Best restaurants for foodies in these Ontario destinations
Locally sourced and globally inspired, the ever-evolving culinary scene in Ontario, Canada is as diverse as it is exciting.
From bustling downtown kitchens to rustic farm-to-table dining experiences, explore bold new flavours and innovative dishes created from fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients.
If you love good food and travel for taste, discover what’s on the menu at these vibrant culinary destinations.
From Chinatown to Greektown, Little India to Little Italy and Kensington Market to St. Lawrence Market, Toronto is a multicultural city with a smorgasbord of flavours.
Restaurants in Toronto frequently feature in the top ten list of Canada’s 100 Best, the definitive guide to everything food-related from across the country.
And with the first edition of the esteemed MICHELIN Guide in Toronto recently released, this city’s foodie scene just got even more exciting. Thirteen restaurants were awarded with MICHELIN stars and seventeen were recognized by Bib Gormound.
A few suggestions to start off with are:
Alo is a sleek MICHELIN-starred, downtown French restaurant and cocktail bar with a refined tasting menu. From on-point décor to each carefully crafted dish and drink, this is a foodie’s must.
Location: 163 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
Located in Toronto’s much-loved Little Italy neighbourhood on College Street, Giulietta has a lot to celebrate. Top Chef Canada runner-up Rob Rossi’s simple and authentic Italian menu also ranked number five in En Route Magazine’s best new restaurants list.
Location: 972 College Street, Toronto
A member of the Buca family of upscale eateries, Buca Osteria & Bar made the cut for their signature coastal Italian cuisine. Tucked away in the Four Seasons Courtyard in the swanky Yorkville neighbourhood, this is a bucket-list spot for seafood lovers.
Location: 53 Scollard Street, Toronto
This intimate bistro in the city’s Fashion District takes an unpretentious approach to upscale Canadian fare, using seasonal, wild and foraged ingredients to prepare five or seven-course chef’s tasting menus.
It only takes one bite to see why the accolades keep pouring in, including a MICHELIN Guide star.
Location: 169 Niagara Street, Toronto
Explore more: Explore even more of the vast culinary landscape and hottest food, drink and nightlife spots at Destination Toronto.
Also, the MICHELIN Guide to Toronto Hotels is a great resource to find the perfect place to stay while you sample the city’s best restaurants and food experiences.
Iconic charm, top national museums and abundant urban nature characterize Canada’s capital, as does its vibrant culinary scene. Get started with:
Delightful contemporary Canadian cuisine and a well curated wine list match the ambiance and service at this popular Wellington West eatery that’s both upscale and unpretentious.
Location: 1356 Wellington Street West, Ottawa
Located in the heart of historic Byward Market downtown, this restaurant-meets-cocktail lounge is a great spot to discover innovative craft cocktails paired with a main, shared oysters or cheese board ‘sociables’.
Location: 537 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Make your way to Whalesbone Restaurant on Elgin Street for some of the best oysters in town. And if you can’t get enough of shucking and exploring the city, enjoy the other locations in town.
Location: 231 Elgin Street, Ottawa
Location: 150 Elgin Street, Ottawa
Another high-end Canadian eatery, Atelier invites you to sample the 12-course French fusion tasting menu, plated with eye-catching presentation.
Location: 540 Rochester Street, Ottawa
Explore more: From local brunch hangouts to favourite international cuisines, Ottawa Tourism showcases the best of the city’s food and drink highlights.
Where to stay in Ottawa: Ottawa has no shortage of great places to stay, but the hands-down best view is the sweeping cityscape from the rooftop Copper Spirits and Sights cocktail bar at the upscale Andaz Ottawa Byward Market.
One of Canada’s finest winemaking regions is also a culinary hotspot where the complementary relationship between winemakers, sommeliers and chefs results in a spectacular taste of place. Some not-to-miss spots are:
A sculptured red cardinal welcomes you to this arresting winery and restaurant off a back road outside the village of Jordan. While there’s no traditional tasting room, their acclaimed wines are paired in the restaurant, which also bucks tradition. In the absence of a menu, guests are treated to an ever-changing blind-tasting, multi-course meal.
Reservations are required, and wine purchases need to be ordered online (you can arrange to pick up on site).
Location: 3953 Jordan Road, Jordan Station
The Winery Restaurant at Peller Estates
From the twinkling chandeliers above to the sweeping vineyard views, the setting at Peller Estates is magical, while the menu celebrity Chef Jason Parsons presents each season is out of this world.
For something extra special, check out the unique private dining options at sister property Trius Winery that include the winemaker’s lookout, the vineyard pavilion or, for groups of twelve and up, dine among the aging wine barrels in the Trius Red Barrel Cellar.
Renowned for its farm-to-table philosophy, Treadwell Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been setting the bar for fresh, creative, local and seasonally inspired culinary excellence since 2006.
Location: 114 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Explore more: Find more of the region’s best spots to eat and drink at Visit Niagara Canada.
Just an hour southwest of Toronto, Hamilton has become a culinary powerhouse and should be on every foodie’s radar. As Canada’s national newspaper The Globe & Mail put it, food is fueling Hamilton’s gentrification. Delicious dining options include:
One of the city’s finest dining experiences, Quatrefoil is located in Hamilton’s hamlet of Dundas. Cooking power couple Fraser Macfarlane and Georgia Mitropoulos create contemporary French-inspired fare in a handsomely restored heritage house that redefines date night.
Location: 16 Sydenham Street, Dundas
Hamilton local Vittorio Colacitti is the driving force behind this aptly named eatery along James Street North’s restaurant row. Harking to his Italian roots, pasta and bread are crafted in-house, the olive oil comes direct from a family friend’s farm in Abruzzo, Italy, and the woodfired oven was transported from Bologna.
Location: 224 James Street North, Hamilton
The French in downtown Hamilton is an elegant, cosmopolitan little eatery that delivers big on taste, both in flare and food. Located in a heritage building, the marble bar, open style kitchen, Parisian bistro-style patio and impeccable service add to the old-world ambiance.
Location: 37 King William Street, Hamilton
From brunch to the late night menu, sharables is the name of the game at this downtown tapas bar and restaurant. Feed your food curiosity with multiple exciting sharable dishes or let the chef guide your group with the “true rapscallion experience”.
Location: 178 James Street North, Hamilton
Explore more: Tourism Hamilton will help you line more great restaurants, eateries and food experiences for your foodie itinerary.
Where to stay in Hamilton: Accommodation in the city include a handful of comfortable chain hotels in the downtown core or venture just west of the city centre to Best Western Premier C Hotel by Carmen’s, Hamilton’s first boutique hotel. East of Hamilton, The Pearle Hotel and Spa is an upscale waterfront property in Burlington.
Ontario’s revered thespian town (thanks to the Stratford Festival, North America’s largest Shakespearean theatre event) also pours endless creativity into (and out of) its kitchens. Bring your appetite to:
Perfect for pre- or post-theatre, this luxury hotel invites you to enjoy formal dining in the restaurant or a more relaxed meal in the Lounge, with impeccable service.
Location: 89 Parkview Drive, Stratford
"Eat without borders" at this eclectic spot that will take you around the world with its cross-cultural fusion menu, and back home with locally sourced ingredients.
Location: 80 Wellington Street, Stratford
Just a short walk from the Avon Theatre, Bijou is famous for its farm-to-table Blackboard Prix Fixe menu, shareable food flight platters and tasting menus.
Location: 74 Wellington Street, Stratford
Explore more: From foodie tours to more great spots to eat, plan your culinary adventure at Visit Stratford.
Where to stay in Stratford: For places to stay in the area, consider The Bruce, a gorgeous boutique hotel as well as a purveyor of fine dining. For a different pace, you can eat, drink and stay the night at Mercer Kitchen Beer Hall Hotel.
As Ontario’s southernmost region, the southwest enjoys the longest harvest season, fertile soil, and naturally a strong farming culture. Tap into the region’s rich rural roots at one of its many celebrated farm-to-table restaurants, such as:
The Combine, in the town of Simcoe, takes hospitality to a whole new level. The restaurant is the main floor of the chef/owner’s century old home. The menu is inspired by and comprised of Norfolk County’s bounty, including Lake Erie perch.
Location: 352 Norfolk Street South, Simcoe
Tucked away on a side street in Woodstock, the ever-changing menu here is a celebration of local flavour. This gem is a credit to chef/owner Eric Boyar (in partnership with his mother, Pauline Bucek) who source ingredients from their own family farm.
Location: 639 Peel Street, Woodstock
Head to the village of Cayuga for a lively and eclectic dining experience. Seasonal cuisine, cooking classes and special events have been attracting ‘flavour junkies’ since 2009.
Location: 3 Norton Street West, Cayuga
Explore more: Sip, savour, taste and tour more in Ontario’s Southwest.
Prince Edward County
Picturesque, rural-chic and just a two-hour drive from Toronto, this quaint little piece of heaven has been attracting Ontario’s trendiest urbanites for years for its thriving cuisine culture, craft wineries, cideries, distilleries and breweries.
See what all the buzz is about at:
From the tapas and cocktails to the service ambiance, enjoy a top-notch dining experience at this Spanish-inspired County restaurant.
Location: 252 Main Street, Picton
For those who love la cocina Mexicana, La Condesa’s authentic Mexican food brings colour, flavour and zest to The County.
Location: 298 Wellington Main Street, Wellington
Stella’s recently relocated from Picton to Waupoos and the chalk-board menu is updated daily with dishes focused on season, local and forged ingredients. Beverages are also locally supplied and happy hour and Sunday brunches are highly recommended.
Location: 470 County Road 8, Waupoos
Perched on the water’s edge in Wellington, the intimate patio and dining room at the hip Drake Devonshire hotel offers amazing charcuterie and sea-cuterie board selections as well as the wine region’s finest reds and whites.
Location: 24 Wharf Street, Wellington
Explore more: Visit the County to get a taste of more amazing food and drink Prince Edward County has to offer.
With a rich live music history, there’s a veritable cool factor to this historic university town (and Canada’s original capital), that has also cultivated a hip epicurean culture. Plan to visit:
With their classic and creative woodfired pies, Woodenheads proves that pizza can indeed be gourmet.
Location: 192 Ontario Street, Kingston
For ritzy contemporary Canadian Cuisine, head to Days on Front in the city’s west end. It’s a popular go-to for local chefs which is always a good quality gauge.
Location: 730 Front Road, Kingston
Take a dive into the tasty Mediterranean-inspired menu exploring bold flavours from Spain and the Middle East.
Location: 71 Brock Street, Kingston
Explore more: Visit Kingston invites you to discover more local places to eat and drink.
Where to stay in Kingston: Find the perfect place to stay in Kingston, from waterfront hotels to boutique inns and cozy bed and breakfasts, including the Rosemount Inn & Spa, only a five minute walk from downtown.
Plan more edible adventures with Culinary Tourism Alliance, a field guide to the best food and drink in Ontario.
Last updated: September 19, 2023