savoury pizza dough and baked in the Napolitano oven) and much more. Belsito Trattoria – Vino
That wraps up our favourites. Now, which one is your favourite?
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