As one of the most diverse regions in Toronto, North York is a treasure trove of restaurants for anyone with an appetite. If you find yourself in and around North York, hop in to any of these spots for a satisfying bite. From authentic Asian cuisine to Europe’s finest, whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or an indulgent treat, this guide includes 10 must-visit restaurants.
Start or finish a day at the museum at Diwan. Perched inside the Aga Khan Museum, Diwan brings you the best of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian flavours. Diwan’s menu perfectly complements the artwork exhibited within the museum. For the perfect starter, go for onion bhajiis served with tamarind chutney or try goat kafta, braised goat meatballs with curry sauce and warm naan. Diwan’s fan-favourite dish, grilled salmon with organic red quinoa, spiced falafel, and pomegranate yogurt is definitely worth a try. The stunning décor, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows offer the luxury of a 19th-century Syrian home and a spectacular view of the Aga Khan Park. In summer, Diwan’s patio is also available for private events.
The Monkey Bar & Grill‘s inventive menu offers a fusion of French, Italian, Canadian and Asian flavours at just the right price. Try the panko-crusted veal schnitzel, complete with tomato, red onion and basil relish, vegetables and sweet potato fries, or check out their fish of the day. If you fancy something strong or sweet, try one of Monkey’s delectable house-made desserts, or a drink from their extensive bar menu. The elegant ambience and impeccable service complement the quality food. The chef and owner Richard Fox-Revett supervises every aspect of the food and atmosphere to ensure the best experience. You will be pleasantly surprised at the generous portions and affordable prices.
Nestled within the Shops of Don Mills, Bier Markt has an extensive bar menu with beers from around the world and the stories behind them. It goes without saying that beer is what Bier Markt does best. With a beer selection of over 150 beers (biers) from over 30 countries, your tasting options are endless. Bier Markt recently introduced something called 50/50, a mix of two beers, so go crazy and mix a porter with a fruisli. Apart from their impressive beer selection, they also have an extensive appetizer menu. Try the Provençal mussels, herbs of Provence, shallots, garlic and white wine, and pair it with a blonde ale, or try the Markt burger paired with dark ale. The awesome patio is also a great mood-maker. The Bier Markt is the perfect Friday evening hang-out joint.
Safari Bar and Grill is a great place for watching a game or having dinner with family and friends. Pick something from the specials or go with the neighbourhood favourite, the safari burger with jalapeño havarti, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and Bourbon bbq sauce. They also serve some of the best risottos in town. Try the coconut curry, Yukon gold potatoes, carrots and onions served on a bed of jasmine rice topped with red pepper and cilantro. Don’t forget to go upstairs. You’ll find four pool tables, a snooker table, table tennis and a big screen TV. Little wonder why this place is always bustling with activity.
Located at Don Mills and Lawrence, Congee Queen serves high quality Cantonese food at reasonable prices. Go for the traditional supreme super bowl congee, tiger shrimp, assorted meatballs, cuttlefish, tripe, pork, egg and beef. Local favourites also include minced beef rice noodle roll and beef brisket lo mein. If you are craving something spicy, go for the softshell crab fried rice. The spicy squid is also a fan-favourite. If you would like to experiment, they also offer fusion flavours. The portions are generous and the ambience perfect for a wholesome evening meal.
If you are craving some healthy Indian food, The Veggie Thali is the place to be. Just off Eglinton Square on Victoria Park Avenue, it is a small and cozy joint with wholesome, great tasting Indian vegetarian cuisine. Every dish comes with a rich blend of herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin, all of which have proven health benefits. Go for an authentic Indian thali (‘thali’ means meal) with chana masala, butter paneer and dal makhani served with house-made Basmati rice, salad and fresh rotis (Indian bread) and a dessert. For something spicier try pav bhaji, a mesh of vegetables served with a bun. For drinks, go for a refreshing glass of mango shake. They also serve vegan options upon request.
Head towards 155 Consumers Road to Lara’s Restaurant, which brings you signature styles from Armenian and Lebanese cuisine. Their signature dish, kefta kebob platter, comes with two skewers of ground beef kebab served with French fries or rice and house salad. You must also try Lara’s tabouleh, curly parsley salad topped with tomatoes, green onions and whole wheat bulgur. The ambience introduces you to Armenian and Mediterranean hospitality and traditions. Lara’s also has a banquet hall for events and private functions.
Head to Via Cibo at York Mills for some finger-licking Italian food. Try the pollo parmigiana (hand-breaded chicken with veggies served with side pasta) or one of their wood-oven baked pizzas, via casalinga, house-made Italian sausage, casalinga salami blended with fior di latte mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Don’t forget to call for a portion of Tuscan fries. For the sweet tooth, try the famous lemon blueberry pancake or indulge in the tiramisu French toast. The friendly servers encourage substitutions to create flavourful, made-to-order Italian dishes.
Located at Yonge and Sheppard, you could easily miss this small, yet inviting, Asian joint. Han Ba Tang serves delicious comfort-style food with a mix of Korean fusion and unique Mexican influences. Don’t miss the spicy pork tacos with house-made spicy sauce, marinated pork, red onion and cabbage. Kimchi fries with bulgogi is a fan-favourite. Their creamy rice cakes, pillowy rice cakes in Alfredo sauce with pieces of mushroom and bacon, are out of this world. The white sangria is a perfect complement to the delightful dishes.
Just off 401 on Yonge Street, Trapper’s Restaurant serves delicious seafood and pasta. Go for the blackened fresh sea scallops with a bed of herb risotto with Gewürz (white) wine, tomato, and Thai basil sauce. Equally amazing is the angel hair pasta, grilled Portobello mushrooms with a blend of zucchini, bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes, topped with asiago cheese. For a healthy dessert, go for the wheat and gluten-free trio of mini dacquoise. The ambience is suitable for an evening of a quiet dinner and conversation.
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