Toronto’s coziest restaurants for fall dining

Autumn has arrived and Toronto is going through its annual scenic.


Autumn has arrived and Toronto is going through its annual scenic transformation from lush greenery and muggy heat to brisk winds and changing leaves. It’s the ideal time to enjoy these unique restaurants and bars where you can embrace the coming season over some warming food and drinks. Don’t forget to bring your scarf!

Woodlot (293 Palmerston)

A great meal at Woodlot takes time, but Toronto foodies love the dishes served here so much it doesn’t matter. From seasonal starters like a grilled asparagus tart to filling mains like apricot-glazed lamb shank, you and a friend can take in the rustic interior and expertly curated drinks menu while waiting for your dinner to emerge from the wood-fired oven. Save room for desserts like basil and rhubarb meringue.  

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C’est What (67 Front East)

Tucked away in a downstairs haven for craft beer lovers, this brewpub features inviting fireplace nooks surrounded by small tables and cozy seating. Once you’re warm and feeling more active, check out the pool tables or events on the live music calendar. The food menu features salads, sandwiches and entrees like goat roti, shepherd’s pie and Moroccan stew.

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Big Crow (176 Dupont)

Said to be inspired by Algonquin Park and canoe trips, this BBQ-focused restaurant from Rose & Sons is infused with a woodsy cabin feeling that lets you bask in autumn colours over a rack of ribs or jerk grilled rainbow trout. Dishes change throughout the seasons, so you’ll be sure to have whatever’s fresh and readily available on your plate. The fully winterized patio space makes eating well outdoors even more appetizing. 

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Edulis (169 Niagara)

Brimming with European flair, this upscale bistro is the real deal. Think impressive wine list, cute tables (and few of them!) plus professional servers who know exactly how much attention you need to enjoy your evening. Edulis has all you need for a cozy evening over high-quality seasonal dishes from carefully curated menus. Reservations are recommended, and you should try to sit near the front window so you can catch the autumn colours when they start to bloom.

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Julie’s Cuban Restaurant (202 Dovercourt

Decked out in colourful lights and bright decorative touches, an evening inside Julie’s is casual and friendly – like you’ve stumbled into a neighbourhood pub that’s been transformed into an intimate Cuban café. Dish portions range from snacking to feasting, and all pay homage to island-style cooking. Start by pairing an authentic mojito with a plate of coconut-encrusted shrimp and your dining experience can’t go wrong. 

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Sky Yard at The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West)

The Drake Hotel has one of the best rooftop patio spaces in the city, and when the cooler weather hits, it only gets better. Tables are set for close conversations under a retractable roof and nearby space heaters. The menu provides plenty of share-worthy plates, like avocado toast and lobster nachos, and you can enjoy it all under a setting sun and the Queen West skyline. When winter hits later on, this space is often transformed into a warm Wes Anderson-like vision of wilderness. 

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The Thirsty Duck (972 Queen East)

This new addition to the Leslieville area is helping bring back the casual intimacy only cozy corner pubs can provide. From the same restauranteurs behind Eastside Social (which is just down the street), The Thirsty Duck offers standard pub brews and dishes, with some surprises like deep-fried pepperoni and a whole duck leg sandwich. It can get busy on the weekends, but the bustling atmosphere is all the more reason to stay close and share tasty food. 

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