Craving Italian or Indian?  Looking for the best steak or a vegetarian buffet?  Start here.

Note: Because restaurant picks are so subjective, wherever possible this page links to threads on the Toronto Forum discussing each type of cuisine, and to reviews from major Toronto publications.  You may also want to see the Dining Overview page for links to review sites, restaurant guides, and more.

Chinese

You can never cover everything about Toronto Chinese, and there are more opinions than there are dialects in China.  Two places to start:

French

Downtown 

  • La Paletteis a funky spot in Kensington Market that's always packed, has good wines by the glass, and a classic bistro menu.
  • Le Select probably the most self-consciously French place in town, has a beautiful new space on Wellington just west of Spadina, but the food may not measure up to the decor.
  • Known mostly for its crepes, Le Papillon draws from traditional Quebecois (French Canadian, as opposed to European French) cuisine.

Beyond Downtown

Just east of downtown, Batifole is a great little bistro tucked into Chinatown East (along Gerrard, a few blocks east of Broadview; by TTC take the 506 streetcar east from College subway station).

Much further out, nestled in a ravine along Yonge Street south of Highway 401 (York Mills subway station), you'll find Auberge du Pommier .  It's a beautiful spot with a classic French menu, more fine-dining than bistro and more expensive.

Greek

Just east of downtown, there's an area known as Greektown along Danforth Avenue (known as "The Danforth" to locals; by subway, get off at Chester).  Not surprisingly, this area dominates the discussion of the best Greek restaurants from the TripAdvisor Toronto Forum. 

Indian

Downtown

For lunch buffets, top picks are Little India and Trimurti, both on Queen, just west of University. For high-end Indian, The Host in Yorkville and Debu Saha's Biryani House, near Wellesley and Yonge, are the choice of South Asians serious about food.

Beyond Downtown

The Little India neighbourhood serves up at least a dozen great options along Gerrard Street East.  (Take the 506 streetcar east from College subway station; most choices are between Greenwood and Coxwell.)  Lahore Tikka House is a great choice for northern halal, and Udupi Palace is a favorite for South Asian vegetarian cuisine.  Garam Masala for reasonable fine indian restaurant. If you're a bit adventurous, just go to the neighbourhood and follow the crowds.

Italian

Downtown

  • You can't have a list of Toronto Italian without mentioning two downtown places known for their authenticity: Tutti Matti and Romagna Mia .
  • With several locations including Victoria Street (near Yonge & Queen), Terroni's is known for authentic, reasonably-priced pizzas and pasta in a casual atmosphere.
  • A long-time Toronto chain, Il Fornello specializes in pizzas from wood-fired ovens.  Locations include King Street West in the Theatre District and in the Queens Quay Terminal at Harbourfront (with a view of the lake).

Beyond Downtown

  • The area around Yonge & Eglinton (Eglinton subway station) is home to a number of Italian restaurants.  Zucca is just south of Eglinton; Five Doors North is a couple of blocks further south.
  • The family that owns Five Doors North also runs two other restaurants.  In Leslieville (along Queen St. between downtown and the Beach neighbourhood), you'll really, really find Gio Rana's Really, Really Nice Restaurant .  And on Danforth Avenue near the Chester subway station, candles, mismatched chairs and kraft-papered tables define the buzzing, casual atmosphere of Seven Numbers .
  • In Etobicoke, an expensive choice with good food, amazing presentation, and an extensive wine list is Via Allegro .
  • In Little Portugal, the Black Skirt Restaurant offers up amazing food, service and atmosphere.

Steak

Most of the major chain steakhouses have Toronto locations, often in hotels, but according to the discussion in the TripAdvisor Toronto forum, some independent choices are the local favourites.  (The original poster followed up with a review.)

Vegetarian

Toronto also has a range of vegetarian restaurants with the café atmosphere of Fresh by Juice for Life, which offers both vegan and vegetarian options in fusion cuisine, to the pay-by-weight buffet style of Le Commensal.