The Best Restaurants in Woodbridge
The best restaurants in Woodbridge have an Italian bent. For over thirty years Woodbridge has been a haven for Italian-Canadian families. For those not blessed with a nonna in the family, a Woodbridge restaurant or bakery/hot table is often the next best thing. For the purpose of this list, we'll focus on sit-down restaurants, from fine dining to casual, within the official borders of Woodbridge. The majority of these restaurants serve dishes from the boot-shaped peninsula but there are two exceptions.
Note: There are many fine restaurants outside of Woodbridge though still inside the Vaughan boundary, such as Vicentina Fine Foods in Concord, Yang's Teppanyaki & Sushi in Maple and The Doctor's House in Kleinburg just to name a few.
Here is my list of the best restaurants in Woodbridge.
Writing by Gina Bucci
My love affair with Desserts Plus' seafood risotto (shrimp, scallops, mussels & calamari in a red sauce) began at the original, cramped location. Now that the Piselli brothers have moved the family business to a larger space with an extra room and even a hall upstairs to accommodate special occasions, they are still packed all the time. While you’re waiting on a table, take the time to go through their menu (with 22 wood oven-cooked pizzas to choose from). If there’s a type of pasta dish or sauce that you don’t see, they have no issues interpreting your instructions and making it for you. My favourite pizza here is Rocky’s Choice, a potato pie named after their late father and culinary inspiration. More »
The first time I tried finding this excellent restaurant I drove by it three times. It’s tucked behind a gas station at the corner of Pine Grove. When you do find it, you’ve got the right setting for a romantic dinner or an intimate private party. The atmosphere at Oca Nera is elegant and the service is expedient and friendly. The menu changes seasonally but tasty dishes such as the Shrimp a la Strega and the Wild Boar Gnocchi are always available. Seafood lovers take note - Rodney’s Oysters are a permanent feature and PEI lobsters are served every weekend. More »
Woodbridge has a few popular sushi restaurants. My favourite is Koganei. It was, perhaps on my fifth visit to this charming Japanese restaurant that I finally noticed a large artwork depicting a Japanese businessman from the 19th century suckling the ’teet’ of his lover or concubine, right there above the entrance bar. Under the erotic print they also display live seafood, including the largest gooyduck clam I’ve ever seen. When you get over the weird awesomeness and move on to ordering, start with the delicious Salad Roll then try their tasty Koganei Roll and Salmon Pizza. They also have a few Tatami rooms which are fun for small parties. More »
I should tell you up front, they have a small outdoor patio. The name refers to the interior of the restaurant, fashioned as an outdoor village of sorts. It’s not as elaborate as the pavilion in Caesar’s Palace but it’s cute. The name also suggests an emphasis on ice cream but they have a modest gelato bar. You know what, forget the name. They are on this list because this is one of the best places in Woodbridge to get an excellent wood oven-cooked pizza or focaccia. Their Soppressa sandwiches are wonderful too. More »
This family restaurant is one of the best kept secrets in town. The food is delicious and cheap! If you’re looking for dishes only an Italian grandmother would serve, then this is the place. Pasta fagiole, stuffed zucchini, Calabrese style baccala (salted cod), oven roasted rabbit, oso bucco, penne a la vodka (pasta in a vodka spiked rose sauce), the list goes on and on. The best part is you can easily stuff yourself silly for under $20. More »
The pasta dishes are the star at Zafferano and my favourite is the Fettuccine al Tartufo (homemade mushroom infused fettuccine tossed with a variety of mushrooms and topped with garlic, black truffle and olive oil sauce). Other notable items include the Beet Gnocchi and the Italian Style Eggrolls (stuffed with prosciutto, smoked mozzarella and veggies). More »
This is a diner of the greasy spoon variety but seeing as its Woodbridge and sloppy doesn’t exactly fly here, it is very clean and the service is fast. The setting is 50’s Hollywood, so be prepared to eat your breakfast with Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis staring at you. I like coming here on Sunday mornings and seeing as my morning usually starts at say 1pm, it’s a good thing they serve breakfast all day, every day. The best items are the omelettes (large and in charge). More »
Walking into this place is the closest you’ll come to stepping inside a Claudio Villa song. It’s kind of like what Toronto’s little Italy must have felt like in the 60’s. This family run restaurant has Luigi greeting you at the door and his wife Ida cooking some delectable traditional dishes such as homemade lasagna, wood oven pizzas (the Calabrese is the best) and the wonderful Linguini Vongole (pasta with clams and diced tomatoes in a white wine sauce). More »
If you’re looking for a satisfying veal sandwich or need a party sized pizza with a side of wings to go, Ricci’s is a logical choice. For me however, Ricci’s is on this list because they have the best panzerotti in town. Now, I can’t speak for the fried version of this behemoth because I have never enjoyed a fried panzo. They just taste different and to be honest a huge mound of fried dough scares me a little. But the baked panzos at Ricci’s are incredible. Now, take the rest of the night off because if you can finish it, you will be in a food coma for a couple of hours afterward. Also, be sure to get spiced olives and a side marinara or meat sauce for dipping. Then call it a night. More »