Whether you like it or not, Winterlicious is back, and it means business. For real. While I am a bit of a princess and tend to avoid the crowds and rushed service that goes with this annual event, it’s humble roots started in the SARS days as a means of inspiring tourists to come back to Toronto.
Morphing 15 years later into a free-for-all for anyone with a pulse and a paycheck, Winterlicious has become a cluttered list of mostly meh-inducing restaurants. The list spans hundreds of options, so we’ve done ya a solid and narrowed it down. Reservations kick off today, so pitter patter people.You’re welcome, we’re sure.
Dundas West darling Ufficio is just hitting it’s stride, with Chef Ivana Raca killing it in the kitchen. Their Winterlicious menu, open for lunch and dinner, brings pescatarian plates to the forefront, we’re swooning over the Crudo starters, Trout or Vegan friendly avocado. Their main of Lasagne di Pesce will steal hearts.
Bold plates and a stunning design makes for a slam dunk on King West. ICONINK’s Executive Chef Ben Heaton has created a dinner menu that sings, with notable plates like Mushroom Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding showcasing the British influence with a modern edge.
File this one under baller status. Canoe has been Toronto’s top dining destination for decades, and it’s not just for the stunning lakeside + city views. Canoe’s menu by Chef John Horne brings Canadian ingredients to the forefront, like the Haidi Gwaii Albacore Tuna with couscous gremolata or Fois Gras Parfait. A mandatory experience for anyone who hasn’t been.
Yorkville’s eponymous cafe is the city’s most sumptuous. Cozy leather banquettes allow you to sink in for the full prix fixe experience. Daniel Boulud’s recipes are carried out by Executive Chef Sylvain Assié, his partner in Toronto since opening. Plates like Lamb Shank are homey and rustic, with French flair. Wines are on point, pairings and suggestions by Drew Walker make for a memorable meal.
Chef Mark McEwan’s Yorkville ONE Restaurant in the Hazelton Hotel has been a top contender on Toronto’s dining scene, setting trends and combining yes, a delectable meal, but also a fun night out. Taking reservations for both lunch and dinner, but our money is on the Braised Beef Short Ribs, a classic McEwan dish. Stick around after, ONE’s lively bar is a great way to cap off the evening.
Lead photo of Cafe Boulud by Libby Roach.