10 restaurants to eat fondue in Toronto
Fondue in Toronto is not just a nostalgic fad from the seventies. While it may not be as in vogue as it once was, fondue still has a presence in this city and there are plenty of reasons why. Fondue is one of the few foods meant to be savoured in the company of others. After all, who wouldn't enjoy the communal fun of gathering friends around a warm pot of melted, gooey goodness?
For those new to the fondue experience it's worth noting that according to fondue folklore, the person who loses their dipping vessel in the pot must pay for the entire table's cheque, or alternately kiss the person sitting next to them.
Here are ten Toronto restaurants that serve cheese, seafood, meat, chocolate or other varieties of fondue.
Toronto's most popular chocolate-themed lounge, MoRoCo Chocolate is where to go in Yorkville when only decadent chocolate fondue will do. Available in platters for 2-4 ($26) or 4-6 people ($40), the fondue here is served with seasonal fruit as well as the chef's cake and pastry selections of the day. Choose between three types of chocolate (dark chocolate 66%, Valrhona white and Valrhona dark) or a combination of all three for only $2 more.
Carens Wine and Cheese Bar
Just down the street from MoRoCo, Carens offers cheese and chocolate fondues. Cheese options include swiss, gruyers and blue cheese ($22) served with fresh bread perfect for dipping. The chocolate fondue here is less decadent than its Yorkville neighbour's but just as rich. Available Sunday through Tuesdays only, it's paired with fresh fruit and homemade marshmallows.
Representing Bloor West Village, Bloom's chocolate fondue is easier on the wallet than most. A less traditional variation, the fondue here ($8) is more of an individual serving comprised of churros, melted chocolate and homemade French vanilla ice cream. Available on both the lunch and dinner dessert menus.
Art Square Cafe
What's the perfect date? You could do a lot worse than taking in the new Picasso exhibit at the AGO and then wandering across the street to Art Square Cafe to share some fondue. If cheese is what you're looking for, Art Square offers a combination of gruyere, mozzarella, feta and blue cheese ($16.50) served with two sliced crepes for dipping. The chocolate version ($16.50) is made with fair trade organic chocolate and is also paired with crepes in addition to fresh fruit. Add Grand Marnier or Amaretto liquor for an extra $3.50.
Now with three locations in Toronto, the Bier Markt serves fondue off of their regular menu as well as during their annual Fondue Festival every Jan/Feb when fondue is available in 6-7 varieties including cheese, shrimp, steak and sausage. Available year-round is their Cheese and Lager fondue ($20), made with Stella Artois, emmenthal and raclette, and served with house made bread, granny smith apples, and fingerling potatoes. On the sweet side, the restaurant makes a peanut butter and Belgian chocolate option ($16) served with strawberries, bananas and a pastry for dipping.
On the edge of the Financial District, Beer Bistro offers a Cheese and Lager fondue ($15.50) on their brasserie menu from 3-5 PM. If you ask them nicely, though, the kitchen might accommodate an off-hours request. The fondue is made with aged chedder and Hacker-Pschorr Edelhell, a German lager (say that three times with fondue in your mouth), and served with house-made bread.
Big Daddy's Bourbon Street Bistro and Oyster Bar
While this restaurant at King West and Simcoe might be something of a tourist trap, Big Daddy's might take the prize for the most non-traditional, non-dessert fondue offerings on this list. Their signature fondues include seafood ($14) and a chicken and grilled vegetable option ($12). Both come with a creamy alfredo sauce topped with Asiago, Jack and Parmesan cheeses and toasted Ciabatta and Cheddar jalapeno bread for dipping.
One of Toronto's favourite streak houses, Barberians offers sustenance for those seeking late night fondue cravings. Available only on their After Ten Theatre Menu, the classic cheese fondue for two ($49) and French classic beef bourguignon fondue for two ($88) might be pricey but at least you won't go home hungry.
Looking for fondue with a view? Located on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre, Panorama serves chocolate fondue ($25) done the traditional way with fresh fruit. Known as a destination spot for first dates and tourists alike, Panorama's patio is one of the highest in Canada. For those with a fear of heights, don't look down.
The Melting Pot
Believe it or not, fondue restaurant chains do exist and The Melting Pot is the leader of the pack. With dozens of locations south of the border, The Melting Pot has just opened their first GTA location in Richmond Hill. The restaurant features a four-course fondue menu as well as an a la carte menu offering cheese, seafood, meat and dessert fondues.
Writing by Talia Chai. Top photo by Tanja-Tiziana Burdi