As a Canadian studying abroad, I'm totally aware of the delicacies I have access to on the daily, but that doesn't mean I don't miss dining in one of Canada's biggest cities. When it comes to food, Toronto has got something for everybody, but this also makes it easy to feel overwhelmed from the variety of places.
To give you some ease, you can start with this list of 25 best places to eat in Toronto (or at least those definitely worth a taste). Don't take it personally if your go-to hotspot didn't make it, because the entire city has got a food scene that's worth exploring.
1. Saving Grace
Weekend brunches are huge in Toronto, so you might find yourself waiting for a table 9/10 times. Thankfully, the food will definitely make up for it, and Saving Grace is one of those places that's worth waiting for.
Location: 907 Dundas Street West
Planta strives for beautiful, but innovative cuisine that's not only plant-based but also sustainable. Look closely because that's anything but your regular street stand hot dog.
Location: 1221 Bay Street
Location: 504 Adelaide Street West
4. Mean Bao
Said to be a cheap eat that doesn't sacrifice in taste, or in the presentation. Mean Bao is your place for dim sum-inspired snacks and over half a dozen steamed bun varieties. Vegan options are also available.
Location: Leslieville (181A Carlaw Ave), Queen & Bathurst (167 Bathurst St), and The Grange (275 Dundas Street W, #19)
This isn't one of Toronto's best Italian restaurants for nothing. Their dishes bring seasonal ingredients inspired by authentic Italian flavours. If you're looking for an impressive dining experience, Buca is a top option.
Location: 604 King St W
Rumor has it Beyonce had pizza here. If you're feeling fancy like the Queen Bee, then treat yourself to some wine and za' at Trattoria Nervosa.
Location: 75 Yorkville Avenue
Just when I thought I'd already tasted the best sushi in Toronto, I came across Japango. I went for a sashimi platter that features the freshest fish of the day courtesy of the chef. If you're a raw-fish enthusiast like myself, this is the spot for you.
Location: 122 Elizabeth St
8. La Cubana
Crisp falafels, perfectly toasted pitas, creamy hummus, and delicious veggie dishes are something you can look forward to at Tabule. It may not be in the most touristy area of the city, but its Middle Eastern cuisine has definitely gained some attention.
Location: 2009 Yonge Street
10. The Good Fork
What you see here is a close up of The Good Fork's Challah French Toast topped off with some cotton candy. This Bloor West eatery has got you for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Beware, because their egg bennies will make it hard for you to never return.
Location: 2432 Bloor St. West
Malaysian cuisine is not something you come across often. Some reviewers even claim that the quality and taste of Soos is almost identical to the real deal. But there's only one way to find out, and that's tasting it for yourself.
Location: 94 Ossington Avenue
12. Playa Cabana
There are already so many Mexican joints in Toronto, but Playa Cabana is a fave in my books. If all the tables are filled, don't be afraid to grab a spot near the bar. The atmosphere is fun, lively, and makes for a great night out with lots of guac and killer tacos.
Location: 111 Dupont Street
13. Pho Hung
Asian cuisine can be found all over the city, but some of my favourite is in the heart of China Town. Pho Hung is always packed during peak hours and that's because they serve generous platters at a very decent price. I'd recommend the pho soup, vermicelli, and cold spring rolls.
Location: 350 Spadina Avenue
Location: 550 Bayview Ave
15. KINKA IZAKAYA
If you've never been to an Izakaya bar before, expect a lot of yelling and a lot of hype. The second you enter you'll be greeted by all the chefs and staff and served with the most eye-opening dishes. KINKA IZAKAYA is energetic and vibrant, and I can't think of many other places serving sake shots out of bamboo.
Location: 398 Church Street, 559 Bloor Street West, and 4775 Yonge Street
16. Bar Raval
Bar Raval was an instant success the second it hit the scene. It's got locals raving for the tapas, drinks, and the overall atmosphere of the place. Though it's located among many other foodie gems in Toronto, I don't see how this place could disappoint.
Location: 505 College Street
Inspired by a Paris bistro, Union is all about eating fresh, locally-grown, and in-season food. Bringing you the farm-to-table, you can be sure to enjoy a real taste of the country at this Canadian-French eatery.
Location: 72 Ossington Ave
18. Seven Lives
You ask me for fish tacos, I'll answer with Seven Lives with no hesitation. It's also located in Kensignton Market, a hip and vibrant neighbourhood filled with quaint vintage shops and many other great eats.
Location: 69 Kensington Avenue
Lalibela is another one of those restaurants that will make you feel like you're tasting the real, traditional dish. If you've never experienced Ethiopian food before, you should know it's hearty, filling, veggie-friendly, and also extremely messy. You're going to need your appetite at this place.
Location: 869 Bloor St W, and 1202 Danforth Ave
20. Dumpling House
Once again, China Town is hard to beat when it comes to Asian cuisine. If I may quote: "Dumpling House is where you go for cheap, zero aesthetic eats that will change your world."
Location: 328 Spadina Ave
21. Viva Napoli Pizzeria
Every pizzeria will advertise themselves as "authentic Neopolitan-style," but when Viva Napoli says it, they really mean it. This family-run business impresses with their wood oven, thin crust pizzas that will make you feel as if you're dining in a small restaurant somewhere in the streets of Italy.
Location: 679 Mt Pleasant Rd
The freshness and delicious taste of JaBistro all made sense when I found out it was managed by the Kinka family, aka the same people who run Kinka Izakaya.
Location: 22 Richmond St W
Many people, like myself, assumed this was associated with the famous sitcom of the Munchies' star and chef Eddie Huang. However, Fresh Off The Boat is a very tiny but popular fast food seafood joint known for it's soft shell crab sandwich (featured above) and snow crab fries, among many other tasty seafood snacks.
Location: 404 Queen Street West
24. Little Sister
The Little Sister Food Bar doesn't just want to bring you the flavours of Indonesia, but also the experience of eating there. Pick a seat at the communal table and you can watch the chefs through a take-out style window that represents an Indonesian food cart.
Location: 2031 Yonge Street
25. Gusto 101
If you haven't figured it out already, Toronto sets the bar high when it comes to Italian food. Gusto 101 likes to bring a little flare to your typical southern Italian dishes, and it seems like they stay true to their name, which means "tasty" in Italian.
Location: 101 Portland St