Toronto restaurants that have gone underground

There’s something special about lower level restaurants. When you descend the stairs to them, you sort of feel like you’re in on this secret: that most people wouldn’t look down here, so you’ve got the jump on this great place, and that can make your dining experience all the more special. Of course, it helps that all the places on this list actually are really fantastic.

Reservoir Lounge

44 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C7

Has been a jumpin’ joint for a long while now, with its live lounge music and folks killing it on the dance floor. They’ve got great sharing plates and pizzas, and their martinis are divine. Definitely worth a stop here.

Fune Japanese Restaurant

100 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G2

Has been down the stairs in the Entertainment District for almost 20 years, and what sets it apart is the sushi bar. The bar is surrounded by a little moat that has boats floating by with dishes of sushi that you can choose. Fun, right?


66 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5K 1K2

Only a few steps down in the TD Centre, but it gives the dining room a cozy, cavernous feel. They don’t do anything on their menu halfway, with a primo $35 grass-fed burger and lobster poutine, but it’s all worth it.

Under The Table

568 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X 1P8

Located in Cabbagetown underneath another restaurant, and while it’s an unassuming little place, the food — what can best be termed as comfort food with some Jamaican-influenced dishes — is of very high quality and lovingly made and served.

C'est What

67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1B5

The place is far enough downstairs that there aren’t any real windows looking outside, and that gives it a cozy atmosphere. The brew pub has always had a solid menu with great vegetarian options, as well as shareables that you can dig into at a table or on one of their easy chairs.

Sotto Sotto Ristorante

120 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2H4

Actually means “under under,” which of course refers to the restaurant’s location underneath the first floor of the building. Probably the most famous of all restaurants on this list, they make some fantastic Italian food, and virtually every celebrity in the last two decades has been here, if the photographs on the walls are any indication.

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:]
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