Top 10 restos

From meat sided with more meat to.

From meat sided with more meat to luxe vegetarian, the food dished up in Toronto restos has never been so diverse or environmentally aware.


1. The Restaurant, 69 Nassau (2004)

Only homeopathic chef Michelle Bellerose could pair pickled organic baby beets with Muskoka blackberries and call it salad. And though this tiny Kensington cantina operated for less than six months, its culinary vision remains unsurpassed.

2. Patriot, 131 Bloor West (2000-03)

Toronto’s first all-Canadian resto presaged the locavore movement by five years and helped establish chef David Chrystian as a talent to watch.

3. Susur, 601 King West (2000-08)

Named one of the top 50 eateries in the world by Restaurant magazine. Susur Lee dazzled locals with an idiosyncratic card that took its cues from classic Asian and French cuisine.

4. Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, 9 Church (2003-09)

Hogtown’s organic guru paired locally sourced produce with Ontario wines and spawned the egalitarian no-reservation clause.

5. El Jacalito, 1500 Royal York (2002-06)

Located in the basement of a strip mall in Etobicoke, this remarkable Mexican resto combines authentic way-south-of-the-border grub with an unexpectedly beautiful floor show. Dinner theatre has never been so delicious.

6. Burrito Boyz, 218 Adelaide West (2004-present)

Cal-Mex Mission-style wraps spark a spinoff (Burrito Bandidos) and a legion of imitators (Big Fat Burrito, Burrito House, BarBurrito).

7. La Palette, 256 Augusta (2000-present)

Before former Le Sélect maitre d’ Shamez Amlani opened this low-key French bistro, the north Market was a dead zone.

8. Thuet/Conviction, 609 King West (2005-present)

Marc Thuet and Biana Zorich

Irascible chef created an empire – Atelier Thuet, Petite Thuet – and an unlikely reality TV sensation.

9. Verveine, 1097 Queen East (2000-07)

Quirky brunch spot Hello Toast may have got there first, but Kim Saunders and crew’s stylish café turned down-at-its-heels Leslieville into a dining destination. Realtors rejoice!

10. Café 668, 885 Dundas West (2002-present)

Hon Quach and Ngoc Lam give Toronto something it’s never had: an upscale vegetarian joint that even meat-eaters can enjoy.

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