Toronto restaurants

By Aefa Mulholland, your Toronto expert

I write for The Irish Times, Orbitz, The Advocate, Out .... Read more

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El Trompo

Price guide: Budget
#5/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Best for Value for money -
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

A taste of Mexico in the heart of eclectic Kensington Market.

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#7/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Ossington strip mainstay serves up delectable Vietnamese goodies

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Udupi Palace

Price guide: Budget
#9/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Mecca for vegetarians and lovers of fiery South-Indian cuisine

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The Beaver

Price guide: Budget
#11/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Hip bistro/bar in the heart of the lively Queen West strip

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#16/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Funky vegan diner that keeps carnivores coming back.

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Poutini's

Price guide: Budget
#25/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:3.9 (out of 5)

Quebec's hottest dish in the heart of West Queen West.

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Pho Hung

Price guide: Budget
#27/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Best for Cheap eats -
Expert overall rating:3.8 (out of 5)

Cheap Chinatown favourite.

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The Lakeview

Price guide: Budget
#28/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:3.7 (out of 5)

24-hour diner beside social strip.

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Utopia

Price guide: Budget
#29/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Expert overall rating:3.7 (out of 5)

A Slice of Tex-Mex in Little Italy.

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Sunnyside Pavilion Cafe

Price guide: Mid-range
#30/30
expert-rated restaurants in Toronto
Best for Families -
Expert overall rating:3.6 (out of 5)

The Best Lakeside Seating in the City.

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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.

Set focus

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!