Restaurants and bars around Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square is one of the epicenters of Toronto. Named for TO’s mayor from 1955 to 1962, the site attracts 1.5 million visitors annually, who flock to the weekly farmer’s market, concerts, art events and more. It’s also a hop-skip from Roy Thompson Hall, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Eaton Centre. Here are some of the top spots to imbibe in the area – no matter what the occasion. [Feature image: Nota Bene]


401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

With a focus on Canadian comfort food, Bannock serves fare that reflects our rich cultural and regional culture. Try the Bannock Bannock (house-smoked salmon, onion, cumin, cream cheese) or a classic poutine topped with Monforte dairy curds, fries and chicken gravy. Bannock also has a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch counter for those in a rush, which serves scrumptious sandwiches, coffee and Yukon Gold fries.

Osgoode Hall Restaurant

130 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1

For those looking for an upscale option near Nathan Phillips Square, enter the Law Society of Upper Canada's iron gates at Osgoode Hall. The Osgoode Hall Restaurant offers an elegant eating ambience where you can dine surrounded by leather-bound books and stained glass windows. Try the herb-marinated Cornish hen, served with spaetzle, Ontario asparagus, shitake mushrooms, and triple-crunch jus or nibble on the sultry Garganelli pasta with pork belly, which comes with morel mushrooms, spring vegetables and Parmigiano.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

190 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3

Located in a glass cube in the middle of downtown Toronto, Momofuku Noodle Bar is the sister restaurant to the NYC hotspot of the same name. Their menu changes based on seasonal availability, but be sure to check out their popular fried chicken dish and of course, the Momofuku ramen (accented with pork belly and shoulder sourced from Kunan Farm in Ontario, fish cake, and egg). For fancier Japanese fare, check out restaurant and bars, Shōtō or Nikai; both are part of the Momofuku project and located in the same glass cube building neighbouring the Shangri La Hotel.

The Chase Fish & Oyster

10 Temperance St, Toronto, ON M5H 1Y4

The Chase Fish and Oyster is a rooftop restaurant specializing, of course, in seafood. Inspired by maritime cuisine, this upscale-meets-accessible spot has a host of delicious fish on offer. The cod tacos and clam chowder are both solid options, but if you’re extra hungry, order the Bay platter – the hefty dish comes with oysters, clams, tuna, crab, shrimp, ceviche and lobster, and, like many of the menu options, is meant to be shared.

La Bettola Di Terroni

106 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5C 2B4

From the beloved Terroni restaurant family comes La Bettola di Terroni, serving authentic Sicilian food in a cozy, exposed-brick interior. For dinner, try the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, a traditional Roman dish with Pecorino cheese and black pepper over Chitarra spaghetti. For a decadent dessert, don’t miss the Budino, a salted butterscotch and caramel pudding that will melt in your mouth. La Bettola even won OpenTable Diners Choice Award in 2015, so you know you can count on the high quality of this Italian fare.

Fune Japanese Restaurant

100 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G2

For the best sushi bar (and boats) check out Fune Japanese Restaurant, located on Simcoe Street. In addition to classic nigri, sushi and sashimi, Fune also serves “neo modern Japanese dishes” like the Hotategai (deep sea scallops sautéed with garlic butter and soya sauce) and the Shogayaki (thinly sliced pork loin cooked with house ginger sauce). For those also looking to wet their whistle, Fune has a fine selection of sake, Japanese beer and North American classics, too.

The Carbon Bar

99 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1S1

Carbon Bar, in their own words, is “inspired by the storied past of a rock ‘n roll discotheque.” They serve banging cocktails and drinks – the Smokin’ Manhattan is a delectable combination of tobacco-infused Lot 40, Dolins vermouth and bitters, and the Black Mamba margarita hosts charcoal-infused Avion tequila, St. Germain, Bowmore, and lime (don’t forget that sea salt rim). If you’re looking to chow down, sample Carbon’s Southern-inspired menu, with hot items such as beef brisket sliders, St. Louis pork ribs, and skillet corn bread,” which is served with whiskey and maple whipped butter.


145 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2L2

Another restaurant serving up contemporary Canadian fare is Tundra; one of the Hilton Hotel’s two on-site restaurants. Favourite dishes include their “Lumachine n’ Cheese” (mac and cheese with toasted truffle crumble and PEI-aged cheddar béchamel) and their maple and butternut squash pasta, served with spiced chestnuts and Ontario goat cheese. For those with a sweet tooth, sample their fine dessert menu or really tuck in with the Tundra dessert board – it’s curated by the chef daily and includes macaroons, chocolate brownies and other sweet treats.

Native to both saltwater and freshwater habitats, mussels are truly a unique treat, whether served steamed, smoked, barbequed or fried. They're also an excellent source of selenium and B12. Paired with fresh frites, soft bread or dropped into a scrumptious seafood stew, mussels represent a culinary tradition that’s alive and well in Toronto. [Image credit:]
Bourbon, gumbo and Mardi Gras beads: Many would say that New Orleans is one of the most magical places in North America. Toronto has embraced the culinary traditions of the Big Easy with a slew of NOLA-themed restaurants and watering holes. Whether serving up a bowl of crawfish or a sparkling Sazerac, the following restaurants will knock your socks off faster than you can say beignet.[Image credit:]
Trinity Bellwoods is one of Toronto’s top spots to soak in the sun all summer long, not to mention one of best beaten paths for dog owners during winter, spring and fall. Whether catching a match of tennis or lounging in the dog bowl, activities always go better with a good cup of joe. The following is a list of the best close-by cafés and coffee shops to keep you peppy all day long. [Featured image: The Tampered Press]
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