Du Toit Architects made Mildred’s Temple Kitchen soar (left). Graffiti and bric-a-brac give Drake BBQ a cool, gritty look (right). Photos by David Laurence.
1. Mildred's Temple Kitchen 85 Hanna, at Snooker, 416-588-5695, templekitchen.com.
The former Mildred Pierce ditches her dumpy medieval digs for a soaring room created by Du Toit Architects that could double as the VIP departure lounge at Paris's Orly airport.
2. Bymark 66 Wellington W, at York, 416-777-1144, bymark.ca.
Yabu Pushelberg's trademark sophistication adds an extra layer of polish 'n' quirk to this Bay Street boîte's Mies van der Rohe Modernist setting.
3. Drake BBQ 1142 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca/bbq.
Designed by its in-house graphic team, the hip hotel's offshoot 'cue shack mixes gritty Keith Haring-inspired grafitti with Southern bric-a-brac.
4. C5 100 Queen's Pk, at Bloor, 416-586-7928, rom.on.ca.
Perched at the apogee of Daniel Libeskind's controversial reimagining of the ROM, II by IV's elegant white-on-white aerie outclasses the lacklustre Crystal below.
5. Parts & Labour 1566 Queen W, at Fuller, 416-588-7750, partsandlabour.ca.
Owned by design firm Castor and the folks behind the Social, this extremely offbeat resto/performance space transforms landfill-bound castoffs like burnt-out fluorescent tubes and fire extinguishers into functional lighting fixtures.
6. Woodlot 293 Palmerston, at College, 647-342-6307, woodlotrestaurant.com.
Dominated by a wood-burning stove the size of a small apartment, this spectacular split-level space echoes owner/chef David Haman's rustic comfort food card.
7. Delica Kitchen 1440 Yonge, at St Clair, 416-546-5408, delicakitchen.ca.
Assisted by the Harbord Room's Brad Denton, Devin Connell's stylish midtown café is a master class in resto design. Dig that 60s Vogue Bodoni font!
8. Bar Italia 582 College, at Clinton, 416-535-3621, bar-italia.ca.
While the resto itself might have fallen off the foodie map a decade or so back, Ralph Giannone's reinterpretation of Italian café society set the benchmark for his later work at Bar One (Toronto's first communal table!) and the entire Terroni franchise.
9. Moroco 99 Yorkville, at Bellair, 416-961-2202, morocochocolat.com.
As over-the-top as Karl Lagerfeld's boudoir, this mirror-lined Yorkville bijoux layers glitz with Parisian chic.
10. Peter Pan 373 Queen W, at Peter, 416-593-0917, thepeterpanbistro.com.
Long before the nabe became a tourist attraction, this Queen West art deco original set the bar for local indie cafés.