clock menu more-arrow no yes
Patria, Toronto.
Patria, Toronto.
Photo: Facebook

The Eater Toronto Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

View as Map
Patria, Toronto.
| Photo: Facebook

Today we return to Toronto, Ontario and focus on 16 of its hottest restaurants. This comes nearly a year since the last Toronto Heatmap. This time around, Toronto-based food writer and photographer Gizelle Lau has shared her picks for the hottest dining her city currently has to offer.

So what's hot in Toronto right now? Well, there are a couple of stylish new spots for Spanish pintxos (Bar Isabel and Patria), plus some Thai tapas from Toronto's "reigning king and queen of Thai cuisine" (Sabai Sabai). Also among the selections are a new project Top Chef Canada season two winner Carl Heinrich (Richmond Station), David Chang's multi-concept glass cube that recently introduced Toronto to crack pies (Momofuku), and a barbecue restaurant that serves what it calls "crack rolls" (Electric Mud BBQ). Here now, the Eater Heatmap to Toronto, a chronicle of the city's restaurants of the moment.


Think there are any glaring omissions? You know what to do.

· All Heatmaps on Eater [-E-]
· All Toronto Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bar Isabel

Copy Link
797 College Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada
After parting from the Black Hoof almost two years ago, Grant van Gameren recently opened his Spanish/European-inspired restaurant Bar Isabel and has quickly climbed back to the top with his chef de cuisine Brandon Olsen. On the menu: simple, bold, tasty pintxos-size dishes along with large family-style platters like a whole grilled octopus or an 18-oz. ribeye. There's also, of course, his signature charcuterie. [Photo]

2. Chantecler

Copy Link
1320 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON, Canada
Earlier this year, Jon Poon and Jacob Wharton-Shukster at Chantecler revamped their concept to offer two menus. The regular, daily menu offers family-style lettuce wrap meals to the masses. But on Friday and Saturday nights, they offer tasting menus from $40-60 for 8 people per night. These nights are reservations only, accepted two months in advance (and usually booked up within the day reservations open). [Photo]

3. Sabai Sabai

Copy Link
225 Church Street
Toronto, Canada
Reigning king and queen of Thai cuisine in Toronto, Jeff and Nuit Regular (previously of Khao San Road) are behind this Thai tapas spot. It's worth the trip east of Yonge Street for grilled pork skewers, steamed fish custard, and massaman curry to go with a Singha beer. [Photo]

4. Electric Mud BBQ

Copy Link
5 Brock Ave, Toronto
ON, Canada
(416) 516-8286
Visit Website
The guys behind ultra-popular, hipster-Mexican joint Grand Electric have opened a barbecue spot just around the corner in Parkdale. Bourbon, ribs, fried chicken, and even crack rolls are all experienced — sticky fingers and all — from your spot at a picnic table. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]

5. Rose & Sons

Copy Link
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
ON, Canada
(647) 748-3287
Visit Website
Anthony Rose opened his modern diner Rose & Sons earlier this year to throngs of brunch-goers looking for a new greasy-spoon experience. He followed just a month ago with Big Crow BBQ, a massive covered patio located behind Rose & Sons, a temple dedicated to all things barbecue. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]

6. JaBistro

Copy Link
222 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Ontario M5V 1W4, Canada
From the same restaurant family as Guu Izakaya, Guu Sakabar and Kinton Ramen, JaBistro offers modern Japanese cuisine. The menu includes aburi and oshizushi style-sushi along with traditional (and super-fresh) sushi and sashimi that have brought respectable sushi back into the city's downtown core. [Photo]

7. OddSeoul

Copy Link
90 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON, Canada
Oddseoul is what you get when you have two Korean-American brothers who grew up in Philly opening a restaurant. Best experienced late-night past 10 p.m., the menu's got anything from Philly-style burgers to poutine or spicy Korean chicken wings. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]

8. Richmond Station

Copy Link
1 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Ontario, Canada
(647) 748-1444
Visit Website
Opened by Top Chef Canada season two winner Carl Heinrich and celebrity butcher Ryan Donovan, this place has got one of the best burgers in town and pastry chef Farzam Fallah is making some creative desserts. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]

9. Momofuku

Copy Link
190 University Ave., Toronto
ON M5H 0A3, Canada
(647) 788-8888
Visit Website
Momofuku still holds as one of the hottest establishments in the city with the tasting menu at Shōtō, the large-format sharing meals at Daishō and, most recently, the arrival of Milk Bar's crack pies and rainbow birthday cake truffles. Who can resist? [Photo: Gizelle Lau]

10. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

Copy Link
91 Dundas St. E, Toronto
ON M5B 1E1, Canada
(647) 748-1717
Visit Website
The city's ramen craze hasn't shown signs of slowing. Even with the summer weather, ramen-hungry locals and nearby Ryerson University students are happy to line up at Santouka for a taste of their slurpy Hokkaido-style shoyu to miso or spicy kara-miso ramen. [Photo]

11. THR & Co.

Copy Link
97 Harbord St, Toronto
ON, Canada
After five years of massive success, The Harbord Room opened its second location THR & Co. just a few doors down. The menu is slightly less expensive and features Italian-inspired cuisine like osso bucco, daily fish or pizza pie. And there is, of course, THR's always-stellar cocktail program. [Photo]

12. Playa Cabana Hacienda

Copy Link
14 DuPont Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada
The third Playa Cabana establishment, just steps from its original, el Hacienda's menu keeps it simple: heavy on the drinks (and tequila, of course) and small snacks like ceviche and tacos. These keep you afloat while you rub elbows with posh Yorkville and Summerhill locals. [Photo]

13. Whippoorwill

Copy Link
1285 Bloor St., Toronto
Ontario, Canada
(416) 530-2999
Visit Website
If you're looking for one of the city's hottest brunches, then this is the place to go for eggs on buttermilk biscuits with your Caesar. At dinner, the burger and late-night cocktails are also not to be missed here. [Photo]

14. Patria

Copy Link
478 King St. W, Toronto
ON M5V 1L7, Canada
(416) 968-6464
Visit Website
Patria brings Spanish tapas and pintxos to Toronto in style. Hidden away just out of sight on King Street West, Patria's lounge stays true to its Spanish roots with stand-up tables for bites of jamon iberico de bellota and flutes of cava while the dining room serves up giant pans of paella. [Photo]

15. Skin + Bones Wine Bar

Copy Link
980 Queen St. E., Toronto
ON M4M 1K1, Canada
This wine bar in Toronto's east end has an excellent wine list and small-to-large dishes to match. They recently announced their new chef, Kim Hernandez, who's coming from St. John Restaurant/Hotel. Before that, Hernandez staged at London's Dinner by Heston Blumenthal under Ashley Palmer-Watts after also staging at the Fat Duck. [Photo]

16. Cocktail Parlor

Copy Link
11 Duncan St., Toronto
ON M5V 3M2, Canada
Cocktail Parlor is offering one of the most dynamic cocktail menus in the city with a page dedicated to old fashioneds, another to negronis, and it is organized accordingly by theme or spirit. The bar snacks are inventive and equally creative, not unlike those at Aviary. There's also an absinthe fountain. [Photo]

1. Bar Isabel

797 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
After parting from the Black Hoof almost two years ago, Grant van Gameren recently opened his Spanish/European-inspired restaurant Bar Isabel and has quickly climbed back to the top with his chef de cuisine Brandon Olsen. On the menu: simple, bold, tasty pintxos-size dishes along with large family-style platters like a whole grilled octopus or an 18-oz. ribeye. There's also, of course, his signature charcuterie. [Photo]
797 College Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada

2. Chantecler

1320 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada
Earlier this year, Jon Poon and Jacob Wharton-Shukster at Chantecler revamped their concept to offer two menus. The regular, daily menu offers family-style lettuce wrap meals to the masses. But on Friday and Saturday nights, they offer tasting menus from $40-60 for 8 people per night. These nights are reservations only, accepted two months in advance (and usually booked up within the day reservations open). [Photo]
1320 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON, Canada

3. Sabai Sabai

225 Church Street, Toronto, Canada
Reigning king and queen of Thai cuisine in Toronto, Jeff and Nuit Regular (previously of Khao San Road) are behind this Thai tapas spot. It's worth the trip east of Yonge Street for grilled pork skewers, steamed fish custard, and massaman curry to go with a Singha beer. [Photo]
225 Church Street
Toronto, Canada

4. Electric Mud BBQ

5 Brock Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada
The guys behind ultra-popular, hipster-Mexican joint Grand Electric have opened a barbecue spot just around the corner in Parkdale. Bourbon, ribs, fried chicken, and even crack rolls are all experienced — sticky fingers and all — from your spot at a picnic table. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]
5 Brock Ave, Toronto
ON, Canada

5. Rose & Sons

176 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
Anthony Rose opened his modern diner Rose & Sons earlier this year to throngs of brunch-goers looking for a new greasy-spoon experience. He followed just a month ago with Big Crow BBQ, a massive covered patio located behind Rose & Sons, a temple dedicated to all things barbecue. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
ON, Canada

6. JaBistro

222 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 1W4, Canada
From the same restaurant family as Guu Izakaya, Guu Sakabar and Kinton Ramen, JaBistro offers modern Japanese cuisine. The menu includes aburi and oshizushi style-sushi along with traditional (and super-fresh) sushi and sashimi that have brought respectable sushi back into the city's downtown core. [Photo]
222 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Ontario M5V 1W4, Canada

7. OddSeoul

90 Ossington Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada
Oddseoul is what you get when you have two Korean-American brothers who grew up in Philly opening a restaurant. Best experienced late-night past 10 p.m., the menu's got anything from Philly-style burgers to poutine or spicy Korean chicken wings. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]
90 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON, Canada

8. Richmond Station

1 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opened by Top Chef Canada season two winner Carl Heinrich and celebrity butcher Ryan Donovan, this place has got one of the best burgers in town and pastry chef Farzam Fallah is making some creative desserts. [Photo: Gizelle Lau]
1 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Ontario, Canada

9. Momofuku

190 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5H 0A3, Canada
Momofuku still holds as one of the hottest establishments in the city with the tasting menu at Shōtō, the large-format sharing meals at Daishō and, most recently, the arrival of Milk Bar's crack pies and rainbow birthday cake truffles. Who can resist? [Photo: Gizelle Lau]
190 University Ave., Toronto
ON M5H 0A3, Canada

10. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka 山頭火

91 Dundas St. E, Toronto, ON M5B 1E1, Canada
The city's ramen craze hasn't shown signs of slowing. Even with the summer weather, ramen-hungry locals and nearby Ryerson University students are happy to line up at Santouka for a taste of their slurpy Hokkaido-style shoyu to miso or spicy kara-miso ramen. [Photo]
91 Dundas St. E, Toronto
ON M5B 1E1, Canada

11. THR & Co.

97 Harbord St, Toronto, ON, Canada
After five years of massive success, The Harbord Room opened its second location THR & Co. just a few doors down. The menu is slightly less expensive and features Italian-inspired cuisine like osso bucco, daily fish or pizza pie. And there is, of course, THR's always-stellar cocktail program. [Photo]
97 Harbord St, Toronto
ON, Canada

12. Playa Cabana Hacienda

14 DuPont Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The third Playa Cabana establishment, just steps from its original, el Hacienda's menu keeps it simple: heavy on the drinks (and tequila, of course) and small snacks like ceviche and tacos. These keep you afloat while you rub elbows with posh Yorkville and Summerhill locals. [Photo]
14 DuPont Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada

13. Whippoorwill

1285 Bloor St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If you're looking for one of the city's hottest brunches, then this is the place to go for eggs on buttermilk biscuits with your Caesar. At dinner, the burger and late-night cocktails are also not to be missed here. [Photo]
1285 Bloor St., Toronto
Ontario, Canada

14. Patria

478 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1L7, Canada
Patria brings Spanish tapas and pintxos to Toronto in style. Hidden away just out of sight on King Street West, Patria's lounge stays true to its Spanish roots with stand-up tables for bites of jamon iberico de bellota and flutes of cava while the dining room serves up giant pans of paella. [Photo]
478 King St. W, Toronto
ON M5V 1L7, Canada

15. Skin + Bones Wine Bar

980 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON M4M 1K1, Canada
This wine bar in Toronto's east end has an excellent wine list and small-to-large dishes to match. They recently announced their new chef, Kim Hernandez, who's coming from St. John Restaurant/Hotel. Before that, Hernandez staged at London's Dinner by Heston Blumenthal under Ashley Palmer-Watts after also staging at the Fat Duck. [Photo]
980 Queen St. E., Toronto
ON M4M 1K1, Canada

Related Maps

16. Cocktail Parlor

11 Duncan St., Toronto, ON M5V 3M2, Canada
Cocktail Parlor is offering one of the most dynamic cocktail menus in the city with a page dedicated to old fashioneds, another to negronis, and it is organized accordingly by theme or spirit. The bar snacks are inventive and equally creative, not unlike those at Aviary. There's also an absinthe fountain. [Photo]
11 Duncan St., Toronto
ON M5V 3M2, Canada

Related Maps