Whether you’re hoping to impress a new flame or celebrate with a long-time lover, the right restaurant can be the difference between a memorable evening and this. Of course, not everyone’s idea of romantic dining is the same—some prefer rooms buzzing with energy, while others opt for serenity and luxury. So, we rounded up some of both. Below, the ten most romantic Toronto restaurants.
This quaint cottage on Davenport has been charmingly rustic since long before that became hip. Chef-owner Herbert Barnsteiner serves elegant Continental fare, while his wife Michelle makes diners feel like they’re visiting friends in some out-of-the-way country home.
Good for: treating your spouse
The service at this long-standing midtown institution is polished and attentive, and Keith Froggett’s menu displays superb technique without a lick of showiness. The hushed room on Avenue Road also has one of the most romantic views of the city.
Good for: toasting very special occasions
The elegant Harbord Street restaurant is one of Toronto’s best places to spend a few hours getting pampered. A guest celebrating her birthday receives a card signed by the chef and no special request goes unfulfilled—even if it’s a surprise caviar order.
Good for: asking someone if they’ll move in
Spread out over three rooms, this warm trattoria feels like a Tuscan farmhouse plunked in the middle of Cabbagetown, complete with a gently glowing pizza oven. Regulars catch up with their favourite servers before lingering over wine and hearty Italian food.
Good for: digging into the third-date questions
On date night, the trendy Ossington bistro buzzes with couples in their late 20s canoodling under giant spherical chandeliers as they share a Côte de Boeuf—a massive prime rib, served with seasonal vegetables and a mountain of frites.
Good for: filling up before hitting a nearby bar for a nightcap
In George’s quiet Queen Street dining room, wine glasses are seldom left empty for long, and napkins are folded each time a diner leaves the table. To celebrate in style, couples opt for inventive tasting menus—five courses for $99, ten for $140.
Good for: conducting secret affairs
Both the food and the 24-seat dining room at the Harbord Street bistro are laid-back and refined, which helps explain why it can be devilishly hard to get a table. The lucky few who make it inside are treated with warm service and modern French fare.
Good for: impressing a date with your ability to get an elusive reservation
Jacobs and Co.
Although this King West restaurant is serious about its steak, the dining room bucks the oppressive old-school steakhouse decor for an airier, if somewhat clubby, vibe. The service is polished and warm.
Good for: double-dating
This Yorkville mainstay is one of the city’s best seafood restaurants. It’s also festooned with enough buxom nude sculptures to make any would-be Lothario blush—before making a few moves of his own.
Good for: getting some
Auberge Du Pommier
In an age of excessively casual rooms, Auberge stubbornly clings to tuxedo-clad waiters, pressed linens and unabashedly fancy French food.
Good for: popping the question