The Best Izakaya Restaurants in Toronto
The best izakaya restaurants in Toronto will keep the sake pouring and the tapas served. These gastropubs are noisy little spots to unwind and feast on shareable Japanese snacks and lots of Sapporo. Expect to be greeted by some loud yells of welcome when you walk in the door.
Here are the best izakayas in Toronto.
Easily one the most popular izakayas in Toronto, this rowdy chain of restaurants also has locations on Bloor and another right by Sheppard Station. Formerly the Vancouver-based Guu, they've since rebranded but are still the spot to be if you're looking for a boozy and boisterous night out.
It may be the only Guu remaining in the city since its ownership split with Kinka, but this izakaya in Parkdale is holding its own by offering the same dining concept as before and its original lineup of dishes like gyu tongue and tatakis. The Ramune soda is still a super fun drink to order, as are their one-litre mugs of Sapporo.
Buck-a-shuck is the main draw at this restaurant with two locations including one near Sheppard Station, but their bowls of salmon donburi and plates of Japa-Burgers are good enough resasons to come back. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days to drop by for oysters. They have a killer rooftop patio too.
This super cozy izakaya sits on the edge of Little Portugual and serves an eclectic menu of homey shareable plates. It's definitely a lot less hectic here than other spots: Imanishi is the kind of place you go for a chill night of katsu curry and other eats that will tingle your unmami senses.
It can get pretty packed at this Cabbagetown fave, where everything is woodsy and delicious-smelling, with the scent of grilled yakitori cooked on Japanese white charcoal wafting in the air. You can get everything from beef tongue to eel off the grill, and pair it with a Banshaku set which comes with a handy starter mix of apps and booze.
Another Cabbagetown hit, this Vancouver-based restaurant is pretty unique in that it offers a menu of vegan dishes like Shojin, with a recipe that they say has been perfected by Buddhist monks. Aside from that, they also have their famous Makunouchi Bento Boxes along with the fresh ginger cocktails they're known for.
Aside from the usual Sapporo on tap and typical faves like tataki and ebi mayo, this Church St. izakaya has a huge menu of charcoal grilled skewers. They have everything from different types of pork and chicken to a whole section dedicated to tasty bacon-wrapped bites. Think mochi, cheese, and enoki mushrooms all packaged with some delicious bacon.
Take a seat at the cool double-sided bar in the middle of this izakaya by Yonge and Eglinton, or settle down in one of those cool kotatsu tables if you're bringing a big group. As their name suggests, they specialize in kushi, which comes in set combos with daring, unconventional meats like chicken knee or chicken heart.
Right in the heart of Koreatown North, this traditional spot has a variety of hot and cold tapas, sushi and sashimi, and dishes with American-style twists like yuzu-avocado dip served with tortilla chips. They also have a good amount of octopus dishes along with an impressive selection of sake and beer on tap.
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