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Many Mouths to Feed: Our 2011 Dining Guide

Whether your palate is daring or demanding, Toronto’s incredibly diverse dining scene satisfies every craving.


With the continuously growing influence of North America’s local- and slow-food movements, it’s only natural that sustainable, regionally appropriate cooking has taken hold in Toronto.

On the menus of many restaurants you’ll now find a profusion of Canadian-sourced and responsibly farmed ingredients, from Alberta’s renowned beef to East Coast seafood to vegetables harvested in Ontario’s fertile “Greenbelt.” And though simple meat and potatoes still offer us comfort on a plate, Canadian cuisine can also be very classy.

Canoe is the city’s acknowledged innovator of true north taste, having served dishes like tea-smoked duck breast with rapini, pickled wild leeks, wheatberries and foie gras for the past 15 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, an alumnus of Canoe’s kitchen now runs Toca, one of the city’s newest acclaimed Can-con restos. A surfeit of quality outfits offer fresh and local at a more moderate price point, too. Among them are slow food pioneer Jamie Kennedy’s congenial Gilead Café & Bistro and west-end haven Union, as well as Marben, where the apps and entrees are named for their ingredients’ farmers, and Woodlot, which features a wood-burning oven and an atmosphere that epitomizes the term “lumberjack chic.”

Of course, local products can translate to cosmopolitan tastes—try C5 Restaurant Lounge for a diversity of palate pleasers.

Bonus: Swank Steakhouses
These classy joints pair top-quality cuts of meat with top-flight hospitality.

  • Barberian’s
  • Harbour Sixty
  • Hy’s Steakhouse
  • Jacobs and Co.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House

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