Looking for a way to travel the world without leaving the city you call home? Satisfy your wanderlust by sampling sumptuous international cuisine from some of the best restaurants in Toronto.
With a population of more than 2.79 million people, Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Whether you’re riding the subway, shopping the boutiques and malls, strolling through the different neighbourhoods, or dining in the best restaurants in Toronto, you can’t help but notice how wonderfully diverse the people of this city truly are. You can find virtually every imaginable style of international cuisine in Toronto because it’s part of the DNA—Torontonians as a whole identify with more than 200 distinct ethnic origins and immigrants account for about half of the city’s population. It’s no wonder Toronto boasts some of the world’s best international cuisine.
Krinos Taste of the Danforth
Every August, Krinos Taste of the Danforth runs for three days, Friday to Saturday, on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of the Danforth. Organized by Toronto’s Greek community, it draws throngs of hungry food-lovers who jostle along the pedestrian-only street, enjoying the music performed live by musicians on several expansive stages, and exploring the Greek, Japanese, Thai, East Indian, Chinese, Italian and other international cuisines offered in front of each restaurant.
It’s hot, it’s crowded, and it’s Toronto at its very best as locals and visitors chat as much with one another as the local vendors who dish out the city’s superb international cuisine. Follow the fabulous scents and, of course, feel free to check out other people’s plates. Ask them if it tastes as good as it looks and if so, find out where they got it!
But if you’re looking for a more elegant evening out and want a sit-down dinner showcasing the city’s international cuisine at some of the best restaurants in Toronto, these spots are ideal:
Appealingly casual, Ethiopiques boasts simple, authentic food that is rooted in tradition, and a warm, welcoming staff who encourage you to eat with your hands from a shared tray (as is customary), but who are equally happy to provide cutlery. In the very heart of downtown Toronto, just steps from shopping, concert halls, theatres and cinemas, it’s the perfect spot whether you’re stopping for a pre-show meal or need to rest your weary feet.
Ethiopiques also offers a unique coffee ceremony, during which green coffee beans are freshly roasted and ground. You’ll be offered the opportunity to taste them and savour the rich coffee aroma before they’re expertly brewed and served in a clay jebena pot. It’s an immersive cultural experience you won’t want to miss out on.
In Toronto’s popular Little Italy neighbourhood, Marinella’s lovely dining room and sunny patio offer urban respite as well as Italian classics ranging from traditional thin crust pizza to exquisite, al-dente freshly made pasta, hearty risotto, and tempting, homemade desserts. Notably, all pork and beef is locally raised on farms where the animals aren’t confined and can roam freely in pens the size of three football fields. Filling, authentic, and a carb-lover’s dream, Marinella is the spot to satisfy your craving for home-style Italian cooking.
Chiado Restaurant combines old-world charm and graciously attentive service and is known for its “progressive Portuguese” cuisine and superb seafood, which is flown in from the Azores islands daily. Ditch the jeans, dress up a little, break out the fancy footwear, and pull up right in front of the restaurant, where you can let the valet worry about finding parking in the now ultra-hip and trendy College and Ossington neighbourhood.
Restaurateur Albino Silva opened Chiado in 1991, and the restaurant’s quarter-century of success speaks to its loyal clientele and ability to win new fans. Chiado is ideal if you want to share intimate, quiet conversations and a lovely meal in a cozy spot that prides itself on artfully presented food.