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Cuisine type

  • Regional,
  • American,
  • Irish,


  • Seafood,
  • Comfort Food,
  • Hamburger,
  • Brunch,


  • Extensive Wine List,
  • Restaurant With Live Entertainment,


  • Trendy,
  • Casual,
  • Family,

Products and Services

  • Open Sunday,
  • Full Dinner Menu,
  • Daily Special,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

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  • $26 To $60,
  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Meet the owner

Named after owner John Maxwell’s mentor (Joseph C. Allen), Allen's is a restaurant, informal in style, but utterly civilized, specializing in local food and drink. The Danforth Avenue haunt has been serving local residents and visitors since 1987. “It occupies the status of an institution,” says John. “It’s institutional because of its legendary hospitality, warmth of welcome and a VQA wine list, which is one of the largest — if not the largest — in the world.” Allen’s is also renowned for its beer selection (140 strong, many microbrews) and a whisky list that numbers 300.

John has been in the restaurant business for more than 50 years. He opened his first Toronto dining establishment Joe Allen in 1980 and later opened Italian hotspot Orso in 1985. Both are now closed, but today John owns one other bar in addition to Allen’s, Dora Keogh’s on the Danforth.

Many members of John’s staff at Allen's have been with him for more than 20 years. This guarantees, he explains, that customers are not just welcomed, but recognized and feel like they are part of a family. “We know a large proportion of our customers,” John says proudly. “As with other restaurants that succeed by making guests feel welcome, we don’t 'wow’ them, but instead comfort them.”

Read the story of Allen's

Ratings & Reviews - Allen's

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Easily My Favourite Toronto Restaurant!

I first visited Allen's back in the 80's, not long after it opened, and I was instantly smitten. So much so, in fact that I moved into the neighbourhood! First I was a regular, then a nuisance, and finally a piece of furniture. I finally moved back to Markham in 1998, and cannot justify going anywhere south of Steeles Avenue without stopping into Allen's for lunch. The food is imaginative, superbly prepared, and so delicious, that even when I'm full, I often look at the menu again, just to see what I'll be ordering on my next visit! And the patio? Don't get me started......

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Appears in 9 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Best whisky bars in Toronto

Best whisky bars in Toronto

With more than 100 Scotch whiskies to choose from and a killer burger on the menu, you can't go wrong with Allen's.

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Best Restaurants for Patios in Toronto

Best Restaurants for Patios in Toronto

You’d never know it from the front of Allen’s, but out back, a magical wonderland awaits you. A large tree offers not only the feeling of being in a lost garden, but a bit of shade from the sun’s powerful rays. Slim wood tables and chairs suggest a Muskoka setting or perhaps somewhere in Europe. What matters most is that you’ll seem elsewhere, outside of the city, for at least a little while. And sometimes, that all the respite you need.

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Best wings in Toronto

Best wings in Toronto

Often touted as “The Best Wings in the World,” Allen’s has been living up to that title with its Manhattan Capon Wings. Unlike its Buffalo-style counterpart, Manhattan Capon Wings are not breaded and have a spicy, sweet and sour sauce. Allen’s serves its wings with a side of blue cheese dressing. Take out is available.

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