Toronto’s 10 Hottest Restaurants

Buca Yorkville



Starting off the hottest restaurants in Toronto is Buca Yorkville where the ricotta gnocchi is rolled by hand. The grand new restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Four Seasons condo tower. Chef Rob Gentile’s signature is a rustic Italian recipe made luxe. The dish rings in at $80, by far the priciest pasta per bite in town.

[Originally appeared on Celebrity Chef as The 10 Trendiest Restaurants in Toronto.]




Dandylion menu is inspired by Nordic trends. Expect a meal like smoked trout with cream and pops of roe, followed by a variation on stracciatella: poached eggs in an earthy jerusalem artichoke broth strewn with lightly pickled cabbage, trumpet mushrooms, and a pine nut, sunflower seed and black sesame granola.




There are only 13 seats in this narrow, gleaming white room: 11 at the counter, plus a table for two by the window. Banking on the original roots of sushi service, this omakase bar uses simplicity as its key ingredient to bring out the taste of the sea. There is no menu, instead all the sushi prepared is chef’s choice, and depends on which seasonal ingredients are at their freshest.




DaiLo is a hit. It’s a beauty of a restaurant, a sly take on a vintage tea house with cozy teal booths behind filigreed screens. On the menu there are “single”, “small” and “large” plates and the intent is that diners eat according to one’s own appetite. The peckish will find playful western interpretations of dim sum; Big Mac baos and deli sandwich spring rolls.




Borealia has a moody forest mural and a cedar trellis that runs across the ceiling, evoking a Vancouver Island boathouse. The room has personality, as does chef Wayne Morris. He’s inspired by historical Canadian recipes, like pigeon pie, with a crust more buttery than any pioneer ever imagined, fresh-popped rice cracker and curry mayo to candy-pink smoked whitefish.





 An endless parade of hand-painted platters of deliciousness. Plump, paprika-dusted Marcona almonds ­dumplings stuffed with smoked eggplant, molasses-sticky lamb ribs, neat bundles of vine leaf–wrapped branzino, basmati rice bejeweled with barberries, and on and on. Byblos has surpassed trendiness and become a city fixture.

Flor de Liz



 The 65-seat (plus 32 when the front patio opens) restaurant offers Southern European, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Chef Roberto Fracchioni describes it as old-world comfort food that a grandmother from Portugal, Spain, Italy or Côte d’Azur would make, but with an upscale, modern twist. Your avó/abuela/nonna/grandmère probably never used tweezers to arrange her food on a dish.

Bar Fancy



 The name is wink-wink. Grandma-style potted plants block the front window (the entrance is down the side alley), the servers wear old tees and Jays caps, and if you want to sit, grab a folding chair. What’s fancy is the pedigree: the bar is a spinoff of Chantecler, the popular Parkdale restaurant with a tasting menu of rice-smoked duck breast, seaweed powder–dusted sidestripe shrimp and other innovative delights.




Grab a seat on the red plastic stools at a communal table under a canopy of Thai flags, shout your order over the old-school hip hop and kick back with a lemongrass rum cocktail. The dish that sums the place up is an irreverent variation on Pad Thai that they call pad mama, a tangled heap of thin noodles and scored sections of hotdog that, in the heat of the pan, open into garish pink blossoms.




Ambitious variations on gastropub fare, like sticky spareribs studded with crushed corn nuts, gnudi in a walnut pesto, and cheddar-stuffed jalapeño poppers wrapped in serrano ham. The look of the spot is appealingly masculine and doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s in a basement-like setting.


About the Author: Tatiana Cesso


Tatiana Cesso
Tatiana is a Brazilian journalist based in the U.S. since 2010. Her stories on travel and lifestyle have been published by Elle, Vogue, Bazaar and Veja, the leading news magazine in Brazil. In her free time she enjoys lay down on the beach, drink caipirinhas and plan her next travel adventure.