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Best of Toronto

The Best Caesar Salad in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / June 14, 2013

Caesar salad TorontoThe best Caesar salad in Toronto makes me wonder if it's possible to classify greens as comfort food. While there's something to be said for the refined take on this classic that you'll find at upscale restaurants, my favourites are the less fussy versions that somehow transform a bunch of romaine lettuce into something as satisfying as a grilled cheese sandwich. And, is there anything better than the tableside preparation that you get to enjoy at some of the city's better steakhouses? There's a certain spectacle to it all that's both nostalgic and entertaining.

Everyone has their own preferences, of course — be it for extra garlic or the absence of anchovies (which aren't actually a traditional ingredient depending on who you talk to). With tableside preparations, you typically get a say in how your dressing is prepared, but even in the absence of this option, given the sheer variety of interpretations of the dish found across Toronto, there's sure to be one to please all manner of tastes.

Here are the best Caesar salads in Toronto.

See also:

The best salad in Toronto

Lead photo by Renée S. Suen

Jacob's & Co.

Jacob's & Co.

Jacobs & Co. does a particularly orchestrated tableside preparation of their Caesar, complete with a running narrative of the process. Far from annoying, you'll want to take notes, as this is one of those salads that's both light and filling, creamy but not soggy and basically just pitch perfect. If you're worried about the raw egg yolk, they'll do it with avocado instead (and the difference is negligible). More »

Barberian's

Barberian's

Another tableside offering, Barberian's Caesar is about as classic as it gets. The plating isn't fussy and there's no extras like bacon, but the croutons are a garlic and butter lover's dream. Some might prefer a bit more lemony tang from the dressing, but it's an old style steakhouse - so it's not really supposed to be light and refreshing. More »

Caplansky's

Caplansky's

I don't often think of salad as junk food, but I'll make an exception here. Caplansky's Caesar salad is a creamy mess of calories, and that's a very good thing. Served virtually ice cold, it's best to eat it fast so that the lettuce retains its crunch as there's more dressing on there than you'd ever do at home. The crumbled bits of "beef bacon" are unique and delicious. More »

The Gabardine

The Gabardine

While the dressing is on the light side, this Caesar salad gets its richness (and considerable flavour) via the addition of a soft boiled egg with a runny yoke and and two strips of hyper-crispy bacon. The presentation is lovely, but I recommend getting in there and crumbling the bacon so that you can enjoy the its salt and smoke with every bite. More »

Farmhouse Tavern

Farmhouse Tavern

This ain't your grandmother's Caesar salad - hell, it's not even really a salad at all. The Farmhouse Tavern does this classic as a soup, with a comforting and garlicky broth and just a few romaine hearts to tie the dish back to its origins. In place of bacon, you get pig ears. It's a bit of culinary cleverness, but also very good. More »

Luma

Luma

Although the Caesar salad at Canoe tends to get most of the attention as far as Oliver and Bonacini-owned restaurants go, the version on offer at Luma is "secretly" better. Truer to classic ingredients and yet completely upscale and refined, everything about this salad is just right, from the double smoked bacon, to the soft-boiled quail's egg to the buttery crisp croutons. More »

Aunties & Uncles

Aunties & Uncles

You have two options for a "Caesar salad" at Aunties & Uncles - the Hearts of Romaine or the version with chicken. The dressing is the same (at least to my taste buds), and that's the key here. The garlic-kick will make you a shitty person to make out with later that day, but it tastes fantastic. Oh, and there's bacon. And that just makes everything better. More »

The Octagon

The Octagon

Bust out the ramekins, this is going to be an elaborate production. Prepared tableside, the Octagon's Caesar involves a delicate balance of classic ingredients like raw egg, anchovies, garlic, parmesan, red wine vinegar, lemons, croutons, etc. You'll get hungry as you watch your server making it beside you, but the pay off is well worth the wait. More »

Discussion

26 Comments

Sean / June 14, 2013 at 02:57 pm
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I was wondering to see of Jacobs would make the list.. and it is (I think) rightfully at #1. Amazing and made from scratch at the table. Delicious.
Jon t / June 14, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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You don't win friends with salad
Fallerboy / June 14, 2013 at 03:11 pm
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The Octagon was making scratch Caesar before any of these hipster steakhouses existed. By far the best in Toronto. Too bad the mooks on this site think that Jacob's invented the table side Caesar. I have had the Jacob's Caesar btw, and it pales in comparison to the sharp, bitter, and phenomenal Octagon version.
AV / June 14, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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I guess Derek was too under-dressed to have dinner at Morton's?
Derek replying to a comment from AV / June 14, 2013 at 03:22 pm
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Clearly we've never met.
Jeff replying to a comment from Fallerboy / June 14, 2013 at 03:41 pm
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"The Octagon was making scratch Caesar before any of these hipster steakhouses existed." The irony in this sentence is off the charts!!!


As for he salad, give me a solid dressing with strong flavour, big chunks of bacon, croutons that are firm but not too crispy and some real shaved parm and I will be happy.
AV replying to a comment from Derek / June 14, 2013 at 03:41 pm
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Clearly. I don't take myself that seriously.
Lolabelle / June 14, 2013 at 04:12 pm
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L'Unita - just had it this past weekend. It was so delicious my friends were poaching rather spectacularly - had to elbow my way in just to get a taste of my own salad. Be forewarned, it has (some) anchovies (yum).
Bobby / June 14, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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Um hello, Diamond Pizza's chicken caesar FTW
Gerry / June 14, 2013 at 04:26 pm
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Byzantium on church street makes a spectacular Caesar salad.
MDM / June 14, 2013 at 05:00 pm
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Remember when Mr. Greenjeans used to serve their Caesar table side by a dude dressed like Caesar? I would guess 1988ish

Derek replying to a comment from AV / June 14, 2013 at 05:23 pm
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Oh, AV. I like your banter. But I had to reply, if only in the name of my wardrobe.
Dave replying to a comment from Gerry / June 14, 2013 at 05:52 pm
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I second Byzantium's Caesar salad. It's beautiful and delicious.
Matt / June 14, 2013 at 06:50 pm
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The Federal has a really great one too!
Tom / June 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm
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It doesn't take any chef skills to make a freakin' salad. Are people really that pathetic & dependent today? It's a salad. Pick up knife and cut up ingredients. No cooking involved. A society that depends onothers to perform brain dead tasks is doomed.
OnCinema / June 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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Diary of a Mad Housewife...great scene with Richard Benjamin making a ceaser salad...all the instructions are there for the perfect recipe...raw egg is the key.
KidCornish replying to a comment from Tom / June 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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Tom, your bedroom skills last night were adequate. Sorry I fell asleep before you were done. No reason to take your frustration out on our viewers.
Betts / June 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm
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The best caesar salad is at Vincent's Spot in Scarborough. Kingston Road and Midland. Made in-house as part of a prix fixe menu. The portions are not only generous but truthfully really good. They make a fantastic pepper steak and the lamb is meltingly good.
Paul / June 17, 2013 at 02:44 pm
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They've been doing tableside Caesar salads for over 50 years. They have it pretty dialled by now.
Miles Tones / June 19, 2013 at 01:23 pm
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Ok... You might laugh, but have you tried the roasted garlic Caesar at Milestones? It's actually amazing. Not a hip joint, but the Caesar it great.
josh josephson / June 19, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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personally, i much prefer the caesar at the longstanding tom jone steakhouse.....BUT...with out the croutons that they c hoose to use.
Eric Snidal / July 9, 2013 at 09:55 am
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Missing the Kale Caesar Salad at Parts and Labour. New and needs to be on here.
Bob / July 22, 2013 at 02:14 am
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I am not sure where this person is getting the info from but Luma has not had that Caesar Salad for close to a year now. It's now a average ceasar salad that you can get at any chain restaurant. Luma's quality in food has gone way down.
Tee / March 10, 2014 at 07:50 pm
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Scaramouche. The....best....
Canaduh / March 11, 2014 at 07:17 am
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BlogTO you need to stop just regurgitating your old articles like this without checking your facts or re-polling. If you have nothing new to post, that's fine, as your readers don't expect a certain number of posts per day.
Josh josephson / March 11, 2014 at 08:23 am
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Tom jones steakhouse (minus their croutons) should be in this group. For years they were the only resto in toronto that did a custom caesar tableside!

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