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Steamed Spinach & Chinese Celery Dumplings | Courtesy of Luckee
Steamed Spinach & Chinese Celery Dumplings | Courtesy of Luckee
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18 Must-Try Toronto Restaurants For Summerlicious 2016

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 9 February 2017
Summerlicious, Toronto’s biggest ‘prix-fixe’ event, kicks off July 8th for two weeks of eating. Until July 24th, over 220 restaurants will be participating – with 24 new ones added to the list this year – serving up their best dishes in the way of a three-course menu. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Read on for a list of the best restaurants to try during this summer’s Summerlicious, in no particular order.

Ufficio

Ufficio is a new(ish) player on the Ossington culinary scene, serving up a seafood-focused Italian menu of pasta and mains. For $28, guests can indulge in Ufficio’s finest dishes like arancini, swordfish crudo with rosemary and mint, grilled branzino with cannellini and escarole ragu, fried gnocchi with oyster mushrooms and crème fraîche, and a lemon tart with pine nuts and dusted espresso (dinner only). Diners, be advised: this place will blow your mind.

Reserve Here

Ufficio, 1214 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 535 8888


Hawker Bar

A Southeast-Asian street food favourite, Hawker Bar is offering a $28 three-course dinner menu with options like pork and shrimp dumplings, shrimp or veggie laksa, sweet chili chicken wings, fried chicken and char siu ribs, and banana fritters with vanilla red bean ice cream. This spot is perfect for vegans, with options available for all three courses.

Reserve Dinner Here

Hawker Bar, 164 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 343 4698


Chiado

Chiado, an upscale Portuguese spot off College Street, will be showcasing their fresh ingredients and innovative flavours with a $28 lunch and $48 dinner prix fixe. The menus include dishes like shrimp bisque with saffron and cognac, grilled sardines with lemon, salmon tartare with avocado mousse and apple, herb-crusted salmon with plum chutney, seabream with warm green bean salad, dark cherry tart, rooster Piri Piri and duck confit (dinner only). *Vegetarian options available.

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Luckee

Luckee, Susur Lee’s ‘nouvelle Chinoise’ restaurant in the heart of downtown, features dim sum and unique Asian-inspired flavours with French techniques. Serving a $38 three-course dinner menu, Lee will be featuring specialty dishes like spicy Szechuan-steamed sea bass, Asian ‘coq au vin’ with truffle scented sticky rice, char siu short ribs with wok fried green beans and passion fruit-mango panna cotta. *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Luckee, 328 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 935 0400

Montecito

Montecito is a California cuisine-inspired restaurant featuring farm-to-table dishes that showcase local meat, produce and seafood. For Summerlicious, this spot will be serving lunch for $28 and dinner for $48 with dishes like kale salad, cavatelli with pork ragout, and an heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella for lunch; for dinner, expect things like albacore crudo, halibut with tomato salad and roasted eggplant with caponata. For dessert, you’ll find things like vanilla panna cotta and a house-made chocolate bar on the menu.

Reserve Here

Montecito, 299 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 599 0299


Nota Bene

One of the hottest restaurants in town right now, Nota Bene is a must-try for this year’s Summerlicious, offering both lunch ($28) and dinner ($48) prix-fixe menus that highlight local produce, meat and seafood. Choose from dishes like Nova Scotia lobster bisque with coconut milk, crab, chili and sweet corn fritter, Goossens Farm oak wood-smoked rainbow trout, pappardelle bolognese (lunch only) and grilled Ontario pork rib chop with charred tomatillo and poblano sauce (dinner only). For dessert, expect to see apple and sour cherry crumble with Quebec maple ice cream and 100km Foods artisanal cheeses with local honey and artisanal bread on the menu. *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Nota Bene, 180 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 977 6400

R&D

R&D is a unique space with an eclectic vibe: graffiti walls, pumping music and innovative Chinese cuisine with a modern flair. For Summerlicious, R&D will be offering a three-course menu for $28 including things like chicken satay with peanuts and nuoc cham, beef curry with roasted squash and pickled shallots, torched salmon belly with duck fat potatoes and smoked plum glaze, and a dark chocolate brownie with ginger ice cream and a wild blueberry compote. *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

R&D, 241 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 586 1241

Bestellen

Bestellen, a College Street favourite, is known for their house-made pastas, dry aged steaks and house-cured charcuterie, showcasing local and organic produce, seafood and meats. With dinner at $38 for three courses, guests can choose from dishes like local burrata with roasted eggplant and basil, grilled squid alla puttanesca, grilled flat iron steak with smoked Ontario blue cheese, pan-roasted cornish hen with crispy polenta and lemon semolina cake with peaches and ginger mascarpone.

Bestellen, 972 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 341 6769

Kicking off my birthday nonstop food fest with a light baby kale salad ….. preparing heavy duty eat right after

A photo posted by Miranda / Mii (@mademoisellemii) on

*Dish pictured not on Summerlicious menu.


The Saint Tavern

The Saint, a unique spin off the classic tavern, is a popular spot on Ossington featuring an array of comfort food dishes using ethically sourced ingredients. Serving their three-course menu for $28, dishes include veal tongue on toast with sauce gribache, shaved vegetable salad with citrus fruit and sauce verte, penne alla vodka with rosemary and double-smoked bacon, roasted market fish with lemon and brown butter and fried chicken with ‘Saint chalet’ sauce… and more.

Reserve Here

The Saint Tavern, 227 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 350 2100


Rose & Sons

Rose & Sons, a local Dupont go-to spot, is serving up comfort food that highlights classic diner fare by incorporating innovative spin-offs in a casual diner-like setting with booths, milkshakes and cocktails. For Summerlicious, guests can delve into cheesy grits with chili garlic broccoli, buttermilk fried chicken with sweet summer slaw and cornbread, roasted trout with salsa verde and bread pudding with wild berries ($18 for lunch; $28 for dinner). *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Rose & Sons, 176 Dupont St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 748 3287

OH EM GEE!! Our new #spring menu starts #TONIGHT 🙋🏽😍 Come here and eat this @cookdavecook #NAILEDIT

A photo posted by Rose And Sons | Dupont Street (@roseandsons) on


The Carbon Bar

The Carbon Bar is a casual space on Queen East featuring BBQ, cocktails and Southern-inspired cuisine using local and fresh ingredients. For $38, guests can enjoy a three-course dinner with dishes like wild shrimp ceviche, BBQ pork ssam with kimchi and pork cracklings, grilled salmon with lemon emulsion, roasted cauliflower with lemon caper vinaigrette (vegan) and burnt Basque cheesecake with berry compote. *Vegetarian options available.

 Reserve Here

The Carbon Bar, 99 Queen St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 947 7000


Parts & Labour

Located in ParkdaleParts & Labour highlights the talent of head chef Matty Matheson through simple dishes packed with flavour. Here, you’ll find upscale Canadian comfort food in a casual, uniquely designed space. Guests can get their hands on favourites like beef tartare with egg yolk and frites, sea bream with beurre blanc and preserved lemon, Cornish hen with grilled cabbage and Alabama white sauce, and strawberry shortcake for $38 (dinner only). *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Parts & Labour, 1566 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 417 588 7750


Prohibition Gastrohouse

Prohibition Gastrohouse is Toronto’s answer to the ever-popular concept of the gastropub, offering upscale comfort food for $18 during lunch and $28 for dinner. For lunch, guests can expect dishes like beer cheese soup made with Muskoka lager, truffle mac and cheese with jalapeño-applewood cheddar biscuit crust, Southern fried chicken with sausage gravy and salads like Caesar and Cobb. For dinner, other options include crispy fish tacos with a chili-lime slaw, lamb shank confit with duck gravy, duck confit poutine with duck crackling and pierogies with truffle oil, woodland mushrooms, sage and truffle. For dessert, the donut strawberry shortcake says it all. *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Prohibition Gastrohouse, 696 Queen St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 406 2669

Date night 💕

A photo posted by Nicole Sparks (@nicolesparks22) on


Pukka

Pukka is a trendy spot for Indian fare, with exposed-brick walls, serving family-style Indian dishes with a modern flair. For $28, diners get three courses of flavour-packed cuisine with dishes like smoked eggplant tartar with khasta roti, butter chicken with fenugreek-infused sauce, slow-cooked lamb shank with Kashmiri chili, and mango mousse. Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or a vegetarian looking to spice up your life, this is the spot to take in Summerlicious 2016.

Reserve Here


Thoroughbred Food & Drink

Thoroughbred Food & Drink, set in a restored Victorian home, is a causal bar-meets-eatery serving up modern Canadian cuisine in the way of snacks and mains. At lunch, dishes include kung pao cauliflower with cashews and cilantro (vegan), branzino with fennel tabbouleh, and BBQ seitan with heirloom carrots, mustard greens and cashews (vegan) for $23. For dinner (at a set $38), there’s a similar menu with the addition of a roasted lamb shoulder with poblano polenta and charred broccoli. For dessert, choose from a rhubarb float with maple, banoffee pie with caramelized banana or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel. *Vegan and vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Thoroughbred Food & Drink, 304 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 551 9221

Summer time feels. Crispy Branzino. Fennel Barigoule. Hericots. Tomato. ❤️ #thoroughbredfoodanddrink

A photo posted by Thoroughbred Food and Drink (@_thorough_) on


Lamesa Filipino Kitchen

At Lamesa, dishes are served using traditional Filipino flavours and modern techniques influenced by the culinary scene in Toronto. At $28 for three courses (dinner only), choose from dishes like duck lumpia with coconut cabbage, sweet potato and banana ketchup, chicken adobo with confit garlic and chimichurri, fried milkfish with tamarind romesco, and jackfruit cake with rhubarb and coconut whip. A Summerlicious fan favourite, Lamesa should be on your list of restaurants to visit during this year’s event.

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, 669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 346 2377


Lisa Marie

A newbie for Summerlicious 2016, Lisa Marie – the sister restaurant of famous food truck Fidel Gastro’s – is the go-to spot for street food-inspired cuisine featuring dishes inspired by flavours from all over the world. As part of Summerlicious, Lisa Marie will be hosting a $28 three-course prix fixe with plates like Korean fried chicken with kimchi, harissa-smoked cauliflower with poblano sauce, beet poke salad with shaved fennel, roasted nori and ginger sesame dressing, and brioche French toast with cooked bananas, peanut butter, whipped cream and candied bacon.

Reserve Here

Lisa Marie, 638 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 748 6822


Los Colibris

Los Colibris is an upscale Mexican hot spot in the heart of downtown that features authentic cuisine from Veracruz, Mexico – a menu created by head chef Elia Herrera’s cultural roots. For lunch, Summerlicious diners can get their hands on things like the salmon ceviche tostada with avocado, ‘enchiladas rojas’ with chicken confit, crema and a guajillo sauce, black bean soup with cream and fried tortilla, and churros with dulce de leche (a South American caramel sauce) for $28. For $38, head here for dinner to indulge in shellfish soup with shrimp and mussels, slow-cooked pork shoulder tostada with cilantro and lime, pork belly with chili ash sauce, and strawberry tamales with berry compote. *Vegetarian options available.

Reserve Here

Los Colibris, 220 King Street W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 979 7717