October 20, 2021

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Food never sleeps

The Best Restaurants In Toronto Picked By 6 Of The City’s Top Chefs & Owners

4 min read

If you’re a foodie who is constantly wondering where to have your next meal in Toronto, then look no further. Narcity spoke to six well-known chefs and restaurateurs from across the city, who shared their favourite bucket-list restaurants you just simply have to try.

From fancy French cuisine worthy of a Michelin star to classic Italian fare that will fill your pasta cravings, you’re going to want to put these six Toronto restaurants on your wish-to-eat list (if you haven’t already).

DaiLo

Chef and television host Roger Mooking said his top restaurant to go to is none other than DaiLo in Little Italy.

“Nick, Trevor and the team there make some of the most delicious food on the planet,” Mooking told Narcity. “The ambiance is transformative and their dedication to unobtrusive and attentive service is stellar.”

DaiLo offers up New Asian cuisine, offering plenty of Chinese classic dishes that “follows the French tradition”, according to the restaurant’s website. Can’t decide on what to eat when you get here? Opt for DaiLo’s choice where the chef will hand-pick your entire meal.

DaiLo, 503 College St., Toronto, ON

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Grey Gardens

Chef Nuit Regular (behind Pai, Sabai Sabai, and Kiin) says that one of her favourite restaurants in the 6ix is Grey Gardens in Kensington Market.

“The food is always beautiful and outstanding, highlighting fresh ingredients without being overly fussy,” the cookbook author told Narcity. “The space is very charming with a great atmosphere. It’s just a wonderful place to go enjoy a meal with Jeff or with friends over delicious food and a bottle of wine.”

The restaurant, owned by the famous and outspoken Jen Agg, describes its food as “New North American or whatever,” and offers up an extensive wine list that will have you wanting to sip on fine wines all day.

Grey Gardens, 199 Augusta Ave., Toronto, ON

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Joso’s

Die-hard Drake stans might recognize a certain booth at Joso’s, which was featured on his Grammy Award-winning album, Take Care, and pictures him brooding at a dinner table with a golden chalice in hand.

But Drake isn’t the only one who loves Joso’s — the head judge on Top Chef Canada, Mark McEwan, frequents it, too.

“Bucket list standard for sure,” McEwan told Narcity. “I love the simplicity of the preparation, perfect product, and gentle touch. It’s been a part of the scene for as long as I can remember. And who doesn’t love Leo.”

Joso’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been offering fine foods to guests in the 6ix since the 1960s and has become a Toronto staple.

Joso’s, 202 Davenport Rd., Toronto, ON

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Terroni

Hanif Harji (the CEO of Scale Hospitality who is behind the new Toronto Beach Club, Byblos and many other Toronto restaurants) says he is a huge fan of Terroni.

“I love the design of their locations, the menu is the same so my greatest hits are always available and if I want to be adventurous they have daily specials,” Harji told Narcity. “The food is consistently good and they are truly Italian through and through. They also have a great wine list – I love honest, authentic simple food.”

The Italian-style restaurant offers mountains of freshly-made pasta and has three different locations across the city near Price Street, Queen Street, and Adelaide Street West.

Terroni, 1095 Yonge St., Toronto, ON

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Vela

Hemant Bhagwani (who owns GOA Indian Farm Kitchen, Popa and Amaya Restaurant) told Narcity his favourite restaurant is Vela.

“I have been there a few times already and love the stunning and elegant room and the food is classic American old school dishes with a twist,” Bhagwani said.

“My favourite dishes are the caviar sandwich, shrimp cocktail, beef tartare, Vela pasta with nduja and shrimp & Iberico pork secreto,” Bhagwani continued. “Their cocktail list is creative and different.”

Nestled at King and Portland, this innovative restaurant offers a high-end dining experience. “The opulence of the space is truly remarkable, as is the fact that it was opened during COVID times when everyone is leery of investing,” Bhagwani said. “We need a few more restaurants like this in Toronto.”

Vela, 90 Portland St., Toronto, ON

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Alo

Janet Zuccarini, the CEO and owner of Gusto 54 and resident judge of Top Chef Canada, told Narcity that her top pick would have to be none other than Alo restaurant on Spadina.

“Anything Chef Patrick Kriss does… I am there,” Zuccarini said. “Alo has the most refined tasting menu in Toronto, but still remains edgy and cool. The hospitality, food, and vibes are outstanding. If Michelin Star existed in Canada — Alo would have three.”

Alo offers a contemporary French tasting menu to guests, who typically make reservations months in advance. Though the restaurant is currently closed, Torontonians can order up a multi-course menu that can be delivered right to the comforts of their own home.

Alo, 163 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON

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