Culture and Cuisine of Toronto 

Dig into Toronto's unique food scene, with the city's multicultural roots deliciously reflected in over 7,500 restaurants across 140+ neighbourhoods, from hole in the wall spots to MICHELIN accredited restaurants, there's something for every taste and budget

Top Table 

As the first Canadian city to receive its own MICHELIN Guide, Toronto can brag about a spectacular breadth of diverse culinary and food-related experiences. Two years on, 82 Toronto restaurants have been recognised by MICHELIN, including 21 Bib Gourmand restaurants, and two new Green Star restaurants.  

Japanese eatery Sushi Masaki Saito is the sole restaurant to have claimed two MICHELIN Stars, with chef Masaki Saito crafting fish imported directly from Japan into mouth-watering sushi.  

The intimate dining room at Restaurant 20 Victoria, nestled in a quiet spot between the busy King and Adelaide Streets, features a rotating menu that focuses on seafood and shellfish. It offers a personalised seven-course menu at the weekend, paired with curated wines. As well as grabbing a MICHELIN star, the restaurant has also received a MICHELIN Outstanding Service Award.  

For contemporary French cuisine, head to Alo at the top of a Victorian heritage building in downtown Toronto. The European and Asian fusion tasting menu is prepared with seasonal ingredients and complemented by top-notch hospitality, a USP the establishment prides itself on. Then sip on one of the speciality cocktails in its adjacent barroom.  

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Streetwise 

For the more grab-on-the-go diner, street food is the perfect solution: its convenient and readily accessible but doesn’t compromise on quality or options.  

The World Food Market on Dundas at Gould, is perhaps the prime spot for street eats. Set in a small lot that was vacated by a building that tumbled down during renovation a few years ago, all the food at the 18 or so kiosks is designed to be eaten while exploring. There are sometimes also a few picnic tables available, for those who want to stop a while and watch the city go by.  

St Lawrence Market is a culinary hotspot featuring more than 120 merchants and farmers, and no visit to Toronto is complete without having one of the famous Peameal Bacon sandwiches from Carousel Bakery.

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Chickee Kone specialises in fun riffs on chicken dishes, including chicken bites served in a thin waffle cone, and fried chicken and waffles served with mango ice cream. A few steps away, chow down on dumplings and noodles at Karma’s Kitchen; steak sandwiches at Steak & Cheese; Thindi, an Indian noodle place; biryani at Spice.66; or Middle Eastern-inspired wraps at Mazeh. Dessert is courtesy of crepes at Holy Crepes or Choco Churros

A few blocks west of Kensington Market, is Market 707, a string of shipping container snack bars serving world foods. Try Kanto for Filipino fare street food, especially the sisig fries; or Suzume’s Japanese rice balls; Nantana Thai, Mazar’s Kitchen with food from Afghanistan; or jerk chicken at Original Taste. 

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World Flavours 

Toronto’s rich diversity and mix of nationalities and cultures is reflected in the dining it offers, with cuisines from a vast array of cultures represented.  

Taiwanese food is having a big moment, with effortlessly cool restaurants distinguishing themselves as a downtown staple. Taking their cues from the night markets of Taipei, dozens intermingle with bubble tea shops, which are popular city staples. 

The exploding chicken from ChiChop is a fried cutlet that’s filled with four kinds of melted cheese, which unsurprisingly, erupts deliciously into your mouth.  

Or try the squid balls or Taiwanese sausage at Charidise, heading uptown afterwards for a sweet azuki bean-filled wheel cake from the FormoCha bubble tea house.  

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In Toronto’s east end, the Greektown strip is worth a visit. Although renowned for its excellent souvlaki and meze, Greektown is increasingly becoming known for its Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian and Yemeni fare.  

Chef Mustafa is the go to for Turkish food, loved for its welcoming vibe and generous portions. The manti deserves a special mention, consisting of ground beef dumplings topped with garlic yogurt and butter. 

Kababia offers Lebanese and pan-Middle Eastern fare like shish tawook, falafel and kofta, alongside shawarma poutine, while Egyptian restaurant Papyrus’s standout items are its fava bean stew, fava bean fritters and koshari, which is layers of rice, lentils, pasta, tomato sauce and garnishes.