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The Hottest Restaurants in Toronto Right Now, July 2015

12 new places to eat and drink in Canada’s most populous city.

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Today, Eater returns to Toronto, Canada to discover the newest drinking and dining destinations the Ontario capital has to offer. This time around, freelance writer/food photographer Gizelle Lau offers her picks, naming a dozen new spots worth your dining dollars. Among them: A tapas-minded restaurant from famed Bar Isabel chef Grant van Gameren (Bar Raval), a second location of chef Rob Gentile’s Italian staple (Buca Yorkville), and a reemergence of a beloved neighborhood restaurant (Peter Pan, newly reopened by chef Noah Goldberg).

Toronto's also enjoying a bar-food renaissance. A team of local pizza and sandwich legends have joined forces to debut a Neapolitan-inspired bar (A3 Napoli), and several late-night spots are dedicated to casual drinks and snacks: the Asian-leaning Kanpai Snack Bar and Hanmoto, plus the inaccurately named Bar Fancy.

Here now, in alphabetical order, the 12 hottest restaurants in Toronto right now:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. A3 Napoli

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Toronto
ON, Canada
What happens when the owners of Pizza Libretto and Porchetta & Co, the city’s top Naples-style pizza and sandwich spots, get together and have a love child? A3 Napoli: a quick-stop Italian-style bar serving up Neapolitan bar food. There’s Libretto’s VPN-certified wood-fired pizzas, panzerotti, as well as small bites like arancini, meatballs, and zucchini sticks — best finished off with a taste of its own label of Flying Monkeys craft beer. [Photo]

2. Bar Fancy

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1070 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON, Canada
There’s nothing fancy about Bar Fancy. It’s a low-key spot to drop in for a quick bite and drink, but it has a killer 5-7 p.m. special where the fried chicken comes at $2/piece and oysters are half-price. Stay for the specials and drinks, but don’t leave without getting a taste of the numbing wings, spicy Sichuan peppercorn wings that will literally numb your mouth in an amazing, temporary, way. [Photo]

3. Bar Raval

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505 College St., Toronto
ON, Canada
In this city, it seems that you just can’t go wrong with team Grant van Gameren. His new spot is an ode to Barcelona’s tapas bars, complete with Gaudi-essque curves and wine barrel tabletops. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., so you can stop in for your breakfast pastries and coffee in the morning, casual bites at lunch, a few happy hour pintxos and cocktails after work (or late night when you’re tipsy and feeling munchy). [Photo]

4. Boralia

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59 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON, Canada
+64 7-351 5100
Visit Website
One of just a few Toronto restaurants creating Canadian cuisine (or at the very least, as Canadian as you can get), Boralia — previously Borealia before the trademark legal eagles came swooping in — serves up dishes based on Canadian heritage, history, and multiculturalism. On the menu, you’ll see dishes like oysters with hollandaise, red fife bread, mussels smoked in pine needles, bison pemmican, sugar shack ham, or pigeon pie, all playing on the country’s regional favorites and diversity. [Photo]

5. Buca Yorkville

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53 Scollard Street, Toronto
ON M5R 0A1, Canada
(416) 962-2822
Visit Website
For years, Buca has been the go-to for modern Italian fare in Toronto, and this past year, chef Rob Gentile and King Street Food Company have opened Buca Yorkville next to the Four Seasons Toronto. While staples like the burrata pizza and bread knots remain, Buca Yorkville’s signature dishes are a massive seafood platter and whole branzino sliced and diced tableside. For special occasions, book the chef’s table for a special tasting menu with 16+ courses. [Photo]

6. Dandylion

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1198 Queen St W, Toronto
ON M6J 1J6, Canada
(647) 464-9100
Visit Website
A casual, tasteful atmosphere paired with ingredient-first cuisine that’s thoughtful, refined, and honest — that’s what Dandylion is about. It’s a welcoming, warm experience from the start, as if chef Jay Carter’s invited you to his house for dinner. The meal kicks off with warm house-baked bread and fresh cheese, followed by dishes like cod with charred beans and bonito sauce, poached egg in mushroom broth, and savory granola — all carefully balanced in flavor, texture, and execution. [Photo]

7. Flock

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330 Adelaide St W, Toronto
ON, Canada
More chicken! Just opened in Toronto’s Entertainment District/King West, Flock Rotisserie + Greens is the new spot by Toronto’s “hunkiest” chef, Cory Vitiello (and co-owner Chris Shiki), who made a name for themselves at the Harbord Room. In this quick-service restaurant, you’ll get equal parts rotisserie chicken (naturally raised, no hormones or antibiotics) and an awesome salad selection, as well as a DIY salad option. [Photo]

8. Hanmoto

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2 Lakeview Drive, Toronto
ON M5C 1X6, Canada
Over on Dundas West, Leemo Han of Oddseoul has opened Hanmoto, a cheeky new spot that’s quickly making a name for itself as a top spot for Japanese izakaya-style bites and drinks ‘til 2 a.m. The dishes are Japanese-meets-American, like hamachi tartare, “dyno” chicken wings stuffed with pork, and bacon or a chicken katsu burger. Don’t miss the condensed milk and white miso ice cream. [Photo]

9. Kanpai Snack Bar

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252 Carlton, Toronto
ON, Canada
(416) 968-6888
Visit Website
The era of the snack foods reigns, and Kanpai Snack Bar over at Carlton/Parliament is one of the latest favorites, serving up Taiwanese snacks (or “xiaochi”) inspired by the country’s famous night markets. There are steamed buns, fried tofu, a family-size TFC (Taiwanese Fried Chicken) dinner, or Taiwanese “anti-pasto” of pickled veg for mains. For dessert: the deep-fried wow bao with spicy Nutella and pop rock condensed milk. Naturally, there are plenty of drinks and cocktails to wash down the snacky goodness. [Photo]

10. Kasa Moto

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115 Yorkville Ave, Toronto
ON M5R 1B9, Canada
From the folks behind the Chase and Colette Grand Café, a new massive, two-story modern Japanese restaurant, Kasa Moto, has opened in the heart of Yorkville — complete with Yorkville prices. Dishes run the gamut: Expect cold elements like hamachi with ponzu, hot dishes like rock shrimp tempura, large plates like the Kasa Moto burger or items from the sushi bar, like spicy tuna or the always-loved California roll. [Photo]

11. NAO Steakhouse

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90 Avenue road, Toronto
ON, Canada
With a swanky new patio just in time for patio season, the Asian-influenced NAO Steakhouse is the latest in the INK Entertainment restaurant, nightlife, and entertainment portfolio (next up, they’re partnering with Morimoto to open on King West). And it does not disappoint. Sitting pretty on Avenue Road in Yorkville, you’ll find steakhouse classics like chopped salad and oysters Rockefeller and a massive steak list from strip loins to porterhouse cuts from the U.S., Canada, and Japan. [Photo]

12. Peter Pan

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373 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M5V 2A4, Canada
(416) 792-3838
Visit Website
Re-creating Toronto’s iconic Peter Pan restaurant and space is no small venture, but chef Noah Goldberg, whose popular pop-up the Feasting Room certainly gathered a local following, has refreshed new life into the neighborhood spot. The menu is nose-to-tail British and aims to be as local as possible — featuring snacks like gin popcorn, country pork terrine, or Welsh rarebit to start, and mains like lamb belly with sweetbreads or bouillabaisse. [Photo]

1. A3 Napoli

Toronto, ON, Canada
What happens when the owners of Pizza Libretto and Porchetta & Co, the city’s top Naples-style pizza and sandwich spots, get together and have a love child? A3 Napoli: a quick-stop Italian-style bar serving up Neapolitan bar food. There’s Libretto’s VPN-certified wood-fired pizzas, panzerotti, as well as small bites like arancini, meatballs, and zucchini sticks — best finished off with a taste of its own label of Flying Monkeys craft beer. [Photo]
Toronto
ON, Canada

2. Bar Fancy

1070 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada
There’s nothing fancy about Bar Fancy. It’s a low-key spot to drop in for a quick bite and drink, but it has a killer 5-7 p.m. special where the fried chicken comes at $2/piece and oysters are half-price. Stay for the specials and drinks, but don’t leave without getting a taste of the numbing wings, spicy Sichuan peppercorn wings that will literally numb your mouth in an amazing, temporary, way. [Photo]
1070 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON, Canada

3. Bar Raval

505 College St., Toronto, ON, Canada
In this city, it seems that you just can’t go wrong with team Grant van Gameren. His new spot is an ode to Barcelona’s tapas bars, complete with Gaudi-essque curves and wine barrel tabletops. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., so you can stop in for your breakfast pastries and coffee in the morning, casual bites at lunch, a few happy hour pintxos and cocktails after work (or late night when you’re tipsy and feeling munchy). [Photo]
505 College St., Toronto
ON, Canada

4. Boralia

59 Ossington Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada
One of just a few Toronto restaurants creating Canadian cuisine (or at the very least, as Canadian as you can get), Boralia — previously Borealia before the trademark legal eagles came swooping in — serves up dishes based on Canadian heritage, history, and multiculturalism. On the menu, you’ll see dishes like oysters with hollandaise, red fife bread, mussels smoked in pine needles, bison pemmican, sugar shack ham, or pigeon pie, all playing on the country’s regional favorites and diversity. [Photo]
59 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON, Canada

5. Buca Yorkville

53 Scollard Street, Toronto, ON M5R 0A1, Canada
For years, Buca has been the go-to for modern Italian fare in Toronto, and this past year, chef Rob Gentile and King Street Food Company have opened Buca Yorkville next to the Four Seasons Toronto. While staples like the burrata pizza and bread knots remain, Buca Yorkville’s signature dishes are a massive seafood platter and whole branzino sliced and diced tableside. For special occasions, book the chef’s table for a special tasting menu with 16+ courses. [Photo]
53 Scollard Street, Toronto
ON M5R 0A1, Canada

6. Dandylion

1198 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6, Canada
A casual, tasteful atmosphere paired with ingredient-first cuisine that’s thoughtful, refined, and honest — that’s what Dandylion is about. It’s a welcoming, warm experience from the start, as if chef Jay Carter’s invited you to his house for dinner. The meal kicks off with warm house-baked bread and fresh cheese, followed by dishes like cod with charred beans and bonito sauce, poached egg in mushroom broth, and savory granola — all carefully balanced in flavor, texture, and execution. [Photo]
1198 Queen St W, Toronto
ON M6J 1J6, Canada

7. Flock

330 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, Canada
More chicken! Just opened in Toronto’s Entertainment District/King West, Flock Rotisserie + Greens is the new spot by Toronto’s “hunkiest” chef, Cory Vitiello (and co-owner Chris Shiki), who made a name for themselves at the Harbord Room. In this quick-service restaurant, you’ll get equal parts rotisserie chicken (naturally raised, no hormones or antibiotics) and an awesome salad selection, as well as a DIY salad option. [Photo]
330 Adelaide St W, Toronto
ON, Canada

8. Hanmoto

2 Lakeview Drive, Toronto, ON M5C 1X6, Canada
Over on Dundas West, Leemo Han of Oddseoul has opened Hanmoto, a cheeky new spot that’s quickly making a name for itself as a top spot for Japanese izakaya-style bites and drinks ‘til 2 a.m. The dishes are Japanese-meets-American, like hamachi tartare, “dyno” chicken wings stuffed with pork, and bacon or a chicken katsu burger. Don’t miss the condensed milk and white miso ice cream. [Photo]
2 Lakeview Drive, Toronto
ON M5C 1X6, Canada

9. Kanpai Snack Bar

252 Carlton, Toronto, ON, Canada
The era of the snack foods reigns, and Kanpai Snack Bar over at Carlton/Parliament is one of the latest favorites, serving up Taiwanese snacks (or “xiaochi”) inspired by the country’s famous night markets. There are steamed buns, fried tofu, a family-size TFC (Taiwanese Fried Chicken) dinner, or Taiwanese “anti-pasto” of pickled veg for mains. For dessert: the deep-fried wow bao with spicy Nutella and pop rock condensed milk. Naturally, there are plenty of drinks and cocktails to wash down the snacky goodness. [Photo]
252 Carlton, Toronto
ON, Canada

10. Kasa Moto

115 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1B9, Canada
From the folks behind the Chase and Colette Grand Café, a new massive, two-story modern Japanese restaurant, Kasa Moto, has opened in the heart of Yorkville — complete with Yorkville prices. Dishes run the gamut: Expect cold elements like hamachi with ponzu, hot dishes like rock shrimp tempura, large plates like the Kasa Moto burger or items from the sushi bar, like spicy tuna or the always-loved California roll. [Photo]
115 Yorkville Ave, Toronto
ON M5R 1B9, Canada

11. NAO Steakhouse

90 Avenue road, Toronto, ON, Canada
With a swanky new patio just in time for patio season, the Asian-influenced NAO Steakhouse is the latest in the INK Entertainment restaurant, nightlife, and entertainment portfolio (next up, they’re partnering with Morimoto to open on King West). And it does not disappoint. Sitting pretty on Avenue Road in Yorkville, you’ll find steakhouse classics like chopped salad and oysters Rockefeller and a massive steak list from strip loins to porterhouse cuts from the U.S., Canada, and Japan. [Photo]
90 Avenue road, Toronto
ON, Canada

12. Peter Pan

373 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A4, Canada
Re-creating Toronto’s iconic Peter Pan restaurant and space is no small venture, but chef Noah Goldberg, whose popular pop-up the Feasting Room certainly gathered a local following, has refreshed new life into the neighborhood spot. The menu is nose-to-tail British and aims to be as local as possible — featuring snacks like gin popcorn, country pork terrine, or Welsh rarebit to start, and mains like lamb belly with sweetbreads or bouillabaisse. [Photo]
373 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M5V 2A4, Canada

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