You’ve already seen that Toronto has some great cheap eats. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that it’s got some excellent higher priced options as well. I’ll cover some of the nearby fine dining hotspots, but if you’re looking for something not of this list, feel free to hit up your conference concierge for recommendations.
First up is a place you’re not likely to be able score a reservation at right now: they reserve 60 days out, and are booked solid. Alo Restaurant, located at Queen and Spadina, was named the #1 restaurant in Canada this year, with a divine six course tasting menu designed by Patrick Kriss and excellent wine pairings to match. There is a bar that serves food, and a waiting list you can sign up for in person if you’re really looking to try it.
Bar Isabel (College and Ossington)and Bar Raval (College and Ossington)are Chef Grant van Gameren’s homage to Spanish tapas, and both feature an incredible variety of small plate items to satisfy any appetite. Bar Isabel is a sit down restaurant, whereas Bar Raval is a standing room only bar, with a distinctly European vibe, especially in the after work hours. And the Gaudi inspired actual bar at Bar Raval is a sight to behold.
Dailo (College and Palmerston) is another nearby hot spot, featuring Asian fusion with a menu of small and large plates built for sharing. Chef Nick Liu’s dishes up Asian flavours in new ways, making for an adventurous dining experience.
If you saw @dennisjtay post early, you knew this was coming – it’s soft shell crab season! 🦀 Tonight’s feature is fried Singapore black pepper soft shell crab with cucumber Thai herb salad, Crispy noodle nest. . . . #softshellcrab #thaiherbsalad #crispynoodle #platter #daily #feature #tgif #fritay #friday #night #sickasianfood #toronto #restaurant #collegestreeet
For those looking for Italian, there are two strong recommendations. The first is for Buca, which has posts in King West and Yorkville. The Yorkville outpost is Number 7 in The Best 100 list this year, which describes the fare as “boundary pushing Italian coastal” cuisine. It’s both non- traditional and very traditional to its Italian roots.
The other, Campagnolo, on Dundas West is a bit more traditional Italian (though still modern), and if you can get five friends together, you should really try the family style meal. It’s a feast for the eyes and the palette.
Finally, Planta, at Bay and Bloor, features a completely plant based menu, with highly innovative, tasty vegan options. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you won’t want to miss this place; if you’re not, it’s still absolutely worth your while (thought I can’t promise it’s any healthier than meat rich options!)
Reservations are highly recommended at all of these spots, but if you haven’t snagged one yet for tonight, you might want to try the app DINR, which provides day of access to many of the city’s best restaurants, including many of the above. And again, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations – there’s lots more where these came from, especially if you’re willing to stray from the area.