Read ’em and eat: Buzzworthy Annex restaurants

Though Toronto's Annex neighbourhood tends to attract students with its casual and affordable restaurants, they also have some of the most memorable dining destinations in the city, inviting a diversity of adult crowds. From celebs hitting the spots in Yorkville, to couples experiencing a magical night compete with delicious food and ambiance, here are some of the best restaurants in the Annex. [Feature image: Fat Pasha]

Joso's

1
202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 1J2

Joso’s is the full, sea-world experience – from the vibes to the food. Inspired by Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, the space is decorated with Roman-esque sculptures and art of the female form, plus sea shells and treasures galore – it will make you feel like you’ve escaped to somewhere tropical (even the patio feels otherworldly). They serve lunch and dinner, and the menu does not disappoint. From fried calamari to grilled octopus, your seafood taste buds will be in full force. They also offer spaghetti and risotto dishes, and sharable plates, too.

Mymy Chicken

2
394 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X4

For a taste of Asian fusion and a DIY dining experience, choose Aka Teppan. This restaurant has a minimalist, modern interior, making the food its prize centerpiece. Their meals are served on hot (200 degrees Celsius) plates so that you can mix up the meat, rice and vegetables – presented beautifully – to your liking. Start off with a sharable plate of okonomiyaki fries, baked with green onions and bonito flakes, and drizzled with Japanese mayo and dried seaweed. Then, choose from a variety of rice or noodle dishes, and a delicious dessert like matcha panna cotta to finish.

Sotto Sotto Ristorante

3
120 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2H4

This trattoria is a hotspot amongst celebs visiting the city. Fun fact: Drake name-dropped Sotto Sotto in one of his songs and called it his second home on Instagram in 2014 after news broke that a fire destroyed the place. Thankfully Sotto Sotto recovered and remains a star favourite – and for good reason: the food and atmosphere is très chic, making it a perfect spot for an upscale date night or anniversary celebration. Start with a seafood appetizer, then opt for a risotto or pasta dish, and don’t forget the vino. FYI: They have gluten-free and whole wheat options.

Insomnia Restaurant & Lounge

4
563 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y6

Insomnia is up until 2 am every night for all your belly needs. This restaurant-lounge has comfort food, nightly beats and an abundance of martinis to keep the party poppin’. Dinner is served from 4 to 11 pm, and the Christmas-lights ambience and comfy couches makes it a charming place to dine. Their food is just as cozy with options like fried chicken ’n’ waffles and mac ’n’ cheese. Insomnia is also praised for its brunch – so many Benedict creations to choose from. Plus, they’ve got gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options on all menus.

Mistura Restaurant

5
265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 1J9

Celeb chef Massimo Capra boasts creative dishes at this upscale Italian restaurant, with portions that won’t overwhelm. Mistura’s menu changes with the seasons, which makes it a fresh spot to dine. Plus, the meals are so inventive that you wouldn’t find the same elsewhere (think: red beet risotto, squash panna cotta, lamb ribs, popcorn-crusted scallops). With two private dining rooms, Mistura is also a great place for memorable celebrations. For weddings and corporate events, head upstairs to Sopra, a more private venue, complete with the same delicious food, plus music and entertainment options.

L'Unità Restaurant

6
134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2H6

A plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine fits this Italian eatery on the Annex-Yorkville cusp oh-so perfectly. L’Unità is a beautiful spot to take a date – especially if he or she loves Italian cuisine. Start off with the meatballs and polenta appetizer, then head for a pizza or pasta dish like the lobster ravioli. They have quite a delicious list of desserts to choose from: mascarpone cannoli, lemon panna cotta, and tiramisu in a jar. L’Unità has an extensive wine menu, so be sure to ask your server to suggest a bottle to match your meal.

Fat Pasha Inc

7
414 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R 1V9

For a mix of Middle Eastern and Jewish cuisine, take your wallet and your appetite to Fat Pasha. Led by one of the heaviest hitters in the Toronto’s restaurant scene, Chef Anthony Rose, this restaurant is an Israeli-style adventure. Think: falafels to start, chicken wings with buttermilk tzatziki to share, a side of hummus with lamb meat balls, and to finish off, a Nutella babka bread pudding. Wash it all down with a Lebanese herb-flavoured alcoholic bevvy: arak, or a selection from the craft cocktails, beer and wine lists. And to boot? A sweet patio for summer days.

Salads shouldn’t be boring. Thankfully, Toronto has some delicious choices. Whether you’re looking for meaty options or full-on vegetarian and vegan, these are the best salad bars to hit up in the 6 – from hefty portions to unique and nutritionally packed ingredients. Warning: you’ll become a salad convert in no time. [Salad at Salus Fresh Foods. Photo by Parisima Baha]
It can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the hustle-bustle of Toronto city life. Juice bars are the perfect solution, offering quick grab-and-go options that are nutritious and tasty. Whether you’re looking to go on a cold-pressed juice cleanse, need a quick, filling smoothie or healthy snacks and lunch options, these top juice bars have you covered. [Photo courtesy of Greenhouse Juice]
Turmeric lattes, also known as golden milk, started becoming a trend in 2016, continued well into 2017, and now they are a regular item on the menu of many cafés in Toronto. Not only is it a healthy drink, it’s also very soothing. With a nutty base, some spicy and many unique variations, here’s where you’ll find this hot, or iced, drink in the 6. [Turmeric latte at OFFSITE Photo by Parisima Baha] 
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