Toronto diners and restaurant owners alike are smartening up to the success of the fish restaurant. It would seem that the brain food itself has taken over our minds and piqued our palates. All over the city new fish restaurants have been popping out of the proverbial water and quite literally catching our attention. We’ve reeled in what we believe to be the top ten new(ish) fish restaurants, so take a look and see if you agree – hook, line, and sinker.
Maybe not the youngest fry on the list, Fishbar is certainly one of the wisest. Consistently making a case as one of the finest fish restaurants in Toronto – and located on the uber-trendy Ossington strip – Fishbar fosters freshness and a bevvy of tantalizing tapas-style share plates.
The Happy Hooker
It’s been a short time since The Happy Hooker jumped onto Dundas West, but since it opened its doors a couple months ago it’s made quite the splash. A casual cantina-style spot, their sandwich and taco focused menu is perfect if you’re in a hurry.
The Big Fish
Another smaller-scale seafood shop, The Big Fish is the sister restaurant to Reliable Fish and Chips in Leslieville. Located on Queen West, they do some great sandwiches, fish and chips, and in the summer months you can even enjoy them on their small but sunny patio.
Sustainable seafood is the only suitable stuff to pass through the doors of Redfish. Partnered with Ocean Wise and Slow Fish Toronto, this College Street restaurant is serious about keeping it fresh and pairing their pesce with the most local and seasonal ingredients available.
Another Ocean Wise partner, Catch is the freshest face on the midtown market. Owned by veterans of the restaurant game, Catch is the sister restaurant to the adjacent Rushton. With some serious off-the-boat options, they offer up a host of seasonal whole fish like Halibut, Speckled Trout and Arctic Char.
Diana’s Oyster Bar and Grill
For those of you eating on the East Side, there’s Diana’s Oyster Bar and Grill. Their Scarborough seafood shop, Diana’s Seafood Delight, has been servicing the community for many leagues, and now the restaurant will even cook it for you.
The One That Got Away
The One That Got Away serves up strictly-seafood comfort classics on King West. Fish and chips, sandwiches, salads and soups all come in a range of varieties. Don’t let this place swim past your radar.
Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen
More of a fish store than a restaurant, The Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen will let you hand select anything in the display case and then cook it up right in front of you. Chef Anthony D’Ambrosio can, and will likely, talk your ear off about what’s in season, and his likely appearance on Chopped Canada should be as fresh as his in-store commentary.
John & Sons Oyster House
A newcomer to the well-strollered streets of Rosedale, John of John & Sons has actually been in the game a long time. The owner of the former Rodney’s by Bay (now also named John & Sons Oyster House) is big into the bivalve game with his well-stocked raw bar.
Set to drop their permanent line into the lake of Toronto seafood restaurants this summer, The Chase is fabled to be a two-story concept featuring high-end seafood and endless amounts of oysters. With that promise, they’ve already got me hooked.
Photo courtesy of Fishbar’s Facebook page.