Toronto has no shortage of neighborhoods, each with its own identity. If you find yourself downtown, it’s worth the trip down Bloor Street’s Mink Mile and into the neighborhood formally known as Yorkville. Situated north of Bloor, between Avenue Road and Yonge Street, Yorkville is known for its designer boutiques and high-end restaurants. Here are 10 of the best Yorkville restaurants you have to try.
Toronto has no shortage of neighborhoods, each unique in its own right / Pixabay
Restaurant, European, Canadian, Vegetarian, $$$
Sassafraz is located in the iconic yellow roundhouse on the corner of Cumberland and Bellair. It has become one of the most well-known restaurants in Toronto, serving a fusion of French-inspired Canadian food. The menu includes lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Try classics for dinner such as the savory French lentils, Alberta bison striploin, or the Ontario lamb rack. For dessert, choose one of the maple beignets.
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Café Boulud is the much-hyped French brasserie by world-renowned Chef Daniel Boulud. The menu includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. One of the must-have dishes is the poulet à la broche, a rotisserie chicken to die for. If you feel like more casual fare, check out d|bar, designed again by Chef Boulud and located in the same building. d|bar is well known for their charcuterie & cheese plates, but make sure you go on a Monday, Charcuterie Night on Monday is decently priced at 35$ per person between 5pm-10pm. There’s also a wine pairing included. Mondays just got a lot better.
Kasa Moto is a Japanese Restaurant nestled in the corner of Yorkville Avenue and Old York Lane. Not yet a year old, this restaurant has become an instant favorite thanks to its large capacity and intimate décor. Developed by the same team behind The Chase, Little Fin, and Colette, Kasa Moto’s menu is divided into cold, hot, rice and noodles, robata, sushi and sashimi, as well as maki offerings. Seafood fans will not be disappointed; try the spicy tuna crispy rice, the Kasa Moto maki, or the whole grilled sea bass.
Sotto Sotto is a major draw for celebrities and Italian food lovers alike. The menu emphasizes a traditional Italian meal, with antipasti, insalate (salads), risotto or pasta, an entrée (options include red meat, poultry, and fish), and dessert. Vegetarian options are featured as well. Try the sardine alla griglia as an antipasto caldo (hot antipasto), bolognese mammaLaura (a homemade meat sauce with your choice of pasta), or the pollo alla Marsala (chicken breast with a Marsala wine and mushroom sauce). Apparently Oprah or Brad Pitt may be among your fellow diners.
Joso’s is one of most well-known seafood restaurants in Toronto. Located in an old two-story Victorian semi on Davenport, this is one of the few Croatian restaurants in the city (we’d love to see more). Signature dishes include risotto nero (risotto with cuttlefish stirred in its ink), and calamari. Meat dishes are available, but Joso’s is primarily a seafood-centric experience. If the unconventional décor seems familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it in the album cover of Drake’s Take Care.
Jacques Bistro Du Parc sits on the second floor of a semi-detached on Cumberland, overlooking the busy streets of Yorkville. Among all the French restaurants this city has to offer, this one is truly a gem. The French onion soup is a must-have classic. Other dishes to try include la fricassée d’escargots du bistro (sautéed snails in garlic butter), and the moules marinières (fresh mussels cooked in onions, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and white wine). One of their most popular menu items are the French-style omelets; there are 15 to choose from, giving you a good excuse to come back.
If you feel like a slightly more casual Italian dining experience, look no further than Trattoria Nervosa. This restaurant is located in a charming yellow two-story house at the corner of Yorkville and Bellair. Perfect for something light after a full day of shopping in Yorkville, there are some tasty salad options. Without a doubt, pizza is one of the most popular items on the menu. There are nine to choose from, all 100% worth the calories. Furthermore, risotto Nervosa, a risotto with Barolo-braised beef short rib, local field and porcini mushrooms, and a fig balsamic reduction, is a must-try.
The Oxley is a classic British pub that focuses on simple and classic British dishes with seasonal ingredients. The atmosphere of the restaurant is both casual and hip. The menu offers brunch, lunch, and dinner. A feasting menu is also available (a sharing menu for groups of five or more). Favorites include a foie gras parfait and pear jelly with spiced peanuts as a starter, and as entrées haddock and chips or the potato and beef pie with braised cabbage. If you’re trying the feasting menu, make sure to check out either the venison stew with dumplings, or the loin of pork with apple sauce.
Buca’s Yorkville location provides top-notch rustic Italian fare. Labeled as the best Italian food in the city, its menu is filled with irresistible options. Some of the best dishes include the crudo misto, a daily selection of raw seafood served with olive oil, sea salt and lemon; the bigoli, a duck egg pasta with duck ragú, venetian spices, mascarpone, and basil; and of course, the duck and black truffle pizza. It is definitely worth the visit if you’re planning a special celebration.
Hemingway’s is spread out over four patios | Courtesy of Hemingway’s
If you’re meandering through Yorkville forego expensive fine dining, with a visit to Hemingway’s. A more low-key, pub-fare experience, Hemingway’s is a popular bar for businessmen and students alike; also, who doesn’t like a place with a Late Nite menu and a year-round rooftop patio? Some dinner favorites include New Zealand spring lamb chops and the ‘famous fajitas’.If you’re venturing out for lunch, try one of their classic sandwiches; the grilled chicken with brie and apple is legendary.