Toronto restaurants

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Queen Mother

Price guide: Mid-range
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Asian fusion and the city's best patio.

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There are a lot of reasons why Toronto’s multiculturalism is a good thing. My favourite reason, though, is how great multiculturalism tastes. More than half of the residents of Toronto were born outside Canada, so when you go that Sri Lankan or Peruvian or Filipino or Greek restaurants, odds are that not only is the chef from that country, but he or she is cooking for a clientele that wants the authentic flavours of home. So instead of tasting diluted and adapted ethnic eats, in Toronto it’s the real deal on the menu. Toronto truly is one of the world’s top restaurant cities.

So, if food is top of your Toronto itinerary, you should definitely mark a few strategic ethnic neighbourhoods on your map. Start with the main Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas, Little Italy, Koreatown, the Latin quarter on St. Clair, Portugal Village and the emerging Little Tibet in the west, and Little India and Greektown in the east.

For non-ethnic eats, there are some restaurant strips that everyone should aim for; Ossington, between Queen and Dundas; Harbord’s restaurant row; Dundas West, between Sheridan and Shaw; West Queen West (and increasingly, Parkdale); and Queen East from Broadview to Jones.

Head to King West or Yorkville for splashy see-and-be-seen venues.

People have dinner anytime between 6pm and 9pm in Toronto, but there are plenty of late night options and even a good few decent 24-hour destinations, such as the Lakeview on Dundas at Ossington.

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Although I’ve been a travel writer for what seems like an eon, I’m a Hotel School graduate and former restaurant manager and chef, so I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to what makes a restaurant an amazing restaurant.

I’ve picked a selection of the restaurants that win the most raving reviews, along with the very best ones found a little off the tourist radar, the ones that I while away my breakfast, lunch and dinner times in, the ones I drag all my visitors to. It’s a selection that ranges from a bustling, bright Chinatown canteen that serves incredible cheap pho to a starry constellation of celebrity chef-helmed dining destinations — and everything in between.

The incredible restaurant scene is quite honestly one of the things that keeps me in Toronto. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!