Thankfully, the farm-to-table lifestyle isn’t likely to disappear (again) anytime soon.
Not only are an increasing number of downtown dwellers starting to grow their own food, Toronto is home to a healthy assortment of restaurants that are committed to serving up nothing but offerings from local growers and producers.
At these spots, you’ll find the best of locally sourced seafood, meats, cheeses, produce, and wine.
Here are 10 of our favourites.
299 Adelaide St. West
Located right in the middle of Entertainment District, Montecito Restaurant – owned by famed Canadian director Ivan Reitman and Toronto-based Innov8 Hospitality – takes cues from California with a fresh cuisine that relies on locally sourced ingredients. The sprawling spot’s west coast-inspired menu changes seasonally and is packed full of the best in Canadian produce, meats, and seafood.
96 Tecumseth St.
A solid option for the carnivorous (and somewhat adventurous) set, Beast – located in the King West ‘hood – takes a farm-to-table approach with its menu of interesting snack and meal options. You’ll find everything from local sources in this weekly-changing menu. Take advantage of a discounted snack and drink menu Wednesday through Saturday 5pm-7pm.
730 Queen St. East
At Leslieville’s Ruby Watchco, you’ll find a four-course prix-fix dinner menu that changes nightly, created by celebrity chefs Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk, using seasonal offerings from local producers. If you’re looking for a reliable, refined yet comforting dinner party vibe, you’ll find it here.
45 Colborne St.
Located in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, Woods Restaurant is distinctively Canadian right down to its Canadian artist-filled playlists. Using only homegrown ingredients, the restaurant sources from local providers, with things like sockeye from British Columbia, Nova Scotia lobster, Alberta bison, and dairy products from Ontario. The lettuce and sprouts couldn’t be fresher – they’re grown in the restaurant’s main dining room.
1627 Dupont St.
Over in the Junction, the intimate, cool kid-filled Farmhouse Tavern serves up a constantly changing menu that is packed with locally sourced ingredients, along with local craft beers and artisanal wines. The farm-to-table theme is also reflected in rustic, welcoming décor that offers a rural Ontario townhouse feel that’s laced with an edgier, urban vibe.
488 Wellington St. West
Perhaps one of the original players on the city’s farm-to-table scene, Wellington Street’s Marben Restaurant has become a Toronto mainstay, having just celebrated its ten-year anniversary. While once known as more of a late-night party spot, Marben has evolved in recent years to find its place as an ingredients-driven, Toronto-inspired gastropub and refined watering hole.
463 Danforth Ave
The Danforth’s Fiorentina Restaurant – which moved to a new, larger location earlier this year – is run by passionate husband-and-wife team Alex Chong and Tina Leckie, who are committed to serving only local ingredients made from scratch, in-house in their weekly-changing menu. They’re so committed, in fact, that they have even taken on the City of Toronto in a fight to use fresh local heritage eggs.
550 Bayview Ave
After a hike or visit to the farmers’ market at the Evergreen Brick Works, you can stop to enjoy a fresh, farm-to-table meal at Café Belong, located in the centre of it all. More of a brunch spot than dinner (but dinner is reliable too), the sunny spot’s menu includes everything from an assortment of salads and a daily shakshuka, to seared scallops, a black bean tostada, and sides like mac and cheese or an artisanal cheeseboard.
124 Danforth Ave
The Danforth’s Globe Bistro defines itself by its focus on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients from across the country, with a mandate to “Think Global, Eat Local.” To celebrate Canada 150, the restaurant currently features a summer menu of regionally inspired dishes from coast-to-coast, all made with local ingredients (naturally).
1710 Queen St. West
As its name would suggest, Parkdale’s Italian-inspired spot Local Kitchen sources all of its meats, dairy, produce, and wine from Ontario farms. The small but well-curated menu has made repeat customers out of foodies, with its selection of carefully chosen meats and cheeses and comforting pasta dishes. Fun fact: The Front-of-house/resident wine expert, Michael Sangregorio also manages the restaurant garden in King, Ontario.
Did we miss any of the best farm-to-table restaurants in Toronto? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.
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