The best Toronto takeout and delivery food options according to NOW readers

Here are nearly 200 restaurants, bars, grocers and more our readers chose in our annual Readers' Choice poll


Samuel Engelking

Many restaurants spent the fall winterizing patios and other outdoor spaces – only to have to close them when Toronto went into lockdown for 28 days on November 23. Fortunately, takeout, delivery and curbside pickup is still allowed.

But even if food and drink establishments are able to reopen, takeout and delivery will remain a popular choice to support local businesses in Toronto during the pandemic and beyond. Here’s a list of food and drink winners in the food and drink categories from our 2020 Readers’ Choice poll that are available for takeout and delivery.

Restaurants and bars

Best African restaurant

Lalibela

869 Bloor West, lalibelaethiopianrestaurant.com

Homestyle cooking served up in bountiful platters is the signature of this charming Ethiopian spot in Bloorcourt. Bring home the vegetarian dishes or indulge in carnivorous options like a buttery ye’beg key wat. No matter what you choose, the fresh injera bread, traditional Ethiopian coffee and friendly service are a constant.

Runner-up

Ethiopian House

4 Irwin, ethiopianhouse.com

Courtesy of Bar Raval

Best bar

Bar Raval

505 College, thisisbarraval.com

Raval boasts one of the city’s most unique atmospheres – a buzzing, standing-room space coated in smooth waves of sculpted wood – that we unfortunately can’t use at the moment. The bar slings ample amounts of vermouth and port – alone or in novel cocktails – while tapas like pan de tomat, jamon iberico, classic pintxos and house-cured canned seafood make this a popular all-day destination, too. They opened a bottle shop and grocery so patrons can keep the spice alive at home. 

Runner-up

Shameful Tiki Room

1378 Queen West, shamefultikiroom.com/toronto

Best BBQ

Beach Hill Smokehouse

Since opening its first location in the Beaches area in 2018, Beach Hill already has a die-hard following for Central Texas-style meats like brisket, burnt ends (which appear as a semi-regular special) and smoked chicken, which has a habit of selling out in the middle of dinner service. They doubled the goodness with a new Chester and Danforth location this year. It’s also a great place to feed that pandemic rib craving via delivery.

172 Main, 429 Danforth, beachhillsmokehouse.com

Runner-up

Barque

287 & 299 Roncesvalles, barque.ca

Best beer bar

The Only

972 Danforth, theonlycafe.com

The artful facade of this espresso bar and pub is noticeable down the block. Bright colours and a bohemian atmosphere make it an enticing neighbourhood watering hole. With a selection of almost 100 beers from Canada and beyond, there’s something on tap for every taste. In October they closed temporarily but have recently reopened and are serving takeaway coffee until 4 pm everyday. 

Runner-up

Bar Volo

17 St. Nicholas, barvolo.com

Natalia Manzocco

Family-run Maha’s is a double Readers’ Choice winner.

Best breakfast/brunch & best falafel

Maha’s

226 Greenwood, mahasbrunch.com

The expanded space barely put a dent in the lineups at this Leslieville spot. Diners come from far-and-wide and wait an hour in the worst of winter to warm up on the Egyptian joint’s honey cardamom latte and its variations on foole and falafel dishes. Even the pandemic-era curbside pickup attracts a small crowd coming for the battered shrimp po’boys or the perennially sold out pan-fried liver plate.

Runner-up

Lady Marmalade

265 Broadview, ladymarmalade.ca

Runner-up (best falafel)

Ghazale

504 Bloor West, 661 College, 4 Walmer, ghazale.ca

Best burger

The Burger’s Priest

Various locations, theburgerspriest.com

Once a standing-room-only burger shack in the Beaches, the Priest has spread its good word all over town – each location offering the same level of quality and ecstatic excess. (And they deliver.) Props for vegan options that are just as satisfying as the carnivorous choices, and a lot less intimidating: the meat-eaters among us are still working up the courage to try a Fiery Furnace, which is a bacon cheeseburger with crushed hot peppers. But we still think The Vatican On Ice – which is an ice-cream sandwich made with two grilled cheese buns – is blasphemy, pure and simple.

Runner-up

Rudy

Various locations, rudyresto.com

Best burrito

Burrito Boyz

Various locations, burritoboyz.ca 

Nothing destroys hunger like a burrito, and Burrito Boyz has been a reliable standby for years, thanks to its tasty pieces of goodness loaded with fillings like steak, shrimp, calamari, haddock and even soy protein. Customize yours further with 17 or so toppings, including homemade hot sauce, gluten-free tortillas and plenty of homemade options.

Runner-up

Fat Bastard Burrito

Various locations, fatbastardburrito.ca

Best Caesar

Barque Smokehouse

299 Roncesvalles, barque.ca

This year’s runner-up for best barbecue serves a mean Caesar. They’ve been smoking and grilling for almost a decade and their rendition of this Canadian brunch staple is a modified take on the classic Albertan cocktail. It’s garnished with pickled beans, green olives and of course a lime wedge and rimmed with their signature spice blend rather than the traditional celery salt.

Runner-up

Three Speed

1163 Bloor West, thethreespeed.com

Natalia Manzocco

Best cafe

Rooster Coffee House

Various locations, roostercoffeehouse.com

Though two of its locations (on King East and Jarvis) are smack dab in business territory, the Rooster has never lost the secluded vibe that made the original (on Broadview) such a smash hit with east-enders. The ever-cheerful baristas and killer espresso (courtesy of Pilot) don’t hurt, either.

Runner-up

Lazy Daisy’s Cafe

1515 Gerrard East, lazydaisyscafe.ca

Best Caribbean restaurant

The Real Jerk

842 Gerrard East, 1004 Kingston, therealjerk.com

When Rihanna and Drake put the Real Jerk in their Work video, they let the world in on a secret that east-end residents have been hip to for two decades. Ed and Lily Pottinger made their name on moist, fiery jerk chicken, curry goat and roti. Thanks to fierce local support, they’ve been able to spin the business into successful locations in Leslieville and the Upper Beaches. Enjoy your island getaway on the patio or for takeout. 

Runner-up

Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen

104 Portland, chubbysjamaican.com

Best cheap eats/meals under $10

The Momo House

1422 Queen West, themomohouse.com

Tibet Kitchen owner Garab Lama spun the restaurant’s novel house-created momos – or dumplings – into a separate business that is poised to open a second location in Yorkville in the Bay Station location formerly home to Brothers. An order of five butter chicken momos ($8.25) will fill you up, but you can also get them customized with chili, tandoori, chaat and more.

Runner-up

Fearless Meat

884 Kingston, fearlessmeat1.com

Samuel Engelking

Best chicken wings 

Sneaky Dee’s

431 College, sneaky-dees.com

Sneaky Dee’s has long been the place to go on College for music, drinks and wings. With a concert venue upstairs – which has hosted everyone from Arcade Fire to Feist – it’s likely you’ve found yourself charging up (or coming down) in the ground floor restaurant. The wings are a stand-out on the menu, offered at all types of spice levels and in a shareable large size or smaller for just you at home on your couch – now that they do takeout and delivery. Sneaky Dee’s has often offered beer-and-wings specials over the years to really seal the deal.

Runner-up

Crown & Dragon

890 Yonge, crownanddragon.com

Best Chinese restaurant

Buddha’s Vegan 

666 Dundas West, buddharestaurant.ca

Previously Buddha was vegetarian, but now he’s gone all the way vegan. The sign may have changed, but the affordable and fresh traditional Chinese cuisine people have come to expect since 1991 remains. All the dishes you know and love, but made with imitation meat. They serve soya steak with noodles, deep fried veggie chicken, crispy ginger veggie beef and imitation duck with crispy noodles. 

Runner-up

Rol San

323 Spadina, 416-977-1128, ubereats.com

Best cocktail bar

The Shameful Tiki Room

1378 Queen West, shamefultikiroom.com/toronto

There’s no shame here, this bar is as earnest as it gets and plays up its tiki theme with a thatched roof and mo’ai mugs. It’s an escape to Polynesia in the middle of Parkdale. To combat COVID, they opened a bottle shop where you can order pineapple rum or full-on cocktail packages that come with fresh squeezed lime juice, hibiscus syrup, garnishes, umbrellas and your own personal mug. Order some pu pus (snacks), take a sip and drift away. 

Runner-up

Civil Liberties

878 Bloor West, civillibertiesbar.com

Best dessert & best food truck

Heirloom Toronto

heirloomtoronto.com

This locavore food truck’s signature dessert, cheesecake on a stick, has taken on a life of its own, with Heirloom devoting a whole second food truck to the treat. Slices of New York-style cheesecake get chilled, mounted on sticks, rolled in chocolate ganache and dunked in 25 different toppings – no fork required.

Runner-up (best dessert)

Nadège Patisserie

nadege-patisserie.com

Runner-up (best food truck)

The Food Dudes

thefooddudes.com

Natalia Manzocco

Best dumplings & best dim sum restaurant

Mother’s Dumplings

421 Spadina, mothersdumplings.com

There really is a “mother” behind Mother’s Dumplings – owner Zhen Feng’s mom, who supplied the recipes that form the cornerstone of this Chinatown favourite. Dumplings (boiled, steamed and pan-fried) are obviously the draw, but the menu features plenty of classic dishes, including scallion pancakes, steam buns and more.

Runner-up (best dim-sum restaurant)

Rol San

323 Spadina, 416-977-1128, ubereats.com

Runner-up (best dumplings)

Momo Hut and Gardens

401 Danforth, instagram.com/momohutandgardens

Best diner

The Lakeview

1132 Dundas West, thelakeviewrestaurant.ca

A reliable 24-hour staple, the Lakeview is operating on reduced hours during the pandemic in line with public health protocols. A perennial safe harbour in the Ossington party strip, the diner’s front patio remains open (weather permitting) and it’s doing takeout and delivery so you can order drunk munchies, date-night burgers or a hangover breakfast via all the usual apps. Cornmeal chicken, killer breakfast sandwiches and cheap pints are among the many options.

Runner-up

Skyline Restaurant

instagram.com/theskylinerestaurant

Courtesy of Glory Hole

Best donut

Glory Hole Doughnuts 

1596 Queen West, 1505 Gerrard East, gloryholedoughnuts.com

Ain’t nothing more glorious than a donut, and Glory Hole knows it. The bakery does yeast and cake donuts (both vegan and non-vegan!) in rotating and seasonal flavours like lemon ricotta, milk and cookies, toast and butter, hibiscus and banana hazelnut. And because nothing goes with a donut like coffee, it’s got espresso from Hale on offer.

Runner-up

Bloomer’s

Various locations, bloomersto.com

Best fish

Hooked Inc.

Various locations, hookedinc.ca

With locations in Kensington, the Junction, Leslieville and the Danforth, Hooked supplies some of the city’s best restaurants (and home cooks) with sustainably sourced seafood. The company supports small-boat fishing practices, forming relationships with small and independent producers.

Runner-up

De La Mer

Various locations, delamer.ca

Best fish & chips

Harbord Fish and Chips

147 Harbord, harbordfishandchips.com

Harbord hasn’t changed a lick since it opened almost 40 years ago – and Annex locals like it that way. Pull up a spot at the outdoor picnic table, plonk down an orange plastic tray and dig into massive slabs of halibut or crispy-fried shrimp, plus fresh-cut fries.

Runner-up

Off the Hook Fishbar

749 Broadview, offthehookfishbar.com

Best French restaurant & best wine bar

Le Select Bistro

432 Wellington West, leselectbistro.com

Le Select has been feeding Toronto movers and shakers since before Queen West was, well, Queen West. Now ensconced in more secluded digs on Wellington, this beloved bistro turns out stellar renditions of French classics, topped off with a charming patio and a seriously impressive wine list. The bistro is staying closed during the pandemic and plans to reopen “when the coronavirus disappears.” In the meantime, you can order frozen Le Select classics via distributor 100km Foods.

Runner-up (Best French restaurant)

Alo

163 Spadina, alorestaurant.com

Runner-up (Best wine bar)

Lake Inez

1471 Gerrard East, lakeinezto.com

Best Greek restaurant

Mezes

456 Danforth, mezes.com

This welcoming Greektown staple just gets it right. The menu features traditional dishes as well as shareable dips, seafood and meat platters modelled after the restaurant name, which translates literally to “taste” or “bite.” So you can try the loukaniko, lamb chops and chicken breast all at once. Mezes has a small tented patio out front, but also does takeout orders online and is on delivery apps.

Runner-up

Mamakas Taverna

80 Ossington, mamakas.ca

Best ice cream/gelato

Ed’s Real Scoop

Various locations, edrealscoop.com

What’s left to say about Ed’s, where burnt-marshmallow ice cream has become a Toronto summertime staple? With locations in the Beaches, Roncesvalles, Leslieville and Mimico offering carefully crafted sugar highs to customers of all ages (and a pumpkin flavour, a perfect complement to that late-autumn heat wave), Ed’s is a reassuring presence in the city’s landscape. And at a point in time when we’re craving any sort of comfort, their take-home pints are awfully appealing. 

Runner-up

Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery

bangbangicecream.ca

Best independent brewery

Collective Arts

777 Dundas West, collectiveartsontario.com

The Hamilton brewery that makes everyone’s favourite cans and some very exciting brews just opened a Toronto outpost. They work with emerging and established artists to design artwork that sets their cans apart in the LCBO lineup. They produce everything from sours to blond ales, IPAs to ciders. Their go-to blond ale, Saint of Circumstance, has been on the roster for years, and for good reason: it has the perfect balance of hops and citrus zest. 

Runner-up

Left Field Brewery

36 Wagstaff, leftfieldbrewery.ca

Best Indian restaurant

Banjara

Banjara continues to sate NOW readers with its extensive range of curries both meat-based and vegetarian (the eggplant-forward baingan bharta being a particular highlight of the latter menu), along with more than a dozen varieties of naan and onion bhajia the size of your fist. They offered online ordering for takeout and delivery well before the pandemic. Make sure you factor leftovers into your thinking.

796 Bloor West, 164 Eglinton East, torontobanjara.com

Runner-up

Lahore Tikka House

1365 Gerrard East, lahoretikkahouse.com

Best Italian restaurant

Terroni

Various locations, terroni.com

From the scrappy little paninoteca that could, to a bona fide local empire, Terroni is truly a Toronto-grown success story. Its collection of restaurants – the busy Queen West location is over a quarter-century old – and sister Sud Forno bakeries aren’t hurting for competition, but the wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas and excellent grilled meats still manage to stand out from the pack. 

Runner-up

Sugo

1281 Bloor West, sugotoronto.com

Best Japanese restaurant & best ramen

Kinton Ramen

Kinton kick-started Toronto’s insatiable love of ramen when it opened its first location on Baldwin in 2012. Now the little noodle shop has become an empire with 11 locations in the GTA, plus some in Quebec, BC, Chicago and New York, and even a new line of President’s Choice meal kits. It’s still a great place to pull up a little stool and slurp on some noodles and broth. And it travels surprisingly well for all your COVID takeout and delivery needs.

51 Baldwin, 668 Bloor West, 402 Queen West and others. kintonramen.com

Runner-up (best Japanese restaurant)

Kinka Izakaya

398 Church, 559 Bloor West and others, kinka.com

Runner-up (best ramen)

Ramen Isshin

Various locations, ramenisshin.com

Best juice bar

The Big Carrot Community Market

The Big Carrot and “juice bar” are practically synonymous in the minds of east-end Torontonians and those who travel there for some of the best cold-pressed juices and smoothies the city has to offer. There’s a full menu of options full of fruits, vegetables, supplements, immunity boosters, tonics, potions, elixirs and things to make you feel good whether you’re hung over or just in need of a system reload.

348 Danforth, 125 Southwood, thebigcarrot.ca

Runner-up

Village Juicery

540 College, 2409 Yonge and others, villagejuicery.com

Best Korean restaurant

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

691 Bloor West and various locations, facebook.com/BDCSoonTofu

This is the go-to spot in Koreatown for a sizzling bowl of Sundubu-jjigae, or tofu stew. Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu now has four other locations around the GTA. With its small menu of hearty soups, the restaurant has earned a rep as tasty, affordable and consistent. When the dining room is allowed to reopen, it’s a cozy spot to grab a solo bowl or have a cheap night out with friends. In the meantime, BCD is on all the usual delivery apps.

Runner-up

Korean Village

628 Bloor West, koreanvillageto.com

Best Latin restaurant

Pomarosa

1504 Danforth, pomarosa.ca

Pomarosa opened in 2017 and has quickly become a Danforth hotspot for a quick coffee, traditional Latin dishes or a warm place to grab a drink. Coming from Venezuelan and Colombian backgrounds, owners Luis Hernandez and Vivian Ortiz wanted to bring Latin flavours to Toronto, and the couple has succeeded. The cafe’s design is bright and inviting and the menu features stand-out arepas and empanadas (they offer beef, pork, breakfast-style and even vegan-friendly options) and Venezuelan smoothies. Come for the food and stay for the photogenic dishes and drinks.

Runner-up

Tacos El Asador

689 Bloor West, tacoselasador.ca

Best Mexican restaurant

Tacos El Asador

689 Bloor West, tacoselasador.com

The taco game is competitive these days, but it says good things about our city’s priorities that family-run Koreatown spot El Asador was rammed year after year at its old location and is now thriving in larger digs across the street. The El Salvadorean spot has made a name on classic, simply dressed tacos like cochinita pibil and al pastor, but pupusas and tamales add extra flair to the menu.

Runner-up

El Catrin

18 Tank House Lane, elcatrin.ca

Natalia Manzocco

Best Middle Eastern restaurant

Tabule

Various locations, tabule.ca

Great Middle Eastern food is by no means in short supply in Toronto, but no one does it quite like Tabule. Chef Rony Goraichy’s group of eateries puts major flavour into Lebanese classics, and the sophisticated atmosphere sets them apart. Bring the magic home with takeout, or try sister spot Souk Tabule.

Runner-up

Maha’s

226 Greenwood, mahasbrunch.com

Best patio

El Catrin Destileria

18 Tank House Lane, elcatrin.ca

The Distillery’s year-round, heated patio will come in handy as the temperatures dip. On the menu: a blend of traditional and modern Mexican fare, including tostadas with pan-seared tuna and pickled manzano peppers, ahi ceviche, a whole range of tacos and carne asada. They also have an extensive list of mezcal, tequila, beer and wine. Stay toasty and sip on a hot Corazon de Nino, a hot chocolate spiked with coconut tequila. 

Runner-up

The Three Speed

1163 Bloor West, thethreespeed.com

Natalia Manzocco

Best pizza

Pizzeria Libretto

Various locations, pizzerialibretto.com

Ossington is this pizzeria’s original home but Toronto couldn’t get enough of their Neapolitan-style crust and toppings like San Marzano tomato sauce, Ligurian taggiasca olives, Calabrian sausage and spicy salami. As they expanded to the far reaches of the city, chefs Rocco Agostino and Max Rimaldi took their traditional family recipes with them. To keep up with the times, they are doing a pop-up at Oliver & Bonacini at Bayview Village and selling signature Libretto negroni kits. 

Runner-up

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria 

Various locations, northofbrooklyn.com

Best poutine

Smoke’s Poutinerie

Various locations, smokespoutinerie.com

Canada’s arguably most well-known poutinerie chain takes first prize in Toronto. You can find a Smoke’s Poutinerie in almost every province. You can go traditional, or dress it up with chicken, pork, beef and veggie options; or go even more elaborate – think bacon cheeseburger and deluxe pizza. There’s even a menu item called Heart Attack. If you’ve never tried high-concept poutine, Smoke’s is the place to go.

Runner-up

Rudy

Various locations, rudyresto.com

Best pub

House on Parliament

454 Parliament, houseonparliament.com

The three-story Victorian house in Cabbagetown typically keeps the cozy vibe going in the brick-lined rooms on two floors. The heated patios on the front and roof top are coming in extra handy during the pandemic. And for those that aren’t up for sipping on an Oxford Bishop outdoors, there’s curbside pickup.

Runner-up

The Caledonian

856 College, thecaledonian.ca

Best restaurant

Lake Inez

1471 Gerrard East, lakeinezto.com

This treasure in Little India is the amalgamation of myriad influences. They serve pan-Asian fusion with French inflections and an enviable craft beer roster. Two stained-glass angels depicting Kate Bush and Virginia Woolf, made by hand by co-owner Zac Schwartz, guard the beer taps. Lake Inez has adapted to the pandemic with weekly evolving takeout menus. For a set price, a pre-order gets you four courses, a bottle of natural wine, a love letter from the team, a candelabra and a curated playlist. No doubt they’re still extending their famed, impeccable service even when dine-in isn’t an option. 

Runner-up

Papyrus

337 Danforth, papyrusfood.ca

Best roti

Mother India

1456 Queen West, motherindiaroti.com

Parkdale’s favourite spot for East Indian roti is also a draw around the city. Part of the reason is the restaurant has the same owners as the recently closed Gandhi Indian Cuisine, which is credited with inventing butter chicken roti, a Toronto takeout staple. Mother India offers a no-frills dining experience, but its extensive menu has every one of your curry cravings – vegetarian and non-vegetarian – covered.

Runner-up

Pam’s Roti Shop

1089 Bloor West, 416-533-3588

Best sandwich

California Sandwiches

What started as a modest sandwich shop in Little Italy is now a company operating more than a dozen locations across Ontario, each delivering the same ridiculously outsized yet somehow weirdly personal experience. (If you don’t have a friend who thinks the kaiser buns are fresher at this or that location, you probably are that friend.) And yes, it still seems a little odd that the Mississauga location serves lasagna, but we’re totally going to try it the next time we’re out there.

Various locations, eatcalifornia.ca

Runner-up

Black Camel

4 Crescent, blackcamel.ca

Best seafood restaurant

Rodney’s Oyster House

469 King West, rodneysoysterhouse.com

Here’s the great thing about chowder: it travels really well. So do oysters (shucked or unshucked), tuna tartare and shrimp cocktails, all of which are available for pickup and delivery six days a week at one of Toronto’s best loved seafood restaurants. Nearly the entire menu is now available for at-home eating; both the New England and Manhattan clam chowders are available by the jar. But Rodney’s oyster po’ boy remains one of the kitchen’s unsung miracles – and at just eight bucks, it’s an indulgence suitable for almost any budget.

Runner-up

Oyster Boy

872 Queen West, oysterboy.ca

Best splurge restaurant

Bar Isabel

797 College, barisabel.com

Before Bar Raval, Rosalinda, Quetzal and any of his other recent outings, Grant van Gameren was turning out solid Spanish fare in the kitchen at this cozy, time-worn College Street spot. Isabel’s rep for a loud, buzzy vibe late in the evening might be on hold for a bit, but with takeout you can replicate part of the experience at home. The patio isn’t heated so bring a blanket and someone to cuddle with.

Runner-up

Alo

163 Spadina, alorestaurant.com

Best sports bar

The Dock Ellis

This wasn’t an ordinary sports season (or anything season), but even in a year of social distancing, this Dundas West spot was a great place to have a beer and watch a game. They had plenty of TVs blasting Raptors and Leafs playoff bubble games out to their patio, which kept up a community feel even if the high fives had to be mostly mimed from afar. They also do online ordering so you can get your burgers, jackfruit sandwiches and excellent selection of craft beers to go. 

1280 Dundas West, thedockellis.com

Runner-up

RS (Real Sports)

15 York, rs.ca

Best steakeahouse

Barberian’s Steakhouse

7 Elm, barberians.com

Arron Barberian knows his damn steak. The steakhouse’s affable owner has poured his life into the place, taking over the business (est. 1959) from his dad and ensuring that the Mad Men-era decor and menu of hyper-indulgent porterhouses and seafood platters have stayed intact. The place hasn’t changed a lick in decades – except, of course, for Barberian’s passion project: a jaw-dropping 15,000-bottle wine cellar. During the pandemic, the restaurant has started offering a “steak out” menu Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Runner-up

The Keg

Various locations, kegsteakhouse.com

Courtesy of Pai

Best Thai restaurant

Pai

18 Duncan, 2335 Yonge, paitoronto.com

Jeff and Nuit Regular have no shortage of great Thai properties across town – a quartet of Sukhothai locations (this year’s runner-up), plus the glimmering Kiin – but Pai really is something special. The night-market-inspired eatery does punchy riffs on the cuisine of chef Nuit’s northern Thailand, set against a backdrop of fluttering flags and lively tunes. The new midtown location will open with new menu items like pad see ew, a dish that made a brief appearance on Kiin’s lunch menu a few years ago and on Chef Nuit’s pop-up menu. 

Runner-up

Sukhothai

Various locations, sukhothaifood.ca

Best Tibetan Restaurant

Momo Hut and Gardens

401 Danforth, facebook.com/momohutandgardens

We think of Parkdale as the place to be for Tibetan food – but some of the best momos are served across town on the Danforth. In addition to delicious beef, lamb, chicken and shrimp versions, Momo Hut also dishes out plenty of vegetarian-friendly options (the spinach, feta and glass noodle is one of our favourites). Round things out with chili chicken, crispy cauliflower and traditional butter tea.

Runner-up

Tibet Kitchen

1544 Queen West, tibetkitchen.ca

Best Toronto beer

Left Field Brewery

36 Wagstaff, leftfieldbrewery.ca

The east end’s fave microbrewery is still hittin’ it out of the park after seven years. Its velvety Eephus – a brown ale – has become a fixture on local draught lists, along with its bright Sunlight Park saison. With the core lineup of brews going strong, they’ve been freed up for welcome experiments, like the Brick & Mortar Coffee Porter collab with neighbours Pilot. In short, these are fine utility players with a long career ahead of them.

Runner-up

Blood Brothers

165 Geary, bloodbrothersbrewing.com

Best vegan/vegetarian restaurant

Fresh

Various locations, freshrestaurants.ca

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Toronto still loves this long-time staple for its hefty grain bowls and wraps, as well as cult fave dishes like quinoa-coated onion rings. With seven locations all open for takeout and delivery, they’re serving herbivorous diners all over town – and founder Ruth Tal’s cookbooks mean fans can get their fix at home too.

Runner-up

Planta

Various locations, plantarestaurants.com

Grocers, bakers and more

Best bakery/bread

Blackbird Baking Co.

This family-run bakery has served Kensington Market for nearly a decade, launched a second location in Riverside last year – and now offers curbside delivery downtown and a small section of midtown. Which means you can make it through another lockdown with weekly refills of Blackbird’s signature sourdoughs, baguettes and granola, available in individual or family packs as needed.

172 Baldwin, 635 Queen East; blackbirdbakingco.com 

Runner-up

Mabel’s Bakery

Various locations, mabelsbakery.ca

Best butcher

Sanagan’s Meat Locker

At their locations in Kensington and Little India, Peter Sanagan’s bespoke butcher shops – which source their meats, poultry and charcuterie from Ontario family farms – continue operating as normally as possible during the pandemic. Sanagan’s offers delivery of almost everything they sell – including their new cookbook, Cooking Meat, which was published last month and includes some very enticing suggestions for what to do with those deliveries once you get them home. (The cassoulet sounds especially tempting for a cold winter’s night.)

176 Baldwin, 1513 Gerrard East, sanagansmeatlocker.com

Runner-up

The Healthy Butcher 

Various locations, thehealthybutcher.com

Best cheese

Cheese Boutique

45 Ripley, cheeseboutique.com

The first words out of every cheese lover’s mouth (at least, the printable ones) after they walk into Cheese Boutique: “I never want to leave.” The place is a massive shrine to all things cheesy. Owner Afrim Pristine keeps it stocked with selections from all over the globe, as well as a bomb shelter’s worth of preserves, oils and other goodies. Be sure to check out the boutique’s exclusive series of cheeses – they’re all named after Pristine’s dog, Henry.

Runner-up

Alex Farm Products

alexfarmproducts.ca

Best chocolate

SOMA

443 King West, 32 Tank House Lane, somachocolate.com

Returning winner Soma does one thing and one thing well: chocolate. Wanna eat it? Wanna drink it? Wanna chow down on it in gelato? You can do all of the above at Soma, where the gorgeous cocoa aroma almost knocks you out the moment you open the door. We like the fruit-studded bars, but the barks are terrific, too. Actually, everything’s pretty heavenly.

Runner-up

ChocoSol Traders

chocosoltraders.com

Best deli

The Big Carrot Community Market

Since opening in 1983, the worker-owned co-operative has become an east-end staple beloved by the entire city. The vegetarian deli at both the Danforth and Beaches locations has recently started incorporating some meat products as well. There are plenty of good food options that elevates Big Carrot beyond grocery store: salads, tacos, burritos, sandwiches, shepherd’s pie, roti – a little bit of everything. ß 348 Danforth, 125 Southwood, thebigcarrot.ca

Runner-up

Fearless Meat

844 Kingston, fearlessmeat1.com

Best tea

Genuine Tea

Various locations, genuinetea.ca

Co-founders Sarah Wilcox and David O’Connor studied the art of tea across Asia before returning to Canada to start Genuine Tea. The company offers all types of herbal, white, green and black loose-leaf teas, and also some specialty options such as microground teas, which are great for tea lattes. Everything is available online, and they also sell plastic-free tea bags that are more environmentally friendly. Genuine Tea also donates one per cent of all proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

Runner-up

David’s Tea

Various locations, davidstea.com

Read more

60 fantastic takeout and delivery options in Toronto

@nowtoronto

Comments (3)

  • peggy witt November 28, 2020 05:04 PM

    too bad no recommendations from Scarboro….and other parts east of it….

  • zb134 February 17, 2021 09:59 PM

    Umm, to my knowledge Scarborough and North York are part of the City of Toronto. And coincidentally has some of the best restaurants conspicuously missing from this huge list.

  • Jdclark February 17, 2021 10:00 PM

    Did Scarborough and North York secede from Toronto?

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