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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?

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Bitondos

Recommended by: Shay Mitchell (Actress)

A timeless pizzeria located in Little Italy of Toronto, Bitondos’ casual and simple décor lends a relaxed vibe to this spot that dishes out made-to-order pizzas, individual slices, and panzerottis. Some claim this to be the best pizza and panzos in the city.

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Buca

Recommended by: Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur)

Outstanding house-cured meats and exotic pizza and pasta make Buca one of the hottest spots for contemporary Italian food in Toronto. Tucked away in an alleyway, the brick-walled restaurant transports you to a rustic town in Italy for the duration of your meal. Gutsy Executive Chef Rob Gentile is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes [...]

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California Sandwiches

Recommended by: Shay Mitchell (Actress)

What started as a small grocery store is now one of Toronto’s favorite spots to grab a sandwich. Each location has its own butcher and meat is cut on-site to guarantee the freshest ingredients. Don’t miss the ever popular veal sandwich called “La Rinacente.” www.eatcalifornia.ca

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Canoe

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

Breathtaking views from the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower makes Canoe one of the city’s most romantic restaurants. Regional Canadian cuisine is prepared using the finest Canadian fish, meats and produce, and is accompanied by an extensive selection of local wines. The restaurant’s name may evoke images of nature, but there is nothing [...]

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Delica Kitchen

Recommended by: Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur)

In an era where time is of the essence, grab-and-go lunch spots such as Delica Kitchen are very well received. Known for its colorful salads, hearty soups, filling baguette sandwiches and freshly baked goods, Delica Kitchen makes for a quick, convenient and healthy take-out lunch option. www.delicakitchen.ca

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Fresh

Recommended by: Meghan Markle (Actress)

Every city needs its healthy, vegetarian fast slow food chain, and Toronto has Fresh. With various locations around the city, the green-eats restaurant is praised for its made-to-order juices, bowls and salads, as well as its wraps and burgers. www.freshrestaurants.ca

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Gretzky’s

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

A three-in-one dining room, sports bar and rooftop patio setup makes Getzky’s a fun place to bring friends and family to watch a hockey game, or just to enjoy good food and great service. The legendary hockey player keeps his legacy alive by showcasing a large collection of his memorabilia throughout the restaurant, making it [...]

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Island Foods

Recommended by: Shay Mitchell (Actress)

This is the go-to spot in Toronto for a taste of the Caribbean, including a relaxed atmosphere. Serving authentic island dishes such as roti and jerk chicken, their food doesn’t miss on the flavor. www.island-foods.com

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Lady Marmalade

Recommended by: Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur)

Retro chic eatery Lady Marmalade is at the front of the line when it comes to brunch. Canadian and American comfort foods are infused with touches of Mexico, and all menu items are made with organic and local ingredients. The menu isn’t limited to cookie-cutter brunch fare such as eggs, French toast and pancakes, and includes [...]

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Local Kitchen & Wine Bar

Recommended by: Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur)

Candle-lit tables, hand-crafted chandeliers, chalkboard menus and worn floorboards bring essences of an Italian osteria into Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, a charming wine bar and eatery with freshly made pastas and an abundance of wine. Entrees and tapas-style plates are built around local and sustainable ingredients. If you’re really looking to treat yourself, opt for the chef’s [...]

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One

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

Stunning décor is only a small part of what makes dining at One a truly remarkable experience. In addition to the lavish main dining room, a candle-lit, tree-lined patio makes for a romantic place to enjoy a weekly-changing menu that takes advantage of the city’s freshest seasonal produce. If you’re lucky enough to be a [...]

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Oyster Boy

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

Fresh seafood that won’t burn a hole in your wallet is hard to come by, but not at Oyster Boy, a cozy cabin-like gem that houses one of the best and most unpretentious raw bars in Toronto. Knowledgeable staff walk guests through a carefully curated oyster list featuring various platters, all of which are served [...]

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Pizzeria Libretto

Recommended by: Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur)

Always crowded and bursting with energy, Pizzeria Libretto is home to some of the most authentic Neopolitan pizza outside of Napoli. The pizzas are flash-baked for 90 seconds at extremely high heat in a wood fired oven to achieve that perfectly charred crust. In addition to generously topped pizzas, the menu also offers a variety of rustic [...]

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Rose and Sons

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

Classic diner fare is served in a not-so-classic diner setting at Rose and Sons, a modern (or hipster, as some may call it) eatery that had initially began as a pop-up at a flea market. Jewish deli staples such as matzo ball soup and schmaltz platters are popular, as well as un-kosher dishes such as [...]

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Ruby Watchco

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

Celebrity chef and owner Lynn Crawford takes chances by only offering one prix-fix dinner menu that changes nightly. Dishes are served family-style and feature innovative twists on market-driven Canadian classics. Reservations are very difficult to come by, so be sure to plan well in advance, and hope that the night’s menu suits your taste. Make [...]

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The Black Hoof

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

House-made charcuterie boards are the star of the show at this gastropub, and often feature unusual surprises such as seal salami, horse sausage and pig ears. After you’ve cleaned up your farm on a plate, opt for some bone marrow, foie and pork liver parfait, or pigs blood pappardelle. If that’s not adventurous enough for [...]

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The Drake

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Restaurateur)

The trendy, 19-room Drake hotel houses not only art exhibits and live music events, but also a handful of great dining options. The Café makes for an ideal early-morning breakfast place, while the Lounge is the go-to option for burgers, beer and Wednesday night trivia. During the warmer months, the Sky Yard’s rooftop patio offers [...]

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The Harbord Room

Recommended by: Meghan Markle (Actress)

If you’re one to dine amongst the city’s hottest, look no further. A young and hip clientele fills the pink-walled, 18-seater bohemian gastropub, which has a menu that nails every food trend, from farm-to-table fare to gourmet tacos to burgers oozing with aged cheddar and topped with caramelized onions. Make a Reservation. www.theharbordroom.com 

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Union

Recommended by: Meghan Markle (Actress)

Inspired by classic Parisian bistros, Union serves up simple, yet hearty fare, all prepared with locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. An open kitchen, exposed brick walls and a back patio with a long, wooden communal table pave way for a comfortable and casual environment to munch on classic French comfort foods such as steak [...]