Ever wonder what the best Italian restaurants are in Toronto? Probably not. Why? Cause they’re everywhere so you have plenty to pick from! That said, we do have some favourites depending on the mood you’re in, or budget you’re on. So here’s some really great choices for whatever you’re looking for…
Upscale Fine Dining
This is an epic Italian experience from décor, to service, to the wine, to the authentic Italian dishes with a twist. Chef Massimo Chopra, the unforgettable chef we best know from Restaurant Makeover, creates delectable and refined dishes that exude luscious creativity. Located at the northern tip of Yorkville, the setting is romantic and exclusive, with a private jazz club just upstairs. This is the place you take your girlfriend to propose, or to celebrate a very special occasion. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
Trendy King West
If you haven’t heard of Buca, then I’m not sure where you’ve been. It is a fantastic authentic Italian restaurant on King West that combines flavours and ingredients unlike any other. Ingredients shipped in weekly from Italy, a chef that creates dishes that blow every guest away, and servers that are actually from Italy… it kind of really does take you back to the Big Boot. The vibe is sexy and intimate, though it can definitely get loud at times. Make reservations! It’s not easy to get a table at this King West gem.
Rustic and Romantic
This timeless enoteca just around the corner from Mistura on Avenue Road truly depicts the meaning of passion for food and ambiance. The beautiful restaurant is cozy, romantic, convivial and absolutely charming. Changing the menu seasonally, it seems impossible to be disappointed with all their unique pastas, and handmade and unique takes on traditional Italian food. Dishes like burrata over roasted sunchoke and apple bruschetta and oyster mushroom fritto, or their traditional pizzas that all have a contemporary twist really bring this restaurant to another level of Italian. Their wine list? Exceptional, with several beautiful wines by the glass. Also very affordable, this is a great spot for date night.
The re-vamped Toronto staple is making waves with stunning décor and soul-satisfying homemade Italian food. With a complete renovation and re-brand executed less than a year ago, Little Anthony’s obviously has a huge passion for the experience had at this very stylish osteria. The menu offers refined yet soulful Italian food with outstanding dishes including duck carpaccio (I love this… melts in your mouth!), house cured bresaola and house made local porchetta that will drive you back over and over. Owner Andreas Antoniou takes a lot of pride in delivering a delicious fine dining experience at very affordable prices. Haven’t tried the new Little Anthony’s? You’re missing out.
Fun, Friendly and Casual
This is one of my favourite go-to spots in Toronto. It’s got a super friendly vibe, great food brought in from Italy, and a fabulous wine-by-the-glass list. With four locations around the city, it’s difficult not to try this place… and the beauty is that each location has a different menu and vibe. Two brothers at the helm have grown their dream into a reality with fresh Italian food that is creatively made and wines that are obviously hand-chosen for their always-evolving wine list. This is actually where I discovered my love for burrata as it was at their Toronto Street location that I tried it for the first time – served bare on just a salted piece of toasted sourdough bread, it was a moment I will never forget. If you haven’t tried it, you must. Trust me.
Hipsterized Yet Delicious
And so we get to the part of the post where I can say, “this is – to me – the best pizza in Toronto.” Yes… it’s absolutely delicious as is the rest of their menu. Another restaurant that has various locations around the city all with different menus, my favourite is the Queen West location. It’s cozy yet busy and happening with hipsters hanging out drinking affordable wine and noshing on handmade pizzas, fresh cured meats brought in from Italy, and appetizers that will make your head spin (specifically referring to the funghi assoluti). I just love this place – that said, my waistline doesn’t. While Queen West is my favourite, I’ve been to all and love each.
What’s your favourite Italian restaurant in Toronto…?