For those who don’t want to leave the hustle and bustle of Toronto’s city center, Culture Trip’s got you covered with the best restaurants in Midtown. Whether you’re craving smoky barbecue dishes, fine-dining Italian or Middle Eastern cuisine, these are the best of the best.
Toronto is a rolling expanse of a city, meaning its food scene is always growing. The intersection of Yonge and Eglinton makes up the heart of Midtown, and considering the neighborhood is home to a wide range of immigrant communities, you won’t be hard-pressed to find an eclectic mix of ethnic foods, ranging from authentic Italian to flavorful Middle Eastern. Here are the best restaurants in Midtown Toronto.
For old-fashioned American barbecue dishes, The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder is the best spot in the city. Although it’s small and intimate on the inside, no one seems to mind much when the food is this good. Diners often sit next to the bar flanking the kitchen to watch the chefs prepare their signature dish – chicken and waffles (hand-breaded chicken atop a fluffy Belgium waffle and glazed with chili-maple molasses). Get here early if you want to try this savory recipe, as it is only available on a first come, first served basis until 3pm.
A long-standing Toronto institution, Ristorante Sotto Sotto is among the best restaurants in the city. Each dish is crafted from the freshest ingredients, and while the menu is full of Italian classics, you’ll also find plenty of seasonal flavors. The talented Marisa Rocca has owned and operated this restaurant for over 26 years, dominating in a mostly male industry. Rocca sources recipes from within her own family, with the Fettuccine Bolognese Mamma Laura a particular highlight; however, any of the Roman-style plates will leave you craving more.
Those who live in Midtown no longer need to waste their time on the subway to get their fix of Italian food at Terroni. Its Yonge Street location is known for consistently delivering high-quality Italian dishes, making Terroni a Toronto household name for good reason. Occupying the first floor is Bar Centrale, an in-house wine bar, while the restaurant takes up the second and third floors. During the summer months, its stunning rooftop patio offers sweeping views of the city and is a great late-night spot to hang out with friends.
Arthur’s Restaurant is the ultimate modern-contemporary dining establishment in the city and is ideal for romantic dates. Located on the first floor of the Weston Centre, this design-forward spot features a three-dimensional ceiling, meant to imitate the shape of a crystal cocktail glass. The 7,000-square-foot (650-square-meter) space is decked out in leather banquettes, and the menu is decidedly American, serving classics such as pastrami on rye and cheeseburgers.
Revered as one of the best seafood restaurants in Toronto, Zee Grill opened its doors more than 30 years ago. It sources its ingredients fresh daily from nearby seafood markets and butcher shops. As it offers unparalleled sommelier pairings, try its signature oyster dishes to bring out the aromatic flavors of the wine. If you have your own pairing in mind, feel free to BYOB, though the bottle must not already be on the menu, and there is a 25-Canadian-dollar ($19) corkage fee.
This casual neighborhood spot continues to expand its empire, with four locations across the Greater Toronto Area. The St Clair establishment offers a cozy atmosphere with great food at an affordable price point. Selling itself as the creator of “common food done uncommonly well,” its menu is chock-full of traditional meals made using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Try one of the Social Starters for a sample of its roasted vegetable flatbread, followed by something from the Two Hander section, such as The Cease & Desist Beefburger, topped with pulled pork, house-smoked cheddar and a special home-made sauce.
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