The 22 Best Restaurants In Toronto For 2014 (To Try In 2015)

Agave Y Aguacate

35 Baldwin St. (Spadina and Dundas)

Mexican The reason to go: "[Chef Francisco] Alejandri’s tostada de tinga – tinga translates loosely as “beautiful mess” – is exactly that: pulled chicken spread over a crispy tortilla, slathered in a chorizo and piquin sauce and topped with beans, avocado, crema and pickled onions." — EnRoute Price range: Shareable dishes from $7 to $15

The Atlantic (note: the restaurant has been open since 2010, but the concept behind it changed this year)

1597 Dundas St. W. (Dundas and Dufferin)

No menu. According to chef Nathan Isberg, "I choose the best ingredients I can find every day." But don't expect much gluten, dairy or other allergens, and no red meat. The reason to go: "The mad, challenging, soulful, seriocomic Atlantic was without question the most brain-affecting restaurant I encountered in a joyful, food-filled week in Toronto." —Giles Coren Price range: Pay what you can — chef Isberg can even been known to take barters.

Bar Buca

75 Portland St. (King and Spadina)

Italian The reason to go: "Those bianchetti are tiny fried smelt dusted with fennel salt, and you could eat about a thousand of them, but pace yourself. The cuore is a skewer of Chianti-marinated beef heart cubes with vermouth-spiked cipollini onions and a robiola cheese sauce, tangy and chewy and bloody." — EnRoute Price range: Shareable dishes from $3 to $1

Barsa Taberna

6 Market St. (St. Lawrence Market)

Spanish tapas The reason to go: "Barsa Taberna nails the vibe of an Old World Spain, blends in new twists on classic Spanish tapas dishes and tops it all off with a must-try red sangria." — HuffPost Canada editors Price range: Shareable tapas from $9 to $13; mains $13 to $32


11 Duncan St. (University and King)

Middle-Eastern variety The reason to go: "The octopus is excellent: it’s cut into rounds and set over a Turkish salad: tomatoes, cucumber, mint, chiles, superb olive oil and pomegranate seeds. They do a very good shakshouka here also, that classic Middle Eastern and North African dish of bubbling spiced tomato sauce with eggs." — The Globe and Mail Price range: Small dishes from $6 to $17; large from $13 to $42 (all shareable)

The Carbon Bar

99 Queen St. E. (Queen and Church)

So much meat The reason to go: "Whether you're there for the after-work bar scene and its accompanying cocktails, or the all-carnivore 'Master Platter' that includes pork ribs, beef brisket and fried chicken to get a taste of everything, this place is geared towards satisfaction." — HuffPost Canada editors Price range: Snacks and appetizers from $5 to $15; mains $19 to $27

Cluny Bistro

35 Tank House Lane (Distillery District)

Modern French The reason to go: "Frog's Legs: These were lightly fried and so delicious that the meat almost fell off the bone. The drizzle atop them was spicy and slightly sweet with a side of Celery kimchee." — Yelp Price range: Appetizers and snacks $8 to $21; mains $12 to $28


503 College St. (College and Bathurst)

Chinese meets French The reason to go: "[Chef Nick] Liu steams rice with star anise, ginger and cinnamon, fries it with egg and chili-barbecue tofu, then adds truffle paste, truffle oil and black truffle shavings — it’s sweet, spicy, funky and wholly addictive. — Toronto Life Price range: Appetizers $4 to $13; mains $16 to $39


1198 Queen St. W. (Queen and Gladstone)

Fresh, seasonally oriented offerings that rely on international tastes The reason to go: " From the delicate rice paper menu, to the hand-made wool bread basket, to the aptly chosen utensils - everything felt precious and well-thought-out." —Chowhound Price range: Appetizers $13 to $16; mains $19 to $22

Eastside Social

1008 Queen St. E. (Queen and Carlaw)

East Coast comfort food The reason to go: "Moist salt-cod balls dipped in tomatillo salsa or romesco make an irresistible starter, as do brandy-buttered mushrooms on toast." — Toronto Life Price range: Shareable dishes $3.50 to $21

Farmer's Daughter

1588 Dupont St. (Dupont and Dundas)

Casual seafood dining, and brunch The reason to go: "Rashers of crumbly lamb bacon and stalks of spring asparagus criss-cross the plate, the lot finished with a toss of baby red radish sprouts and a butterless hollandaise that borders on foam. I don't know what to do first - slowly inhale or upload a snapshot to my Instagram account." — NOW magazine (RIP Steven Davey) Price range: Appetizers $9 to $17; mains $18 to $25

Fat Pasha

414 Dupont St. (Dupont and Bathurst)

Jewish comfort food The reason to go: "[Couscous] never had it so good. It’s smooth from butter, hot from harissa and garnished with apricots, figs, dates, prunes, charred onions and olives." — Joanne Kates Price range: Appetizers and sides $7 to $19; mains $24 to $37

King Place

236 Sherbourne St. (Dundas and Sherbourne)

Pakistani and Indian The reason to go: "The channa masala, the staple Pakistani/Indian dish that is often so boring was absolutely excellently executed here. Great depth of flavour with a lovely amount of heat." —Yelp Price range: Dishes from $6.99 to $10.99

Kwan Dim Sum + Chinese Cuisine

1496 Yonge St. (Yonge and St. Clair)

Dim sum and Chinese food, of course! The reason to go: "Homemade har gow and siu mai — ­delicate bundles of steamed shrimp and pork, respectively — are sensationally moist and flavourful." — Toronto Life Price range: Mains $10 to $20

Mamakas Taverna

80 Ossington Ave. (Queen and Ossington)

Greek taverna The reason to go: "Should you like briny little fish (like I do) the opportunity should be seized when it presents itself. These ones are coated delicately, well seasoned and fried to a pale yellow. Half a lemon and aioli dip come on the side." — BlogTO Price range: Shareable snacks and appetizers $6 to $22; mains $18 to $24

Patois Toronto

794 Dundas St. W. (Dundas and Bathurst)

"Caribbean meets Asian soul food" The reason to go: "The winning dish for me is none other than the juicy jerk chicken, done churrasco-style and it lives up to its name." — Yelp Price range: Shareable dishes from $5 to $15 (or the whole menu for $99.99, which feeds three to four people)

Sea Witch Fish and Chips

636 St. Clair Ave. W. (St. Clair and Christie)

Fish and chips (along with onion rings and poutine) The reason to go: "The Sea Witch’s battered fish comes out of the oil puffed and sizzling, richly golden mostly, but blistered in places to the colour of stout. The crust is gloriously crunchy and just the right level of greasy, seasoned perfectly." — The Globe and Mail Price range: Mains $10 to $14

The Good Son

1096 Queen St. W. (Queen and Dovercourt)

Italian The reason to go: "The atmosphere, service and decor were great, as was the food (pizzas are the standout, but they also make a mean burger). A place that's easy to return to again and again." — HuffPost Canada editors Price range: Snacks and appetizers $7 to $19; mains $14 to $34 (plus a $79 rib eye)

Wilbur Mexicana

552 King St. W. (King and Spadina)

Mexican The reason to go: "Besides the extensive choice in salsas and hot sauces, the chicken tinga tacos at this new casual dining spot are flavourful and packed, while the guac can only be described as addictive." — HuffPost Canada editors Price range: Appetizers $3.50 to $5; mains $3.75 to $13


81 Harbord St. (Harbord and Spadina)

Authentic Japanese sushi The reason to go: "[What's] extraordinary about eating here, beyond all the fish’s tastes and textures and remarkably different characters, is how the focus and the pace of the meal – one piece at a time – encourage you to do something that people too often forget when eating sushi: to think about what you’re eating."— The Globe and Mail Price range: $80 per person tasting menu

Small Town Food Co.

1263 Queen St. W. (Queen and Dufferin)

British and French-inspired comfort foods The reason to go: "[The] menu is made for sharing, with offerings including trendy cauliflower, throwback Oysters Rockefeller and boast-worthy Scotch eggs (a serious egg researcher told us they're the city's best)." — PostCity Price range: Dishes from $5 to $17

The Forth

629 Danforth Ave. (Danforth and Pape)

Modern Canadian, with plenty of meat and fish The reason to go: "The roasted dry-aged duck breast ($28, lead photo) is crusted with coriander, savoury and honey, the skin rendered perfectly crispy while the flesh is moist and just slightly pink." —BlogTO Price range: Snacks and appetizers $8 to $18; mains $26 to $39 (plus family-style options)

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