Toronto’s food scene wouldn’t be complete without its annual Winterlicious tradition, put on by the City of Toronto. Foodies crawl the city in search of dishes they’ve never tasted, an opportunity to visit a restaurant they’ve got their eye on, or the chance to sample hand-selected dishes from the city’s best chefs. Whatever your reason, you’re bound to find an $18 three-course lunch listed below that’s perfect for you.
70 Down Restaurant and Lounge has an upscale yet rustic ambiance, offers live entertainment and Yorkville's only charcoal barbeque. The food is inspired by authentic Afghani cuisine with a variety of vegetarian dishes. Cocktails created by an award winning mixologist pair perfectly with the food. From the Winterlicious menu, enjoy the Shah's bolani (fresh house made dough stuffed with potatoes and caramelized leeks, garnished with olive oil and thyme); and for the main, vegetarian Ghandi’s love (fresh cauliflower sautéed in tomato sauce and exotic spices) or Afghan eggplant (fresh eggplant sautéed with fresh herbs, tomatoes, onions and garlic). For dessert with ferni rosewater infused rice pudding topped with pistachios.
Sublime Indian cuisine, a host of delicious recipes and a memorable culinary experience await those who dine at 259 Host in the Entertainment District. They specialize in applying new techniques to traditional recipes to create a rewarding dining experience. Vegetarians and meat eaters will find plenty of opportunities to indulge in their Winterlicious selection, which features carrot, tomato and ginger soup, matar panir (homemade cheese in a creamy cashew sauce with green peas), fish masala, tandoori or butter chicken, desserts and more.
Enjoy a bold urban tavern experience with a breathtaking view of Toronto’s waterfront at this new restaurant located in the Corus Quay building at Cherry Beach. The menu balances traditional tavern offerings with bold, unexpected flavours complemented by a true craft experience of rotating craft pours and hand-crafted cocktails. Cozy up in the lounge with friends or pull up to “the wood” to watch the game. Their Winterlicious specials include chicken noodle soup, pretzel bites, fish and chips, beetroot salad and chocolate cupcakes.
Visitors can depend on Archeo for a seasonal menu of Italian-inspired food with a modern twist. Their dining room tastefully blends sophisticated light fixtures with exposed wooden beams and elegantly dressed tables. Fans of Winterlicious can expect a lunch menu featuring antipasti (locally cured meats), local greens, piadini formaggio or fungi, and desserts such as tonka bean panna cotta or a local artisan cheese plate.
Arisu specializes in authentic Korean and Japanese cuisine. Located at Bathurst and Bloor, they offer booth, bench and table seating in a modern setting. Their Winterlicious lunch menu offers the best of both worlds, with options such as ox bone rice noodle soup, blanched spinach, Korean fried chicken, a veggie and mushroom stone pot, and honey citrus tea with rice cake balls on the side.
A Toronto icon for more than 30 years, Bangkok Garden was one of the first restaurants to bring traditional Thai cuisine and culture to Toronto and is one of only four Toronto restaurants to be awarded the Thai Select Premium designation from the Thai government. Bangkok Garden subscribes to the Thai principle of balancing the five tastes: sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter, including fiery stir-fry dishes and flavourful curries. In line with this approach, their Winterlicious menu includes fresh vegetarian spring rolls or chicken satay, curry chicken or vegetable pad Thai, tamarind beef curry, spicy fish and Sriacha chocolate mousse.
Bannock's honest approach to food is rooted in familiar, wholesome ingredients representative of Canada’s rich diversity and delivered in an innovative and playful way. Everyday classics are revitalized as the chefs pay homage to traditional Canadian comfort foods. This patriotic theme is reflected in the restaurant’s eclectic architecture, featuring antique pine and hemlock reclaimed from one of the Queen’s wharfs that sat in Lake Ontario for more than 100 years. Winterlicious classics include vegetarian and locally sourced dishes such as their 100 km carrot salad, farmstead gouda white pizza, Jeremy’s Matane Shrimp Hot Pot and a dark chocolate banana cake.
A throwback to the roaring Tehran of the 1970s, this family-owned eatery serves up Iranian cuisine in Queen West. Their menu is replete with grass-fed meats, vegetarian stews and an extensive list of international vodka. During Winterlicious 2017, enjoy your choice of vegan or vegetarian salads; a skewer of grilled sirloin, roasted tomato, herbs and saffron basmati rice; and various desserts, including baklava.
Bar Buca is an Italian-style eatery on King Street West that starts each day with house-made pastries and perfectly prepared specialty coffee. Thanks to the restaurant’s commitment to sourcing fresh, authentic ingredients, guests can enjoy a host of locally sourced, seasonal dishes creatively prepared by executive chef Rob Gentile. Winterlicious specials include baked bread knots, crispy zucchini with wildflower honey, roasted marinated vegetables, mortadella schiacciata, pizzelle and more.
Overlooking College Street, Bar Italia has long been an institution in Little Italy. The contemporary decor, intimate atmosphere, and classic Italian dishes make this neighbourhood gem a favourite for both fine and casual Italian dining. This Winterlicious, enjoy Italian dishes like polenta grigliata, minestrone, penne pomodoro, homemade veal meatballs on a sourdough baguette, and tiramisu.
If you’re looking for a place for an intimate dining experience or a fun meal with friends, Basso Pizzeria could be the place you call “home.” Here, the team is warm and welcomes everyone with a smile. Basso’s home-cooked Italian food includes pastas, delicious entrees and pizza from their in-house wood burning pizza oven. Their Winterlicious lunch menu includes plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers, such as bruschetta, grilled calamari, gnocchi spinaci, Margherita pizza, veal or chicken limone, and your choice of dessert.
Located in downtown Toronto, Batch is a warm gathering place for food, cold beer and friendly people. Everything served in their unique and modern-looking restaurant has been carefully curated and crafted by hand. This Winterlicious, their menu includes beer and potato soup, a fried haddock or spicy fried chicken sandwich, and coconut cream pie.
Tucked away on a quiet street off Yonge, Brownes Bistro offers a cozy yet elegant atmosphere, a varied menu, reasonable prices and a great selection of wines by the glass. Their Winterlicious menu features your choice of soup, organic Romaine hearts or grilled sardines, entrees such as rigatoni and Atlantic salmon, and cold desserts.
Located in a historic building at the corner of Yonge and Gloucester, Brownstone Bistro has been a Toronto landmark since 1995. The exposed brick walls and chandeliers create a cozy and intimate atmosphere that offers a perfect spot for a first date or a night out. Their Winterlicious menu invites guests to sample their soup of the day, spring rolls, Caprese salad, bruschetta, linguine primavera, chicken paillard, vanilla crème brûlée and more.
Newly renovated with eclectic decor, a martini bar and an antique baby grand piano, Café California is a place to see and be seen. In business for more than 25 years, they offer a Mediterranean-influenced menu and friendly service that have combined to make them a fixture of the Church-Wellesley community. Their three-course Winterlicious menu includes bruschetta, a 6 oz steak and frites, butter chicken, capellini pasta, and shrimp mac and cheese.
A revolving display of artwork adorns the colourful walls of this Parisian-inspired café in downtown Toronto. Enjoy a French and Mediterranean meal in the laid-back, relaxing atmosphere of the dining space or heated patio. Winterlicious menu items include Quebec chevre, walnut and cherry tomato salad, fettuccini with marinated chicken breast, tri-colour penne, grilled filet of Atlantic salmon and gateau creole.
Specializing in continental and Mediterranean cuisine, Café Pleiade features deliciously prepared food with a French twist. For more than 25 years, neighbours, friends and patrons have frequented the café for its charming, casual atmosphere and quality food. Their Winterlicious menu features a variety of dishes, including grancappeletto (Romano and four cheeses), chicken with Spanish sauce served with salad, calamari pasta and carrot cake.
Canteen offers a casual, fresh market café and bakery as well as a “grab and go” counter in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. All of Canteen’s chef-prepared offerings use fresh ingredients, from house-made sandwiches and breakfast butties to grilled half chickens and oven-baked pizzas. Canteen’s casual marketplace atmosphere, together with its quick, cheerful service, makes it the perfect destination morning, noon and night. If you’re stopping by for lunch, enjoy Winterlicious offerings such as wild and tame mushroom barley, arancini, a pork schnitzel sandwich, Burmese chicken stew and their applewood-smoked tofu bowl.
Canyon Creek is more than a steak house – they specialize in a variety of handcrafted dishes, including flavourful salads, uniquely seasoned aged steaks and fresh seafood. Their goal is to create a memorable dining experience from the moment you sit down to the final bite of your carefully selected dish. This Winterlicious, sample winter greens and quinoa, a southern fried chicken sandwich, rainbow trout bibimbap and peach crumble.
Experience the essence and flavours of the Philippine Islands at Casa Manila, located at York Mills and Don Mills Road. Here, patrons can expect authentic wholesome cuisine, featuring a blend of Indo, Malay, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Polynesian and indigenous Filipino flavours. Winterlicious dining options include seafood noodles, Manila chicken curry, milk fish, creamy coconut tofu and vegetable stew, and a banana crepe.
Located in classy Yorkville, Cibo Wine Bar offers a true taste of authentic southern Italian cooking made fresh at an open kitchen counter. This bold and beautiful space is a blend of old world rustic and modern industrial chic. From the vibrant bar area to the casual Yorkville Avenue patio, every corner offers a distinctly different experience. Enjoy an Italian Winterlicious meal featuring pasta and fagioli, baked eggplant, tagliatelle with bolognese sauce, grilled trout and housemade gelato.
Located in the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton area, Florentia serves quality food, handmade pasta and bread, and a wide range of wines. Settle into their cozy and relaxing atmosphere for a three-course Winterlicious meal including Caprese salad, penne alla vodka, tender veal scaloppini in a mushroom sauce, and panna cotta.
One of Toronto’s oldest brew pubs, The Granite offers an extensive line-up of dishes in a comfortable and relaxed environment with beautiful patios. Their craft beer is brewed on site and they offer free parking. Granite offers plenty of reasons to come by and enjoy their Winterlicious menu featuring vegetable spring rolls, almond crusted sole fillet, beef and beer goulash, cheese tortellini and French vanilla cheesecake.
Inspired by the Harlem renaissance of the 1920s, Harlem celebrates the joy of Toronto’s cultural diversity and the art of entertaining through food, art, music and cocktails. Enjoy southern soul cuisine this Winterlicious with classic dishes like cornbread, southern fried chicken and waffles, The Roasted Jerky Sammy and candied plantain.
Hawthorne focuses on bringing local and sustainable fare to the table in an intimate dining experience. Hearty and heartwarming is the base for all their dishes, finishing with a spark of imagination and a dash of the unexpected. Expect casual fine dining with an emphasis on world class service. Hawthorne is a social enterprise that trains people in need of skills and employment, with all profits used to support the training program. Both your belly and heart will feel warm and full here, with Winterlicious menu items including daily croquette poutine, beet and goat cheese salad, hot fried chicken and French toast bread pudding.
A Toronto culinary landmark for nearly 20 years, The Hot House uses the freshest ingredients to serve an eclectic menu in a bright and airy space. Their three-course Winterlicious menu features a wide variety of dishes such as arancini, a stuffed short rib meatball, Calabrese pizza, a jerk chicken sandwich and Nutella crème brûlée.
Picture this: beautifully prepared pasta dishes and wood-oven baked Neapolitan-style pizzas. It’s no wonder Il Fornello is a neighbourhood favourite. Serving Zagat-recommended traditional Italian fare in the heart of Greektown on the Danforth, Il Fornello invites hungry patrons to enjoy Italian cuisine prepared with fresh, simple ingredients. Their Winterlicious menu features Arborio rice balls, pizza Margherita, risotto funghi and zeppole.
Indian Street Food Co. pays tribute to India’s traditional restaurants, where tantalizing flavours beckon to people of all ages and backgrounds to step in for a memorable meal. Located in Leaside, Indian Street Food Co. offers a tastefully decorated space with tasty dishes that change with the seasons. Winterlicious lunch options include cauliflower popcorn, chicken tikka meatballs, masala prawns, a seasonal vegetable dish of the day and chocolate pudding.
Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Annex, Insomnia Restaurant & Lounge is a neighbourhood favourite known for its international comfort food and warm service. The menu pairs well with seasonal and classic cocktails and local and imported beers and wines. Open from early morning to late night, Insomnia offers consistent hospitality and a great experience. Their Winterlicious menu features a combination of local, vegetarian, vegan, and meat-friendly dishes such as legendary home fries, mini waffles, tofu rancheros, Eggs Memphis and raspberry sorbet.
Whether you’re dining with a large group or planning an intimate dinner, there’s room in Jaipur Grille’s casually elegant dining room. Located between Yonge and Eglinton and Yonge and Davisville, the newly renovated Jaipur Grille specializes in what they call “Indian contemporary.” Known for its classical Indian cuisine, Jaipur Grille has re-invented itself by incorporating familiar elements in a contemporary manner. Winterlicious lunch options include Tandoori wings, onion bhajias (sliced Spanish onions in spiced and crisp chickpea batter), vegetable curry and chicken makhani.
Kalendar Restaurant and Bistro was created with a romantic vision of evoking memories of favourite places to travel. This cozy spot in the heart of Little Italy embodies that sense of romance with its sparkling chandeliers, large, gilded mirrors, flavourful dishes and intimate tables. The menu features a wide variety of crave-worthy dishes and eclectic, international comfort food. Winterlicious menu items include orange and ginger carrot soup, the Reuben (corned beef, sauerkraut, emmenthal cheese and mayo), penne and daily cheesecake.
Situated in the Leaside village on Bayview Avenue, Kamasutra Restaurant & Wine Bar features an elegant dining area with deep red walls, hand-crafted artwork, contemporary light fixtures and the tantalizing fragrance of Indian spices. Authentic north Indian cuisine is paired with an extensive wine and beer list. Their Winterlicious menu includes vegetable samosas, chicken breast pakoras, Kamasutra butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, chana masala and cream cheese flat cakes.
Krystos is known for their Spartan and Macedonian take on Greek food. They offer a modern and inviting space featuring a waterfall and fireplace, making Krystos ideal for casual and family dining. Snuggle into a booth and enjoy a Winterlicious lunch featuring lentil vegetable soup, fried calamari, homemade baklava, and chicken, pork or vegetable souvlaki served with rice, potatoes and a Greek salad.
Nestled in St. Clair West Village, La Bruschetta has been serving authentic, traditional Italian cuisine for more than 20 years. Inspired by family recipes, their food is made with love and served in a fine dining setting. This dedication to Italian cooking is evident in their Winterlicious menu, featuring cozze alla marinara (mussels with fresh tomato, white wine, garlic and herbs), fusilli alla vodka, polpettone (tender Italian meat loaf) and tiramisu.
For almost 40 years, Le Papillon has been providing visitors with a casual fine dining experience. What started out as a crêperie in 1974 now serves French cuisine in a beautiful Old Town Toronto heritage building on Front Street. Settle into their French brasserie-style environment for a Winterlicious menu featuring French onion soup, crêpe végétarienne, spicy Italian sausage on a bun, and a toasted baguette with a cream and goat cheese spread alongside a house fruit compote.
Located in the Shops at Don Mills at the corner of Don Mills and Lawrence, Linda Modern Thai has been awarded the distinction of Thai Select Premium restaurant by the Thai government for authentic Thai food, outstanding service and great atmosphere. Their menu combines classic Thai flavours, homemade curries and sauces with modern techniques showcasing the best of Thai cuisine. Experience their flavourful menu with Winterlicious offerings including spicy long bean salad, golden curry with shrimp, jungle tofu and deep-fried banana (vegetarian options available).
Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a function for up to 120 people, Lisbon by Night invites you to enjoy authentic Portuguese cuisine in their warm, friendly dining room. Discover for yourself this piece of Portugal, complete with century-old art and live entertainment on weekends. Their Winterlicious menu reflects traditional Portuguese fare, with dishes including fish soup, grilled calamari, piri piri Portuguese-style barbecue chicken and pastel de nata (Portuguese custard).
Having a tough time choosing between Indian and Thai food? Matagali specializes in both cuisines, satisfying cravings for freshly prepared food served without preservatives or additives. Conveniently located at Bay and Dundas, they offer a Winterlicious lunch menu featuring vegetable pakora, chicken samosas, chana masala, palak paneer, butter or yellow curry chicken, fish masala and mango ice cream.
Located at College and McCaul streets, Matahari offers an exotic blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. They’re passionate about food and have been serving a rich selection of dishes since 1995. Find a seat in their contemporary dining space and order from their Winterlicious menu, featuring green mango salad, Matahari curry chicken, beef satay, sayur lodeh (vegetable curry) and coconut ice cream.
Midi combines the relaxed ambience of a typical French bistro with simple, tasteful dishes inspired by the south of France. Meals are prepared with care and served in a bright, comfortable setting as the soft murmur of people enjoying each other’s company fades into the background. This Winterlicious, they offer homemade French pâté, salade Caprese, quiche du jour, a Niçoise salad, penne rosa, seafood or veggie pasta, tuna steak and peace melba.
Milagro Queen is a classic neighbourhood cantina nestled in the heart of Queen West. Expect friendly service, a warm atmosphere and traditional Mexican cuisine with special attention paid to authenticity. Their Winterlicious menu features a delectable selection of Mexican dishes, including quesadilla de flor de calabaza (stuffed fried corn masa), flautas de barbacoa (crisp rolled long tortillas stuffed with pulled spiced lamb), tacos de puntas de res (beef stewed in tomato and chipotles) and chorros con cajeta (traditional fried pastries with milk caramel).
Located in the heart of the Entertainment District, Milestone’s on John Street is known for its classy interior, floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable booths. Milestone’s specializes in familiar, internationally inspired dishes combined with award-winning service and an approachable wine list. Their Winterlicious menu features seasonal soup, an old-fashioned burger, their Thai red curry bowl, a crispy chicken sandwich, beef Bolognese with petit filet and ground chuck, and warm mini ricotta doughnuts.
Located on the ground floor of Momofuku Toronto, Noodle Bar shares a home with other members of the Momofuku family, including Daisho, Nikai, Shoto and Milk Bar. Noodle Bar is a sister brand of the restaurant of the same name in New York City. The menu is locally inspired and largely based on Ontario’s diverse range of ingredients, relationships with local vendors and market availability. Their Winterlicious selection includes pumpkin ramen, beef udon noodle, chicken meatball bun, squash kimchi salad and spiced chocolate mousse.
Located in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood, Morgans offers a bistro-inspired menu with a focus on local flavours and an extensive selection of craft beer and fine wines. Chef Raymond Ng grew up in the restaurant business and continues to create the high quality food regulars love. Their friendly dining space offers a relaxing place to enjoy Winterlicious menu items such as roasted garlic and tomato puree, chickpea vegetable fritters, beef meatballs, vegetarian moussaka, and peanut butter pie with an Oreo cookie crust and chocolate drizzle.
You can depend on Moxie’s Grill & Bar for upscale casual dining and a varied menu focused on quality food. Their Yonge and Sheppard location is eager to please this Winterlicious with a lunch menu featuring a starter soup or salad, a hand-formed chuck and brisket burger, a southern fried chicken sandwich, their red Thai curry bowl, and mini salted caramel and pecan cheesecake.
The new Murphy’s Law Pub & Kitchen is a Beaches hotspot, featuring pub favourites and 24 taps of craft beer. Live music serenades dining guests from Thursday to Saturday in a cool, pub-like atmosphere enhanced by cozy lighting, exposed brick and dark wood decor. Their Winterlicious lunch menu features smashed avocado toast, Mama’s tomato soup, peanut crunch (marinated chicken tenders with a peanut butter drizzle), their Zen Bowl, spicy Thai noodle salad and their P.B.J. Sundae.
Museum Tavern is an upscale, authentic American tavern featuring checkerboard tiled floors, antique copper ceilings and oxblood banquettes. Their kitchen offers a contemporary, sophisticated take on continental comfort food classics. Slide into one of their booths and enjoy a Winterlicious lunch composed of dishes such as lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup, carnitas tostada, cheeseburgers, fish and chips, a Tavern or vegetarian chop, and key lime pot de crème.
Nestled in the heart of Toronto, Hotel Ocho is an industrial-chic lounge, restaurant and boutique hotel housed in an early 1900s building, minutes away from the Art Gallery of Ontario, Chinatown and the Fashion District. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes and beverages, with Winterlicious specials including a rich and creamy risotto with roasted squash, cranberries, and toasted pine nuts; chicken breast on roasted sprout; tagliatelle with artichoke, mushroom and truffle oil asiago shavings; and hazelnut ice cream.
Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill in Bayview Village is the first of O&B’s casual dining restaurants. Their large urban space feels very downtown despite its North Toronto location. A gleaming open kitchen extends into an airy dining room featuring washed tin ceilings, leather banquettes and dramatic light fixtures. The diverse menu offers something for everyone, including fresh, made-from-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and fire-roasted pizzas. Their three-course Winterlicious menu serves up locally sourced seafood chowder, Poached True North Salmon, roasted squash and pesto tart, and banana tarte tatin.
Located in the heart of Toronto’s Greektown, Ouzeri captures the culinary style of authentic Greek cooking in a beautiful space with dark wood, patterned tables and elegant lighting. The menu offers a wonderful myriad of tastes and textures, with Winterlicious highlights including a selection of popular dips, mussels steamed in red wine with garden vegetables, chicken rosemary pie, pastitsio (a famous Greek pasta dish), spanakopita and homemade baklava.
Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Greek community, this Danforth eatery delivers a unique fine dining take on Greek Mediterranean cuisine. The menu highlights some of the finest ingredients available from around the world, prioritizing top quality meat, fresh fish, extra virgin Greek olive oil and vegetables. The experience is particularly spicy on Fridays and Saturdays with a live Greek band and belly dancing shows. They offer a diverse selection for Winterlicious, including goat cheese and beet salad, a trio of spreads, vegetarian moussaka, pan chicken souvlaki, tilapia fillet, and Greek yogurt served with strawberries, walnuts and honey.
The new Pogue Mahone Pub & Kitchen is located just north of the Financial District at College and Bay Streets, steps from the College subway station. Dedicated to the craft experience, they offer 24 craft taps, hand-crafted cocktails and made-in-pub dishes, which you can enjoy with a side of live music from Thursday to Saturday. Experience unique, untraditional pub fare in a vibrant and fun atmosphere with Winterlicious menu items like smashed avocado toast, Peppery Pub Salad, peanut crunch (marinated chicken tenders with a peanut butter drizzle), their Zen Bowl, spicy Thai noodle salad and their P.B.J. Sundae.
Located on Lakeshore in southwest Etobicoke, the elegant yet rustic Pulcinella Ristorante Italiano is reminiscent of Italian trattorias, featuring rich wood and stone walls. The service is warm and courteous, parking is free and dishes are prepared with local and imported ingredients. All cured meats and tomato sauces are made in-house. Their Winterlicious lunch menu features their Pulcinella Caesar salad, Sorrentina (potato gnocchi with a rich tomato sauce), mixed shellfish and fish filet in a light spiced tomato broth with fregola pasta, casarece with a classic puttanesca sauce, and tiramisu.
Real Mo-Mo’s serves a variety of new and exotic dishes in a space designed to resemble a living room rather than a restaurant. Hospitality is a priority here, with a focus on establishing meaningful relationships with guests. Experience their comforting environment with Winterlicious menu items such as chicken and tomato vegetable soup, a tofu and avocado wrap, a grilled shrimp and quinoa salad, and sticky date pudding or a jumbo cookie.
Swagger meets sociability at Reds. The chef-inspired menu is paired with an extensive beer and wine list, not to mention the intriguing gin and cocktail menus. Unwind and relax as you enjoy a Winterlicious menu comprised of winter kale salad, tuna tostada, madras chicken sandwich, shrimp ravioli, steak bibimbap and Japanese cheesecake.
Safari takes pride in offering a unique blend of great food, wine and specialty beers in a warm and inviting environment in North Toronto. Every item on the menu, including all signature sauces, dressings and desserts, is prepared in-house using fresh local ingredients. Safari is comprised of a main floor restaurant, second floor billiard room and lounge, and is home to one of the city’s largest heated outdoor patios. Their Winterlicious lunch menu includes roasted butternut squash and apple soup, a chicken wrap, a market fish tempura taco wrap, vegetarian penne al forno, and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.
Sambucas on Church believes in good quality ingredients and great taste. With years of experience preparing fine Italian cuisine for their customers, they offer a wide selection of menu items. Their Winterlicious selection includes roasted cinnamon pears on garlic crostini; Arborio rice risotto; pan-seared tilapia; pork schnitzel; pizza; fusilli pasta with grilled chicken, pancetta bacon, leeks and spinach in a tomato cream sauce; and warm white chocolate lava cake.
Recently renovated with a new menu, Santamonica offers a fresh experience for serious foodies. Located on The Queensway in Etobicoke, they offer fresh market cuisine and excellent service for a satisfying dining experience. Both small and large groups are welcome; they can accommodate private parties of up to 35 people. Their Winterlicious menu delights patrons with fish of the day, grilled striploin steak, pappardelle with wild boar ragout, ricotta cheese ravioli in brown sage butter, and pudding with caramel sauce.
A neighbourhood favourite since 1995, Sarah’s Café & Bar on the Danforth features bistro-inspired Canadian cuisine and chef-crafted daily specials, including vegetarian fare. Their sommelier-designed wine list spans the world’s quality wine regions with 15 affordable selections by the glass and more by the bottle. They serve 13 craft brews on tap, plus a cask ale and a global array of premium bottled beer with a strong Belgian focus. Enjoy a casual lunch with Winterlicious menu items like spinach salad, chicken liver pâté, mussels Provençal with fries, Moroccan chickpea and butternut squash stew, and apple crumble with whipped cream.
Inspired by Italian passion and generosity, Scaddabush likes tables crowded with friends and family, offers style without attitude, and prides itself on its excellent cuisine. Determined to provide a variety of dishes while continuing to emphasize a fresh take on Italian cuisine, they offer a Winterlicious lunch menu replete with warm olives and grilled focaccia, Italian burgers, cavatappi sorrentina (pasta served with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, spicy poor man’s parmesan and arugula) and chocolate jar cake.
With a goal to educate, entertain and gratify with libations from the bar and fare from the kitchen, SpeakEasy 21 is a resto-bar serving contemporary bistro fare with a large selection of custom crafted cocktails and spirits. Their hand-made cocktails with specially sourced fresh ingredients are paired with a menu designed to be enjoyed in unison. Winterlicious offerings include roasted butternut squash soup, a barbecue jerk chicken sandwich, sweet potato mac and cheese, and apple cobbler.
Husband and wife team chef Rony Goraichy and Diana Sideris are the heart of Tabülè. Located in midtown Toronto, Tabülè offers a cozy ambience with refined yet comforting takes on the exotic flavours of the Middle East. Tabülè also offers vegan and gluten-free menu options and house-made desserts, and their drink menu features a variety of wines, exotic martinis, fresh juices and loose-leaf teas. Their Winterlicious menu features vegan lentil soup, falafel salad, kefta kabab with house salad and rice, an eggplant dinner, and sorbet or gelato.
The team behind The Abbot believes a local pub should be a spot where you feel you’re at a home away from home. In keeping with the gastropub tradition, they offer a selection of homemade recipes that are crafted in-house daily. From oven-baked bread, house-cured meats and fresh ground beef to desserts, pickles and pies, The Abbot presents a taste of classic recipes that have been handed down over generations. Their Winterlicious lunch menu includes roasted butternut squash bisque, shaved house-made corned beef, shaved roast pork with cider jus, sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble.
The Badali Bar and Cucina, formerly known as Joe Badali’s, offers fine Italian fare, sustainable seafood, house-made desserts and true Italian hospitality. Savour a three-course Winterlicious meal in the main dining room or newly renovated lounge, with plenty of room for large groups (advice: make reservations in advance). Menu options include pancetta-wrapped water chestnuts, butternut squash soup, a lamb and ricotta meatball sub, ricotta and sundried tomato raviolo, and cranberry studded bread pudding.
The Blake House is one of the last standing heritage structures in Toronto mixing 19th century Victorian designs with Second Empire architecture. Fun fact: its first owner, Edward Blake, was the premier of Ontario and founded the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon. Delicious fact: The Blake House offers comforting contemporary cuisine, a local and international wine list, and upscale casual dining. Their Winterlicious offerings include chorizo and chickpea crostini, spaghetti bolognese, winter vegetable pot pie, and Irish cream chocolate mousse.
At The Chefs’ House at George Brown College, students gain experience in the kitchen while visitors enjoy the fruits of their labour. You can enjoy their globally influenced menu in a relaxed urban setting over on King Street East, knowing that you’re supporting the next generation of chefs. This Winterlicious, the chefs are artfully preparing vegetarian- and meat-friendly dishes such as spiced apple and squash soup, beef brisket burger, butternut squash risotto, pan-seared herb-marinated chicken and poached pears.
The Craft Brasserie and Grille specializes in upscale bar food, delicious, shareable dishes and craft beer. Their menu expertly blends Filipino, Spanish and Asia fusion flavours to result in memorable meals. Exposed brick overlooks booth and table seating in this casual, welcoming space. Grab a seat and enjoy Winterlicious lunch specials like smoked tomato salsa, cream of mushroom soup, a Royale or black bean veggie burger, a coconut chicken rice bowl and lemon lavender cheesecake.
According to chef Sanjeev Sethi, “Patience and passion are the two key ingredients for making a wonderful meal.” This philosophy is well reflected in The Host’s menu, which features a rich culmination of traditional recipes prepared with new techniques and given an innovative presentation. Established in 1996, The Host delivers exciting flavours, fresh ingredients and exceptional service. Their Winterlicious lunch specials include vegetarian samosas, onion bhajia, butter chicken, chana masala, chicken tikka masala and rice pudding.
Located in the historic landmark building at 5 St. Joseph Street, The Wickson Social is a unique local restaurant and bar. Frank Wickson’s gothic warehouse has been transformed into this welcoming and convivial gathering place known for its fantastic selection of local craft beers, authentic wines and thoughtful cocktails, backed up by a seasonal, contemporary menu. Their Winterlicious menu consists of dishes like warm winter vegetable salad, sprouting green lentil chili, spiced mussels and flourless chocolate cake.
Trio invites you to lose yourself in a sophisticated environment of lounge-style music, sleek modern furnishings and urban-style decor. Located in a Novotel hotel in the cosmopolitan district of North York, Trio offers an opportunity to relax and enjoy great food while being served in a friendly yet professional environment. Their Winterlicious lunch menu is no exception, offering lobster bisque, spinach ravioli, chicken supreme and a triple-decker chocolate cake.
Union Social Eatery is a premium casual restaurant known for its well-crafted menus and cocktails as well as an extensive draught and wine selection. Being a lively neighbourhood gathering spot, it’s the kind of place meant for relaxing and laughing with friends while enjoying your choice of comfort food. If you’re stopping by to sample their Winterlicious lunch menu, look forward to dishes like short rib and house-made biscuits, potato bacon leek soup, a southwest barbecue chicken rice bowl and a Lindt chocolate crème brûlée.
Looking for a restaurant that is both romantic and elegant? Enjoy an intimate dinner at Vagabondo Italian Ristorante, a modern Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Toronto. Vagabondo is best known for their authentic Italian dishes, extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails, all served up in a casual, trendy atmosphere. Cozy up this Winterlicious with their bruschetta, minestrone soup, vegetarian ravioli pomodoro, grilled chicken salad, fettuccine alfredo and Devil’s Chocolate Gelato.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto in beautiful Baldwin Village, Valens serves a wide variety of fusion foods. The restaurant’s warm atmosphere invites you to drop in and sample their menu, replete with salads, seafood, aged steaks, grilled sandwiches and homemade desserts. Winterlicious specials include deep-fried spicy chicken ravioli with truffle pesto mayo, baby mixed greens, dessert and a long list of entrees including veal osso buco, chicken or veal parmigiana, and fusilli pasta with lobster tail, Atlantic salmon, mussels and spinach in a rosé sauce.
Specializing in Italian cuisine and friendly service, Vannis is a casual family restaurant located on St. Clair Avenue West. They offer a full dinner menu, an extensive wine list, a big screen TV and are wheelchair accessible. If you love Italian cuisine, delight in their Winterlicious lunch menu, which features minestrone and stracciatella soup, a wide variety of pasta and meat entrees such as diavola pizza and fettuccine alfredo, and your choice of dessert.
Via Mercanti is a small family-owned pizzeria whose “hidden” Elm Street location features a beautiful 60-seat outdoor patio and a large dining room in the historic part of the YWCA building. Highly passionate about good food and quality ingredients, Via Mercanti has been ranked on Joanne Kates’ top 100 list, won Best in Chow’s hit show Pizza Wars and has been featured on You Gotta Eat Here! So be sure to eat here, with Winterlicious menu offerings including bocconcini di pizza, rigatoni with fresh tomato sauce, eggplant parmigiana smothered in tomato sauce and grilled chicken breast with fresh-cut fries.
Located on College Street in the heart of Little Italy, Vivoli specializes in a variety of classic Italian food as well as authentic Italian pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven. They offer a wide selection of wines and martinis in a casual yet chic environment. Visitors will find plenty of classic Italian dishes and vegetarian options on their Winterlicious menu, which features Caesar salad, pasta primavera, salsiccia panino (Italian sausage with garlic mayo and red peppers), margherita pizza and tiramisu.
Love Japanese food? Yuzunohana features Japanese cuisine made with fresh ingredients, then authentically prepared and artfully presented in a comfortable contemporary setting. Conveniently located in the Entertainment District, they offer a host of Winterlicious dishes to enjoy, including albacore tuna and avocado tartare, miso soup with winter vegetables, thin shaved angus beef with ginger soyu and your choice of three ice cream flavours.
Enjoy an elegant lunch in the heart of the city at The Gardiner Museum, featuring gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows and modern decor. Their list of specially curated wines complements a variety of fresh Winterlicious menu items, including your choice of a brisket sandwich, an eggplant casserole, and risotto prepared with roasted pork belly, roasted butternut squash, green peas, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Mata, a South American eatery in Parkdale, is the offspring of four industry friends. Chefs Felipe Faccioli and Tulio Lessa and managing partner Steve Fernandes work together to bring Latin food to the forefront of Toronto’s culinary scene. Their approach: a sharing plate concept that incorporates unique ingredients from the southern hemisphere fused with northern hemisphere tastes. Mata is a casual, comfortable and inviting restaurant where decor reflecting Toronto and a South American taberna melds seamlessly. Their Winterlicious menu features cod croquettes, Brazilian Mac Sliders, fried rice with salted beef and smoked meats, guava and cheese empanadas, and Nutella French toast.
R&D is a bold and modern restaurant in the heart of Toronto’s iconic Chinatown. Buzzing with youthful energy and ’90s R&B, the restaurant features graffitied walls, funky lighting and double-height ceilings. The eclectic menu offers a variety of modern Asian sharing plates, each with their own playful flair, as well as an extensive and spirited cocktail list. Winterlicious menu highlights include Thai curry soup, glass noodle salad, Tom Yum Ramen, Macanese seafood curry, Korean rice cake stir-fry and lychee panna cotta.