Calling all food-lovers: Though it’s only just begun climbing the ranks of the world’s greatest food cities, Toronto is experiencing a restaurant explosion like never before. Searching for the most innovative — or flat-out delicious — local eats? From gourmet joints to roaming trucks, we’ve got the skinny on a few of Toronto’s best places to wine and dine.
David Chang revolutionized the way North Americans thought about food with his renowed Momofuku, and now he’s adding even more fuel to the fire. Located on Momofuku’s third floor, this exclusive new restaurant offers Chang’s signature creative decadence — with a few Shōtō-only twists — in a 10-course tasting menu designed to thrill your palate. Condensed lemon jam combines with tandoori spice, Sichuan pepper becomes a spicy counterpoint to veal cheek, and every course is paired with the perfect wine, sake or local microbrew.
The comfort-food trend hit critical mass last year, but Farmhouse Tavern takes the concept to a new level. Playing on the customer’s sense of nostalgia, this rustic restaurant serves up elegant versions of down-home favorites. Mushroom soup comes with a pine-scented rosemary char that’s reminiscent of a campfire, and gleaming pork belly conjures memories of celebratory family dinners. The meals are on the pricey side, so make sure to bring your credit card; you’ll be able to rack up points and get AmEx travel benefits while enjoying some of the city’s best dishes.
Toronto, meet Spain. This restaurant so perfectly captures the vibe of a Barcelona tapas bar, you’ll think you’ve been transported to the Barri Gotic. In the span of one evening, you’ll be able to sample La Mancha goat cheeses, savor jamónes íbericos de bellota and experience authentic secreto with piquillo jam. The only thing missing is Barcelona itself.
Buster’s Sea Cove
Food trucks may have become ubiquitous in recent years, but when the offerings are this delicious, no one cares whether they’re buying into a trend. This sister establishment to the St. Lawrence Market site serves up irresistible lobster rolls and ensenada-style fish tacos with a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Go for the fish, but stay for that addictive salsa verde.
El Gastronomo Vagabundo
Prefer your tacos with a gourmet edge? Track down the El Gastronomo Vagabundo, and sink your teeth into one of their unique taco, tapas or southeast Asian combinations. Depending on the day, you could find prawn tostadas, pork tongue fritters or one of the best cod tacos in town.
Blue Donkey Streatery
There’s nothing more crave-worthy than a warm pita slathered with fillings, and Blue Donkey Streatery’s got you covered. Known as Mississauga’s very first food truck, this Greek-Canadian spot offers the sort of addictive fare perfect for late weekend nights; souvlaki pita, Greek poutine and chicken gyros top the must-try list, but the sweet honey and pita sticks or Greek grilled-cheese are equally amazing.
Editor’s Note: Guest Post