Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in Canada, and along with each culture comes their traditional cuisine. Situated along College Street, Little Italy is known for its many Italian-Canadian restaurants, bars, shops and businesses. Torontonians and visitors to the city head here to find Italian restaurants serving delicious, authentic and innovative meals. For a taste of Italy plus other international delicacies that abound in this happening neighborhood, try any one of these 12 restaurants in Toronto’s Little Italy.
Bar Isabel, Toronto | Courtesy of La Forchetta Ristorante
Bar Isabel is a Spanish-influenced locale in Little Italy that offers a variety of true Spanish style tapas. The menu focus on mainly Spanish cuisine and provides a range of craft beers, cocktails and wine. The atmosphere provides an authentic old European environment with mosaic floors and dim lighting. The space is perfect for large dinner parties and family gatherings. Bar Isabel is open late and offers a late-night menu and music from mid-century Spanish classics to the latest hits.
Serving traditional Italian cuisine, La Forchetta Ristorante offers classic pastas from all origins in Italy. During the summertime, La Forchetta Ristorante serves more fish entrées, while during fall and winter, their menu places emphasis on fine meat. Focusing on serving the highest quality of food and wine, La Forchetta Ristorante searches for the best ingredients. Their mission is to provide their customers with the best dining experience.
Looking to experience Neapolitan street food in Toronto? A3 Napoli is the place to visit. A3 Napoli offers more of a hangout environment, which makes it a great place to meet up with some friends and family. The restaurant’s oven and deep fryer are designed and hand made in Naples, making A3 Napoli one of a kind in Canada. The food includes bold flavors and the freshest ingredients around, staying true to the authentic recipes. The menu offers a variety of classic pizzas and deep fried pizzas. A3 Napoli is not to be missed, as it brings a bit of Naples to Toronto.
Situated in the heart of Little Italy, Vivoli is bound to have something to satisfy your craving for authentic Italian cuisine. Vivoli provides a trendy environment perfect for enjoying their wide range of wine and martinis. Experience everything Vivoli has to offer on their rooftop and street level patios, perfect for group functions, sporting events and everyday dining. Vivoli is open daily, has friendly staff, reasonably priced food and a welcoming environment.
Originally opened as an Italian bar, Little Italy’s Café Diplomatico gained popularity and expanded into a restaurant serving all the Italian classics. With something for everyone, this family-owned restaurant offers a variety of meat, fish, paninis, pastas, pizzas and much more. Aside from the Italian menu, the restaurant has a range of different beverages from which to choose. Café Diplomatico is a great place to enjoy the company of others over Italian-style cooking.
It is often said that wine is the backbone to a classic Italian meal, which is why this restaurant provides a wine bar for their customers. Bella Vista Trattoria & Wine Bar is located among the streets of Little Italy and offers fine Italian dining. Each meal is prepared with the best ingredients, and to top it off, the customers have a range of wine choices to complement the meals. This restaurant offers competitive pricing and thrives on fast and friendly service in a relaxed dining atmosphere. With freshly prepared cuisine plus friendly and helpful staff, Bella Vista Trattoria & Wine Bar offers a great dining experience.
In the midst of Little Italy, this cozy Italian restaurant is favored among Toronto diners. Trattoria Giancarlo serves inventive appetizers and traditional Italian cuisine. Based off of the taste of Italy, this restaurant provides a variety of pastas, grilled dishes and desserts. Offering a rustic and relaxed atmosphere, complete with high ceilings, appealing art displays, exposed brick and wine racks, Trattoria Giancarlo is perfect for an intimate group gathering. Looking for a little taste of Italy, Trattoria Giancarlo has it all.
Sotto Voce Wine & Pasta Bar, Toronto | Courtesy of Marinella
For the past 20 years, Sotto Voce Wine & Pasta Bar has been located at the corner of College Street’s Little Italy and is known for its cozy and relaxing atmosphere plus it’s traditional Italian comfort food and wine. The restaurant is an ideal spot for that first date and other celebrations. The menu includes a variety of antipasti, salads, meats and a selection of cheeses and desserts.
Marinella Simply Italian, Toronto | Courtesy of Chiado
Marinella offers everything that a traditional Italian dinner encompasses. Members of the family run restaurant work in the kitchen and manage the food service. Each dish is freshly prepared and homemade with ingredients that are locally grown. The restaurant offers a warm welcoming atmosphere that makes their customers feel like they are right at home. Marinella takes great pride in treating every customer like family.
Chiado & Senior Antonio Tapas & Wine Bar, Toronto | Courtesy of Woodlot
Located on the edge of Little Italy, Chiado is a Portuguese restaurant known for their daring flavors and creative displays. Owner Albino Silva is one of North America’s leading chefs and restaurateurs, and Chiado & Senhor Antonio Tapas and Wine Bar is one of his creations. Chiado serves dishes that include handpicked seasonal vegetables, fish that is flown in daily from the Azores islands plus roasted beef and potatoes and many more delicious dessert options. If you’re looking for a taste of Portugal in Little Italy, Chiado is the place to be.
If you are not the adventurous type when it comes to trying new food, Woodlot offers Canadian comfort food. Woodlot has something for everyone, featuring two different menus — one for meat eaters and the other for vegetarians. This restaurant also has a bakery offering many different dessert dishes to satisfy sweet cravings. The environment offers a rustic Canadian ambiance that allows customers to feel as though they are in the comfort of their own home.
The owner of Frank’s Kitchen, Frank Parhizgar, is a well-known chef in the city and has worked in France, New York and now Toronto. Parhizgar does his own handcrafted breads, cheese, butchery, charcuterie and pottery. Offering an elegant atmosphere, with wooden floors, architecture and decorations, Frank’s Kitchen is the perfect place to enjoy French-Italian cooking. Each dish is visually appealing and upholds Parhizgar’s philosophy of making everything in house and using local ingredients.