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Best of Toronto

The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2013

Posted by Liora Ipsum / January 23, 2014

best restaurants torontoThe best restaurants that opened in Toronto during 2013 draw on diverse sources for inspiration, though there are at least a couple of recurring themes. Snacks, a.k.a tapas or bocaditos, played a major role on menus across town, as did wood-fired cooking of all types, including slow and low smoking and flash-fired pizza-baking. Also worth a note is the clip at which new restaurants continue to open in this city. This is a culinary boom time, one which shows no signs of slowing down.

Here are the best new restaurants in Toronto from 2013.

See also:

The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2012
The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2011
The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2010
The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2013
The Best New Brunch Restaurants in Toronto, 2013
The Best New Bars in Toronto, 2013

Bar Isabel

Bar Isabel

Grant van Gameren’s tapas bar on College has garnered a whirlwind of acclaim since opening last year. Cured meats and cheese play a prominent role on the menu along with delicacies like tongue on brioche and whole sea bream ceviche. More »

Electric Mud BBQ

Electric Mud BBQ

This contemporary take on barbecue and bourbon comes courtesy of the same team behind Grand Electric. The menu offers habit forming bites like pork rinds and crack rolls, plus delectable fried chicken, po boys and array of barbecued meats. More »

The Chase

The Chase

Boasting a prime penthouse address with a killer rooftop patio, this elegant bistro in the Financial District will readily indulge champagne tastes. It's easy to be enamoured with the luxurious menu listing seafood platters, foie gras spiked vegetables and suckling pig. More »

Oddseoul

Oddseoul

The menu at this Ossington snackbar showcases a novel take on fusion cuisine. Korean comfort foods are influenced by a soft spot for iconic American fast foods. Expect to find ssam platters listed alongside a bulgogi cheese steak, wings and deviled eggs. More »

Playa Cabana Hacienda

Playa Cabana Hacienda

This raucous taqueria and tequila bar attracts boisterous crowds and taco fiends to its two-storey home on Dupont. Tortillas here come loaded with playful and vibrant ingredients like jerk lobster, octopus and chorizo and kalbi beef with slaw. More »

Porzia

Porzia

Chef Basilio Pesce shares his rustic Italian recipes at this charming Parkdale restaurant. The menu changes frequently but has been known to include old world comfort foods like trippa fritta, roasted bone marrow and chicken liver agnolotti. More »

Big Crow

Big Crow

This backyard BBQ spot from Anthony Rose owes its origins to Canadian cookouts and comfort foods. The menu boasts sublimely smoked slabs of ribs, grilled lobsters and rabbit sauced with hot honey butter. Noteworthy desserts like s'mores and Nanaimo bars cap the meal off with a taste of childhood nostalgia. More »

THR & Co.

THR & Co.

The Harbord Room opened this stylish offshoot doors down from its original location in 2013. The menu features sharable starters, salads, crudos, pastas, pizzas and meaty mains. Their beef heart tartare was one of the most memorable things I ate all year. More »

Carbon Bar

Carbon Bar

Near Queen and Church, this civilized smokehouse offers an informal menu from chef David Lee (also of Nota Bene) and one huge dining room. Standout selections include fried chicken skins, split pea fritters, octopus and lobster gumbo plus an array of meaty, wood-fired fare. More »

Discussion

12 Comments

Jenny / January 23, 2014 at 12:34 pm
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Which restaurant is pictured in the main photo?
PL / January 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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The Wren at Monarch Park and Danforth was snubbed!! That place rocks!! Although many of these places are very good as well.
Paul replying to a comment from Jenny / January 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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#5
Chester Pape / January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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The Wren really more qualifies as a bar than a restaurant and it's #4 on the best new bars list...
al / January 23, 2014 at 06:08 pm
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Carbon opened in the last week of December 2013. Hardly even established and its already on this list? Any decent reviewer would've waited for a while to make the sensible decision to include a restaurant that literally just opened the doors on any kind of list. Geez Torontonians love to drive their opinions on dining with trending restaurants. Just absolutely terrible the foodie aura our food scene/reviews have become. Enough to annoy any chef to leave the country.

My personal opinion:

Oddseoul - Not even close to a real restaurant. Its a bar with food. Hardly a place to have a full meal. Have you even eaten then!!??
Things / January 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm
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Coreano is pretty lame actually. It's definitely no Playa Cabana.
Adam / January 24, 2014 at 11:04 am
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You guys really need to do a better job of attributing and captioning lead photos.
Alison / January 27, 2014 at 02:29 pm
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@Things
Lead photo is definitely the new Playa Cabana Hacienda (#5)
Valdez / April 9, 2014 at 02:13 pm
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How is Valdez not on there?
Sadie / April 9, 2014 at 03:03 pm
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Went to THR & Co. on Sunday - it was great! Try and get a seat in one of the booths toward the back mirror. The tomato/mozza/basil pizza was delicious, as was the black spaghetti and charcuterie board. The chicken liver mousse was next level.

If you're a fan of steak tartare, know that the beef heart tartare has a different taste and texture than what you're used to. I ordered it to attempt to be an adventurous eater, got through half of it, but the texture was super weird.
Stop Whining replying to a comment from al / April 9, 2014 at 03:34 pm
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It's almost the middle of April buddy. Find another stupid reason to banter, cause this one doesn't hold water...
BillyO / April 9, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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Pukka should at least be on the list (I'm not picky about spot). It's the best Indian restaurant in Toronto by a mile. I think it made #1 butter chicken in that top ten list. Then again shows how strong the restaurant scene in TO is (for the last few years truthfully) maybe make it a top 15 list?

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