Gio Rana's Restaurant

4.3/5
Location
Information
Reviews
Details

Cuisine type

  • Italian,
  • American Cuisine,

Dishes

  • Seafood,
  • Hamburger,
  • Pasta,
  • Pizza,

Features

  • Restaurant With Bar,

Atmosphere

  • Trendy,
  • Casual,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
Location
1220 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1L7
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Rates:

  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Meet the owner

"One of my daughters, Margio, sometimes takes the helm at the restaurant and I’ll ask her afterwards how the night went," says Gio Rana, owner of Gio Rana's Really, Really Nice Restaurant. "She’ll start telling me about how many covers they had and I'll stop her and explain that's not what I mean. I mean, how was the night?" Gio wants to know about that magic moment when the lights and music are right, everyone is enjoying their food and life is good. "That moment is what keeps me going," says Gio.

What keeps customers going are the classic Italian dishes that Gio’s chefs produce. "The menu is strict Italian,” he says, “but we add a few Canadian touches simply because that's where we are.”

Gio isn’t in the kitchen as much as he was when the restaurant first opened in 1990, but his childhood Italian farm roots come out when he takes time to browse around the St. Lawrence and Kensington markets for inspiration. "I'll get ideas from the produce for a new dish and serve it as a special,” he says.

Read the story of Gio Rana's Restaurant

Ratings & Reviews - Gio Rana's Restaurant

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  • Food:
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Restaurantica12
By

Evolution of Gios

Favourite restaurant in Toronto. Clarification on why there are some BAD reviews and some AWESOME reviews: This place USED to be very loud, with really eclectic music playing - sometimes you'd hear edith pfaf, red hot chili peppers, and peaches all in a row. Yeah. I loved it - others did not. (old cranky people) It always confused me why people would go there and be surprised at the volume - they had a reputation. You do know you're a guest who chose to come to someone's private business? If the music's "hurting your ears" - GO EAT AT HOME. You see the 2 hour line-up to get in? They didn't get that by asking people like you what you think of the music!!!! In a couple of years time, I've noticed changes. Service was always excellent, and still is - just a different tone now. The space is more airy these days, and the servers there now seem more mature - the atmosphere is much mellower than in days past. Some would say it's missing the "old spark", others would say it's a great improvement! The FOOD is out of this world. AND ALWAYS WILL BE. Try involtini - it's pulled pork in proscuitto... or something... it doesn't matter what it is because eating it makes you go unconscious. GET IT!

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Restaurantica12
By

A true foodie's paradise

When reading reviews, I was shocked that people had a negative experience here. I really have nothing negative to say but do mind these tips, to help maximize your evening. 1) No reservations, and a popular establishment means... go EARLY! Don't wait until 7pm or after, because you'll be waiting a while. Also, don't go with a large party and expect an intimate setting, its a tight trendy europen seating setup. If you can, get there when the doors open, and enjoy the restaurant to yourself and watch the rush trickle in. 2) Do try the desserts - goat cheescake was phenomenal, and don't be in a rush, because eating and ordering here is a process and an experience, very similar to the acutal way of eating in Italy. 3) the place is noisy from all the conversations (like a mall/market) not club music. But its not so loud you can't hear. 4) Try Scotty's Meatball, the Asperagus side, sweet potato giant ravioli, and the pulled pork. Best Ever! 5) The decor/atmospher is intentional, parking is free after 6pm on the street, and the service is often friendly and knowledgable. All in all, the place IS expensive so don't go expecting cheap, but if you love food you'll justify and find value in the expense.

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Restaurantica12
By

Excellent Dining Experience

Yeah, it's a little louder than than you'd perhaps prefer and had a club-ish ambience but the food is glorious. The music and atmosphere made us feel young and hip, instead of old and needing new hips! The ricotta ravioli in sage butter was unbelievably tasty...as were the wait staff! Friendly service, great wine selection. Don't let my dollar amount throw you off. It was a lot of cocktails, wine and port! No reservations allowed but our wait was only about 20 minutes. Can't wait to go back!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Great everything but the layout...

The restaurant is located in a very ugly building and almost looks like they moved in without renovating it. Kind of rundown but with the lighting and decor, seems like they were actually going for shabby chique. The table layout is absolutely horrible!!! This would be the one deterring factor for returning. The greeter was not very friendly but the waitress was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was amazing! Nothing more to say than it tastes like the best simple food nonna ever cooked for you!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I attended April 23rd of 2008. I can say the chef...

I attended April 23rd of 2008. I can say the chef was exceptional. Not only does he understand true italian cooking, he has the skill to put his knowledge to good use.. I highly recommend the buffalo cheese and tomato's covered in olive oil for the antipasto...The pesto basil linguine or the ravioli for the pasta lover...and the tilapia with shrimp for the carne portion of the meal... The ambience is different but some could find it refreshing... The location is not much to be desired and the wine selection could be better but the food alone won me over...

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

We attended the restaurant after reading a...

We attended the restaurant after reading a favourable review about it in the Toronto Sun. They were right. The ambience was great. Our waiter was a lot of fun and very helpful. We never felt rushed and enjoyed a relaxing interesting meal. We all ordered different food items and sampled from each other. The food was very tasty and well presented. We did not leave hungry. If you're looking for a restaurant with fancy decour this certainly is not the place. But if you want to have fun, enjoy a good meal and be well taken care of this is the place.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The food was very tasty and the service was great...

The food was very tasty and the service was great but unfortunately, we were (a little) ill after eating... The ambiance of the restaurant is something to be desired. I was almost expecting to be in a small, intimate, quiet restaurant. But instead, the music was almost too loud and not very good. The decor wasn't the best either, again, I expecting something very different. It looked like the walls were crumbling!! I will say that I liked the x-mas tree above the entrance!! Very much like a bank. Overall, I don't know if we'll be going back which is a shame because the food was good.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

To be honest my wife and I were less than...

To be honest my wife and I were less than thrilled with TO dining when we visited last summer. Perhaps we made poor choices as there are many Restaurants to choose from. However, on the final night of our week long visit we made the right choice by heading towards the beaches and visiting Gio Rana's where we found a casual and friendly environment with wonderfully pleasant waitstaff and absolutely the best meatballs we have ever eaten (that we are from Brooklyn NY, this is really saying something!) We have directed all of our TO bound friends to this restaurant and cannot wait to return to it next time we are there.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

the atmosphere is fun, upbeat and exciting. The...

the atmosphere is fun, upbeat and exciting. The servers are friendly, helpful and attentive. The food is to die for, EVERYTHING we tried was delicious. We dine around Toronto on a weekly basis and Gio Ranas is our absolute favourite restaurant. With the service, the price of food and the quality, this place cannot be beat!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Appears in 3 Smart Lists

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Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant has been a go-to for delicious Italian plates to share in Leslieville for years. Known also as “the Nose” due to its giant, well, nose on the outside of the restaurant, the atmosphere is bustling and hip and the food is consistently delicious.

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They’re open every evening from six to eleven, except Sunday, making dinners ever so romantic, even well after the sun has set. It’s also a restaurant that’s somewhat under-the-radar, the kind where only locals know of the magic that happens inside. The interior décor has an industrial chic feel infused with retro light fixtures and sconces, casting the perfect mood while you munch away on lobster spaghettini or grilled calamari. Finish your meal off perfectly with a chocolate raspberry tartufo.

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Known to locals simply as “The Nose” (thanks to the oversized nostrils hanging over the storefront), this Leslieville restaurant specializes in crowd-pleasing Italian fare and a fun, boisterous ambiance. You better bring your appetite if you plan on ordering the grande meatball; the oversized meatball has an almost creamy texture and is served smothered in savoury tomato ragu sauce topped with shredded Parmesan cheese. This crowded hotspot fills up fast so be sure to arrive early if you want to snag a table without a wait.

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