The greatest restaurants for a special occasion in Toronto

Sep 17 2019, 1:24 pm

Whether it’s your anniversary, your birthday, your graduation, or your solar return, you deserve to celebrate.

When someone who loves you asks “where would you like to go?” the pressure hits real quick. But you don’t need to stress!

We’ve crafted a list of the city’s greatest restaurants to enjoy a celebratory meal at. Take a browse, pick your favourite, and have at it.

Or, send this list to your loved ones and tell them you’re down for a surprise.

Mamakas Taverna

Mamakas Taverna / Instagram

If you’d love to visit the Mediterranean but it’s just not in the cards right now, Mamakas is an excellent alternative. The space is fresh, bright, and traditionally decorated, which makes you feel like you’ve escaped the city, and the food is authentic with a modern twist. The ideal place to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or whatever!

Address: 80 Ossington Avenue
Phone: 416-519-5996

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7 Numbers

7 Numbers / Instagram

This cozy spot tucked away on the Danforth is brimming with mouthwatering options. Take, for example, the seared polenta topped with cinghiale (that’s wild boar). Pretty sure that’s a celebratory meal if we’ve ever heard of one.

Address: 307 Danforth Avenue
Phone: 416-469-5183

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Côte de Bœuf

Côte de Bœuf

Butcher, wine bar and grab-and-go sandwich spot, this little hideaway is much more than a romantic resto. But it is that, and to the nines. Inspired by neighbourhood butchers in Paris, locally sourced meats are cut on the regular and you can enjoy French-inspired classics including oysters, charcuterie, cheeses, steak frites, great wine and cold beer any day of the week. It’s the ideal anniversary destination.

Address: 130 Ossington Avenue
Phone: 416-532-2333​

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Tanto

Tanto Restaurant / Instagram

With flavours inspired by Argentina, the smell of a wood-burning grill floats through this space, making it feel like a real escape. The romantic vibes served during dinner service are tough to match. You’ll have shared a bottle of wine and many plates before you realize any time has passed at all. Plus, brunch looks like the image above. Early start to your special day? Plates like this one are available weekly on Sundays from 11 am.

Address: 74 Ossington Avenue
Phone: 416-546-3022​

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Rosalinda

Rosalinda Restaurant / Instagram

A couple of members of your celebration crew on the vegan-train? No fear! Everyone will enjoy the mouthwatering bites at Rosalinda. Fresh kombucha, creative cocktails, and tacos so good you won’t miss the meat make for an ideal dinner spot. Most of the plates are made for sharing… including the churros, served with warm chocolate banana caramel.

Address: 133 Richmond Street West
Phone: 416-907-0650

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Ascari King Street

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

While any of the dessert options here are sure to offer a sweet celebratory treat, the Crostata Al Limone Con Pinoli will blow your mind. Not your average lemon tart, this baby is topped with pine nut tuile and chocolate mint, serving as a fresh end to your meal and your special day.

Address: 620 King Street West
Phone: 416-366-3673

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Piano Piano

Piano Piano / Instagram

No, this isn’t where fancy kids get to take music lessons. Yes, this is where your fancy pants and your dearest pals get to dine. Alongside snacks, starters and mains, a great shareable option at this spot is the pizza. Get a pie for the table, sip your drinks, kick back and enjoy.

Address: 88 Harbord Street
Phone: 416-929-7788

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Le Swan

Le Swan / Instagram

Jen Agg, owner of Toronto’s Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, Grey Gardens, and the shuttered Black Hoof has taken over this old-school greasy spoon and transformed it into a French diner. That means a European take on a previously casual spot, serving a laid-back atmosphere with an elevated menu.

Address: 892 Queen Street West, Toronto
Phone: 416-536-4440

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Montgomery’s

Montgomery’s / Instagram

Simple. Scrumptious. This Queen West spot is the place to hit if you’re keen on finding the beauty in the little things in life. The menu is bursting with fresh, seasonal produce and the vibe is elevated-relaxation. Perfect for a laid-back celebration.

Address: 996 Queen Street West
Phone: 647-748-4416

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Dandylion

ayamaru__ / Instagram

Another Queen West gem (this is the last one, promise), Dandylion’s menu changes with the seasons and keeps choosing easy, with only three starters, mains, and desserts available. There’s always a vegan option, plus fresh meats and something from the sea. The wine is crisp and the beer options are aplenty. This spot’s ideal for a 1:1 celebration, like an anniversary date night.

Address: 1198 Queen Street West
Phone: 647-464-9100

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Ufficio

Ufficio / Instagram

This Dundas West resto known for mouthwatering pescatarian grub offers a bright menu that is sure to hit the spot. Whether you opt for a lunch stop-in or a dinner date, you’ll be happy you chose this spot to celebrate whatever it is you’re celebrating.

Address: 1214 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Phone: 416-535-8888

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Ascari Enotica

Ascari Enotica / Instagram

This Queen East gem is not to be toyed with. Mouthwatering pasta, luscious share-plates, and refreshing cocktails will have you brimming with joy over both your celebration and the flavours surrounding it.

Address: 1111 Queen Street East
Phone: 416-792-4157

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Piquette

Pâté en Croûte Richelieu. (John Cullen)

Don’t have time for a full-fledged celebratory meal? Under the direction of Grant van Gameren, the menu of small dishes is kept simple and fresh at this wine and snack bar, showcasing charcuterie from Scott Draper — local charcutier — alongside dishes by van Gameren himself. Plus, there are more than 80 labels of vino on rotation. Cheers!

Address: 1084 Queen Street West

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Mythology

Coq au Vin / The 5700

The spot that used to be known as Mythology Diner is now just: Mythology. And instead of the cool and casual throwback vibe it used to serve, the space has been converted into a resto-bar. The new combination of modern and rustic interior, dim golden lighting, and artwork by local artist Kari Serrao offers a whimsical and slightly magical feel that falls somewhere between Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

Address: 1265 Queen Street West

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Maison Selby

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

Imagine sitting at a sunlit table in France, savouring plump, juicy mussels alongside crusty bread and crisp white wine. If that’s your scene, Maison Selby has been crafted for you. A European vacation might be outside the budget, but if you can swing a European-inspired meal to celebrate something special, that’s really the next best thing.

Address: 592 Sherbourne Street
Phone: 647-943-1676

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Bar Raval

Bar Raval / Instagram

This Spanish bar by Grant van Gameron features wood panelling like something out of middle earth, and mouthwatering bites made with the most simple, fresh ingredients. Celebrations are best enjoyed the way that bars are, too: by savouring cocktails, savoury eats and dessert in a cozy, indulgent atmosphere.

Address: 505 College Street
Phone: 647-344-8001

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