Canada's 10 Stunningly Beautiful Restaurants

Photo of Jessica Dawdy
19 December 2016

With so many Canadian restaurants pushing culinary boundaries with their menus, it’s easy to overlook the role that design plays in the dining experience. Drawing inspiration from cultures around the world, these restaurants capture diners’ attention with both their delicious food and their remarkable décor. From the avant-garde to the subtly sophisticated, here are ten of Canada’s most stunningly beautiful restaurants.

Agricola Street Brasserie, Halifax

The Agricola Street Brasserie’s décor is comfortable and rustic with high ceilings and brick walls that add an urban edge. A backdrop of colorful bottles draws eyes to the bar area, while the eclectic light fixtures keep the atmosphere playful. The 15 seats along the bar offer views of the restaurant’s open kitchen, while the dining area offers several different seating options: there’s the intimate window seats which fold open in the summer months; a mezzanine overlooking the kitchen that accommodates larger groups; as well as a mix of long banquettes and smaller tables in the main dining area.

Agricola Street Brasserie, 2540 Agricola Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, +1 902 446 7664

Oysters © Pixabay

Oysters © Pixabay

Stratus Bar & Restaurant, Toronto

Awarded the 2014 ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario) Award of Merit in 2014, Stratus Bar & Restaurant exudes a sophisticated but inviting atmosphere. The design highlights the bar’s superb selection of wine, whiskey, and vodka. The neutral color scheme and wood details are complimented by pops of burnt orange color in the pillows and table linens. Set on the 36th floor of the TD South Tower, the space also showcases the fantastic views of Lake Ontario, the CN Tower and Toronto Island, all visible from the restaurant’s large windows.

Stratus Bar & Restaurant, 79 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 865 1924

Homer Street Café and Bar, Vancouver

Restaurant, Canadian, Pub Grub, Vegetarian, $$$
Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken | © Pixabay
Set in the historic Homer building and modern Beasley building, the design of Homer Street Café and Bar is bright and stylish. The restaurant incorporates the exterior metal cornices, grand staircase, and other elements of the original building. The open-concept ‘Chef’s Bar’ space features views of the kitchen team and the restaurant’s bright-red rotisserie. The upstairs ‘Cockpit Room’, which overlooks the rest of the restaurant, is decorated with reclaimed factory windows and hen artwork. Voted Vancouver’s ‘Best New Design’ of 2014 by Vancouver Magazine, it’s the details that really standout at Homer Street, from the handcrafted mosaic floor tile to the molded ceilings.

Candela, Calgary

Candela features an eclectic mix of internationally-inspired décor, including Moroccan lamps and hand-punched chandeliers. A latticework divider marks the entryway, while the eye-catching floor is decorated with black, white, and green Moroccan tiles. The space is defined by an enormous skylight over the bar, which brightens the softly-lit space. Diners sit at blue and orange leather captain’s chairs, and the kitchen can be seen through a viewing window in the restaurant’s private dining area. Named ‘Best Restaurant Décor’ by Avenue Calgary in 2014, the sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance compliments the restaurant’s menu of international tapas.

Candela, 1919 4 Street Southwest, Calgary, Canada, +1 403-719-0049

Moroccan lamps © Rikard Stadler / Shutterstock

Moroccan lamps © Rikard Stadler / Shutterstock

SuWu Restaurant and Bar, Montréal

With its nostalgic décor, SuWu Restaurant and Bar aims to recall a laid-back neighborhood bar. The restaurant’s unassuming exterior belies a supper-club-style interior, decorated with antique and handcrafted furniture, industrial lights, and mason jars. Quirky decorations add to the restaurant’s retro vibe, including a 1957 Aces High pinball machine as well as a carousel horse mounted on one wall. Assorted empty bottoms line the restaurant’s wooden shelves, and open windows create a pleasant breeze in the summer.

SuWu Restaurant and Bar, 3581 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC, Canada, +1 514 564 5074

Chez Carl, Verdun

With a casual menu of simple wood-oven pizzas and excellent wines, you might expect Chez Carl’s décor to follow a standard rustic-Italian-style of design. Instead, the restaurant’s interior is a striking work of abstract art. Bold pink and red geometrical patterns on the walls contrast against ceilings and floors finished in black tones and light maple woods. Decorative steel pools and variations in floor-to-ceiling height create a varying impression of the space, and mirror the asymmetry of the copper wine cellar found in the center of the restaurant.

Chez Carl, 3000 Boulevard René Lévesque, Verdun, QC, Canada, +1 514 362 9798

El Catrin, Toronto

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$

The Mexican-inspired décor of El Catrin is truly spectacular. The dining room is dominated by a 42X22-foot mural painted by Mexican street artist Oscar Flores, which is lit with black lights that create an eerie effect. One side of the restaurant is bookended by a floor-to-ceiling display of colorful painted skills, and bright yellow chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The 50-foot-long bar is made from the distillery’s old whisky racks, and the floor is decorated with blue-and-white tiles imported from Mexico. There are two private dining areas, one of which overlooks the rest of the restaurant; and the other, which includes a perforated metal screen depicting ghoulish El Catrin and La Catrina.

PiDGiN Restaurant, Vancouver

PiDGiN aims to walk the line between casual and fine dining, a philosophy reflected in both its food and décor. The restaurant’s modern design mirrors its Asian-inspired menu, incorporating Japanese-style tables and minimalist furnishings. White walls, inverted subway tile, panel moulding, and modern black lighting give the restaurant a sophisticated feeling; while kitschy, taxidermied quails set in curved wall niches, and a goose wing protruding from an orange block on one wall, add an eccentric touch.

PiDGiN Restaurant, 350 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 620 9400

Eagle’s Eye, Golden

Eagle’s Eye embodies rustic elegance at its best. Touted as Canada’s highest restaurant, Eagle’s Eye is set 7,700-feet-above sea level on the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Diners have a view of five different national parks at once: Banff, Glacier, Yoho, Kootenay, and Jasper. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows emphasize this spectacular 360-degree view, which is particularly lovely in the autumn when the leaves change color. Decorated with warm woods, stone, and other natural materials, the restaurant’s upscale-lodge feeling perfectly complements its Canadian menu.

Eagle’s Eye, 1500 Kicking Horse Trail, Golden, BC, Canada, + 1 250 439 5413

Rasoï, Montréal

Rasoï’s design is colorful, eclectic, and Indian-inspired, much like its menu. The interior features a bright ceiling mural with floral motifs, turquoise couches, and handmade lamps imported from the city of Jaipur. One of the space’s most striking elements is a perforated yellow room divider, which also incorporates an original wooden pillar. The wall behind the bar is covered with varying wood panels, which create interesting shadows thanks to their different shapes and thicknesses. Another partition is made of sparkling pink glass, and wood carvings are interspersed throughout the room.

Rasoï, 3459 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada, + 1 514 544 9866

By Jessica Dawdy

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