Let’s face it — it’s still cold in Canada. But with the American dollar doing well against Canadian currency (CAD$1 equals USD$0.78), there’s no better time to make your visit. Plus, Toronto is a mere hour’s flight from many East Coast cities.
But after a long day of bundled-up sightseeing and shopping, you’re bound to crave some stick-to-your-ribs fare. So, we’ve rounded up four of our favorites for upscale comfort cuisine.
Café Boulud Toronto
Recently reopened after an extended renovation, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Café Boulud at the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is undoubtedly one of the city’s hottest tables, and for good reason. The contemporary dining room now boasts a ’70s-style retro vibe with sleek wooden tables and cozy rounded banquettes.
The best dish on the menu: Whole roasted chicken for two, cooked on the kitchen’s in-house rotisserie, that’s served over baby potatoes and watercress salad with a pile of frizzled shallots and herbs. Pair it with extra crispy pommes frites and you’ll wonder why you don’t make this simple delicacy at home more often.
In the city’s bustling financial district, Four-Star restaurant TOCA, on the second level of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, serves modern Italian cuisine with a decidedly comforting twist — the Five-Star hotel offers one of the largest private cheese caves in Canada.
Start with housemade pastas (we love the ravioli) before moving on to hearty dishes like bread-crusted black cod, braised lamb shank or filet mignon in onion cream with shallot and bacon. Don’t forget to leave room for a heavenly cheese flight (aged Lankaaster, Pincion Riserva and Testun di Barolo) at dessert.
David Chang’s Momofuku is a must-visit in any city, but Toronto’s location, in the posh Four-Star Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, is one of his largest outposts, boasting the signature Noodle Bar, Milk Bar (for desserts like the famed crack pie), Nikai (pre-dinner cocktail spot), Daishō (a group setting that’s perfect for sharing beef short ribs) and Shōtō (an upscale tasting-room format).
The glass cube, which juts out from the hotel proper, lends a cool vibe, but the food and ambience are nothing but pure comfort.
This hot spot, just off of King Street West, is best known for its fantastically filling brunch and its whole animal dinners — select the meat (like venison, elk, lamb or bison) a week ahead of time and Beast will prepare the meal. Believe us, you’ll want to make time for this locally focused favorite.
We’re especially wild about brunch. Begin with maple-bacon doughnuts before moving to rich yet simple favorites such as the Labatt 50 (bacon, chorizo, pork belly and eggs) or the Beastwich, a pairing of a buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken thigh, pimento cheese, pork sausage gravy and fried egg. Any lingering effects from libations consumed the night before will be gone in minutes.