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Toronto restaurants

Where Canada’s 10 Best New Restaurants

Canada’s best new restaurants of 2014, chosen by the editors of Where


Where Canada’s Best New Restaurants is an annual award program that recognizes the top new dining destinations across the country. Where magazine’s editors deliberate at the end of each year to nominate an outstanding restaurant from their region.

This year’s selection celebrates cozy cuisine—like Prairie 360, Where Winnipeg’s pick, offering a curated mix of wild game and locally-sourced ingredients; or Tavern 1883, nominated by Where Canadian Rockies, that serves up “proper Canadian comfort food” in a charming mountain cabin atmosphere. Creative Italian fare is also in the spotlight—Bufala, selected by Where Vancouver, serves up down-to-earth rustic fare while Bar Buca, Where Toronto’s pick, showcases around 30 perfect-for-grazing small plates. Together, these restaurants and 6 more, represent the top 10 new restaurants in Canada in 2014.

Click on the slideshow to see all of Where’s Best New Restaurants of 2014.

Summerlicious 2014—The Shore Club

The Shore Club

It’s the time of year when Toronto food lovers salivate. Summerlicious is in full swing until July 20. The 12th edition of this city-wide event features more than 200 participating restaurants offering three-course prix fixe lunch ($15, $20 and $25) and dinner ($35 and $45) menus, enabling patrons to try new establishments or return to an old favourite.

This year, L’ouvrier, Weslodge and Rock Lobster are among the new additions, while returning favourites include Bannock, Crush Wine Bar, Nota Bene, Loire and Splendido.

Where Toronto sampled the dinner menu at The Shore Club, a posh steak and seafood restaurant adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and within walking distance to such Entertainment District venues as Roy Thomson Hall, and the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra theatres.

The Shore Club
Appetizers of grilled calamari on a bed of baby lettuce with a honey citrus vinaigrette and short rib agnolotti with stilton, shiitake mushrooms and leeks in a red wine jus.

Entrees of New York striploin with a sweet pepper chimichurri and pan seared Atlantic salmon with a sweet citrus passion fruit emulsion. Our sides (from four options) were a warm potato salad and steak house fries.

Dessert of key lime pie and a decadent chocolate brownie with ice cream.

The Shore Club
How would you describe the ambience at The Shore Club?
The Shore Club has an elegant, warm and friendly vibe. It’s a great place to enjoy the finest Alberta prime beef and the freshest seafood. Our lunch crowds are dominated by business lunches and meetings, while our dinners are more social with a mix of business, pleasure and symphony- or a play-goers.

What do you like about participating in Summerlicious?
For our staff, we treat Summerlicious and Winterlicious (January 30 to February 12, 2015) as a way to celebrate being part of the restaurant community of Toronto. Our approach is a positive one, as we’re excited at the opportunity to show off our great hospitality and cuisine to guests that may not normally dine with us.

What about the experience at The Shore Club distinguishes it from the other participating restaurants?
We take great pride in our high level of service and food quality, and we don’t compromise these qualities during Summerlicious. Our service and quality of food put us near the top for value during the program.

How do you determine the menu each season for Summerlicious?
Our focus is on determining the best value for our guests, and this starts by sourcing the best quality, in-season ingredients. Once we have compiled this list our talented chef Saku Velummylum puts together dishes that reflect these ingredients.

What are your recommended wine pairings with each of the entrees on this year’s Summerlicious menu?
Braised lamb shank with forked fngerling potatoes, roasted red peppers and harissa mint yogurt—2010 Quails Gate Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC

Grilled Atlantic salmon with rhubarb relish, couscous and rapini—2012 Bastianich Refosco Rose, Venezia Giulia, Italy

Stuffed crepe with portobello mushrooms, spinach, ricotta and vegetable terrine—2011 Plumpjack Adaptation Chardonnay, Napa Valley, US

Pan seared Atlantic salmon with a citrus passion fruit emulsion—2012 Chateau Haut-Grelot (Blanc), Blaye Cote de Bordeaux, France

Grilled New York striploin with sweet pepper chimichurri—2012 13th Street Merlot, Creek Shores, Niagara

The Shore Club, 155 Wellington St. W., 416-351-3311; theshoreclub.ca  —Linda Luong

Where’s Best New Restaurants 2013

Canada’s best new restaurants of 2013, chosen by the editors of Where

Where’s Best New Restaurants 2013

Where Canada’s Best New Restaurants is an annual award program recognizing the nation’s top chefs and outstanding restaurants. Editors from each of the following Where magazine regions select an exceptional restaurant to be honoured: Calgary, Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Winnipeg.

In this year’s selection, a tie is declared in Calgary with two bistros claiming the prize, while an eclectic mix of cuisine is highlighted including Spanish fare in Toronto, Mediterranean dishes in Victoria, market menus in Winnipeg and much more.

Click on the slideshow to see all of Where’s Best New Restaurants of 2013.

16 Unforgettably Unusual Restaurants in Toronto


Unusual Restaurants in Toronto

This famous spot, with amazing views of the city, is on our list of awesomely unusual restaurants in Toronto(Photo: robceemoz)

Toronto has some of the best restaurants in Canada and is the most multicultural city on Earth, so it is not surprising that you can get a stellar meal from an unfamiliar cuisine every night of the week. For a truly memorable dining experience, however, a restaurant needs to offer something beyond great fare. Here, we’ve listed 16 of our favourite off-the-wall restaurants in Toronto that are unique for their setting, ambiance, food or concept.

See the 16 unforgettably unusual restaurants in Toronto »

— Carol Spode runs Tailor-Made Toronto—http://britgirlintoronto.wordpress.com—which offers Toronto-based itinerary planning tailored to a client’s interests and time frame. If you are a visitor, have visitors coming to stay or simply want to find out how exciting and diverse Toronto can be, then leave a comment on Carol’s blog. Contact: britgirlintoronto@wordpress.com.


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



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 »


The 7 Most Luxurious Hotels in Toronto


Toronto's Most Luxurious Hotels

A luxury hotel, Toronto style: the lobby of the Trump Tower (Photo: David Wittaker)

1. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto
The Donald’s sole Canadian property is worth $500 million, and exudes opulence extravagance from the penthouse straight down to the lobby, where guests are surrounded by black marble cladding and can admire the Swarovski crystal sculpture behind the front desk. At 65 storeys, the building holds the title for tallest Canadian residential building. There are 261 guest rooms and suites at this luxurious Toronto hotel, plus 118 condo units for residents. The luxury isn’t just for guests, though. Anyone with the funds can broker a deal at the aptly named Stock Restaurant Bar and Lounge, have a nightcap at Suits Lobby Lounge (where a stock market ticker can be found behind the bar) or get pampered at Quartz Crystal Spa, which is located on the 31st and 32nd floors and offers expansive views of the Toronto skyline. Guests are also invited to swim laps in the heated 65-foot-long infinity pool designed with Calacatta marble and to rest their heads on Italian Bellino linen. Looking for a place to host a luxurious event in Toronto hotel? There’s a 12,000 square-foot grand ballroom with ornate black chandeliers that will be sure to impress your invitees.
Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, 325 Bay St., 416-306-5800, trumphotelcollection.com/toronto, map and reviews

See the rest of our guide to the most luxurious hotels in Toronto »


10 Most Welcoming Winter Pubs in Toronto


Toronto Pubs in Winter

Toronto winter pubs: the cozy digs at The Oxley

The weather in the city is starting to get chilly, which means the locals give themselves permission to move the party from the patio to the pub. But which one to go to? Toronto is full of pubs, so we’ve sought out the best ones for the cold season—places where you’ll receive hearty food, hoppy ales and a warm local welcome.

See our list of welcoming winter pubs in Toronto »


CN Tower Restaurants: 9 Amazing Dining Options Near the Tower


CN Tower Restaurants

CN Tower Restaurants: you can’t get closer to the tower than the 360 Restaurant

Most travellers are all familiar with this situation: you find yourself in an area of a new city that is popular with tourists, and all the food options appear to be fast food chains looking to capitalize on their familiarity. You don’t want to waste one of your meals, but you’re hungry from a day of sightseeing. To help you avoid this scenario when visiting Toronto’s CN Tower, we present our list of reliable restaurants near the landmark, at Front and John Streets. Any one of these will give you a dining experience to remember.

See our list of CN Tower restaurants »


Best Toronto Restaurants of 2012

Best Toronto Restaurants

Best Toronto Restaurants 2012: a pizza from F’amilia, our pick for the best new Italian restaurant (Photo: Renée Suen)

Toronto restaurants have always produced great chefs. Traditionally, they’ve learned their trade at the city’s top kitchens—places like Scaramouche, Splendido and Canoe—and then left the city to work in Europe or the U.S. Over the past five years, though, something incredible has happened: they have stayed or come back, opening casual-chic restaurants in their own backyards. This past year has continued the tred, making our round-up the best Toronto restaurants to open in the past 12 months all the better.

See our list of the 10 best Toronto restaurants of 2012 »


Hot Dining: Toast Your Health at Ursa

photo by Christopher Katsarov Luna

One of the pitfalls of contemporary Canadian cooking is a tendency to overemphasize proteins—charcuterie remains hugely popular, and meaty mains can sometimes see huge slabs of beef, pork and lamb crowding out their accompaniments. Not so at Ursa.

Chef and co-owner Jacob Sharkey Pearce has a background as a nutritional consultant for athletes; his menu and methods place significant emphasis on healthy eating, which ensures every delicate dish balances not-too-big portions of, say, pork loin or Great Lakes whitefish with a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and in certain instances, silky house-made kefir, yogurt or tofu. Locals seem to approve of the concept—the cabin-chic Queen West space has done brisk business since its January opening.

Ursa, 924 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-536-8963, ursa-restaurant.com.

Hot Dining: 3 Top Toronto Sandwich Spots

The Caprese Baguette at Sliced

Seeking sustenance in a hurry? Head to one of these excellent eateries serving substantial gourmet sandwiches.

1 As one might expect, Banh Mi Boys specializes in the Vietnamese bahn mi—a sub-like sandwich with fixings like pork and lemongrass, or braised beef cheek. Diners can also get stuffed on steamed baos, Korean tacos and even kimchi fries. 392 Queen Street West, 416-363-0588. See map »

2 When Torontonians just have to have a nice bit of pork shoulder wrapped in proscuitto wrapped in pork belly on a fresh sourdough bun, they visit Porchetta & Co. Feel guilty about all that meat? Make it “healthier” by adding rapini. 825 Dundas St. W., 647-352-6611. See map »

3 Sandwich traditionalists have a new fave in Sliced, which features the likes of peanut butter and jam, ham and swiss, a Caprese salad sammie, and even a decadent lobster BLT. 650 Bay St., 416-971-4000. See map »

The Juicy Details on Toronto’s 25 Best Burgers


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a plain old burger. Except maybe a fresh-ground Ontario heritage beef brisket burger with house-smoked maple bacon, aged cheddar, Guinness mustard and lemon aioli. That’s the burger from Toronto’s Harbord Room that ended up with the number-one slot on Toronto Life’s best burger list. (more…)