The team at Province of Canada reflected on their best dining experiences and made a food guide for where to eat in Canada's major cities. We've dined in most restaurants listed, and if we haven't, it's here because we called a friend for help. Either way, we wouldn't recommend it if we wouldn't eat there ourselves. The first list on this food tour is a breakdown of good eats in Toronto. From old urban dives to tables with a view, we've tried a good range of restaurants in our home city and can confidently say that these picks elevate our daily lives, and will hopefully elevate your dining experience.
Date Night - Scaramouche
@mylifeassj | @scaramoucherestaurant
Scaramouche is a fine dining restaurant perched on the edge of midtown. The cityscape view through their glass walls is one of the best, in our opinion. Dine in their restaurant or drop by The Pasta Bar & Grill, the casual sibling to Scaramouche.
Seafood Lovers - Nota Bene
Our friends submitted this recommendation. They dined at Nota Bene before seeing Dianna Krall perform live at Massey Hall and came away from the night raving about the pre-show dinner. That's the gold standard of restaurant reviews, if you ask us.
The Experience - Bosk
Bosk hosted team Province of Canada's 2017 Christmas party. Collectively, we tried most dishes on the menu and we recommend all of it. While the food is quite spectacular, it's the entertainment in the Shangri-La lobby that really elevates the experience. If you can get a table there after dinner, stick around for live lounge music.
Thai Craving - Mengrai
@mengrai_thai | @twohungrybabies
The temple shrine and jewel-clad interior is a tad surprising given Mengrai's famous reputation, but there's no denying that eating fried rice from a scored pineapple is anything short of authentic. Two words for their duck curry: flavour explosion.
Chicken and Waffles - School
Yellow Pages | @schoolresto
Few will argue that School serves up the best chicken and waffles in Toronto. We're also recommending their buttermilk cheddar and chive biscuits. The experience of drinking Caesars from a beaker and reading a menu from a report card only compliments the food.
Italian Trattoria - F'Amelia
Torontoism | @fameliaristorante
Sometimes (but really, all the time), you just crave a warm, quality, homemade pasta dish and for us, F'Amelia is where we find it. Their selection of authentic Italian cuisine is complemented by their cozy, cottage kitchen interior. Take the family or save it for date night.
Another Italian Trattoria - Nervosa
There is no restaurant in the city that can top Nervosa's melted asiago cheese dip with crostini. Grab a table on the second floor terrace if you're visiting during the summer and don't skip out on an evening stroll through Yorkville post-dinner. P.S. The Carter family ate here and Nervosa has the photo to prove it.
Brunch Spot - Cafe Bélong
Divisrae | @vanessaortynsky
Located in the lower Don Valley, Café Belong is the ideal spot to spend a Saturday morning with the fam. The experience of touring the Evergreen Brickworks' marketplace and restored factory facility is almost half as good as Belong's monstrous buttermilk biscuits and in-house jam. Bonus: they serve up the smoothest London Fog in the city.
Another Brunch Spot - Bonjour Brioche
@peterp416 | @vanessaortynsky
We'll say this, the quiche is worth forcing yourself to take the Queen streetcar to Leslieville on a Saturday morning. If that's not enough of a push, go visit for their French toast. It's made from last-day pastry leftovers, so one bite may taste like a buttery croissant and the other a chocolate chip muffin.
The Best BBQ - Smoque N' Bones
Toronto Life | @smoquenbones
While good bbq doesn't require good presentation, the extra sauce and paint brush on the side is a nice touch to the already saucy ribs and brisket. This bbq joint and whiskey bar is a go-to for us, so much so that we've actually tasted every item on the menu. We suggest going for the Sampler for Two and pairing it with sides of pulled pork mac n' cheese and shoestring fries.
Burger Joint - Golden Star
Province of Canada | @burgersto
Golden Star sits at the border between Toronto and Thornhill, so if you're willing to make the drive north on Yonge Street, definitely hit up the charbroiled Allstar burger combo. Nothing here except for the lightbulbs have changed since the 60's and we love it for that.
Good Pho - Golden Turtle
Toronto Life | @toreats
To say our team likes their soup would be an understatement. Our team has tested many soup joints but still refers to Golden Turtle as the best place for pho in Toronto. Our co-founder Julie said to "make sure the spring rolls are mentioned," because apparently they're to die for. Consider them mentioned.
Icecream - Ed's Real Scoop
Julie Kinnear | @edsrealscoop
What does a real scoop mean? To us, it translates to 'not measured and with real ingredients.' Ed's Real Scoop is just that. If you're one to deviate from strawberry, you'll appreciate their unique flavours. A neighbourhood favourite is Marshmallow or Raspberry White Chocolate.
Pub Scene - House on Parliament
Toronto Pubs | @titopat28
It's literally a house-turned-pub on Parliament Street. Pub fare and pints on the patio (say that five times fast) is encouraged, but we've had fish and chips here in the dead of winter and the experience still holds up. It's a popular place with limited tables, so try and get there early.
Diner - Allen's
Allen's could also fall under the Burger Joint category. It's the kind of place that people make habit of going to, and for good reason - the backyard patio is one of our favourites in the warmer months.
A Torontonian’s Go-To - The Bagel House
The Bagel House
No photo will do this place justice, but for anyone who's desperate to scratch a Montreal bagel itch, The Bagel House is your best bet. In true dive fashion, The Bagel House needs no frills to keep the lights on. So long as they continue serving those breakfast sandwiches, they’ll remain our go-to pick.
Check out our restaurant guide for where to eat in Winnipeg.