Travelzoo's Top 10 Trending Toronto Restaurants

May 24, 2018

Toronto’s food scene is now among the best in the world, a melting pot of tastes and experiences that blends the latest culinary trends with tried-and-true standards. With so many exciting and diverse restaurants -- from neighbourhood eateries to showstopping spaces -- the city’s culinary choices can be daunting to navigate.

Here are 10 restaurants trending with Travelzoo members so far in 2017.

1. Bosk Restaurant

Bosk has come of age as the flagship dining room at Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel. Toronto Life went so far as to name it among the 12 best restaurants downtown, and for good reason: Celebs and those who like to feel fancy flock here for a fine-dining experience of elaborate tasting menus and luxury ingredients. Take Bosk’s extravagant doughnut for example -- beads of Northern Divine caviar and creme fraiche atop a soft brioche ring. Indulgent? You bet.

2. Michael's on Simcoe

Launched in 2014 during the celebrity-fest that is TIFF, Michael's on Simcoe created a buzz that hasn't quieted since. BlogTO calls the ultra-modern steakhouse the “place to dine if you enjoy the finer things in life.” Outfitted with plush seating and elegant lighting, the restaurant gets top marks for fresh seafood and Italian plates. But it’s the cuts of prime beef, aged in-house -- not to mention an extensive wine list -- that seal the deal.

3. Toula Restaurant & Bar

Sitting window-side overlooking Lake Ontario, watching the Toronto skyline shimmer and shine from 38 floors up, you might just forget about the food. Yet Toula’s Italian menu – created by executive chef Thomas O’Neill – brings the focus back to the table with plates of fresh, handmade pastas and Venetian-style mains such as beef filet topped with foie gras and prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin. Desserts and an extensive list of wines round out the offering at this soaring restaurant located at The Westin Harbour Castle.

4. Tapas at Embrujo

Small plates of Spanish cuisine anchor the menu at Tapas at Embrujo where everything is meant to be shared, whether it's tapas classics, cheese and chorizo boards or the large chicken and seafood paellas for two. The Danforth restaurant features live flamenco shows Thursday to Sunday and a Spanish brunch buffet on the weekend. A recent diner and Travelzoo member said, "the food was outstanding and the show made our dinner unique and exciting.”

5. Carmen's Steak House

One of downtown Toronto's most storied dining rooms, Carmen's Steak House has been a go-to dinner destination for more than half a century. An overhaul a few years back re-energized the historic space, but kept the grandeur and formal, white-tablecloth experience -- think choice cuts drizzled with demi-glace and the classic fixings. "Everything was excellent -- food, service and ambience,” said one Travelzoo member. “It's nice to visit establishments that still have that old-world feel to them."

6. Tavolino

Authentic, homemade Italian dishes -- just like nonna used to make -- of antipasto, fresh pastas and veal, salmon and lamb set the bar high at Tavolino, a family-run eatery at Mount Pleasant and Eglinton. Our members love it for its "innovative menu offering choices not usually found in most Italian restaurants."

7. Bindia

Homemade curries, tandoori and naan are front and centre at Bindia, a modern Indian bistro with a stylish dining room along Market Street’s restaurant row. Classic northern Indian dishes and personal touches bring intimacy to the experience -- Bindia is named after the owner’s daughter, and his wife’s turquoise bridal sari pattern is painted on the back wall. “Pleasant service, rich flavours and refined [atmosphere],” says a Travelzoo member.

8. Le Papillon on Front

A Toronto fixture since 1974, Le Papillon on Front has evolved from being Toronto’s original creperie into a celebration of French and Quebecois cuisine. Classics like moules mariniere and tourtiere share the menu with beef tartare, scallops and house terrine and cheese plates. Of course, the famous crepes remain, with no less than eight varieties to choose from. “I’ve been dining there for 35 years -- since I was 10 years old -- and still love it each and every time,” says a Travelzoo member. “The French onion soup is the best anywhere!”

9. Globe Bistro

‘Think global, eat local’ is the maxim of Globe Bistro -- and they take it seriously. The Danforth favourite doesn't veer from Canadian farm-to-table cuisine, sourcing ingredients locally then executing with flair. (Tasting menus with wine pairings are a popular choice with diners.) Toronto Life says "Chef Daniel Sanders's cooking is superb, from the unanticipated amuse straight through to dessert." The space alone -- with vaulted ceilings, wood floors, stylish accents and a stunning rooftop -- is worth the visit.

10. R&D

Chinatown’s R&D gets its name from the self-titled Rebel and Demon chefs that make it tick. Eric “Rebel” Chong, MasterChef Canada’s first winner, and Michelin-starred Alvin “Demon” Leung forged a menu that “straddles old and new” (Toronto Life), breaking down Asian classics and reforming them into something fresh and unfamiliar. Traditional pork siu mai heats up with chili crab filling. Venison spring rolls tease eaters with cheese curds and jalapeño sour cream. Wash your fusion fare down with “Asian-inspired twists” (blogTO) on classic cocktails, like the Pandan piña colada.

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