The top 25 restaurants for a first date in Toronto by neighbourhood
Restaurants for a first date in Toronto are the perfect place to test out the waters between you and a potential boo. Depending on your style, you might prefer a chill late night vibe, or a classier, intimate affair. Either way, these spots guarantee a little something special to make your date fun enough to warrant a second one.
Here are my picks for the top restaurants for a first date in Toronto.
Split some piping hot pita between the two of you at Fet Zun, the homey restaurant from Anthony Rose that’ll make you feel like you’re a restaurant in the Middle East. It’s the perfect spot to share some food and make some memories.
Eat Southern Thai food at the colourful Koh Lipe, where you and your date will definitely bond over lychee martinis and your love (or hate) of stink beans, the pungent legume that takes over the signature curry.
With a pure vegan menu of comfort food, Disgraceland is the perfect place to court your significant plant-based-eating other. Pig out (figuratively) on poutine and burgers, and maybe play a board game when you’re done.
Seoul Shakers is the place for a late night meet-up over a bottle of grape soju and some contemporary modern eats. The fact that there’s no sign out front will make this date feel a little clandestine.
Sakai Bar is a chill Japanese bar for a pair of sake lovers to fan over daiginjo. Pick your sake cups and pair your rice wine with some homestyle eats for a low-key evening of sipping and flirting.
Head to the Ethiopian stalwart Rendez-Vous and share a platter of injera and kitfo with your date. What better way to acquaint yourselves than by eating with your hands under sultry red lighting and hut-covered seats?
Undoubtedly one of the best places for date night in the city, Cluny brings a touch of class with its beautiful decor and fun, French-influenced food. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the Distillery before heading here for a perfect evening.
Mantra is definitely one of the better date options at Shops at Don Mills. High ceilings and a menu full of fun Indian eats naturally lead to a movie (and some snuggling) at the Cineplex next door.
Live music, soul food, and drinks: what more entertainment do you need? Friday Roots and Vibes has it all, with amazing performances and killer bourbon drinks, too.
If you’re trying to go all-out, Coffee Oysters Champagne is hands-down the ultimate spot for a full sensory experience. Start with a glass of bubbly with oysters before leading your date to the secret dining room for some unexpected surprises.
Squeeze into some cozy booths at Chiang Mai and nom on some beautifully-presented Thai favourites. Pair your elegant meal with a tamarind margarita for a chic night out.
This neighbourhood isn’t really known for going easy on the wallet, but if you’re looking for something modern and sleek, Cru will impress. Velvety ceiling-high curtains close off the place at night, so you and your date can dine on pretty plates with a bit more privacy.
It doesn't get prettier than at Cafe Cancan, a floral delight of a restaurant that does amazing French food. It'll be hard not to be feel happy at this cheery place, especially with a plate of escargot between you.
The Drake Commissary is an exciting hub with all sorts of great things going for it, from its massive patio to its decor. Drake menus are always good, and this is no exception. It's a great way to end a day exploring next-door MOCA, if you're both the artsy type.
Share a pizza or two at Ardo, where pies come with luxurious toppings. Southern Italian vibes are aplenty here, and you can choose to sit at the bar or at a table for two while sipping on refined cocktails.
Laissez Faire is a rustic spot that affords a second-floor view of King West, if you choose to sit by the window. There are plenty of places on King West to grab a drink after your meal, but you could always stick around to try their late night cocktail menu instead.
Dimly lit rooms and cozy seats make Goods and Provisions a very romantic spot when you went to get close and personal. They’ve got amazing bourbon drinks, if your date is a Bulleit fan, and a menu of tapas-style eats for sharing.
It won’t be hard to impress your date with a meal at Garrison Creek, which offers dependably, high-quality Italian food. You might be graced with a live DJ, which gives the place more of a minimalist lounge vibe.
Take a trip to Japan with a meal at TORA, located in Yorkdale Mall. No doubt you and your partner will have tons to talk about as dishes come shooting out of the kitchen on an automated laneway.
It’s all about the intrigue and mystery at Pastiche: enter through a set of velvety perfumed curtains to a sultry restaurant filled with Art Deco artwork. Get their Pelon or Bittersweet Symphony cocktails for a show of fire and smoke.
If your ideal playlist consists of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, or Sly & the Family Stone, Superfly should be your number one pit stop. You’ll feel like a hip 70s couple chewing the fat over spritzes and snacks in this groovy space.
Udon lovers can unite at Raku’s sleek and simple Toronto location. The vibe is almost serene in here, with its minimalist Japanese concept of wood and screens. Plus, their udon is absolutely on-point: you’ll both leave happy and full.
Serving diner vibes minus the hole-ridden couches and greasy counters, Le Swan does not disappoint with its menu of perfectly done French eats. Stay until after 11 p.m. and you can get to know each other over a pot of bubbling fondu.
Get tipsy off bottles of Beerlao at Sabai Sabai, a fun little basement spot that just happens to be one of the best Thai restaurants in Toronto. The decor is really fun too, with hanging lanterns and a bustling, busy vibe.
Regardless of whether you’re going on a date in the morning, afternoon, or night, Bar Buca's Eglinton location delivers with elegance and lots (I repeat—lots) of olive oil. Expect burrata, pugliese-style pizzas and lovely cocktails you’ll definitely want more of.
Hector Vasquez of Seoul Shakers
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