chatgpt toronto

ChatGPT is not the future for restaurant recommendations in Toronto

ChatGPT is having a moment. With news that the generative artificial intelligence startup OpenAI is now worth $29 billion, people are increasingly checking out its popular chatbot to answer questions about everything from obscure facts, travel advice or recommendations what to do in their city.

So what does ChatGPT have to say about restaurants in Toronto?

The list of places it recommends is not surprising and includes mostly well-known spots that have received plenty of press and awards, although there are no Michelin star winners among them.

A recent query of "where to eat in Toronto" in ChatGPT yielded the following list and comments from the chatbot:

  1. Khao San Road - This popular Thai restaurant is known for its authentic street food-style dishes.
  2. Banh Mi Boys - This casual spot serves a variety of Vietnamese sandwiches and other dishes.
  3. Antler Kitchen & Bar - This upscale restaurant is known for its Canadian cuisine, with a focus on game meats and locally-sourced ingredients.
  4. Patois - This Jamaican restaurant is known for its flavorful and spicy dishes, including jerk chicken and curry goat.
  5. Buca - This Italian restaurant has several locations in Toronto and is known for its high-quality pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas.

Results for where to eat also seemed to vary by query, depending on exactly how you asked the question.

Typing in "restaurants in Toronto" yielded a completely different list including a couple of places (The Black Hoof, Drake Commissary) that have long since shuttered.

The Friendly Thai, R&D and Amano Pasta were also recommended.

If you don't like the results or want more recommendations to choose from, you can simply keep asking the same question and ChatGPT won't shy away from making more suggestions but just like the initial prompts the data proved to be suspect. 

After a further prompt, the chatbot recommended both The Stockyards which closed last year as well as Chantecler which has yet to reopen.

It's early days and ChatGPT might eventually prove to be useful as a city guide to Toronto but if this simple restaurants query is any indication, it still has a long ways to go.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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