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It’s the most prix fixe time of the year: Summerlicious 2012 menus are out

New to Summerlicious this year: Colborne Lane (Image: Rebecca Siegel)

Discount diners, start your engines. Earlier today, the good folks at the City of Toronto Special Events released the full list of restaurants participating in Summerlicious this year, and it’s bigger than ever, with a whopping 181 restaurants offering three-course prix fixe menus. (Among the list of 21 new additions to the festival this year, one sticks out like a sore thumb and will doubtless be booked up lickety split: Colborne Lane). Like last year, lunches are available for $15, $20 or $25 and dinner for $25, $35 or $45. The (brave) participating restaurants are now readying themselves for the onslaught of reservations calls that will start promptly on June 21 (June 19 for Amex cardholders). The orgy of culinary thrift itself runs from July 6 to 22. Check back in a couple weeks for Toronto Life’s complete guide to the extravaganza.

  • Franky Ricardo


  • s. Lee

    Here come the cheapies! Better add a hamburger and fries to the menu :)

  • impeachford

    throw a fish taco on the card and they will line up for and hour, serve it out of the truck and they will hunt you down to find it, call it burger week and they will stampede you…boo the licious, boo those who attend licious.

    i’ll just have water thanks and then tip you nothing and then write how awful everything was on yelp and chowhound and not worth the $15! wagjag and travelzoo-here i come!

  • hilda

    honestly this city has a lot of twits… keep your negative comments in your corner.. looking forward to some great summerlicious faire~

  • impeachford

    hilda there are alot of twits in this city (hold up mirror here), there are 2 corners….those that love and those that hate licioius…keep your positive comments in your corner…looking forward to skipping some mediocre licious fare….

  • keisha brown

    pardon me for not making enough money to be able to afford a full 3 course dinner (how often is that really happening other than at weddings and galas for most folk anyways?!?) at many of these places.

    the snobbery here/about it is unbelievable. if the restaurants didn’t WANT to do it, they wouldn’t pay/sign up. and since most of the restos are repeats – it’s CLEARLY worth it to them.

    business is business, n’est pas? your money is not better than my money.

    the ‘licious series, gets girlfriends, old friends, family members together to sit and break bread for a couple of hours. aren’t people saying that we’re too caught up in social networking?

    i think people need to relax and let everyone enjoy the city they call home, work and pay taxes in. there is ENOUGH to be negative about.

    eat, drink and be merry.

  • impeachford

    people seem to be negative about being positive.

    my money IS better than your money-no just kidding but it sounded funny…picturing my money going to harvard and then going abroad to find itself before returning and getting married and having a family of its own….

    there are plenty of great restaurants doing 2 and 3 course meals that aren’t served banquet style by inexperienced waiters at restaurants that are understaffed who only see this as a marketing opportunity or a cash grab to get as many people in and out as possible.

    many smaller bistros offer fixed price menus at or below the licioius prices but with much higher quality and without the bum’s rush out the door after you’ve given them the cash.

  • urban dweller

    What’s wrong with giving an opportunity to have a meal at one of these restaurants at a special rate? Let those that want to offer it do so to those who want to try it. Why be so disparaging? To s. lee & impeachford…just don’t go! (which the rest of us would greatly appreciate).

  • impeachford

    i don’t go….but don’t critique a restaurant or judge it by these events…they don’t offer what they usually offer in the manner they usually offer it…

    go-eat, but remember that you are getting a dumbed down, banquet version of what they might serve at lunch.

    the people that flock to these are the same ones who go to all-inclusives and think they are getting the best deal if they go to the a la carter restaurants on the resort. new flash-those meals are cooked 2 hours before you sit down and are sitting in hot boxes waiting for you. why do you think the food comes out so fast and that you have to make reservations? it is so they know how many plates to make. the left overs are on the buffet the next day (or reheated for your second visit).


    just had to comment because i am so surprised by the pretentiousness of all the comments. this is a fun event and should be thought of as such. if you complain about the cost, then don’t participate.

    for customers -licious events should be a fun and somewhat more affordable way to explore what restaurants Toronto has to offer (good and bad). for restaurants – its a good way to bring in new customers, gain more exposure and earn money.

    customers should understand, service and atmosphere will probably be a bit different because of the influx of people. while, restaurants just need to make sure they know what they are getting into once they participate and if its worth joining.

  • impeachford

    it doesn’t provied restaurants with new customers, just fair weather ones-the ones that only show up for the licious events. the restaurants never see them throughout the year. entertainment couponers, wagjaggers.

    anyone with a blog who says they ‘connect’ foodie lovers is pretty pretentious….that statement seems to sound like a dating service for people who love foodies…you either connect foodies or food lovers-not foodie lovers-unless it is like chubby chasers….

  • urban dweller

    Hey impeachford, maybe you should run for city council so that you can introduce a ban on future licious events because it’s obvious you want to dictate how others do business & how to eat.

  • impeachford

    run for office? i want a dictatorship-no free elections needed. i could then ban future licious events, ban groupon and wagjag, shut down the blogs and twitter and facebook, ban u-turns, people who text and walk or text and drive, people with strollers getting on streetcars and parking at the front so nobody can by, allow people to ram those idiots who just stop walking causing everyone behind them to have to an avoiding dance to get around them, ban cars in the downtown area, stop the condo ghetto creations….

  • leonista

    impeachford, you are hilarious! made my day at work quite entertaining.

  • Cat

    Pretty much what I would expect from a guy with the handle “impeachford”. Not sure if you’re a troll or just a bitter Torontonian, neither are worth giving much attention to anyway. So much impotent vitriol over nothing.

    Anyway I have friends who are big into Summerlicious, so this year I’m gonna take them up on their offer to go try some of the fare. At worst it’s a cheap lunch or dinner with friends at an okay restaurant, which I don’t get the opportunity to do very often. Should be fun!

  • Eatabel by Isobel

    I have a few friends who are against Licious and I understand where they’re coming from. They believe it’s bad for the restaurants because they lose money and bad for the customers because they’ve felt that the quality up to those restaurant’s standards.

    However, I personally have never felt rushed or treated unfairly when eating at various restaurants during Licious. Sure, the food isn’t necessarily indicative of a restaurant’s abilities during this time frame…but for the most part I’ve always had a good experience. Take Canoe for example, I’ve eaten there many times during Licious and many times during the rest of the year. The service has always been great every time I’ve been there, even during Winter/Summerlicious. The food tends to be more extravagent during non-Licious periods, but they still serve high quality ingredients with these fixed-price menus. At least it seems so to me. That being said, I’ve had some pretty bad meals during Licious…but that doesn’t mean these fixed price deals aren’t a bad concept for the most part.

    I’m of the mindset that if I want to eat somewhere, I will, even if there is no Licious. If it’s an expensive place, then I’ll save up for it. Not everyone is like that and not everyone has the means to do so. That is why Licious events are good for the city. People who normally can’t are able to experience the great restaurants Toronto’s food scene has to offer. Even if it’s not as good as a typical meal at that restaurant, most of the meals will still be a great value.

  • Eatabel by Isobel

    Oops, I meant “that doesn’t mean these fixed price deals ARE a bad concept for the most part.”

  • also anti-ford

    as a proud and non-bitter torontonian who only trolls when fishing….

    the problem with these type of deals, be it licious or wagjag or whatever the deal of the day, is that one will never be truly experiencing what the restaurant’s vision is. many people will never experience the restaurant outside of these events but will offer opinions as though they were life long regulars. these restaurants end up diluting their offerings and pandering to the lowest common denominator. we all lose. how many times do we read on this board or chowhound that toronto’s restaurants don’t hold up to those in new york or chicago or michelin stars of europe.

    are these are great deal? sometimes-but usually its just a free dessert-but free dessert is nice too…are they are nice night out? probably…

    there are some mighty fine smaller restaurants out there that offer great deals every day and night of the week and bust their behinds to be creative, local, on trend and damn tasty-maybe we owe it to ourselves to find those gems and experience them. the o&b group of restaurants and mark mcewan seem to own this event but i am not sure they are hurting for cash as i see them expanding their empires.

    this is a corporate program that after 10 years needs to retire or to evolve into something else. the city of toronto limits participation to those select few who have participated in the past almost without exception (colborne lane is new) and to those who fork over the $1000. amex sponsors it, vincor wines sponsors it….

  • Gloria Clamen

    Similar events are held in world class cities all over the world. Hey downers … stop being so provincial! Complain if you must as a local and just don’t go … there are plenty of tourists who flock to these types of events. And don’t spoil it for the rest of us. I’ve paid ridiculous prices for less than mediocre and unsafely prepared street food at outdoor events in Greektown, Taste of Italy, etc. It’s a draw for many people who like to do something “different”.

  • also anti-ford

    there is nothing sophisticated (non-provincial) about eating out of a trough-even if it is a 3 course trough for $25. Enjoy your oblivion. I don’t know how my looking down on you could possibly ruin your fabulously ‘different’ piece of salmon or chicken…bon appetite!

  • Anomar

    LIVE AND LET LIVE!!! If you don’t appreciate the event, don’t go….. do what makes you happy and leave those that enjoy Licious be

  • re-electrobford?areyoumad

    Kill the event, let it die. It has a (deserved) horrbile reputation and mires this city in mediocrity. Some people enjoy crack-live and let live indeed! Abusing small puppies makes some people happy but okay just do what makes you happy…what a maroon…