Keep the romantic fires burning in West Queen West Toronto

Whether it’s your first date or your 25th wedding anniversary, romance sometimes needs a little nudge in the right direction. These restaurants combine intimate ambience with amazing dishes, providing all the kindling you need to romantic fires ablaze.

Banu Restaurant Iranian

1
777 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

If you can imagine what a Persian restaurant in the 22nd century would look like, you’ll get an idea upon walking into Banu. A huge Persian carpet lies in the middle of the floor, flanked by ivory walls, and seating can be found at either the egg bar stools or the aquamarine-tiled tables. The stew is one of the top choices as a main dish, and every variety comes with saffron basmati rice. Chill out around the hookah after dessert.

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen

2
669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E6

This restaurant may be kid-friendly during the day, but when the sun goes down, romance heats up quickly. Thin cylindrical fixtures from the ceiling provide just the right amount of mood lighting, and the eclectic art on the walls is sure to inspire good conversation. Start by sharing a plate of tomato and maalat salad, split the lechon kawali – deep-fried pork belly – and finish with a ginataan sundae. Reservations are recommended.

The Good Son Restaurant

3
1096 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H9

When it comes to romantic dining, atmosphere matters as much as the food and its presentation – The Good Son has all of this in spades. Take a table by the front window and sit close together so you can share from each other’s plates. The east coast oysters or ash-roasted eggplant are excellent starters and the spicy soppressata pizza is the perfect entree.

Nuit Social

4
1168 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J5

There’s an easygoing atmosphere here that makes conversation flow and glances linger – until the fabulous food hits the table. While you’re waiting for dinner, enjoy a cocktail at their beautiful bar, with its geometric design reminiscent of stained glass. Then proceed to a cozy table by the front window and choose a few dishes to share. Try the arancini plate or the chorizo Iberico for your entrée, and parmesan cheesecake or chocolate cake for dessert.

Nunu Ethopian Fusion

5
1178 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J5

This Ethiopian fusion restaurant will have you scooching closer to your sweetie well before dessert arrives, as almost every item on the menu is meant to be shared. The décor is elegant, complete with high ceilings and a classic monochromatic colour scheme. Friday evenings might be the most romantic, with the world music piping from the speakers. Order the steak with polenta, pair it with a nice bottle of red, and you’re all set.

With its cobblestone streets, beautiful stone buildings and appreciation for fine cuisine, Quebec City is a refined place. What better setting to treat yourself to a glass of champagne? Whether you want a cozy vibe or the grand rooms of an old hotel, Quebec City is just the place for you.
Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood may sometimes seem intimidating, but you'll find there are plenty of welcoming places where you can relax with a fine beer. The area's robust patio offerings make post-work pints a must. Don’t forget that it's also a prime hood for a little casual TIFF-ing – people-watching here might result in a few celebrity sightings.
Hitting the TIFF morning events and in search of a pre- or post-show breakfast? These classy-meets-casual brunch joints are steps away from the Bell Lightbox, on bustling King West. Whether you’re a Bay Street local or a film buff in search of some morning grub and daytime cocktail, these spots will keep you fuelled during the festival. [Image credit: iStock.com/golero]
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