Everyone looks for something different when they consider moving to a new neighbourhood. Food lovers, for one, may prioritize neighbourhoods with known restaurants or hidden gems, depending on their particular appetite.
Now that lockdown restrictions are lifting in Toronto, and many restaurants are resuming both indoor and outdoor services, the desire to be near good food is even more prevalent. The good news is that Toronto is full of neighbourhoods with exciting eats at all sides of the budget spectrum.
At Harvey Kalles Real Estate, we know that food is a prominent part of Toronto culture and something that many moving within or towards the city will prioritize. When you enlist the help of a trusted real estate agent in Toronto at Harvey Kalles, you can have peace of mind knowing that we are not just experts in real estate; we are experts in Toronto culture. We know what every neighbourhood has to offer and are happy to share the neighbourhoods that will satisfy all of your foodie cravings.
Consider some of the best Toronto neighbourhoods for foodies and the unique restaurants that set them apart.
The affluent Yorkville neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most chic food areas. Located by Bloor-Yonge station, Yorkville is home to the Royal Ontario Museum, luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel, and a plethora of fine dining restaurants and patios.
The popular Sassafraz, for one, serves Canadian-style food with French inspirations, like Canadian Atlantic salmon or Quebec wild boar chops. A few doors down, Bar Reyna offers Mediterranean snacks and cocktails with an all-season patio also available.
We Recommend: Eataly
This multi-level Italian Market combines retail and dining experiences into one location. Yorkville’s Eataly is an impressive structure containing several restaurants, cafes, bars, and bakeries all in one, which you can visit in between browsing a multitude of imported and fresh-made Italian goods.
Those who are still uncertain about indoor dining can try their summer patio restaurant, Il Patio di Eataly with Aperol, which features stand-out menu items like the Torino-style pizza and Bucatini pasta. As the name might suggest, they also offer the Italian summer classic Aperol Spritzes.
We Also Recommend: Planta
If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply love sustainable plant-based food, Planta is the place for you. Under the guidance of executive chef David Lee, this Yorkville restaurant takes what you know about plant-based food and turns it on its head. From steamed dumplings to lasagna, from sliders to udon, Planta has a range of gourmet appetizers and entrees you won’t believe are vegan.
As one of the many neighbourhoods that comprise Bloor West, The Annex stands out from its neighbouring districts with its youthful spirit. This can be chalked up to its proximity to the University of Toronto.
The area’s clash of historic homes with young and young-at-heart inhabitants creates a distinctly unique environment. Its quiet residential side streets lead to vibrant Bloor Street, full of indie shops, markets, and of course, food.
The Annex is one of the most diverse Toronto food neighbourhoods, home to a vast array of restaurants, ranging from the Mexican/Californian style Annex Social to the Italian Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria. The local Kenzo Ramen, for one, is known for its house-made yet inexpensive noodles, and Sushi on Bloor is an area staple known for great portion sizes.
If you’re on the move, grab-and-go style bakeries like Cobs Bread offer an assortment of fresh baked goods such as cinnamon buns and croissants – we love their banana-chocolate scone.
We Recommend: Insomnia
Insomnia is a restaurant that genuinely masters duality, having simultaneously won Now Magazine’s “Best of TO – Reader’s Choice voted” for Best Brunch and Best Late-Night Restaurant.
Open seven days a week until 2 am, the Bloor West restaurant starts its day with a wide range of breakfast and brunch options from eggs benedict to chicken and waffles.
We Also Recommend: A Dark Horse
For a more casual atmosphere, A Dark Horse is a lively neighbourhood pub, voted one of Toronto’s top 10 sports bars by BlogTO. Offering indoor and outdoor dining, A Dark Horse serves the usual pub fanfare of burgers, wings, and nachos. New to their dessert menu is the carrot cake cheesecake, served with whipped cream and fresh berries.
Credit: Lisa via Pexels
Don’t be fooled by its name… Little Italy offers a wide variety of food types other than Italian. Staples like Vivoli and Café Diplomatico have been around for years serving their authentic Italian foods, but some of the true gems in Little Italy are other cultural cuisines.
Spanish-style Bar Isabel, for one, offers unique plates such as roasted bone marrow and grilled octopus, while Yunaghi serves authentic and refined Japanese food.
Early risers can enjoy an array of breakfast joints, such as Boom Breakfast & Co, which offers some of the best eggs benedict and freshest smoothies in the city.
If you’re looking for cocktails, there’s no shortage of that here either. Bierreria Volo offers imported bottled beer, while Barcelona-inspired Bar Raval offers a wide variety of cocktails, wines, and sherry.
We Recommend: Starving Artist
If it exists, it can be served with waffles. This seems to be the mantra of Starving Artist, an all-day brunch restaurant like no other. They’ve been featured on Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here” for their creative use of waffles, such as their Waffle Bacon (which is a waffle cooked around strips of bacon), and their “Fully Loaded” potato waffle served with cheese, bacon, and sour cream with chives. Even classic sandwiches like a B.L.T or Monte Cristo receive the Starving Artist twist on this menu, where waffles replace bread.
This bohemian style market’s atmosphere is as free as the artists who flock to it. The Kensington neighbourhood boasts a diverse culture of inhabitants, and its food is reflective of this.
While Rasta Pasta offers Jamaican-inspired food like Jerk Chicken, restaurants like Jumbo Empanadas, Best Istanbul Restaurant, and The Burgernator all offer food from their respective cultures.
If you’re feeling thirsty, trendy bars such as Red Room, Last Temptation, and the hipster favourite Trinity Common, offer assortments of cocktails and craft beers.
In addition to its plentiful dine-in and takeout food options, Kensington is also home to an assortment of local food vendors. The neighbourhood is home to local butchers such as Sanagans Meat Locker, cheese shops like Magic and Global Cheese Shoppe, and bakeries like Black Bird Baking Co.
We Recommend: Gus Tacos
While many Toronto restaurants favour upscale and unique twists, this Augusta Ave taqueria keeps it simple. Gus Tacos offers traditional, freshly house-made grilled tortillas that shell their large assortment of fillings, such as classics like chicken and pork, as well as unique options like swordfish and battered shrimp.