Winterlicious 2020: The 32 best places to eat this year

Reservations are now open for the Toronto prix-fixe promo – here's our top picks for where to book


Winterlicious 2020 reservations have officially opened, and this year’s prix-fixe promotion (which runs January 31 to February 13) has an impressive roster of 204 restaurants at the ready. Wondering where to book first? We’ve rounded up some of our top picks. 

Here’s where to eat at this season’s Winterlicious.

winterlicious-2020-arthurs-2.jpg

Natalia Manzocco

Arthur’s

New for this year, this midcentury steakhouse in midtown run by the chase is doing a $28 lunch and $43 dinner. Options include their signature shrimp and avocado salad, beef short rib and Fogo Island cod. Menu

Auberge du Pommier

Always a Winterlicious staple, O&B’s uptown French kitchen has a $33 lunch and $53 dinner menu that includes dill-cured salmon, striplon with truffled potatoes, Greenland halibut and squash gnocchi. Menu

Babel

A new O&B property is getting in on the act at Winterlicious 2020. The brand-new Mediterranean spot at York Mills has a $28 lunch and $43 dinner offering. Highlights include seared Atlantic salmon, casarecce pasta with beef rib ragout and a medjool date pudding for dessert. Menu

Bar Buca Eglinton

Dine for a steal ($23 lunch, $33 dinner) at Buca’s relaxed uptown sibling, where the Winterlicious menu features an n’duja pizza, cavatelli with delicata squash, short rib with polenta and a beef carpaccio. Menu

Bodega Henriette King

Check out the Upper Beaches spot’s new(ish) King East spinoff with their $23 lunch/$33 dinner prix fixe. Your options: Sambal buffalo wings, edamame-cilantro falafel, scallion-corn fritters with hot honey and much more. Menu

Bymark

Dine like a Bay St. bigshot at Mark McEwan’s subterranean steakhouse inside the TD Centre. For $33 at lunch or $53 at dinner you can snag an ahi tuna tartare, burrata with grilled radicchio, seared salmon, and McEwan’s signature dry-aged burger. Menu

Cafe Boulud

Another perennial Winterlicious favourite, Daniel Boulud’s Four Seasons brasserie has $33 lunch and $53 dinner options. This year’s offerings include a poached pear and duck confit, boeuf bourguignon, bouillabaisse, moules frites and more. Menu

winterlicious-2020-cancan.jpg

Natalia Manzocco

Cafe Cancan

If off-the-beaten-path French is more your speed, Victor Barry’s macaron-coloured Harbord spot has what you seek. Cancan’s $28 lunch and $43 dinner menus include a delectable-sounding French onion soup with brisket, skate meuniere with brown butter and capers, Parisian gnocchi and sherry-maple creme brulee. Menu

Clay

Another new Winterlicious entry, the Food Dudes’ space inside the Gardiner Museum has a $33 lunch menu (from chef Bianca Azupardo) includes the house lamb burger with red pepper jelly, duck confit gnocchi, and tiramisu profiteroles. Menu

Core

If you haven’t checked out this Leslieville bistro, now’s the time: Their $43 dinner slate at Winterlicious includes roasted scallops and steamed mussels, cavatelli with squash and brown butter, and a grilled rack of local Berkshire pork. Menu

F’Amelia

Always a cozy option in Cabbagetown, F’Amelia is offering a $43 dinner prix-fixe with cavatelli (with “moon dried tomatoes” – really, it’s worth just the price of admission to find out what those are), classic veal-stuffed cannelloni, shrimp with tomato and scamorza and a tiramisu to finish. Menu

Grand Cru Deli

A popular destination for downtown oenophiles, this laid-back wine bar and snack spot is getting in on the Winterlicious fun with $22 lunch and $33 dinner menus. Grab a matzoh ball soup, trout amandine or epic muffuletta sandwich (all, naturally, best washed down with a glass from the cellar). Menu

winterlicious-2020-hawthorne.jpg

Hawthorne

Hawthorne Food & Drink

This restaurant/social enterprise always does it up big for Winterlicious, and 2020 is no exception. This year’s menus ($23 lunch/$33 dinner) include braised lamb and chestnut ragu, a pot pie with hay-roasted veggies, a bourbon and dark chocolate-infused panna cotta and more. Menu

Il Fornello Danforth

The venerable pizza joint is putting its plant-based side forward at lunch ($23) and ($33) dinner with vegan “smoked salmon” or sausage pizzas, beetroot risotto, and casareccia pasta with pesto. (Non-vegans can dig into a branzino or pizza with rapini and soppressata.) Menu

Lena

Expect big flavours and a stunning setting at this tiny Latin American kitchen inside Saks Fifth Avenue. The ‘Licious offerings this year ($28/$43) include lentil-ancho pepper soup, baby shrimp ceviche, Atlantic salmon with leeks and lemon semolina pudding. Menu

Local

The locavorous Italian spot in Parkdale is doing a $43 dinner menu at Winterlicious this year. Highlights include pulled mozzarella, beef tartare with black truffle, flatiron steak with polenta, or sea bream with creamed leeks. (Objection: Not branding it as “sea bream with leek cream” was a missed opportunity.) Menu

Maple Leaf Tavern

The refined, clubby pub on Gerrard has a $43 dinner slate stocked with hearty favourites like roasted cod, chestnut tagliatelle, slow-cooked elk and the house striploin cheeseburger (or a veggie burger, if you’re into that). Menu

winterlicious-2020-miku-supplied.jpg

Miku

Miku

Do sashimi in style at the Aburi Group’s luxurious, modern Japanese spot along the water. For $33 at lunch or $53 at dinner, you can avail yourself of their signature sushi, sashimi or veggie sashimi platters along with mains like miso-baked sablefish. Menu

Montgomery’s

Local meets cutting-edge cuisine at this spare spot on Queen West. The $43 dinner menu features cold water shrimp with fermented chili, rainbow trout with grits, pear tarte tatin with sweetfern ice cream and wildflower honey frozen yogurt. Menu

Museum Tavern

Naturally, the locally-famous (or perhaps infamous) burger is on the Winterlicious menus ($23 lunch, $33 dinner) at this Bloor St. bar, but the buttermilk-fried wings, red wine chicken stew with bacon and pearl onion or espresso creme brulee are all worthy picks too. Menu

Oakwood Hardware

Oakwood Village’s favourite locavore restaurant is doing $23 lunch and $33 dinner menus, with options spanning from tomato soup and winter salad (both made with local produce) to a satisfying-sounding turkey patty melt, gnocchi with chard and shallots and deep-fried deviled eggs. Menu

ONE

The patio might not be open at this upscale Yorkville spot, but the $33 lunch and $53 dinner should be enough to get ’em in the door. The Winterlicious 2020 offerings include burrata with wild boar prosciutto, Baffin Island char, orecchiette with a braised lamb neck sugo, and an apple pie sundae for dessert. Menu

Paese

Up in North York, this time-tested Italian spot (which grows most of its own veggies in a garden around the block) has $28 lunch and $43 dinner menus for Winterlicious. A sampling: Fried mushroom “calamari”, scallopini with lemon, branzino, and their signature “really good soup”. Menu

winterlicious-2020-piano.jpg

Tanja-Tiziana

Piano Piano

Stop in to Victor Barry’s Harbord trattoria for mushroom cavatelli, roasted sea bass with fennel and orange or grilled hanger steak with chimichurri ($28 lunch, $43 dinner). Menu

Planta Yorkville

For Winterlicious, David Lee’s vegan joint is offering a $23 lunch and $33 dinner menu (surprisingly reasonable given its Yorkville environs) featuring options like a chicken-fried mushroom burger, a warm rapini salad, and spaghettoni with walnut pesto. Menu

R&D

The Asian fusion spot recently rolled out a new menu check out what they’ve been up to with a $33 dinner menu that features torched Atlantic salmon, their signature fried rice and a pandan cheesecake. Menu

winterlicious-2020-rosalinda.jpg

Natalia Manzocco

Rosalinda

Vegans, get ready to dine on modern Mexican for $23 (lunch) or $33 (dinner) at this airy spot in the Financial District. Winterlicious menu options include stuffed chiles, sunchokes with mole, ancho corn soup with coconut cream and more. Menu

Shozan Room

A new arrival for Winterlicious 2020, this modern Japanese spot on Ossington has an intricate menu ($23 lunch, $33 dinner) featuring a shrimp chawanmushi, charred sashimi with umeboshi miso butter, tuna tartare nori tacos and a sake-braised short rib. Menu

Tabule

Get some of T.O.’s best Middle Eastern for a steal at Tabule’s Bayview location. For $23 at lunch or $33 at dinner, dig into a wide menu of shish tawook, salmon kebabs, classic dips, baklava and many other favourites. Menu

The Chefs’ House

See what George Brown’s most promising students are cooking at this school-run fine dining establishment. The eclectic lunch ($23) and ($33) dinner menus feature dishes like salted cod with quail egg, house fettucini with fennel sausage, lamb curry, seared Ontario trout and bread and butter pudding. Menu

winterlicious-2020-ufficio.jpg

Ufficio

Ufficio

The veggie and seafood-forward kitchen on Dundas West has both lunch ($28) and dinner ($43) menus this year. Standouts include olive oil-poached Atlantic cod, gemelli with a shrimp veloute, vegan crab cakes and a tempura-battered cod sandwich on brioche. Menu

Via Mercanti

Feast in the east at this pizzeria’s Gerrard St. location. For $23 at lunch or $33 at dinner, dine on gnocchi alla sorrentina, seafood spaghetti and pizza rolls with sopressata and fior di latte. Menu

@nataliamanzocco

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *