There are more restaurants in Toronto than I will ever get to eat at, and believe me – I LOVE to eat out!
I still remember when they first started the festival in 2023, and my friends and I made reservations at the fanciest restaurants my 23 yr old self had ever dared dine at. Now, with over 220 restaurants taking part, it’s more difficult than ever to decide WHERE to eat. But not to worry, I’m here to help guide you 🙂
Here are my top 5 restaurants to dine at this Winterlicious, and what to check out in the area before and after your meal. I mean, what better way to explore new neighbourhoods around the city than by experiencing a 3-course menu at a local favourite. The City of Toronto Winterlicious Dining Event runs January 27 – February 9, 2023, reservations are open!
108 Chestnut St, 2nd Floor (Downtown Core)
I took my neices for dim sum over the holidays for the first time – it was delicious, crowded, frantic, with many delights and some disgust. I LOVE dim sum, I have been going since high school to various spots along Dundas West and in Mississauga. But one of my favourite spots is Lai Wah Heen! Perched at the top of the Metropolitan Hotel, the dim sum here is elegant and refined but still hits all the delicious taste points. This is the perfect jumping spot for a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Eaton Centre, or to go skating at City Hall.
Lunch $41, Dinner $55
592 Sherbourne St (St James Town)
Not only do they have the prettiest dining rooms, stellar service, and excellent food, they also happen to serve one of the best Manhattan’s around, made with coffee infused bourbon – I’m not ashamed to say that 3 went down far too easily at brunch. If you’re feeling full from your French Bistro fare, just a short walk south through Toronto’s Garden District and you can visit Allan Gardens, or wander east to visit Cabbagetown and the Riverdale Farm.
Lunch $48, Dinner $65
12 Amelia St (Cabbagetown)
A neighbourhood favourite! Handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, a boisterous dining room – it’s easy to see why people love it here! After dinner, jump on the subway and you’re just 3 stops from a great movie at Varsity Cinema, wander down Parliament St to the House on Parliament (the HOP) or SuperBargain for a nightcap, or you can go for a walk through the neighbourhood and take in the Christmas lights, Victorian Architecture and stunning views of Toronto’s east end.
3030 Dundas St W (the Junction)
This is one that I am dying to try! I recently had clients purchase a house in the Junction and they have been raving about the local Carribean spot which focuses on Trinidadian cuisine with some international flare. No matter what time of day you find yourself there, there’s no shortage of storefronts, coffee shops and watering holes to pop in and out of, such as Mjölk, Gaspar, or you can cap off the night at The Hole in the Wall.
783 Queen St W (West Queen West)
Another one that I have been eager to try. As my close friends know, I love a good curry! What began as a pandemic pop-up has turned into a local favourite for fresh new takes on Indian cuisine. Everything on the menu sounds like a flavour bomb, and judging by photos I’ve seen on social, I don’t expect there to be any leftovers. While in the area, grab a pre-or-post dinner cocktail at Mother Cocktail Bar just a few doors west, or head down early to preuse the many neighbourhood shops such as StyleGarage for contemporary Toronto-made furniture or Aesop for all the good smells (a personal favourite).