Round two in Toronto is coming to an end for Adam and I, but I feel like there’s a lot more to eat. After two years in this city, I’ve eaten out many times. Many times. The checklist on my iPhone is still growing and eating at the latest hotspot has become a hobby for me. I’ve eaten great tacos, bad bibimbap and amazing French cuisine that deserves ten Michelin stars. But my favourite Toronto restaurants aren’t necessarily award-winning and subjectively people might not even like them.
These are the spots I’ve returned to again and again, comforted by the food, the service and the atmosphere. They are the essence of the what Toronto is: a bubbling pot of finer and diner eating where you can eat breakfast from any country (my article on the Daily Hive proves it). These are my favourite Toronto restaurants. The ones I’ll miss the most. We are moving back home to St. John’s to start another chapter and while I already have a “My Favourite” list for Newfoundland’s capital city, I am pumped to find new places to eat, spend too long drinking one cup of coffee and have pints with old friends.
My Favourite Toronto Restaurants
Le Petit Déjeuner
This King East spot has the best waffles in the city. Period. Flaky, crispy and melt-in-your-mouth, my favourite way to have the waffles is with a side of Eggs Benedict (yea you read right). Check out the full review here. I have probably eaten more here than I have anywhere else in the city; we even ate here the day we eloped! Adam always gets the Croque Monsieur and I always do waffle Benny.
Le Petit Déjeuner | 191 King Street East | Toronto, ON | @petitedejeuner
There may better dumplings in Toronto (many people will tell you with certainty there is), but something about this Spadina staple keeps me going back. Steamed, boiled or pan-fried, you can get any kind of dumpling you want. The workers in the open kitchen are folding dumplings 24/7 to keep up with demand and they produce perfect pouches every time. Whenever my mom comes to town she insists we go here and order too much food. So we do, and it’s glorious.
Mother’s Dumpling | 421 Spadina Ave |Toronto, ON | @Mother_Dumpling
This burger is the closest you are getting to Shake Shack in Toronto, unless you want to wait in those godforsaken 6-hour lineups when they do a pop-up. Located unassumingly in Little Italy, Adam and I frequented this place for amazingly good burgers and fries.
Rudy | 619 College Street | Toronto, ON | @rudyresto
This small spot on Niagara Street is definitely the most high-end restaurant on the list. Their fantastic set menus featuring Spanish and French dishes will set your back a pretty penny (5/7 courses $65/$90) but it’s worth it for rum cake dessert alone. Dishes like mackerel with aged onion in its own broth, butter poached Nova Scotia lobster with tomatillo and roasted pumpkin seeds or rabbit three ways are served on beautiful heavy earthenware with wine pairings to make your mouth sing.
When Adam and I eloped we deliberated for weeks about where to eat on our wedding day. We couldn’t think of a better place. Besides the amazing food and wine we devoured over candlelight, it felt pretty damn amazing to have a whole restaurant clap and cheer for you when you enter in your finest wedding attire. It was the most special day, paired with very special food.
Edulis Restaurant | 169 Niagara St | Toronto, ON | @edulisrestaurant
One could say I’m a little obsessed with Tabule’s latest endeavour in the Canary District (read about eating three meals a day there). Living in the Distillery as a freelancer I was (literally) starving for a spot to go and eat great food while I did some work. Enter Souk Tabule. The space is amazingly designed, the labneh is on point and don’t even get me started on the Full Souk.
Souk Tabule | 494 Front Street East | Toronto, ON | @tabulemiddleasterncuisine
Banjara Indian Cuisine
This is my favourite Toronto restaurant for Indian food. Banjara’s Bloor Street location place has been around for ages and it never disappoints. They have doorbells at every table to call the prompt servers and the food is always delicious. The dinner platters are where it’s at.
Banjara Indian Cuisine | 796 Bloor Street West | Toronto, ON | @banjaraonbloor
What’s not to love about a German Beer Hall in Toronto? Wvrst has the best. THE-BEST. fries in the city. The duck fat french fries paired with one of their 16 dipping sauces like maple-rosemary or jalapeño-cilantro are worth making a visit even if you don’t drink. There’s a great selection of German beers along with an impressive list of local craft brews and the draft lines are cleaned religiously. This place is great for Sunday afternoon beers or after work sausages. Read about why I think Wvrst is the best here.
Wvrst | 609 King Street West | Toronto, ON | @wvrst
Another King East spot is one of my favourite Toronto restaurants. We live in the Distillery District and this watering hole is our favourite bar in the area for pints and wings. Betty’s is frequented by both George Brown students and young professionals so there’s always a fun vibe. The kitschy mish-mash of old Polaroids and local art makes you feel the history of the place. Plus, you can get anything to eat from pad thai to chicken pot pie to nachos at this place: it all tastes good after a few pints.
Betty’s | 240 King Street East | Toronto, ON |@bettysonking
Phở Hưng Restaurant
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve eaten at this Chinatown cornerstone, but it’s always busy. Pho Hung’s dining room is filled at 3pm on a Tuesday or 10pm on a Friday. I love going here to warm up with a bowl of pho — trust me and order the small bowl. The portions are huge!
Phở Hưng Restaurant | 350 Spadina Avenue | Toronto, ON | @phohung
Whenever Adam and I order delivery we argue about it for a bit and inevitably we order Sukhothai. The Wellington Street location is gorgeously decorated, but I prefer to slurp their fantastic Khao Soi from my couch.
Sukhothai | 247 Parliament – 52 Wellington East – 1442 Dundas West | Toronto, ON | @sukhothaifood
White Lilly Diner
While this Riverside restaurant is new (it opened in the fall of 2017) it quickly become one of my favourite Toronto restaurants because of their patty melts. This small diner has the perfect balance of old and new with Motown playing constantly, bright yellow booths and a modern aesthetic. The giant hashbrowns with malt vinegar aioli are addictive and they serve diner classics like meatloaf in a fresh modern way.
White Lily Diner | 678 Queen Street East | Toronto, ON | @whitelilydiner