A Foodie’s Guide to Toronto

Canada’s biggest city is a food lover’s paradise. One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, shaped by generations of immigration from all around the globe, Toronto has a food scene unlike any other city in Canada — and one that rivals any city on the globe.

If you find yourself in Toronto looking for new flavors to experience, you’re in luck. The city of diverse neighborhoods offers just about everything a discerning palate could want, from high-end fine dining – including, rumor has it, a few Michelin stars coming soon – to hole-in-the-wall neighborhood joints beloved of locals in the know.

Drop off your bags at a Toronto luggage locker, and you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in the ever-changing food landscape of the city. Just don’t forget to bring your appetite with you.

Best Toronto neighborhoods for foodies

There’s no shortage of great places to eat in Toronto, but some neighborhoods are definitely better known than others for their food scene. Here are a few of the best:

1. The Annex: This central neighborhood is home to some of Toronto’s most iconic restaurants, including The Drake Hotel and trendsetting spot Bar Raval.

2. Chinatown: One of the largest Chinatowns in North America, this is the place to go for authentic Chinese cuisine. Don’t miss Yonghe King for dumplings or Congee Queen for a delicious bowl of rice porridge.

3. Kensington Market: A bohemian neighborhood with a strong Latin American influence, Kensington Market is the perfect place to sample fresh, cheap eats. Don’t miss El Gordo’s for tacos or San Francesco Foods for Italian-style sandwiches.

4. Queen West: This trendy neighborhood is home to some of Toronto’s best restaurants, including Momofuku Noodle Bar and The restaurant at The Gladstone Hotel.

5. Ossington: A rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with a strong foodie presence, Ossington is home to spots like 416 Snack Bar and Raca Cafe.

Toronto top food events

No matter what time of year you visit Toronto, there’s sure to be a food festival or event happening that will tantalize your taste buds.

Winterlicious: A citywide event held every February, Winterlicious features prix-fixe menus at some of Toronto’s best restaurants.

Taste of the Danforth: Held every August, this Greek-themed food festival is one of the largest in the city and features plenty of delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Sausagefest: A celebration of all things sausage, this September event features grilled sausages from all over the world, as well as beer and live music.

CNE: The Canadian National Exhibition, held every August, is one of the biggest events in the city and features a food building with over 100 vendors offering up delicious treats.

Toronto Food Truck Festival: This summer event features over 50 food trucks from all over the city, serving up everything from gourmet grilled cheese to Korean-style fried chicken.

Where to eat in Toronto

the city’s culinary landscape is nothing if not dynamic. The ongoing real estate boom in the city means that restaurants in Toronto operate on razor-thin margins, and so even seemingly successful establishments can suddenly disappear without notice.

Plus, any list of the best restaurants can only be subjective. Part of the fun of exploring Toronto’s food scene is finding your own favorites, including lesser-known places most people will never visit.

Still, some restaurants have consistently remained head and shoulders above the competition. Here are a few of the must-try places to eat when you’re in Toronto.

Momofuku Noodle Bar: One of the most popular restaurants in the city, Momofuku Noodle Bar is known for its delicious ramen and pork buns.

The Black Hoof: A unique restaurant specializing in nose-to-tail dining, The Black Hoof offers a dining experience unlike any other.

Buca: A cozy Italian spot with two locations in the city, Buca is known for its wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta.

Bar Raval: A Spanish-themed tapas bar from the team behind The Black Hoof, Bar Raval is one of the most buzzed-about restaurants in Toronto.

Aloette: A fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, Aloette serves modern French cuisine.

DaiLo: A hipster-friendly spot serving up pan-Asian cuisine, DaiLo has quickly become one of the most popular restaurants in Toronto.

The Harbord Room: A neighborhood restaurant with a focus on seasonal and local ingredients, The Harbord Room is a great place to get a taste of what Toronto’s culinary scene has to offer.

416 Snack Bar: A tiny Ossington Avenue spot specializing in small plates, 416 Snack Bar is perfect for a casual night out with friends.

Raca Cafe: A cozy cafe serving up homemade Romanian fare, Raca Cafe is a hidden gem in Toronto’s Ossington neighborhood.

The Gladstone Hotel: A trendy hotel with a popular restaurant and bar, The Gladstone Hotel is a great spot for people-watching.

Buca Osteria & Bar: The second location from the team behind Buca, Buca Osteria & Bar is a more casual spot serving up wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta.

The Chase: A modern American seafood restaurant from famed chef David Chang, The Chase is one of the most buzzed-about restaurants in the city.

Conclusion

The truth is, whatever you like to eat, you can find it in Toronto. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Cantonese cuisine or Canadian-Polynesian fusion, you can probably find a restaurant that fits the bill in one of the city’s many diverse neighborhoods.

And if you’re ever in doubt about where to eat in Toronto, just ask a local. Everyone has their own favorites, and they aren’t shy about sharing.

Toronto’s food scene is as vibrant as everything else about this memorable city. So make some time to explore the food of the city on your next trip and discover what makes Toronto so delicious.

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