izakaya toronto

The Best Izakaya Restaurants in Toronto

The best izakaya restaurants in Toronto keep the Sapporo pouring and the shareable plates served. Expect to be greeted by some lively yells of Japanese welcome when you walk through the doors of these lively gastropubs. 

Here are the best izakayas in Toronto


Kinka Izakaya Church St.
1

Kinka Izakaya Church St.

If you’re looking for a boozy and boisterous night out, there are four locations of this popular chain for chasing down takoyaki balls with beer.  You’re guaranteed a good time at these jovial hubs. Bring friends and chant “Sake! Bomb!” with everyone else.

Imanishi Japanese Kitchen
2

Imanishi Japanese Kitchen

If you’re serious about your food, this cozy izakaya in Little Portugal is all about its menu. The revolving list of homestyle Japanese dishes are always immaculate, as are its playlists of Japanese tunes. There’s plenty of beer and sake here but vibes here are more laidback than others.


Guu
3

Guu

You’ll be greeted with “Irasshaimase!” right when you walk through the door of Parkdale’s outpost of the famed Vancouver chain. It’s a tight squeeze at the only Guu in the city (the others splintered off into Kinka locations years ago), but if you can fit, make sure to get their kakimayo.

Zakkushi
4

Zakkushi

It gets pretty packed at this Cabbagetown favourite, where everything is woodsy and smells like yakitori grilled over white charcoals. There’s every type of skewer imaginable from mochi-wrapped pork to Wagyu beef. Queen West is home to a second location.


Kintaro Izakaya
5

Kintaro Izakaya

Aside from the usual Sapporo on tap and faves like ebimayo, this Church Street izakaya has a big selection of charcoal-grilled skewers that come in pairs. It’s an extensive menu that includes sushi, too, and plenty of boozy cocktails.


Nome Izakaya
6

Nome Izakaya

Buck-a-shuck on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is the main draw, but live DJ nights and Japa-Burgers are good enough reasons to come back during the rest of the week. Nome at Shops at Don Mills is swanky but the rooftop patio at Yonge and Sheppard is killer.

Gonzo Izakaya
7

Gonzo Izakaya

The newest izakaya on this list brings Japanese and Korean together in Little Italy. Follow the red paper lanterns for bacon kimchi cheese rolls and meats served on sizzling hot iron plates. Gonzo is small but it’s a moody spot for highballs with Suntory whiskey.


Sake Bar Kushi
8

Sake Bar Kushi

Take a seat at the double-sided bar running down the center of this izakaya by Yonge and Eglinton. Or settle down in one of those cool kotatsu tables in the zashiki room (shoes off, please) if you bring a big group.

Rain Izakaya
9

Rain Izakaya

Sushi reigns king at this restaurant at Yonge and Sheppard, where aburi, rolls and sashimi make up a big part of the menu. Options abound, though, with donburi, skewers and shabu-shabu making up the rest. No matter what, you’re leaving full.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Kinka Izakaya


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The Best Izakaya Restaurants in Toronto

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