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From 1996 to 2006, Vaughan, Ontario, was the fastest growing city in Canada, enjoying a population boom of over 80%. All these new residents need to eat; luckily, Vaughan is home to interesting and stylish restaurants. Here are some of the best.
Aragvi is the only restaurant in Vaughan to offer authentic Georgian fare, but they are not ones to rest on their laurels. Indeed, this upscale establishment and its chef, Boris Pasternak, have been highly praised in bringing a little-known variety of food to the greater public. The Toronto Star has praised the umpteen varieties of dough and skewered meat, pointing to how Vaughan’s Georgian and larger Russian population have made a beeline for the restaurant in search of home-cooked food.
Aragvi Restaurant, 2006 Highway 7, Vaughan, Canada, +1 905 597 5197
Restaurant, pizzeria and bar all rolled in to one, A1 Autostrada pays careful attention to each title in an expert balancing act. Despite the abundance of Italian restaurants in Vaughan, posing tough competition, A1 Autostrada remains at the top of its game. A good mix of regional specialties has been lauded time and time again. The interior is filled with clean edges and a modern flair, making A1 Autostrada a welcoming spot to dine with family and friends.
Autostrada, 3255 Rutherford Road, Vaughan, ON, Canada, +1 905 760 8338
Though the address states Kleinburg, don’t be fooled. Kleinburg is a delightful small village – an integral a part of Vaughan, Ontario. Avlyn Gardens itself is housed in an old Victorian mansion, which was also a tea-room in a past life. The owner, Marco Pezzelli, has a passion for authentic, rustic, regional Italian food which shines through in Avlyn’s reviews. Many ingredients are locally sourced, though the classic Italian ingredients ‘cheeses, oils, black and white truffles’ are imported directly from Italy.
Avlyn Gardens ,Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, ON, Canada, +1 905 893 1144
An authentic Italian restaurant, Oca Nera has one eye on rustic, regional specialties but is also not afraid to try fusion dishes. Reviewers have praised a thoroughly excellent menu, with every part of the meal up to scratch, from the antipasti to the dessert. The wine menu is also international, well-stocked and well-chosen. The interior is similarly impressive – modern, spacious design is the order of the day. The chef, Corrado Giliberto, particularly enjoys the fusion aspect, especially merging Asian influences with Italian. If something isn’t on the menu, then he personally invites you to ask for it.
Oca Nera, 8354 Islington Avenue, Woodbridge, ON, Canada, +1 905 264 7152
Vincentina meats offers Italian-inspired sandwiches and what can only be described as an awe-inspiring deli counter. First and foremost a butcher’s shop, this heritage of meat has helped it to become famous throughout Ontario for residents in search of a good lunch. Though nearly every imaginable form of meat is available, Thrillist highly recommends their ‘signature porchetta Kaiser, stuffed to the hilt with onions, mushrooms, peppers, grilled veggies and cheese’, which helped Vincentina earn the number one spot on their list. Even if you don’t need lunch, Vincentina is more than happy to help with requests for catering, no matter how many people you are expecting.
Vincentina, 109 Edilcan Drive, Vaughan, ON, Canada, +1 905 738 9998
Two antique chandeliers and beautiful wooden benches await you in the Florentine-inspired Vinsanto. All recipes are first generation Italian recipes, thus preserving the rusticity searched for by many restaurants. Authenticity is indeed the order of the day – there’ll be no greasy American-style pizzas here – only the simplest recipes with the best ingredients and the food is all the better for it.
Vinsanto, 28 Roytec Road #3, Woodbridge, ON, Canada, +1 905 264 3991