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Chowhounds best 10 restaurants in GTA - 2013 voting

We did this almost exactly a year ago so it's time for a refresh

Please read and follow these instructions

Each poster may submit 1 reply containing a list of up to 10 restaurants they consider to be the best in the GTA. Nothing else, no comments, no meta discussions, just a list. Order is not significant.

Make your own judgement as to what you consider GTA but please lets limit it to places one can have a normal dinner with a glass of wine and still have time to sober up and drive home by 1AM.

Any cuisine, any service style, any price point.

You MUST have actually eaten in the restaurant in question at least once within the last 18 months

The idea is to produce a starting point recommendation list for 2013 so we want to avoid listing places that have already closed or have changed significantly since you dined there. Last year I tried to make a hard rule about this that I suspect was widely ignored. This year I leave it to your judgement. If you think a changes at a place (like the Black Hoof again) haven't really altered it then you can vote it.

Deadline is Midnight January 31st at which point we tabulate the results and post them here.

Have fun

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  1. Guu Izakaya (Church St)
    Cava
    JaBistro
    Dr.Laffa
    Yang's
    Ici
    Joso's
    Starfish
    Le Select
    The Black Hoof

    1. Splendido
      Auberge Du Pommier
      Grove
      Yours Truly
      Acadia
      Starfish
      Sushi Kaji
      Maple Yip
      Yang's
      Judy's Cuisine

      1. Splendido
        Yours Truly
        Acadia
        Porchetta & Co.
        Edulis
        JaBistro
        County General
        Gwailo (off & on)
        Colborne Lane
        Campagnolo

        1 Reply
        1. re: justxpete

          Me too! :)

          Splendido
          Acadia
          Edulis
          Yours Truly
          Colborne Lane
          Campagnolo
          Gwailo
          Ja Bistro
          Country General
          Porchetta & Co.

        2. Sushi Kaji
          Shoto
          Ici Bistro
          Cafe Boulud
          Maple Yip
          Jacob's
          Ceilie's Cottage
          Saigon Star
          JA Bistro
          Hapa Izakaya

          1. The Saint
            Splendido
            Grand Electric
            Ici Bistro
            Sushi Couture
            Acadia
            Starfish
            Le Select
            Banh Mi Boys
            George

            1 Reply
            1. re: JennaBean

              Just for the heck of it I'm ging to put mine in order....

              Grand Eletric
              The Saint
              Ici Bistro
              Sushi Couture
              Acadia
              Banh Mi Boys
              Splendido
              George
              Starfish
              Le Select

            2. Guu Sakabar (Bloor St)
              Barque
              Richmond Station
              Sushi Moto
              John & Sons
              Ferro
              El Plebeyo
              Pho Rex

              1. ICI Bistro
                Colborne Lane
                Guu
                Splendido
                Acadia
                Yours Truly
                The Grove
                Richmond Station
                Campognolo
                Foxley

                1. Starfish
                  Le Select
                  Paganelli's Risotteria
                  Cava
                  Batifole
                  Auberge Du Pommier
                  Stockyards
                  Guu (on Church)
                  George
                  Barberians

                  1. Splendido
                    Zen
                    Enoteca Sociale
                    Shoto
                    Starfish
                    Hapa Izakaya
                    Harbour 60
                    Bahn Mi Boys
                    Porchetta and Co
                    Santouka

                    1. Scaramouche
                      Starfish
                      Quince
                      Yang;s
                      Le Select

                      (may add more later)

                      1. Splendido
                        Scaramouche
                        The Saint
                        Enoteca Sociale
                        ICI
                        Le Select
                        Sidecar
                        Cava
                        Beast
                        Harbord Room

                        1. Splendido
                          Starfish
                          Sushi Kaji
                          Edulis
                          The Black Hoof
                          Origin
                          Nota Bene
                          Pulcinella
                          Delicious
                          Omei

                          1 Reply
                          1. Black Hoof
                            Campagnolo
                            Chantecler
                            Cowbell
                            Edulis
                            Joso's
                            Pastis
                            Splendido
                            Stockyards
                            Zen

                            1. Blacktree
                              Quatrefoil
                              Colborne Lane
                              Le Select Bistro
                              Splendido
                              Nota Bene
                              Cucci
                              Harbord Room

                              1. Looks like Splendido is hands down #1!!
                                BTW, if one is allowed to expand to cover Blacktree and Quatrefoil then I would like to include Treadwell!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                  Still lots of voting to go Charles!!!!!!!!

                                  1. re: justxpete

                                    That means, more votes for Splendido! Ha!!!
                                    Wow!! Another vote for S from frostie!! Running away!! Hehe!!
                                    Surprise Ici is getting so many votes as well!!
                                    Momofuku Shoto - such nice food but not a single mention??!! Is price a factor in this voting?? I wonder??!!

                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      It was mentioned above twice I think - It was just referred to as "Shoto" and not "Momofuku Shoto" - although I do think that a lot of people may have not tried it yet due to the pricepoint.

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        I'm a little surprised with Ici too, and Starfish! Both are getting lots of votes. My last couple of visits to Ici have been disappointing, whereby my first visit when they opened was one of my best meals that year. Perhaps it's time for a re-visit.

                                        Starfish, my SO has a shellfish allergy - so we generally avoid places specializing in seafood/shellfish.

                                        re: Shoto, I'm not certain many have had the chance to go as yet.. (I know I haven't).

                                    2. re: Charles Yu

                                      I am entering these into my tracking system as they get posted so if you (or anyone) want to change votes please enter a new reply to do it.

                                    3. JaBistro
                                      Acadia
                                      Sushi Kaji
                                      Guu Izakaya
                                      Splendido
                                      The Shore
                                      7 Enoteca
                                      Auberge du Pommier

                                      1. Ici
                                        Keriwa
                                        Starfish
                                        Acadia
                                        Oro
                                        Harbord Room
                                        Bent

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: todc1996

                                          Splendido
                                          Edulis
                                          Chantecler
                                          George
                                          Hoof Fish
                                          Hoof Hoof
                                          The Atlantic
                                          Zen
                                          Roti Lady
                                          Guu Saka

                                        2. Santouka
                                          Chantecler
                                          Buca
                                          Burgers Priest
                                          Acadia
                                          Grand Electric
                                          Bahn Mi Boyz
                                          Bestellen
                                          Guu Saka Bar
                                          Daisho

                                            1. Momofuku Shoto
                                              Zen
                                              Black Hoof
                                              Guu
                                              Banh Mi Boys
                                              Buca
                                              Momofuku Daisho
                                              Splendido
                                              Canoe
                                              Grand Electric

                                              1. actinolite
                                                aravind
                                                banh mi boys
                                                pizza e pazzi
                                                museum tavern
                                                simple bistro
                                                hiro sushi
                                                khao san rd
                                                george
                                                frank ago

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: dubchild

                                                  Hello dubchild,
                                                  Holiday greetings!
                                                  Is Simple Bistro still good? Used to be my favorite go to bistro until Chef Tamaru moved to the Left Bank. Haven't been back for over 6 months!!

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    We were there around June last year. We found no change in quality or even much of the menu. Some Asian dude kept on poking his head out of the kitchen, I can't say if that was Chef Tamaru or not. How things are at this moment I cannot say. I'm assuming it is still the same owner and he definitely brought much to experience, not just by having interesting wines by the glass, especially for dessert, but also in recommending wines. We have some dinners planned in the near future and Simple may be one of them. I'll remember to do an updated review. Happy New Year.

                                                2. Sushi Kaji
                                                  JaBistro
                                                  Zen
                                                  Santouka
                                                  Hoof Raw Bar
                                                  Chantecler
                                                  Saigon Star
                                                  Kingyo Izakaya
                                                  Cafe Brasiliano
                                                  Silk Road

                                                  1. Woodlot
                                                    Guu Izakaya
                                                    Chantecler
                                                    Banh Mi Boys
                                                    Daisho
                                                    Joso's
                                                    Torito
                                                    Beast
                                                    Black Camel
                                                    Pizzeria Libretto

                                                    1. Guu
                                                      Kingyo
                                                      Dr. Laffa
                                                      Banh Mi Boys
                                                      Stockyards
                                                      Acadia
                                                      The Gabardine
                                                      Woodlot
                                                      Gandhi
                                                      Yang's

                                                      My only experience at Splendido in the last year was dessert, so it doesn't qualify. Will be going in the near future, but probably not in time to make my list.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. Yours Truly
                                                        Campagnole
                                                        Enoteca Sociale
                                                        The Grove
                                                        Grand Electric
                                                        Sidecar
                                                        Santouku
                                                        Alimento
                                                        Ali's West Indian Roti Shop
                                                        Banh Mi Boys

                                                        1. Harbord Room
                                                          Aravind
                                                          Enoteca Sociale
                                                          Luma
                                                          Woodlot
                                                          Acadia
                                                          Momofuku Daisho
                                                          Hoof Raw Bar
                                                          Brockton General
                                                          Keriwa Cafe

                                                          1. Canoe
                                                            Keriwa Cafe
                                                            The Black Hoof
                                                            Victor
                                                            Luci
                                                            Fishbar
                                                            Cowbell
                                                            Sushi Kaji
                                                            The Saint
                                                            Prego

                                                            --
                                                            Rosie
                                                            http://mytorontoscoop.com

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: rosieintoronto

                                                              Wow. Found this thread exiled to page 3 already!

                                                              1. re: justxpete

                                                                You can change the default number of posts you see on the home page of the Ontario board. Look just underneath the big blue "Post" button and you'll see a toggle for 25 | 50 | 100

                                                                Thank god, cuz the 25 posts thing was driving me nuts.

                                                            2. Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant
                                                              Le Paradis
                                                              Guu
                                                              Yours Truly
                                                              Sher-E Punjab
                                                              Danforth Pizza House

                                                              1. Marben
                                                                Enoteca Sociale
                                                                Pizzeria LIbretto
                                                                Frank's Kitchen
                                                                Harbord Room
                                                                Stockyards
                                                                Holy Chuck

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: thrillhouse

                                                                  Hopgood's Foodliner
                                                                  Edulis
                                                                  Jabistro
                                                                  Cava
                                                                  Hoof Raw Bar
                                                                  Chiado
                                                                  Soba Canada @ Ichiriki
                                                                  Acadia
                                                                  Glas Wine Bar
                                                                  Kingyo

                                                                2. Yours Truly
                                                                  Chantecler
                                                                  Campagnolo
                                                                  Canoe
                                                                  Beast

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: bapto

                                                                    Bestellen
                                                                    The Harbord Room
                                                                    Chantecler
                                                                    Yours Truly
                                                                    Sushi Kaji
                                                                    Enoteca Sociale
                                                                    The Black Hoof
                                                                    Buca
                                                                    Momofuku Noodle Bar
                                                                    Dr. Laffa

                                                                  2. Acadia
                                                                    Actinolite
                                                                    Blacktree
                                                                    Copper Chimney
                                                                    Linda
                                                                    Shoto
                                                                    Splendido
                                                                    Stack
                                                                    Universal Grill
                                                                    Yours Truly

                                                                    1. Black Camel
                                                                      Enoteca Sociale
                                                                      Pizzeria LIbretto
                                                                      Harbord Room
                                                                      Campagnolo
                                                                      Momofuku Noodle Bar

                                                                      1. Splendido
                                                                        Momofuku Shoto
                                                                        Acadia
                                                                        Edulis
                                                                        Yours Truly
                                                                        Black Hoof
                                                                        Scaramouche
                                                                        Grove
                                                                        Buca
                                                                        Enoteca Sociale

                                                                        1. Khao San Road
                                                                          Ascari Enoteca
                                                                          Kingyo Izakaya
                                                                          The Harbord Room
                                                                          Stockyards BBQ
                                                                          Edulis
                                                                          Sushi Kaji
                                                                          Enoteca Sociale
                                                                          Barque Smokehouse
                                                                          Momofuku Daisho/NoodleBar

                                                                          1. Scarpetta
                                                                            Campagnolo
                                                                            Playa Cabana
                                                                            JaBistro
                                                                            Stockyards
                                                                            Khao San Road
                                                                            Solo Sushi-Ya
                                                                            Lil' Baci
                                                                            Mengrai
                                                                            Holy Chuck

                                                                            1. Grove
                                                                              Atlantic
                                                                              Edulis
                                                                              Le Paradis
                                                                              Banh Mi Boys

                                                                              1. My Faves of 2012
                                                                                Seven Lives
                                                                                Five Guys (Yeah)
                                                                                Stockyards
                                                                                Rose & Sons
                                                                                Hoof Raw Bar
                                                                                JaBistro
                                                                                Kingyo Izakaya
                                                                                Guu Saka Bar
                                                                                Sardinha O Rei Dos Frangos
                                                                                Enotoca Sociale

                                                                                1. Edulis
                                                                                  Buca
                                                                                  Marben
                                                                                  Banu
                                                                                  Terroni
                                                                                  Beast
                                                                                  Grand Electric
                                                                                  Le Select
                                                                                  The Saint

                                                                                  1. Shoto
                                                                                    Hiro Sushi
                                                                                    Union
                                                                                    Splendido
                                                                                    Loire
                                                                                    Ici Bistro
                                                                                    Cava
                                                                                    Kaji Sushi
                                                                                    Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto
                                                                                    Bent

                                                                                    1. Splendido
                                                                                      Sushi Kaji
                                                                                      Edulis
                                                                                      Harbord Room
                                                                                      Ursa
                                                                                      Guu Izakaya (Church)
                                                                                      Joso's
                                                                                      Grand Electric
                                                                                      Daisho
                                                                                      Buca

                                                                                      1. Ursa
                                                                                        Shoto
                                                                                        Yours Truly
                                                                                        Woodlot
                                                                                        F'amelia
                                                                                        Bahn Mi Boys

                                                                                        1. Starfish
                                                                                          Izakaya Ju
                                                                                          Black Hoof
                                                                                          Scaramouche
                                                                                          Zen
                                                                                          Grand Electric
                                                                                          Banh Mi Boys
                                                                                          Royal Meats
                                                                                          Northern Dumpling Kitchen
                                                                                          Terroni

                                                                                          1. I think next year we should consider "weighted" voting, as in, placement in ones' list does matter.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: justxpete

                                                                                              I could be talked into that but I'm not yet convinced it would actually make that much of a difference. Talk me into it.

                                                                                              1. re: bytepusher

                                                                                                I don't think it's any one persons' decision. More of a group thing.

                                                                                                In any case, right now we have a list of most popular restaurants in TO, whereas if they were weighted, we would have what we consider, collectively, the best restaurants in TO (in order) , and *the* best restaurant in TO.

                                                                                                A small but significant difference.

                                                                                                1. re: justxpete

                                                                                                  I think this is good enough, weighting them just provides an easy answer where there is none. You need to consider too many variables such as service, experience, atmosphere.... hence this only works when you have a singular group as the objective ones. Something like Michelin.

                                                                                                  Perhaps indicating your favourite selection from the menu would serve to be more informative.

                                                                                                  In any case I think this is interesting enough to see what Toronto 'foodies' are thinking.

                                                                                                  1. re: luxeat

                                                                                                    Well at least approx 50 of them anyways.

                                                                                            2. Scaramouche
                                                                                              Quince
                                                                                              Dr Lafa
                                                                                              Casa Victoria
                                                                                              Europe Restaurant
                                                                                              Solo Sushi Ya

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Sadistick

                                                                                                Scaramouche
                                                                                                Pastis
                                                                                                Libretto
                                                                                                Woodlot
                                                                                                Glas
                                                                                                LeSelect
                                                                                                7 Numbers

                                                                                              2. Edulis
                                                                                                Kingyo
                                                                                                Buca
                                                                                                Zen
                                                                                                Holy Chuck
                                                                                                Libretto (Danforth)
                                                                                                Momofuku Daisho
                                                                                                Nilgiri's
                                                                                                Scarpetta
                                                                                                Guu (Church)

                                                                                                1. (in order of preference)
                                                                                                  The Black Hoof
                                                                                                  Enoteca Sociale
                                                                                                  Yours Truly
                                                                                                  Canoe
                                                                                                  the harbord room
                                                                                                  Maple Yip
                                                                                                  Woodlot

                                                                                                  1. Cafe Michi
                                                                                                    Splendido
                                                                                                    Buca
                                                                                                    Playa Cabana
                                                                                                    Fin Izakaya
                                                                                                    Saigon Star
                                                                                                    Jacob and Co
                                                                                                    Zen
                                                                                                    Guu

                                                                                                    1. Guu has been mentioned many times. I don't get it. I went once, decent food to be sure but a top 10 in Toronto? I don't think so. Izakaya is basically Japanese "pub" food served tapas styled. Maybe this is just a function of the sad state of the restaurant scene here in Toronto when Guu can be a top 10 restaurant on someone's list.

                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: syoung

                                                                                                        To each their own. Some people enjoy that type of thing.

                                                                                                        Where's your top ten? It's easy to criticize when you have offered nothing yourself.

                                                                                                        1. re: syoung

                                                                                                          I liked my meal at Guu more than most of my finer dining meals in TO last year, probably because what Guu is serving is relatively new to my palate, and stands out compared to foods I've ordered before. As someone who cooks a lot, the memorable meals for me tend to be the meals that involve flavours I don't use as much at home, or dishes I don't know how to prepare or don't have the time or patience to prepare (like dim sum).

                                                                                                          Keep in mind the top 10 is a list of favourites, and attempting to rank the best (or current favourite) restaurants in TO is a little like comparing apples to oranges.

                                                                                                          I don't know how I could rank Joso, Cava and Guu, which are 3 restaurants that made my top 10. I liked them all for different reasons, and look forward to returning to each of them this year.

                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                            Apples and Oranges are actually very similar, both round, both fruit, both have seeds, both contain citric acid...

                                                                                                            ;)

                                                                                                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                                                                                              ;-) True. All the restaurants in this thread are similar in that they all serve food that ranks somewhere on at least one Chowhound's top 10 list.

                                                                                                              I'm more interested in seeing the results for the places that I haven't tried yet, that might get 1 or 2 votes, than the often-recommended places that get 10+votes. Interesting to already see the differences from last year's thread, where only 3 restaurants (KSR, Marben and Enoteca Sociale) had 11 or more votes. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831295

                                                                                                              1. re: prima

                                                                                                                Haha! Yeah, that's a good use of this list for sure. There's definitely a couple places on here that I've never been to and want to check.

                                                                                                            2. re: prima

                                                                                                              For me Grand Eletric is really my fav place in the city right now and it is because of the whole package it offers which is right up my alley. I love fine dining but I don't need a place to be that to have it really sing for me.

                                                                                                              1. re: JennaBean

                                                                                                                Agree, completely. Still have to try out Grand Electric. ;-)

                                                                                                            3. re: syoung

                                                                                                              My top restaurants were not necessarily the BEST restaurants in the GTA (I, perhaps in the minority, have not been to enough of these new restaurants due to simply time/logistic constraints to be able to comment on the BEST, without trying it ALL), but were however my most favorite/frequented which I would argue, represent a more realistic view of ones eating habits.

                                                                                                              1. re: Sadistick

                                                                                                                That's how I chose my list. I feel like the term "best" is subjective anyway.

                                                                                                                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                                                                                                  That's a good point. Mine was kind of a hybrid list of favourite restaurants, and favourite experiences from the year (jabistro, YT, Gwailo), but not necessarily best. I would have included Cafe Boulud and Jacobs & co among others, if I was doing a "best of" list.

                                                                                                                2. re: Sadistick

                                                                                                                  Yep.

                                                                                                                  Mot Na Son
                                                                                                                  Golden Shanghai
                                                                                                                  Kingyo
                                                                                                                  O'Mei
                                                                                                                  Enoteca Sociale
                                                                                                                  Sukhothai
                                                                                                                  White Brick Kitchen
                                                                                                                  Bahn mi boys
                                                                                                                  Schnitzel Queen
                                                                                                                  Seven Lives

                                                                                                                3. re: syoung

                                                                                                                  I consider vibe, service, how much fun I have as equally as I do the food. If I just wanted great food I could stay home and cook for myself. I always have an amazing time at Guu is my bottom line.

                                                                                                                4. Momofuku Shoto
                                                                                                                  Gwai Lo Popup
                                                                                                                  Edulis
                                                                                                                  Grove
                                                                                                                  Ursa
                                                                                                                  Sushi Kaji
                                                                                                                  Maple Yip
                                                                                                                  Porchetta & Co
                                                                                                                  Luma
                                                                                                                  Beast

                                                                                                                  1. I'm late but:

                                                                                                                    - Splendido
                                                                                                                    - Chantecler
                                                                                                                    - Edulis
                                                                                                                    - Banh Mi Boys
                                                                                                                    - Campagnolo
                                                                                                                    - Yang's
                                                                                                                    - One2 Snacks
                                                                                                                    - Mot Na Son
                                                                                                                    - Acadia
                                                                                                                    - Black Hoof

                                                                                                                    1. Yang's
                                                                                                                      Win's Seafood
                                                                                                                      Ja Bistro
                                                                                                                      Zen
                                                                                                                      Kingyo
                                                                                                                      Santouka
                                                                                                                      Pho Tien Thanh
                                                                                                                      Gourmet Garden/Malaysia
                                                                                                                      Splendido
                                                                                                                      Raw Bar

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: aser

                                                                                                                        Voting Closed

                                                                                                                        Will post the results soon

                                                                                                                        Fayn Dyning is back