There are countless reasons to visit the very multicultural city of Toronto, the largest city in Canada. Movie lovers flock to the Toronto International Film Festival. Sightseers explore CN Tower. Tourists pedal around town on Toronto Bicycle Tours. Romantics head to Niagara Falls. And, history lovers follow in the footsteps of abolitionist Harriet Tubman with Canadian Black History Tours.
But if you’re a food fan, you can have the best vacation ever! Just stay at a centrally located downtown hotel (Sheraton Centre Toronto), then explore the wonderful mix of trendy restaurants that are as varied and exciting as the city. Check out a few gems.
Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen – Go West Indian
One love! People who crave Jamaican food gather in this tropical paradise. It’s set in a restored circa-1890 rowhouse, where palm tree murals line interior walls. It’s as if you’re dining on a patio at a Negril beach resort. Chief Culture Officer Angela Lawrence designed the immersive Jamaican dining experience with her homeland in mind. That same spirit guided Jamaican-born Chef de Cuisine Donavon Campbell as he created a wonderful West Indian menu that locals and ex-patriots adore.
Our picks: 1. Start with Saltfish Fritters or the Kale and Pomegranate Salad. 2. Indulge in Port Royal Mac N’ Cheese (made with Cod Fish) or Curry Goat. 3. End with Coconut Pudding.
Casa Fuego –- Succulent Peruvian Steak
An earthy South American feel shrouds you when you walk into this Peruvian/Argentinian restaurant. Perhaps it’s the wood and charcoal burning grill cooking Argentinian-style steaks to perfection. Or the Nikkei bar that serves the freshest ceviche (raw fish cured in citrus juices). Sit down and let that caliente Latin vibe touch your soul. Rev up your appetite for the tasty fish and beef, and pay attention to the Wagyu meat selections—that fat marbling technique makes their steaks tender, buttery and savory as they melt in your mouth.
Our picks: 1. Yuzu Collins cocktail. 2. Start with Ceviches Mixto (shrimp, scallop, Leche de Tigre). 3. Indulge in an Entraña (Wagyu Skirt Steak). 4. End with Tres Leches (cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream).
Louix Louis –- A Crown Jewel Restaurant
Impressive! That’s what you’ll think when you ascend up to the 31st floor of the classy St. Regis Hotel. Its crown jewel restaurant features 60-foot high ceilings, handsome gilded walls and a two-story high Grand Bar with a mirror background. The ritzy patrons (chic in-crowd, businesspeople, wealthy types) shamelessly gather at the gorgeous bar for selfies. Come here for the dazzling cocktails: New York Sour and Silver Gin Fizz. And also for the delectable French- & American-inspired dishes. Walk out on the terrace for the wondrous city views. Très belle!
Our picks: 1. Start with Caviar or the Smoked Scallop with caviar cream. 2. Indulge in Branzino for dinner (it comes with pea & mint purée, wild rice, preserved lemon, purple kale.) 3. Sweeten the experience with the Instagram-worthy 13-layer Kings Cake.
Miku Toronto — Going Japanese
So how does one exceptional Japanese restaurant distinguish itself from others? It invents a new food item: Aburi Oshi Sushi; that’s sushi prepared by using a flame-seared technique that every-so-slightly cooks sushi on the top, with signature sauces, as it lies on a rectangle of rice. Try it with salmon, prawns or mackerel. The staff greets you at the door with a welcome chant. Dinner can come with sake (Japanese rice wine) pairings. The tasty food, attentive service and convivial atmosphere make this a superior Japanese dining experience.
Our picks: 1. Go for the “Miku” tasting menu. Five courses of chef’s favorites, which include sushi, their famed Aburi Oshi Sushi and Prime Rib. 2. End it with Green Tea Opera (green tea genoise with matcha ice cream). 3. Ask the Sake specialist about his favorite after dinner sake.
The Civic – Classic Canadian Cuisine
Offering an elevated Canadian cuisine in a vintage-inspired space is the hallmark of this small intimate restaurant in The Broadview Hotel, which dates back to 1891. The locally sourced food represents the growing regions of Ontario, a nod to the power of seasonal dishes and a homage to traditional cooking techniques taken to a whole new level by Chef Richard Singh. The dining room with its rustic walls and red tufted leather seating provide a cozy ambiance. Simple menu. Simply delicious food. Oh Canada!
Our picks: 1. Start with Sweet Corn Soup. 2. Indulge in the Roasted Wild Halibut Coco or the Duo of Ontario Lamb (slow-cooked breast, roasted saddle, labneh, peas, lamb jus).
Baro – Una Cocina Vibrante!
A synergy of Latin influences makes this good-vibe, casual and classy restaurant vibrant. The essence of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia is in the air and on the menu. The goal here is clear: “…where traditional Latin culture and cuisine can be reimagined with distinct modern flair.”
That’s why Executive Chef Steve Gonzalez’s food tastes like it’s from age-old recipes but made in someone‘s cutting-edge kitchen. The lively kitchen, service staff’s energy and south-of the-equator cuisine creates supreme dining that is satiating and entertaining too.
Our picks: 1. Start with Fish Taco 2. Indulge in Fresh Whole Fish (delicately fried Branzino) or the Lomo Saltado (beef tenderloin). 3. End with Churros (fried dough) or Helaoo Del Dia (the popsicle of the day).
Victor – Chef-driven Comfort Food
When Danny Glover comes to Toronto he favors the Hotel Le Germain on Mercer Street. The hotel’s lobby restaurant, Victor, serves its version of international comfort food. Meals of the day are based on what’s fresh and the chef’s latest creative whim. The quiet atmosphere is romantic enough for dinner or a night cap after a movie. Languish in peace as you dine on an unhurried meal that’s a calculated mix of classic dishes with contemporary twists. Just enough to keep you comfortable and ready to try something new.
Our picks: 1. Start with Frisee Salad (poached egg, lardons, mustard vinaigrette). 2. Indulge in the Panko Crusted Eggplant or the Butter Roasted Scallops, or the Blackened Rainbow Trout.