restaurants downtown toronto

15 restaurants in downtown Toronto not just for tourists

Restaurants in downtown Toronto aren’t just for tourists. Many of us live and work in the core of the city, and we get hungry for some seriously great food. These are the spots us locals love that are also near major tourist attractions.

Here are some of my favourite restaurants in downtown Toronto that aren’t just for tourists.


This space on Adelaide is below street level and secretive but still airy. One of Toronto’s best Thai chefs reigns over the kitchen, even the dumplings little works of art.


This King and Portland restaurant puts its down spin on Caribbean food with all its glorious jerk pit meats. Sip rum punch and nibble wings in a converted row house.

El Rey

Sharable plates, beer and mezcal are what's on the menu at this Kensington Market restaurant with a speakeasy feel.

Ramen Isshin 

They have a stall at the Assembly Chef's Hall but head to the original on College for some of the best ramen in the city. 

Kinka Izakaya

Just steps from Ryerson campus on Church, this boisterous spot is the place to go for affordable Japanese pub fare and big pints of Sapporo.


Sushi doesn't get much better than the extravagant omakase and impressive aburi at this South Core restaurant.

Carbon Bar

Southern comfort food  gets the upscale treatment at this sophisticated restaurant that puts modern twists on bourbon cocktails and BBQ.


Asian snacks and cocktails are what to get at this stylish restaurant on Spadina in the heart of Chinatown.

Sud Forno

Part of the Terroni empire, this two-level all-day grab-and-go cafe, bar, bakery and restaurant has a prime Financial District location at the corner of Yonge and Temperance.


A sophisticated menu including one of the city's best burgers distinguishes this no-reservations spot near Queen and Spadina.

Richmond Station

This restaurant tucked away near Yonge and Richmond has one of the best chef's tables in the city and is an ideal spot for meat lovers.


Excellent cocktails and an undiscovered vibe have everyone who steps into this bar on Wellington feeling like a regular. 

The Gabardine

A chalkboard menu, twinkly lights and some of the city’s favourite Mac n’ cheese make this cozy restaurant near Bay and Richmond feel like home. 

La Carnita

Just down the street from the Rogers Centre, the downtown locaton of this Mexican chain is also its largest and is a reliable spot to get your taco fix.


This restaurant near King and Portland does global fusion food and has hidden table-top compartments to store your phone.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Chubby's

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