The Best Restaurants on the Toronto Islands and Ferry Port
Enjoy good food and great views on the Toronto Islands | © Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Nestled away on the Toronto Islands lie a number of delicious restaurants waiting to be discovered – no matter your taste or budget. Here are the best restaurants on the Toronto Islands for the perfect weekend escape from the city.
The Toronto Islands are perhaps the ultimate vacation for city dwellers. Just a hop, skip and a ferry ride away, you can find yourself on one of 15 small islands chained together and accessible from the heart of Downtown Toronto. With plenty of dining options to choose from, there is certainly something for every taste and budget.
Choose from barbecue joints, Greek grills and quaint cafés on the Toronto Islands © Bert Hoferichter / Alamy Stock Photo
Toronto Island BBQ and Beer Co.
Restaurant, BBQ, Beer, $$$
The best spot for an indulgent lunch on the Toronto Islands has to be this barbecue joint. With the entire menu of meat slow-cooked in a low and slow smoking grill, every piece comes out juicy and tender. If you can’t decide what to order, go for the mac and cheese brisket hamburger – bursting with flavour, it’s known throughout Toronto. There’s also a wide selection of locally brewed beer, as well as a few imported.
The Island Greek Grill
Food Stand, Greek
This beachside stand may not be anything fancy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better gyro kebab on the islands. Choose from beef, lamb, chicken and pork for your gyro, then watch as the toppings stack higher and higher. Order a side of piping hot french fries and make your way to the shack next door – it has all the refreshing beers you could want, ready to go.
The Upper Deck
Bar, Restaurant, Beer, Canadian
Snuggled right in the Toronto Island Marina, you’ll find a little patio known and loved by the islands’ residents. The Upper Deck offers sprawling views of the Toronto skyline and since it’s a slightly off the tourist trail, the restaurant is usually on the quieter side. On tap you’ll find just about any imported beer, with a few local brands to boot. The appetizer list is extensive, with burgers and many veggie options, and prices are very reasonable. Check the schedule for special events before you go – live bands often perform under the stars on summer weekends.
Located on an inlet, Island Café offers an idyllic slice of paradise to kick back and relax. The café serves only the freshest ingredients, and there are plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians on the menu. Offering brunch, lunch, sunset dinners and coffee for any hour of the day, head here for great views and a home-cooked meal. For a special touch, all the herbs and veggies are grown sustainably right in the garden next to the kitchen.
This restaurant, located just across from the Algonquin Island Bridge, is a long-standing island institution. Known for its sprawling back patio along the lake, The Riviera is aptly named for its stunning views. Chill out on the terrace with a cold beer or venture inside when you need a break from the summer heat. The menu changes seasonally, with the mustard beet salad – a flavor-packed dish combining goat’s cheese, pecans and hot mustard beets over a bed of arugula – a particular highlight.
This quaint café is tucked away in Centreville Amusement Park for ridegoers and those who are just passing by. Known for its great service and kid-friendly menu, stop here for a simple meal in a tranquil park setting. The appetizer specialties include aromatic flatbreads, crispy calamari and delicious Canadian poutines. Little ones have plenty of options on the kids’ menu, while adults will enjoy fresh seafood and a glass of rosé. Those who are gluten-free, be sure to tell staff and they will alter your meal.
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
If you find yourself back on the mainland and in search of upscale fare, head to Miku Toronto. Located right next to the ferry docks, this Japanese restaurant serves up the best flame-seared sushi in the city. The room is wall-to-wall glass with scenic views of the harbor, but the food is what makes this restaurant stand apart. Watch as the chef uses a blowtorch to sear fresh seafood for a caramelized flavor. While Miku can be a little on the pricey side, it’s the perfect place to cap off your island getaway.
These recommendations were updated on January 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.