There are some dining establishments that I’ll visit for the sheer novelty of the experience (hello, themed cafes in Asia). It helps when the food is good too, but that’s really beside the point. In fact, some of these places barely have food! In any case, here’s my list of Toronto’s most unique dining establishments/experiences. Please read with a giant grain of salt.
Tried and True:
Massimo Bruno’s Supper Club: As soon as you step into this Italian chef’s studio and cooking space, you’ll fall in love. Read my post to see what I mean. Potential drawback: Massimo is no longer in his King East space.
Barchef: This is one of my absolutely favourite bars in Toronto. Is a $30 molecular gastronomical cocktail called “Spring” served in a flower pot and poured over with pine-infused liquid nitrogen a bit pretentious? Sure. But it is incredible still. Potential drawback: Not everyone is willing to pay over $30 for a cocktail.
Osgoode Hall Restaurant: As a graduate from Osgoode Hall Law School, this restaurant holds special significance. Many people don’t realize that there is a beautiful restaurant in the heart of this courthouse (technically run by the Law Society of Ontario). Most of the patrons of the restaurant are lawyers, but it is open to the public from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Potential drawback: You will have to dine with a whole room of lawyers.
Assembly Chef’s Hall: During the summer, you can basically find me in this food hall once a week. I’ve watched this space grow (and learned tons behind the scenes) and now I can’t imagine Toronto’s Financial District without it. The best part? There’s something for everyone. Potential drawback: If you are not working downtown, you may want to avoid lunch rush hour.
Snakes & Lattes: Their first location was so popular that they’ve now opened up a second (I prefer the College St location). They’re organized and helpful, and they have a solid cafe and casual fare menu that will accompany any board game well. Potential drawback: It’s still a board game cafe.
SPiN Toronto: It’s a ping pong club located in Toronto’s King West Club District, and it’s co-owned by Susan Sarandon. It’s very fun and surprisingly good food. Potential drawback: You are still coming to a King West bar, so it’s still intense.
360 Restaurant: The dinner views from atop the CN Tower can’t be beaten, and all of the food is locally sourced and quite elegant. Potential drawback: I hate the price tag of a meal up here (seriously), but at least you don’t have to pay for admission!
Medieval Times: You have to eat half a roasted chicken and garlic bread with your hands, but if you’re into horses, knights and a good ol’ fashioned joust, you’ll probably have a lot of fun here. Potential drawback: You really have to lean into the experience.
O. Noir: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to dine in complete darkness, you should come here. Potential drawback: I wish the food was a bit more inventive.