Restaurants that should have been included in Toronto’s inaugural MICHELIN Guide
In September 2022, the Michelin Guide revealed its list of recommended restaurants in Toronto, but some of the best establishments in the city didn’t make the cut—whether it be a coveted star, a Bib Gourmand or a simple mention.
Here are some Michelin-worthy gems to add to your Toronto dining list this year.
503 College Street
Since DaiLo opened its doors in 2014, Chef Nick Liu has demonstrated the breadth and depth of modern Chinese food in a lively setting. A large proportion of the menu highlights a French twist on Chinese food, but there’s also a good proportion of Filipino and Italian influences, such as the Szechuan braised beef rib gnocchi. For those in search of inventive dishes with equally amusing wine pairings, this is the place where uniqueness shines.
449357 10th Concession, Singhampton
As you approach Eigensinn Farm, you’ll most certainly ask yourself if you’ve come to the right place. But when you spot the free-roaming chickens and a mountain of empty wine bottles at the side of the gravel laneway, you’ll know you’ve arrived at this whimsical farm. And, at the heart of the whimsy, is the true definition of farm-to-table dining that the Stadtlander family intimately shares with its diners. It’s not every day that one is able to dine on a farm and experience a heightened level of cuisine—full of finesse and passion—that is akin to some of the world’s best restaurants. With Eigensinn Farm, the Stadtlander family has created an inimitable experience that will leave diners with plenty of memories for years to come.
770 St. Clair Avenue West
FK, formerly known as Frank’s Kitchen, offers contemporary Canadian cuisine in the St. Clair West neighburhood. Helmed by husband-and-wife team Frank Parhizgar and Shawn Cooper, dishes rotate with the seasons, but typically include things like crab cakes, steak frites and more that will make for an intimate and special date night. Parhizgar and team pride themselves on being a from-scratch kitchen, and you can taste his passion on the plate. Oenophiles will appreciate the extensive and impressive wine list.
Flor De Sal
501 Davenport Road
Steps from majestic Casa Loma, this Mediterranean fine dining establishment in an old house is the ideal spot for an intimate evening out. It is elegant in every sense of the word—from the white tablecloths to the candlelit ambiance. The refined dishes and warm hospitality will keep you coming back as well. Many of the seasonal dishes draw inspiration from Portuguese cuisine, such as Feijoada and fire-grilled whole fish. And, the grilled octopus is one of the best in the city.
210 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville
Hexagon’s menu balances French classics with more imaginative dishes. At the helm of Hexagon’s kitchen is Chef Rafael Covarrubias, a talented young chef from Mexico who has made a name for himself. Local ingredients and seasonality are given the spotlight, and influences from Covarrubias’ Mexican heritage punctuate the menu, providing an interesting story to accompany the food. Trust that you’ll be genuinely cared for while you dine in this contemporary space.
Inspired by the Dalmatian Coast, Joso’s is a destination in and of itself. There’s no shortage of character in this Yorkville restaurant that has stayed in the same family since the 1960s. Patrons will escape to Croatia for an evening with some of the freshest seafood in the city. For a more intimate experience, snag a table on the second floor and let all your worries melt away.
1471 Gerrard Street East
Lake Inez brings the nuanced flavours of Asia to Little India in a concept that’s unique and delicious. Whether you stop in to enjoy a craft brew and some snacks, or savour a meal while admiring the rich interior detail, you’ll most certainly devour every last bite.
Read my full review of Lake Inez here.
1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge
Langdon Hall has a strong culinary reputation, backed by equally strong credentials. At the helm is Chef Jason Bangerter, who produces brilliant menus and draws his inspiration from the property’s gardens and neighbouring farms. Classically trained in French cuisine, his style melds classical techniques with contemporary execution. It’s not uncommon to find cheese from a local artisan or foraged ingredients from the 75-acre property. Using the freshest ingredients from the season is what Langdon Hall does best, and perhaps it’s consistently ranked as one of Canada’s best. This magical place is a truly unforgettable experience, and is well worth the short drive from Toronto.
Maple Leaf Tavern is perfect balance of upscale and casual; past and present—with two dining areas separated by a U-shaped bar and a spacious open kitchen with some bar seats for a more voyeuristic dining experience. Hailing from France, executive chef Stephane Renaux does excellent job marrying tavern classics, such a cheeseburger and a comforting tavern pie, with more sophisticated dishes, such as lobster agnolotti and wood-fired duck breast. There’s weekend brunch as well. This is not your grandfather’s tavern—ambiance, execution and delicious seasonal menus make it a spot you want to add to your favourites list.
1027 Yonge Street
Mineral is best known for its inventive Filipino-inspired plates. Chef Daniel Cancino’s menu is packed with distinctive sweet, sour, and meaty flavours with influences from Spanish, Chinese, American, and Dutch cuisines. In addition to a list of low-intervention wines, Mineral boasts impressive (and addictive) proteins, like slow-cooked pork neck with brown butter pineapple lettuce wraps. Halibut is roasted to perfection in a banana leaf, and kissed with caramelized coconut. An absolute showstopper is the pineapple and kombu, decorated with black garlic, chili, and puffed rice. There’s no shortage of flavour on this small but mighty menu.
265 Davenport Avenue
Yorkville’s swanky restaurant, MIMI Chinese, honours regional Chinese cuisine and its rich culture along with artistic cocktails and a moody vibe. It will surprise and delight with elegant and refined Cantonese-style fare from Guangdong province (think: shrimp toast coated with sesame seeds). Sit at the bar for an ultra-immersive experience and ask the bartender to shake up something delicious to pair with the tasting menu.
37 Prince Arthur Avenue
Tucked away on charming tree-lined street, Opus is a hidden gem within the city. Using the highest quality of choice ingredients, Chef Jason Cox weaves his way through French, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines while placing a firm Canadian stamp on each dish. Opus’ high-end dining experience is only accentuated by its vast wine cellar with over 2,500 labels. The underground wine cellar houses one of the most comprehensive wine collections in the country.
1 Richmond Street West
Chef and co-owner Carl Heinrich of Top Chef Canada continues to keep community at the forefront of the operations at Richmond Station, which has, since 2012, endeared itself to many in the Financial District as a welcoming space for seasonal Canadian cuisine. Patrons will feel at home as they pull up a seat at the bar or sink into their seats, and the comforting selection of food and beverages will impress—from the flavourful Station Burger to the rotating chef’s tasting menu. Everything is ingredient-focused and technique-driven, making it a satisfying spot for lunch or dinner.
1133 Yonge Street
This midtown restaurant exudes sophistication that you could only expect from its namesake chef and co-owner, Sash Simpson. Simpson’s menu focuses on contemporary North American dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Menu items range from milk-fed veal tenderloin to butter-braised Nova Scotia lobster, to bison tenderloin. There’s an impressive caviar menu as well. Dishes are punctuated with Indian flavours and ingredients – a nod to Simpson’s past. Visit Sash for a fine dining experience where you’ll feel doted on from start to finish.