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Dining

Where to Eat During Toronto Winterlicious

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Winterlicious 2017 has released its impressive roster of delicious restaurants and they’re already taking reservations. This year the culinary event runs from January 27 to February 9 at 220 restaurants across the city. Reservations can fill up fast, so book ASAP to secure a resto high on your wish list.

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available here’s a few of our picks to cover every interest, palate, and budget.

HOT SPOTS

Leña Dorade Crudo. Photo by Cindy La

These are some of the noteworthy restaurants making their much-anticipated Winterlicious debut.

Fring’s (menu) – Dinner $48 – Fring’s is best known as the joint culinary venture of Drake and celeb chef Susur Lee. It should go without saying that this ultra-cool King West resto-lounge is a popular spot for potential celeb-sightings. Seafood lovers will want to try the Mediterranean grilled octopus. 
Address: 455 King St W (map)
Instagram: @fringstoronto

Leña (menu) – Lunch $28/Dinner $48 – Leña at Saks Fifth Avenue is the passion project of chef Anthony Walsh, named for his Argentinian mother-in-law, Elena. The restaurant’s authentic, flavourful cuisine and extravagant décor make it one of the most in-demand (and Instagram-worthy) spots on this list.
Address: 176 Yonge St (map)
Instagram: @lenarestaurante

Miku (menu) – Lunch $28/Dinner $48– Miku is a high-end Japanese restaurant chain that originated on the West Coast, and now has a home on Toronto’s waterfront. Be sure to try the restaurant’s signature aburi-style sushi (available at lunch or dinner) and gaze at the two gorgeous murals, hand-painted by Japanese artist Hideki Kimura.
Address: 10 Bay St, 105 (map)
Instagram: @aburirestaurants

 

BUDGET-FRIENDLY

If you want a quality meal that doesn’t cost more than $50 per person, look no further. These three restaurants offer the most bang for your buck.

Arisu (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28 – Go to Arisu in the Annex if you’re craving (affordable) Japanese or Korean food. During Winterlicious, they offer everything from Korean-style tacos to aburi-style sushi at a bargain rate.
Address: 584 Bloor St W (map)

Bar Buca (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28– Bar Buca is a well-known downtown favourite, and a great choice for those in the mood for Italian. Flavourful and beautifully presented, this restaurant’s lunch and dinner offerings are sure to please and won’t break the bank.
Address: 75 Portland St (map)
Instagram: @bucatoronto

Morgans On The Danforth (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28 – Morgans On The Danforth is a hidden gem tucked away in the east end near Greenwood Ave. The restaurant offers a quality dining experience in a casual but stylish atmosphere. To get great value for your dollar, consider trying the Cuban-spiced chicken supreme or the braised rabbit.
Address: 1282 Danforth Ave (map)
Instagram: @morgansonthedanforth

 

SPLURGE-WORTHY

Bean and Root Vegetable Salad. Courtesy of Sassafraz

These upscale dining establishments are old favourites, typically reserved for special occasions, dining on the company dime and, of course, Winterlicious.

Canoe (menu) – Lunch $28/Dinner $48 – Canoe is considered to be among Canada’s best restaurants. Year after year, it offers up phenomenal lunch and dinner menus using high quality, locally sourced ingredients. High atop the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, you’ll enjoy a view as good as the food.
Address: 66 Wellington St W, 54th Floor, TD Bank Tower (map)
Instagram: @canoerestaurant

North 44 (menu) – Dinner $48 – North 44 is a long-standing fine-dining establishment located north of Eglinton. If you want a gourmet meal that will wow you, this is the place to go. The restaurant’s upscale Winterlicious menu includes mains like chicken supreme, Arctic char, and lamb chops.
Address: 2537 Yonge St (map)

Sassafraz (menu) – Lunch $28/Dinner $48– Sassafraz in Yorkville offers an extensive Winterlicious menu of French-inspired Canadian cuisine. Located in the bright yellow house at the corner of Bellair and Cumberland, this snazzy old school classic exudes casual sophistication. Try the bean and root vegetable salad for a starter that looks as good as it tastes.
Address: 100 Cumberland St (map)
Instagram: @thesassafraz

 

COMFORT FOOD

Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles. Courtesy of Harlem Underground

There’s nothing better than a rich, flavourful meal to warm you up during these colder months. The dishes at these three restaurants don’t just taste good, they make you feel good, too.

Bannock (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28– Bannock bills its menu as “the very best in Canadian comfort food.” Located at the Hudson’s Bay flagship store, this restaurant and café puts a unique twist on Canadiana, serving up cultural favourites in a unique and playful way.
Address: 401 Bay St (map)
Instagram: @bannock_to

Harlem Underground (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28 – Harlem Underground draws inspiration from the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance, with an elegant art deco meets urban grit ambience. Indulge in their most popular dish, the southern fried chicken and waffles, for something sweet and savoury tied into one.
Address: 745 Queen St W (map)
Instagram: @harlemrestaurant

Parts & Labour (menu) – Dinner $38 – Parts & Labour in Parkdale is a great low-key spot to enjoy “rustic comfort food” with friends. Try the calamari for an appetizer, and the steak frites or fried chicken with mashed potatoes for dinner. You won’t regret it.
Address: 1566 Queen St W (map)
Instagram: @partsnlabour

 

VEGETARIAN & VEGAN

Many (but not all) participating restaurants offer a vegetarian menu. These restaurants stand out for their fresh and tasty vegetarian and vegan options.

Frank (menu) – Lunch $23/Dinner $38 – Frank is one of the Frank Gehry-designed spaces, conveniently located on the first floor of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Its fully vegan lunch and dinner option includes: squash salad, smoked eggplant and tomato tagine, and coconut-mango mousse.
Address: 317 Dundas St W (map)
Instagram: @frank_ago

Hawker Bar (menu) – Dinner $28 – Hawker Bar on Ossington offers delicious Singaporean style street food and a full vegan menu. Hit up this laidback restaurant for some authentic vegetarian laksa, and chickpea lentil curry over rice for dinner. 
Address: 164 Ossington Ave (map)
Instagram: @hawkerbar

Tabülè (menu) – Lunch $18/Dinner $28 – Tabülè serves some of Toronto’s finest Middle Eastern cuisine. Visit the popular Yonge Street location (a perennial favourite among midtown locals) for some of the best, most savoury vegetarian and vegan options available at Winterlicious this year.
Address: 2009 Yonge St (map)

 

To make reservations and see the full list of participating restaurants, check out the Winterlicious site.

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