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Toronto Pride 2013: Best 12 Restaurants Near Toronto’s Gay Village

 

Toronto-Pride—Gay-Village-Restaurants

Toronto Pride 2013: Where to eat near the Gay Village (Photo: Sweet One)

On Toronto’s Pride weekend, it’s nearly impossible to get a table at any restaurant—let alone a good one—in the Gay Village. Plan ahead with our handy guide to the best restaurants near Pride’s main attractions on Church Street. All 12 of these restaurants are in the Village or within walking distance of Church and Wellesley, allowing you to eat well without missing a moment of fun.

Skip to the list of best 12 restaurants near Toronto’s Gay Village »
Skip to the map of the best 12 restaurants near Toronto’s Gay Village »

0.05 KM (180 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Byzantium
Located in the heart of the Village, Byzantium is the by far the most convenient place for Toronto Pride-goers to get a decent meal. The menu consists of continental classics—pork schnitzel, beef tenderloin, veal meatballs—with a few international selections like Moroccan lamb shank and butter chicken (there’s even kangaroo on the menu). The decor is primed for Byzantium’s second life as a nightclub, but no bother—it just means the cocktail list is extra long.
• Byzantium, 499 Church St., 416-922-3859, byz.ca
Map and reviews

0.08 KM (265 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Fabarnak
Located next to Pride’s biggest beer garden, Fabarnak is more than just a restaurant—it’s a social endeavour run in the 519 Community Centre to help give work experience to people with employment barriers. It’s set up cafeteria style, but don’t let that fool you: the food is delicious, especially at brunch when you can sink your teeth into breakfast risotto or pulled pork eggs Benedict. The ingredients are locally sourced and the prices are exceedingly reasonable.
• Fabarnak, 519 Church St., 416-355-6781, fabarnak.com
• Map and reviews

0.1 KM (387 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Smith
Wildly popular at brunch (make reservations or go hungry), Smith actually serves elegant and inventive comfort food dishes all week long in a quintessentially Toronto row house. Think fried chicken, roast pork belly and braised steaks, all plated with flair and served by attentive staffers. The 15 house-created cocktails help ease the transition from daytime frolic to nighttime fun.
• Smith, 553 Church St., 416-926-2501, 553church.com
Map and reviews

RELATED: 5 Great Guilt-Free Restaurants in Toronto

0.55 KM (1,804 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Ethiopian House
If you’re looking for something spicy and social, try the compelling platter combos at this joint, a few blocks from the Church Street strip. The injera is fluffy, the ingredients are alive with African flavours and sharing is encouraged. Loads of vegetarian options make this a good stop for groups of adventurous diners with particular tastes.
• Ethiopian House, 4 Irwin Ave., 416-923-5438, ethiopianhouse.com
Map and reviews

0.56 KM (1,837 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Guu Izakaya
One of the most popular restaurants in Toronto, let alone the gay Village, Guu delights patrons with its innovative Japanese pub food. The exuberant dining room and patio fill with amazing smells and chatter as patrons dig into sharing plates like deep-fried Brie, seared ponzu tuna and barbecue pork with honey soy sauce. Be warned, though: there are limited reservations and long waits for tables, especially at dinner on weekends.
• Guu Izakaya, 398 Church St., 416-977-0999, guu-izakaya.com
• Map and reviews

0.6 KM (1,968 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Chalau Dim Sum
There’s no better hangover cure than lots of dim sum, and this is the best spot for it within walking distance of Toronto Pride’s main hub on Church Street. The dumplings are exquisite, as are the deboned chicken wings stuffed with sticky rice. All your standard dim sum favourites are here, too!
• Chalau Dim Sum, 476 Yonge St., 647-344-6578, chalaudimsum.com
• Map and reviews

0.95 KM (3,116 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Ramen Raijin
Vancouver visitors will recognize this ramen joint from their home turf. The Toronto outpost serves up divinely comforting renditions of the Japanese soup using a unique, subtle 12-hour broth. Spicy versions are the best, delivering tender noodles with a spike of chili oil. Open to 11 p.m. every night, this is a great place for a late dinner.
• Ramen Raijin, 3 Gerarrd St. E., 647-748-1500, Facebook page
• Map and reviews

RELATED: Here’s a List of Every Bar That’s Open (and Serving!) Until 4 a.m. Over Toronto Pride

1.1 KM (3,608 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Ichiriki
Whether you’re a sushi lover and hater, you’ll both be happy ordering off Ichiriki’s bible of a menu. Grilled, raw, deep-fried, tempura’ed—however you like your Japanese fare, it can be found at this spot just north of the Pride madness on Church Street. You can periodically find live jazz here, too, which is an odd but fun combination with sushi.
• Ichiriki, 120 Bloor St. E., 416-923-2997, ichiriki.ca
• Map and reviews

1.2 KM (3,837 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Retsina
Sure, the place is a little dark and the furniture a bit scuffed, but Retsina delivers some of the most flavourful Greek dishes outside of Greektown. Stroll diagonally through Allan Gardens at the south end of the Village (just east of Church Street) to get the tender souvlaki, crispy shrimp or moussaka that have kept this place in business for years.
• Retsina, 209 Gerrard St. E., 416-962-3055, retsina.ca
Map and reviews

1.3 KM (4,265 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Kingyo
Declared one of the best new restaurants in town by the local authority on food, Toronto Life magazine, this Japanese eatery has been packing in the crowds since the day it opened. Kingyo is your destination for excellent sushi in a vibrant atmosphere, but don’t ignore the rest of the menu. The ramen is outstanding and the rock-seared beef is ethereal. Reservations essential.
• Kingyo, 51 Winchester St., 647-748-2121, kingyotoronto.ca
Map and reviews

RELATED: Toronto’s Top 12 Pizza Restaurants

1.5 KM (4,921 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
F’Amelia
F’Amelia is located in Cabbagetown, just one neighbourhood east from the Village. It’s worth the stroll to sample one of Toronto’s best Italian menus, served either in a charming brick home or out on the magnificent patio. The pizzas are of particular note, perfecting the Neapolitan recipe for thin-crust pies with perfectly portioned toppings, cooked in the kitchen’s wood-burning oven. Reservations are a must, so call in advance.
• F’Amelia, 12 Amelia St., 416-323-0666, famelia.com
Map and reviews

1.5 KM (4,928 FT) FROM CHURCH & WELLESLEY
Omi
Omi is great Cabbagetown alternative if you can’t get a table at Kingyo (above), or are simply looking for something a little cheaper. The creative sashimi and sushi dishes here are great in their own right, and the restaurant is located on Carlton, about 10-minute walk from the Toronto Gay Village. The lunch specials are of particularly good value.
• Omi, 243 Carlton St., 416-920-8991, omisushi.com
• Map and reviews



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