8 Michelin Star Restaurants in Toronto You Should Know About

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Summer 2024

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The coveted Michelin star is the envy of every restaurant owner; introduced by the French tire company in 1926, the guide has the final word on exquisite dining. It is also the dream of every chef to have their restaurant listed on it. After all, a Michelin star is the ticket to more awards, recognition, and revenue.

Now more than ever, the guide is gaining increasing popularity. A star status confers priceless earning potential, which translates to more reservations, influence, and prestige. 

Being culturally diverse, Toronto is blessed with a cornucopia of restaurants catering to a variety of palates. If you want to discover the GTA’s exquisite culinary scene, here are eight Michelin-star restaurants you should set your sights on for a spectacular dining experience like no other.

Alo

Chef Patrick Kriss’ beloved restaurant has a cozy dining atmosphere and ambience. The restaurant’s selling point isn’t only its lively atmosphere and ambience, but also its alluring cuisine. The menu boasts a fusion of enticing seasonal ingredients inspired by some of the world’s most popular cuisines. 

The kitchen merges European and Asian classics on a single menu. For example, you can dine on creamy Koshihikari risotto with a rack of lamb served with Thai green curry. Because it creates fusion dishes without compromising on taste, Alo exhibits flexibility and talent like no other restaurant in the GTA. 

Don Alfonse 1890 Restaurant 

Gracing the top floor of the Westin Hotel, a harbour-facing table at the Don Alfonso restaurant provides a mesmerizing view. Ever evolving, the restaurant serves Italian and Canadian cuisine. If you are craving Canadian specialties, consider the restaurant’s perfectly cooked Nova Scotia lobster served with fresh fried mushrooms, spinach, and potato puree. To complement your meal, choose from a selection of signature wines from across the globe. 

Edulis Restaurant

The pride and joy of the husband-and-wife owners, Edulis has a homey feel, putting a spin on comfort food. The Mediterranean-inspired menu includes seasonal ingredients, seafood, vegetables, and a multi-course menu that honours farmers, fishers, foragers and suppliers by serving the best ingredients. For starters, try their roasted young chicken with a trio of macaroni stuffed with creamy mushroom puree, green asparagus, and spring garlic porcini. The charming red house restaurant with a flower-filled patio is perfect for a night out in town.

Firlu

Uniquely blending contemporary Canadian cuisine with Asian-influenced ingredients, Firlu packs a punch of sumptuous dishes led by an Executive Chef and an owner. The duo work on all the meals in-person. In fact, it is one of the very few restaurants where you can watch the chefs cook, plate, and even wash the dishes. The downtown restaurant has a unique ambience, not to undermine its cuisine. Both meat and vegetables make memorable impressions, especially when they are stylishly served with intriguing Japanese elements with an organic feel.

Quetzal

The upscale Mexican restaurant buzzes with activity; everything served on their menu passes through the kitchen’s 26-foot-long wood-burning grill for an authentic taste experience like no other. You can choose their 100-tasting menu or order a la carte. The all hands-on-deck style restaurant serves everything Mexican, down to a unique selection of wines. Among their most delightful courses is their lamb barbacoa packed into griddled blue masa tortillas, served with maitake mushrooms. If you are out of clues, the servers would be happy to create a custom-made tasting menu specially for you. 

Aburi Hana

Presenting a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine, Aburi Hana puts a twist on several authentic dishes. Aburi, literally meaning flame-seared, is what Chef Nakagawa relies on for several creations, imparting the depth of umami, which encapsulates the essence of deliciousness in Japanese. Using modern and ancient gastronomy techniques, Chef Nakagawa introduces new flavours and textures to guests without compromising the authenticity of the cuisine itself. One of the most popular dishes is the signature maguro flower, a rose made from pieces of akami and chutto served with simmered pork belly over foie gras. 

Enigma

Dining at Enigma is far from being enigmatic; although the restaurant has a strict dining policy, it prides itself on being as seasonal as possible. Using the earth, sea, and the land as an inspiration, it creates seasonal dishes inspired by nature. It balances its flavours by keeping them pure and clean while putting a world spin on each plate they serve. Thanks to Chef Quinton Bennett’s impressive resume with stunts in world-renowned cities like Copenhagen, London, and Johannesburg. White-gloved servers plate up the Chef’s latest creations, which include specialties like brassicas with smoked foie gras, tuna with sheets of beetroot, and fermented daikon.

Sushi Masaki Saito

Chef Masaki Saito is the proud owner of two Michelin Stars. The restaurant’s all-time favourite specialty is the Omakase menu, which is more of a culinary adventure than a dining experience. Omakase serves great-tasting Japanese specialties like Shirako, which looks more like an authentic mayonnaise paste served with Chutoro, also known as Japanese bluefin tuna grilled over white Japanese charcoal. The restaurant has a unique ambience; it includes a 200-year-old hinoki counter, traditional Japanese paneling, and a luxurious marble staircase in its foyer. 

Aaron Levinson | Staff Writer

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