From January 25th to February 7th Winterlicious is back, which means it’s time to explore some of the best restaurants in the city without breaking the bank!
From Yorkville to West Queen West to the Financial District, there are tons of amazing options, and we’ve rounded up the best places to check out during Winterlicious.
Reservations are now open, so make sure to book yours while there are still spots available (they’ll fill up fast!).
This Italian-inspired kitchen and bar is the perfect King West hot spot to duck into if you’re wanting to check out Winterlicious. They only accept walk-ins, so whether you can’t commit to a reservation or you just find yourself in the area, this is the spot for you. Their menu, created by Chef Rob Gentile, is packed with flavour and features lot of vegetarian options. We recommend the Pasta E Broccoli, the Calamari Grigliata, and the Panna Cotta for dessert!
Originally hailing from the west coast, Cactus Club has become a Toronto staple. Drinks after work? Cactus Club. Power lunch with your team? Cactus Club. Girls night? Cactus Club. Fantastic Winterlicious offerings? Cactus Club. Their lunch menu features some of their classic dishes (hello Butternut Squash Ravioli and Feenie Burger) and is a great choice for a power lunch. From their dinner menu, we recommend the Peppercorn Sirloin, Grilled Dijon Salmon, and the Key Lime Parfait Duo to finish it off.
Located in the Shangri-La Toronto, Bosk is a sophisticated, polished and delicious Winterlicious option. Their asian-inspired dishes (with a distinctly Canadian flare) are packed with flavour, and the environment is stunning; the recipe for a perfect date night! We recommend the Hen Egg Pasta Sheets, the Slow Cooked Beef Short rib and the Prawn Terrine. Their wine wall also holds over 700 bottles, so your server will be able to recommend the perfect one to compliment your meal.
This Toronto classic is the perfect blend of culture, art, and delicious food. Their Winterlicious menu, this year created by Chef Zac Albertson, is perfect for the cold snap Toronto’s currently facing (Beer Cheese Soup, hello!). Walking into The Drake, you will immediately feel welcomed and at home with staff eager to greet you day and night. While you’re checking out the Winterlicious menu, why not make it a full night with a show at The Underground; they always have amazing artists coming in, check out their listings here.
Mistura may be one of the lesser known restaurants participating in Winterlicious, but don’t sleep on this one. Their classic Italian food is second to none, with family recipes that have been on the menu for upwards of 20 years. We recommend trying out the Beet Risotto (it has delicious chunks of gorgonzola cheese throughout it), Nonna’s Lasagna and Tiramisu to finish!
Cafe Boulud in the Four Seasons Toronto is a full culinary dining experience that isn’t to be missed. From the mind of Chef Daniel Boulud, the menu is a bright mix of fresh and classic flavours. Be sure to order the Butternut Squash Soup, and the Grapefruit Sundae for dessert.
This go-to Annex hotspot located at Bloor and Bathurst is known for their cocktails and brunches, and specifically for their famous home fries. For Winterlicious this year, you can take advantage of their brunch offerings with their $23 lunch seating, featuring classics like the PB & J Buckwheat Short-Stack, Eggs Memphis, and their Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake! If you’re going for dinner, the Fried Chicken and Waffles paired with one of their cocktails is a must.
Located on King St. West just west of Bathurst is the ultra-Instagrammable Oretta. Visitors can slide into the art deco-inspired space for a $28 lunch seating featuring dishes like Beef Carpaccio, Burrata Pugiliese, veal ragu, pan seared salmon, and Sicilian Cannolo, or plan a dinner date for $48 per person and nosh on mains like flat iron steak and pan seared sea bass. Whatever dish you choose, you won’t regret it!
Another Italian spot that can’t be beat is Noce, and they’ve got 20 years of experience to prove it. Head to this Queen West establishment for a $33 lunch that features wood fired arctic char, grilled Cornish hen, “Sex In A Pan” (aka Nutella and vanilla pudding in a pecan crust topped with mascarpone cheese, chocolate, and sponge toffee. Or indulge in their $53 dinner seating and experience a delicious wood fired Ontario veal chop and salmon crudo.
District Eatery’s Winterlicious lunch and dinner run on the more affordable side, with a $23 lunch option that includes Grilled Peach and Beet Salad, Bowl of Zen (District’s take on the tuna poke), and Vegan Cheesecake. The dinner option will run you $33 for three courses with items like Piri Piri Roasted Chicken, Philly Carbone Flatbread, and Garlic Oil Zucchini Pasta. With lots of vegetarian and vegan options — and an amazing cocktail selection to boot — District Eatery is a a great option for everyone in your friend group!
Featured image: Instagram/ @boskto
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