10 great Toronto restaurants that don't take reservations
No reservation policies can be a blessing or a curse depending on your outlook. It's surely not what you want to hear when there's a crush at the door and you've got tickets to the theatre in an hour, but on the flip side, it just might save the day when you forgot to book a table for a special occasion.
You might have to wait for a table during peak hours, but otherwise, there's no forethought required when dining out at any of these Toronto restaurants that don't take reservations.
It's standing room only inside this pinxtos bar on College Street, so it should be no surprise that you can't book a table. Luckily waiting to get in need not feel like waiting at all, just head next door toLo Pan or La Carnita for a couple cocktails first.
The more formal restaurants in the Buca empire might take reservations, but the Italian bar on Portland does not. Tables are awarded on a "first come first served" basis equalizing the opportunities to savour cicchetti, spuntini and spiedini on offer.
The Parisian cocktail lounge on Dupont offers cured and confit meats with bread, oysters, tartare and foie gras parfaits. With the exception of large parties booked well in advance, the restaurant doesn't do reservations.
It can be devilish trying to get a table at this tiny Japanese-styled snack bar tucked away just off Dundas West, but it's well worth the wait to tuck into uni bombs, hamachi tartare and dyno wings.
Tacos and bourbonade sounds like the perfect pair at this boisterous Mexican eatery in Parkdale. Just be warned that on a nice day, everyone else is thinking the exact same thing and waiting for a table should be expected.
The Black Hoof
The meat-centric restaurant on Dundas West doesn't do reservations. Diners jonesing for horse tartare or foie gras and French toast are seated as they arrive... or at least when the whole party has arrived. Fortunately, you can wait for a table over a Manhattan at Cocktail Bar directly across the street.
No need to call ahead to snag a table at this West Queen West snack bar. This joint does all sorts of cocktails and oysters, fried chicken and dirty nachos, but reservations it does not.
The taqueria will book tables for parties of six or more at its locations on College Street and on John Street, and on Queen East for parties of four or more. Smaller groups are encouraged to just pop-in.
The no reservations policy at this Japanese noodle house was the source of long lineups when the first restaurant launched. In the years since, the chain has rapidly expanded with locations across the city to meet the demand and wait times have become more tolerable as a result.
Home of The Brave
The eatery known for its fried bologna sandwiches and Philly cheese steaks doesn't take reservations but if it's busy they'll take down your number and give you a call when a table becomes ready.
Photo of Hanmoto by Jesse Milns.
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