As cold weather takes the city over, the greatest way to let the warmth live on is by seeking out Toronto’s hygge restaurants.
Yep, you heard it here first: it’s time to adopt the hygge of Denmark.
Hygge, pronounced hue-guh, is a hard feeling to define because there isn’t really an English word for it. The closest that we probably have is “cozy.” Essentially, it’s a vibe.
And this vibe is what keeps the Danes’ spirits high during their long, dark winters.
Luckily, there are plenty of Toronto restaurants that embody those same safe, warm, and peaceful feelings. So without further ado, here’s where to hang out to get your hygge on this winter.
This sweet spot is nestled into a small street just off Yonge. Choose the soft light of the sheltered patio or the dim warmth of the main restaurant, and indulge in comfort foods and delicious drinks. Whatever you opt for, you’ll be surrounded by pillows, rustic woods, and comforting textures.
Address: 3 Charles Street East
Insomnia is the ultimate cozy escape from bustling Bloor Street. You can sit by the window and watch the world go by as you munch on delicious snacks and sip wine, or you can head to the back of the restaurant to get cozy on their couch seating. And the lights strung across the ceiling make the spot feel like a perpetual summer night.
Address: 563 Bloor Street West
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A warm colour scheme, cozy carpet, rustic wooden tables and string lights give this Church Street hideaway the hint of hygge that’s needed on a chilly fall night. Or, on a cold morning. This spot serves delicious brunch with a nod to French flavours, which is exactly what will pull you out of bed on a frigid Saturday.
Address: 553 Church Street
Need some hygge at four in the morning? 7 West offers their cozy vibes 24/7/365, which makes them the ideal spot to warm up and fill up on comfort food, no matter the time of day (or night). Exposed brick, stained glass, an omelette, and slice of cake in the wee hours is the ultimate hygge experience.
Address: 7 Charles Street West
Less dark and cozy, FIKA leans into the lighter side of hygge. The soft brightness that is so easy to find in the summer can be harder to come by in the winter. Big windows, coffee drinks, and open-faced sandwiches served between walls covered in books and exposed brick… it feels like that first warm-ish day, when everyone ties their jackets around their waists, even though it’s still pretty chilly.
Address: 28 Kensington Avenue
Farmhouse strikes the perfect balance between natural light and the warm glow of lamps. Creaky wooden floors, animal hides, and brick walls offer the hygge vibe while delicious food options will keep your tummy happy and calm, too. Anything you order will spark joy, but we would be remiss not to mention the masterpiece that is this spot’s burger.
Address: 1627 Dupont Street
“Honest, simple, handmade” — and hygge. This gourmand hideaway offers rustic and flavourful food options in a warming, intimate environment. Enjoy the company of friends while you peek at your food being prepared in the semi-open kitchen.
Address: 293 Palmerston Avenue
Board games, snug carpets, window nooks served alongside delicious tea, sweet cakes, and creamy cheeses… that’s the hygge recipe here. If you need an escape from the city where you can tuck into to write an essay, meditate, or catch up with friends, Bampot’s your spot. Vegetarian and vegan fare in the boldest flavours will warm your heart and your tummy, and you’re bound to leave feeling more peaceful than when you arrived.
Address: 201 Harbord Street
This little hideaway is so tiny you might miss it. Right at the intersection of Bloor and Symington, The Gaslight is a neighbourhood gem that’s endearing enough to pull you all the way from the downtown core. The dimly light inside is the prime escape from the cold, and you can enjoy warm boozy drinks with delicious bar snacks. The hygge holds up in the summertime too, when their back patio is open and string lights make the whole space glow.
Address: 1426 Bloor Street West
Annabelle is the stuff of dreams. Three fresh pasta dishes made daily, burrata, and brunch are all served in this tiny spot. The big windows upstairs offer views of the red-leaf-laden streets, adding to how warm your heart and soul feel inside. In the summer, the front “garage” door is open and tables are practically on the sidewalk, enhancing the feeling of being one with the community around you. Now that’s hygge.
Address: 909 Davenport Road