toronto hottest restaurants

The 10 hottest restaurants in Toronto right now

The hottest restaurants in Toronto right now might require you to dine at the earliest or latest seating, stand patiently in line or try your luck on the waitlist. There are new to-the-city imports, evolved offshoots of popular restaurants, and even one geared for dining alone.

Here are my picks for the hottest restaurants in Toronto right now. 

Bar Sugo

Neighbourhood mainstay Sugo opened this concept in the space next to the American Italian restaurant's already busy Bloordale Village dining room.

Once occupied by Conzo's, Bar Sugo combines the best of both Sugo and Conzo's, including large portions, fair prices, quality ingredients and buzzing energy but serves them in one big space.

Feast on Spaghetti and Chicken Parm plus the unique-to-location brick oven pizzas like the Conzo which dresses a simple cheese pie with Sugo's rose sauce, or the Bitondo, named after the Little Italy stalwart and is an umami bomb topped with pepperoni, crumbled meatballs, bacon and smoked mozzarella.

Short Turn

From the same owners of 416 Snack Bar is this new Queen West hot spot that's known not only for its affordable mix of drinks and snacks but a room that's meant to resemble the interiors of a vintage streetcar.

Sip on crafted cocktails in the romantic, dimly lit space while snacking on chef Dustin Gallagher's menu with 416 favourites such as the eggplant double down and KFC as well as unique-to-location items like the spicy tuna hand rolls or mussels escabeche.

Danny's Pizza Tavern

This casual College Street hangout doesn't simply specialize in home-style Midwestern cuisine including vinegar chicken, and a 7-oz. burger, it serves tavern-style pizzas. The latter, are thin-crust pizzas that are cut into squares, not slices. 

At Danny's, they're available red like a grass-fed mozzarella and basil topped Margherita or white such as Cacio Pepe or covered in clams, porcini sauce, and caramelized onions in the appropriately named Clam Pie.

Chantecler Toronto

The anticipated rebirth of a decade-old city favourite, this new Bloorcourt location comes with a sprawling patio, good vibes, a smart and interesting biodynamic and organic wine list, plus Chantecler's classic cocktails like the G&T.

Here, head chef Diego Reyes' menu of French-driven comfort food sees crowd-favourites return such as the hand-cut Steak Tartare with new table must-haves like the Brioche a Tete.

Do try the Roast and Ballotine of Chantecler Chicken, that is, after all, the heritage breed of chicken the restaurant is named after.

Black + Blue Toronto

It's an exercise in extravagance and indulgence at the city's latest see-and-be-seen destination. The Vancouver-based steakhouse makes a bold statement in Toronto's Financial District at their new luxurious Navigate Design designed 9,000-square-foot restaurant, a fifth of which is dedicated to an outdoor patio. 

While the Himalayan salt room's dry-aged steaks are the primary attraction, I'd argue that it's the tableside service. Besides meats carved on the trolley, it's also where the Caesar Salad is made and Crepes are flambeed with Cointreau before it's finished with fruit and ice cream. 

Linh Anh

Scarborough's new go-to for staple Vietnamese dishes includes pho that's become known for its balanced beef bone broth and its liberal use of fresh herbs.

The no-reservations restaurant's roster also includes the popular Stone Pot Pho which comes to the table in a bubbling cauldron, and the Bo Bit Tet (a Vietnamese version of steak and eggs) that's christened with bone marrow.

Yunnan Noodle Shack

As Toronto's first-ever solitary dining experience, this Baldwin Village restaurant is built with privacy – in the form of booth-like seating with privacy panels that can be folded away and QR code menus – in mind.

The food is from the province of Yunnan, which appears as pork-bone broth soup noodles and dry noodles. Sided by pickled vegetables, dry noodles also are accompanied by a pan-fried egg while soup-based noodles are served with a tea egg.

Prime Seafood Palace

While chef-personality Matty Matheson is the driving force behind the city's splashiest and most gorgeous Omar Gandhi-designed steakhouse, the menu is courtesy of talented industry stalwart Coulson Armstrong.

Make no mistake, this is luxe even for steakhouse standards. In addition to Kaluga caviar and lobster spaghetti, there's A5 wagyu plus dry-aged bone-in striploin that's cooked on the grill.

A C-note gets you a pair of bite-sized sea urchin and toro-topped toasts that are spendy but spectacular. 

ZUZU

Last fall Regent Park welcomed Cafe Zuzu which has been operating as a multi-faceted daytime cafe and social hub, but recently expanded into an evening full-service concept.

Seating 100, with an additional 60 on their outdoor patio, it serves a menu filled with classic Italian-inspired dishes that have been given a modern twist.

This is where you'll find a Brussels Caesar that offers a delightful and balanced contrast of fresh flavours and texture, beef and pork ragu-slicked Pappardelle (excellent with a glass of low-intervention wine or Lambrusco), and a boozy rum-soaked Baba that's capped with cream and Amarena cherries.

Lao Lao Bar

Bringing the herbaceous, bold sharp flavours of fish sauce and chili heat to the Yonge and Wellesley neighbourhood, this stunning Lao-inspired restaurant comes from two of the co-founders behind the now-shuttered Sabai Sabai

Largely share-friendly, the menu is peppered with plant-based dishes that are casual, fun, and best (trust me on this) eaten with your hands.

An embodiment of what makes this cuisine so refreshing and honest, the Ping Gai (Lao BBQ chicken) features juicy char-grilled chicken thighs that are marinated in lemongrass, galangal, coriander seeds and chili. Sided with papaya salad and Drunken Noodles, it's like you're getting a three-for-one deal.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Short Turn


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The 10 hottest restaurants in Toronto right now

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