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Best of Toronto

The Best Seafood Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / May 13, 2013

Seafood TorontoThe best seafood restaurants in Toronto are in a school all their own, celebrated for top quality fresh fish, lobsters, oysters and more. Without an ocean to pull inspiration from, Toronto kitchens do what they do best, drawing on cross-cultural culinary traditions to offer everything from Maritime comforts to Mediterranean cookery and fine French or Japanese flavours.

With few exceptions, it's also nice to see this list reflect changing tides in favour of sustainable fishing practices and ocean friendly eating.

Here is the list of the best seafood restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Oysters in Toronto
The Best Lobster Roll in Toronto
The Best Fish & Chips in Toronto
The Best Fish Stores in Toronto

Rodney's Oyster House

Rodney's Oyster House

Rodney's is Toronto's preeminent oyster purveyor, importing salt and fresh water seafoods for its own restaurant on King West as well as countless others around the city. Just shucked oysters might be its forte but seasonal catches of lobster, king crab and clams make their way on the menu whenever they’re in their prime. More »

Rock Lobster

Rock Lobster

This casual Ossington Avenue eatery does a raw bar full of oysters, peel and eat shrimp and chilled lobster tails, along with iconic comfort foods elevated by the addition of premium seafood. The lobster rolls ($14) are some of the best in the city, but you can also find lobster poutine ($13) and full lobster dinners ($39) on the menu. More »

Hopgood's Foodliner

Hopgood's Foodliner

This Maritime themed restaurant on Roncesvalles sources inspiration and seafood from Canada's East coast. The menu offers a glimpse into owner, chef Geoff Hopgood’s Nova Scotian roots with nostalgic fare like Hot Crab Dip & Triscuits ($15) but also transcends into the realm of fine dining with plates like the Torched scallops, rhubarb and foie gras ($18). More »

Oyster Boy

Oyster Boy

At the edge of Trinity Bellwoods, this well-established West Queen West oyster house shucks 'mollusks for the masses' at the bar and offers a complete menu of seafood fare like daily soups, mountainous plates of fish and chips and steaming bowls of mussels or clams swimming in white wine. More »

Starfish Oyster Bed

Starfish Oyster Bed

The menu at this oyster house near Jarvis and Adelaide changes per the day’s catch but regularly features goodies like grilled sardines, steamed mussels and fish cakes. The oyster bar offers a variable selection of unusual and seasonal specimens shucked at the bar by World Oyster Opening Champion Patrick McMurray. More »

Catch

Catch

Catch on St. Clair West partners with Ocean Wise to showcase environmentally friendly fish and other seafood that are line-caught or responsibly farmed. Though the menu is always changing, look out for the East Coast clam bake ($25) featuring littleneck clams, pork belly, potatoes, sausage and corn, or, opt for one of the daily fresh whole fishes on offer. More »

Joso's

Joso's

This family owned and operated restaurant has served up fresh seafood since the ‘70s from its Davenport Road address (longer still from its original Yorkville cafe). It also claims to be the first to introduce Torontonians to calamari, clams Buzara and grilled octopus and attributes its longevity to its artful atmosphere, congenial service and Dalmatian coast inspired menu. More »

Discussion

32 Comments

Brett / May 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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Rock Lobster is actually one of the worst seafood restaurants I've been to. Horrendously overpriced, small portions, chewy lobster. And its #2 on this list? In ALL of toronto?

What a joke.
Joe Scratch / May 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm
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I'm pretty surprised that Fishbar on Ossington didn't make the cut for this list. It's more of a seafood restaurant than Hoof Raw Bar is and it is quite good.
Sandra / May 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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Red Fish is fantastic! Well priced, great selection & wonderful service!
Bob Woolsey / May 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm
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Fishbar! You forgot Fishbar!
Colin / May 13, 2013 at 01:09 pm
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No 'Captain John's'?
Vanessa replying to a comment from Brett / May 13, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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Rock lobster's become a serious hotspot...but I wasn't too impressed when I was there. I'm the biggest seafood lover there is, and I totally agree with you. I've had better lobsters at home, and for way cheaper. Not a huge fan.
krs replying to a comment from Brett / May 13, 2013 at 01:27 pm
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Yeah. Rock Lobster sucks. Waited for an hour to eat a small potions with a massive bill. The food wasn't even that special. Fish bar is way better than this spot.
Vanessa replying to a comment from Colin / May 13, 2013 at 01:27 pm
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Captain John's went bankrupt last year...in the summer I think.
Vanessa / May 13, 2013 at 01:31 pm
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Oyster Boy is my personal fave. I practically live there. Check my blog (thishungrykitten.com) for a good review and yummy pictures. :) I've been wanting to try Fishbar, I've heard lots of good things.
What about Diana's in Scarborough? They've got a great selection of oysters and other yummy seafood...plus they're also a super seafood market.
Daniel / May 13, 2013 at 01:39 pm
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where is chiado? we are talking about seafood here, right?

also, how can a raw oyster be the best. arent they all the same (given only a couple of distributors in the city, anywhere you go you are eating similar product).
Ruth Chernia / May 13, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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Anyone east of the Don River?
Colin replying to a comment from Vanessa / May 13, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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Your Sarcasm Detector appears to be broken.
Colin replying to a comment from Daniel / May 13, 2013 at 02:44 pm
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Daniel, if you go to Rodney's or Oyster Boy, you can get a variety or oysters from across Canada and around the world. I can assure you, they're all very very different.
Vanessa replying to a comment from Colin / May 13, 2013 at 05:41 pm
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Hahaha Colin...I thought you were being serious. I never even tried Captain John's, I presume it wasn't the greatest...
haley / May 13, 2013 at 07:11 pm
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where's the main pic from?
William / May 13, 2013 at 07:28 pm
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I would put Marben on that list,I four amazing fish dishes at the new Marben 3.0 at the opening and I was blown away!...The whole heavy meat dishes are a thing of the past
Daniel replying to a comment from Colin / May 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm
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I know they are very different varieties...but all from the same suppliers. the restaurants shuck em and add some lemon and horseradish...sameness.
Mikey replying to a comment from Daniel / May 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm
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There must be some supplier overlap (how many distributors can there be in Fanny Bay?!) but I've heard that Rock Lobster (however bad their food might be) actually does source their own lobsters and operates, in part, as a lobster wholesaler.

That aside, any seafood list that excludes Diana's on Lawrence in Scarborough (as mentioned above) and has Joso's in last place is seriously lacking in the credibility department.

Then again, these lists are user-vote-generated, so chalk it up to sample error.
Taylor / May 14, 2013 at 12:08 am
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Where is that main pic from because it looks incredibly de-lish.

And just for the record I'm all about Oyster Boy over Rodney's any day!
> / May 14, 2013 at 01:16 am
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>liora ipsum
JC vegas replying to a comment from Mikey / May 14, 2013 at 08:08 am
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well said. Joso's should be in the top three with Diana's. Fishbar should be replacing rock lobster (who in turn should take more notes on making a proper caesar a-la garde manger from mtl).
Mikey / May 14, 2013 at 10:00 am
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Rock Lobster is OK! It shouldn't be anywhere near a top 100 list never mind a top 10 list.
Elodie / May 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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What about the Fish House? They weren't too bad at all.
Jordan / May 14, 2013 at 03:31 pm
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That main photo looks delicious. Does anyone know which restaurant it's from?
Colin replying to a comment from Vanessa / May 14, 2013 at 03:55 pm
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It was a flash-frozen, nautical nightmare.
Ashley / May 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm
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Can someone identiify the restaurant in the main picture?
Askold / June 2, 2013 at 09:09 am
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Rock Lobster - is a great place NOT to go. Save your time and money on this garbage.

1. Huge waiting line. Told on the phone it will be between 30 min and one hour. When arrived, was told its between 1 and 1.5 hours. Waiter took the phone number to call us when the spot is available. Did not hear from them in 2.5 hours. When I went to check (this is around 11:30 instead of 9) they told me that they called and apparently i told them to take me of the list!

2. Food - if you're looking to eat Lobster, you've come to the wrong place. The so called Lobster mac n cheese has NONE. Also hardly has any cheese either. Comes from an owen on a pan, so deeply fried that the upper crust is brown (I think that brown was the remains of the cheese). My friend was luckier and found TWO small pieces of lobster meant in his lobster poutine. When you ask for a can of coke, you get a small glass, filled with ice (clearly less then actual coke can). This lasts for about two minutes, and you're left with a glass full of ice. No refills, 2.50$ if you want another one.

3. Service - Besides failing to call, the service is horrible. Waiting for about 20 minutes to get our food (at this point the place is half-empty and after waiting so long outside, my gut is telling me to run away and leave this place). Waiting to get the drinks. Waiting to get another drink. Ask the waiter for the bill - more waiting. At this point the waiter brings another mac"n"cheese - "no, we did not order this". More waiting. Once we get the bill, it has the second mac"n"cheese added to it. Told it was a mistake, more waiting for another bill. And no, they don't split the bills.

Overpriced and lacking service, Rock Lobster is one of the worst kind of restaurants to go to.
Raquel replying to a comment from Mikey / June 3, 2013 at 02:25 am
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I agree with Mikey, how can Diana's seafood not be on this list!?
Beach Seafood / July 17, 2013 at 05:15 am
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Good combination of variety,price and service of this restaurant!!
Garneau / August 25, 2013 at 12:35 am
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Surprised no one has endorsed Catch. Corageous placr, focusing so heavily on delicate frshewater and white fishes rather than your standard 'seafood + salmon' joints. Excellent menu and remarkable restraint exposes some real cooking skill rather than novelty ingredients that no-one has any clue how to judge. Just really great.
cherry / April 9, 2014 at 09:26 pm
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Which restaurant is the pic from
kris / April 14, 2014 at 12:08 am
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WHERE IS THE PLACE WHERE THE TOP PHOTO WAS TAKEN?

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