michelin restaurants toronto

10 restaurants in Toronto that should have made the Michelin Guide but didn't

Michelin unveiled more restaurants in their Toronto guide last month but as usual a number of worthy spots didn't get the recognition they deserve

Michelin's discriminating group of inspectors continue to be oblivious to many restaurants that offer exceptional food, especially those outside the downtown core in areas like Scarborough (that even the Economist once hailed as the best ethnic food suburb in the world).

Here are some Toronto restaurants that should have made the Michelin Guide but didn't.

Chantecler Toronto

Adversity (and a relocation), hasn't dampened the spirit of the team behind this Bloor Street West spot. It continues to dish out impeccable plates of unfussy French food given a seasonal, local spin. Pâté en Croûte, Vol-Au-Vent and Bourguignon served without pretension? Oui, chef!

Pizzeria Badiali

Since 2021, there's been a perpetually-packed corner at Dovercourt and Argyle, where passersby join the snaking line at this pizzeria in hopes of scoring a slice. Trendy since day one, it's this spot's range of New York-style pies — including specials like Spicy Eggplant Norma — that make the wait worthwhile.

Mona's Roti

Family run for 40 years (and counting), this Scarborough spot feeds regulars supple roti tucked around a number of expertly-spiced fillings. There's potato and veggie, for vegetarians, oxtail, jerk chicken, goat and beef, for carnivores, and even shrimp. Add doubles to your order if you want the full experience.

Lake Inez

There's a sense of fun behind every plate at this enigmatic spot in Little India, where you might tuck into tomato tonnato one night and Fresno-kissed corn pudding with baby shrimp the next. Go with the flow, and you'll discover that there's also expertise behind the team's every move.

Famiglia Baldassarre

Be among the lucky few to grab one of 10 dine-in seats at this Geary Avenue pasta factory and sample some of the city's best noodle and sauce combos. Steeped in tradition, pastas and seasonal, nonna-style sauces prove that not everything in life needs an upgrade.

Itacate

When contemplating the menu at this St. Clair Avenue West joint, diners are torn between tacos, tortas and antojitos, along with specials that can include pozole, chiles rellenos and more. Happily, there's no wrong order, thanks to a team that's so well-versed in Mexican cuisine, they could dole out traditional versions of the classics anywhere on earth.

Donna's

This Lansdowne Avenue gem trades in uncomplicated food made supremely well. Charming sandwiches and sweets quell hunger pangs until 4 p.m. Later on, options such as haddock with confit tomatoes and hedgehog mushroom flatbread caressed with sage flower honey ensure glasses of wine never feel lonesome.

Cho Sun Ok

Staring down a table brimming with platters of house-made mandoo and soondae, bowls of gamja tang and icy mool naengmyun, you'll forget all about this Thornhill restaurant's no reservations policy. A short wait is a small price to pay for traditional Korean dishes made to the highest standards.

Lee Restaurant

Chef Susur Lee's eponymous restaurant may have relocated but its menu is still replete with Asian-inspired dishes prepared using classical French techniques. Jump on the Singapore Style Slaw bandwagon, then sample chef Lee's other signature creations — from Cheeseburger Spring Rolls and Luckee Shrimp Cheung Fun to French & Chinese Tong Yuen.

Fishman Lobster Clubhouse

There are seafood towers and then there are the phenomenal lobster mountains served at this Scarborough seafood mecca. Swimmingly fresh, entrées are plucked from fish tanks moments before they're cooked to perfection. The theatrics lend the space a celebratory feel and with cooking this good you'll just want to join the party.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Chantecler


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10 restaurants in Toronto that should have made the Michelin Guide but didn't

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