Dining in Toronto poses a challenge. Not because the options are limited, but because the options are magnificently plentiful. Let your cravings guide you to find the cuisine that suits your mood, because you’re destined to find the fare that will leave you perfectly satisfied, from drink to dessert and every possibility in between.
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Toronto features 13 restaurants that have earned their Michelin star, or stars in one case, as well as many that have topped Canada's 100 Best list. High-end fine dining is easy to find in Toronto, the difficult task is settling on just one. What are some of the best fine-dining restaurants in Toronto? Here’s just a taste.
88 Avenue Rd., Toronto, M5R 2H2, Canada
Toronto’s only restaurant with two Michelin Stars, Sushi Masaki Saito, stands out in many other memorable ways as well. For many, Itamae Msaki Saito’s restaurant contains what you’d expect–traditional Japanese panelling, lots of woodwork in varying shades of blonde, and noren hanging in the entryway. But this hidden gem is incredibly exclusive, only offering two nightly seatings of eight at predetermined time blocks, with a predictably long waitlist.
The Omakase menu is made up of six otsumami courses that are followed by eleven sushi courses. The entire meal, with its delicate, exacting, and artful preparation right before you, lasts about three hours. Given the structure and seasonality of the meal, you may experience dishes such as junsai with mozuku seaweed and uni, chutoro with white truffles, tokishirazu, or unagi kabayaki. The menu is an unknown adventure, as is the experience, and is priced at $680 per person.
66 Wellington St W 54th floor, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6, Canada
With panoramic views of the city 54 floors below, dining at Canoe feels like a special occasion even if there isn’t one. Executive chef John Horne’s contemporary approach to Canadian cuisine has earned Canoe a rightful place on Canada’s 100 Best restaurant list. The atmosphere is as luxe-contemporary as the dishes, with a slick black marble bar that seems to stretch on for miles, mod globe chandeliers, and luscious gold velvet dining chairs.
The dishes are seasonal, due to chef Horne’s dedication to sourcing only Canadian ingredients, like foie gras from Quebec, Ontario lamb saddle, and local vegetables. Canoe’s menu is stacked with modern interpretations of traditional Canadian fare and can include miso-glazed venison tartare with coffee crumbs, Northern Woods mushroom soup with balsam fir crème fraîche, tea smoked duck breast, and Great Lakes pickerel.
The wine list is a who’s who of the best Canadian producers, with a special focus on Ontario varietals. Opt for the tasting menu or sip a seasonal cocktail at the bar.
163 Spadina Ave., Toronto, M5V 2L6, Canada
On the third floor of an unassuming Victorian heritage building in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood, you’ll find chef Patrick Kriss’ elusive restaurant, Alo. After recognition as the number one restaurant on Canada’s 100 Best list and earning a coveted star from Michelin, Alo garnered a following that has made a reservation one of the most difficult to attain in the city.
The multi-course blind-tasting menu is an array of contemporary European-Asian fare. The menu is based on the seasonality of its ingredients and can include anything from a creamy Koshihikari risotto with porcini emulsion or Hokkaido sea urchin with fennel, wasabi, and yuzu. to a rack of lamb with Thai green curry or Venetian caviar.
The almost sculptural presentation of each dish is at once whimsical yet sophisticated. The four savoury courses and dessert is priced at $155 per person and may even include a surprise dish or two from the expert culinary artisans during the meal.
4150 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M2P 2C6
Canoe’s sister restaurant, Auberge du Pommier, resides in the North York neighbourhood of Toronto and delivers contemporary French cuisine a la chef, Tim Schulte. Auberge du Pommier exudes a rustic charm that’s owed to the two 1860s woodcutters' cottages that the restaurant encompasses. Wood-burning fireplaces create a sophisticated and warm atmosphere in the winter while the lush terrace provides a lovely al fresco experience in the summer.
Indulge in the menu dégustation, or tasting menu, with lobster squash bisque, hand-cut beef tartare, or côte de bœuf. The tasting menu with champagne pairings is priced at $195 per person. The a la carte menu may showcase offerings like gnocchi with roasted sun choke, onion soubise, parsnip and crispy kale or Lavender Birch Glazed Duck Breast. As for dessert, well, the now-famed restaurant has an entire menu dedicated to the course. Each menu changes with the seasons.
With over 500 wine selections and a generous selection of cocktails, you’re sure to find just the right marriage of libation and cuisine.
419 College St., Toronto, M5T 1T1, Canada
Quetzal earned its Michelin star by bringing little-known Mexican ingredients to Toronto and marrying them with local Canadian produce for a perfectly unique modern dining experience on the edge of the trendy Toronto neighbourhood, the Annex. Once inside, the space offers an undulating sculptural ceiling where the lighting is concealed, creating a warm glow that envelopes its guests.
The serenity of the space is contrasted by the active open kitchen that features a 28-foot-long wood-burning grill, where almost everything on the menu passes through before landing in the care of the single chef who’s preparing tortillas from heirloom corn at the earthenware comal. If guests can’t decide between the lamb barbacoa packed into griddled, blue masa tortillas and charred maitake mushrooms set in a crema poblana, the dry-aged amberjack aguachile, or the scallop ceviche, the talented staff will build a personal tasting menu. Delight in a refined agave-based cocktail, a superb selection of mezcal, or an extensive wine list.
Toronto is known for offering variety–variety of cuisine, events, experiences, art, and architecture. Get inspired by the fine dining options all around you and take that inspiration home to your own chef-worthy kitchen. SevernWoods is well-versed in everything fine, creating residential spaces that rival your favourite high-end restaurant’s aesthetics and style. To bring contemporary or traditional architectural delights into your own luxury home, contact SevernWoods for a consultation to stake a claim of your own best-of-Toronto custom home-building experience.