These are 15 of the chicest women-led restaurants in Toronto

Mar 3 2020, 2:00 pm

Women are the powerhouses behind plenty of Toronto’s favourite restaurants, and honestly, they’re all worth a visit.

It’s going to take a while to work through this list, so why not start today?

In honour of International Women’s Day coming up on March 8, here’s a handful of Toronto’s chicest women-led eateries.

But don’t get it twisted — these spots are noteworthy every single day of the year.



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Executive Chef Elia Herrera uses traditional recipes, passed down through many generations, and draws inspiration from her mother and grandmother to make new dishes. The result is fresh Mexican food with a genuine, authentic feel served in the heart of downtown.

Address: Assembly Chef’s Hall – 111 Richmond Street West


Gusto 101, Gusto 501, and Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen


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These spots are led by Janet Zuccarini, who has over 22 years of experience as Founder of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. Zuccarini has been a judge on Top Chef Canada, and owns some of Toronto’s most coveted places to dine. Also under her name, visit Kiin or Trattoria Nervosa with your girlfriends whenever you’re looking for a solid dinner out.

Gusto 101

Address: 101 Portland Street
Phone: 416-504-9669


Gusto 501

Address: 501 King Street East
Phone: 416-477-5647


Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen

Address: 104 Portland Street
Phone: 416-792-8105


Ruby Watchco


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Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford has over 25 years of culinary experience and has worked alongside world-renowned chefs at top destination restaurants and hotels. Give yourself (and perhaps your closest friends) a gift by visiting the spot she helms with Chef Lora Kirk — Ruby Watchco — for a farm-to-table meal and a glass (or three) of wine.

Address: 730 Queen Street East
Phone: 416-465-0100


Virtuous Pie


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Part of the Virtuous Pie team since 2018, Breanne Smart began as a dishwasher at one of the vegan eatery’s west coast locations. Now General Manager at the College Street location, Smart has helped to build a 100% woman-identifying team at the restaurant, and works to “challenge the status quo” regarding gender representation in the restaurant industry. All-in-all, this Little Italy spot is a must-visit if you’re looking for all that’s most important in life: pizza, ice cream, and the freedom to be yourself.

Address: 611 College Street


Grey Gardens, Le Swan, Bar Vendetta


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The Kensington Market gem, Trinity Bellwoods beauty, and Dundas West treasure are fronted by Jen Agg, the restauranteur who brought Toronto the beloved Black Hoof. Agg makes fierce waves in the city’s culinary scene, offering top-notch meals in only the most chill-without-trying anti-establishments. Her memoir, when reviewed harshly by the New York Times, was defended by Anthony Bourdain. But really, she did a solid job of standing up for the work herself.

Grey Gardens

Address: 199 Augusta Avenue
Phone: 647-351-1552

Le Swan

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


Bar Vendetta

Address: 928 Dundas Street West
Phone: 416-551-8854




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Heather Mcdougall’s passion for food and wine pairs with her passion for equal representation in the food world. At Montecito, where she serves as General Manager and Head Sommelier, Mcdougall is involved in every facet of operations. Beyond what happens in-house, she mentors and trains junior sommeliers. Here, your dining experience will be unmatched, memorable, and as smooth as the wine served for sipping on.

Address: 299 Adelaide Street West


Mira Mira


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Amira Becarevic, Founder and Owner of Mira Mira, has worked in the culinary world for the past 17 years. Her fairly-recently developed passion for sustainable and health-conscious dishes directs the menu of this spot towards plant-based and plant-focused meals.

Address: Assembly Chef’s Hall – 111 Richmond Street West




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Kate Taylor Martin is a holistic nutritionist who noticed a growing need for on-the-go bites that taste as good as they make you feel. Enter: nutbar, where you can treat yourself without the extra sugar. Here, you can get hot drinks infused with medicinal mushrooms and brownies that are actually healthy for you. Cheers your smoothie to that.

Address: 1240 Yonge Street
Phone: 416-519-2700


Bar Reyna


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Nicki Laborie is the founder and owner of the Mediterranean snack spot Bar Reyna. Laborie opened the restaurant after summers spent in Europe and years studying food education and restaurant management. Head over to dive into a delicious Lebanese falafel taco, charcuterie board, or lamb shank baklava with burnt honey aioli.

Address: 158 Cumberland Street
Phone: 647-748-4464


Tutti Matti


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Chef Alida Solomon decided to open Tutti Matti in Toronto during her six years working in the kitchens and fields of Tuscany. Solomon was inspired by Tuscan food and the overall gastronomic culture, how wine relates to the experience of food, and how lifestyle is affected by it all.

Address: 364 Adelaide Street West
Phone: 416-597-8839


Milk Bar


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Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar. You’ll find Toronto’s location on the second floor of Momofuku. Tosi started in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants, later founding the dessert program at Momofuku. Finally, she created the concept for Milk Bar, which resulted in a culinary empire all of her own.

Address: 190 University Avenue
Phone: 647-253-6225


Kayla GladyszKayla Gladysz

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