These 7 Ontario Restaurants Were Just Ranked Among Canada's Best New Spots In 2023

Let the food adventure begin!

A person enjoying mozzarella sticks. Right: Brunch from a Toronto restaurant.
Associate Editor

A person enjoying mozzarella sticks. Right: Brunch from a Toronto restaurant.

Canada's best new restaurants in 2023 were just revealed and a whole bunch of notable spots on the list are in Ontario.

Air Canada's En Route magazine releases a list of "Canada's Best New Restaurants" every year, where top food critics are sent on an undercover mission to discover the nation's hottest spots.

In this year's Top 30 list, seven Ontario spots had honourable mentions, with four in downtown Toronto and others within driving distance of the city's centre. So grab your car and best friends because it's time for a food adventure.

You could also mix some of these in with the seven new restaurants that made the list last year, including Fonda Balam, Mimi Chinese, Prime Seafood Palace and Osteria Giulia.

Without further ado, here are the seven Ontario restaurants mentioned in this year's Air Canada best new restaurants ranking that you need to add to your must-try list.

Casa Paco

Price: 💸💸💸

Address: 50c Clinton St., Toronto, Ontario

Cuisine: Spanish

Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for Spanish food in the heart of Canada, then Casa Paco is worth a visit to Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood.

The food critic said, "Chef Rob Bragagnolo sees to it that tomato bread with piquillos and scallops on squid ink rice have just the right amount of Spanish élan. Then wood-charred octopus and greens with a bottle of mineral-lime Blanc del Terrer and all is right with the world — on Clinton Street tonight, anyway."

Casa Paco Menu


Price: 💸💸

Address: 4 Wellington St., Bloomfield, Ontario

Cuisine: Italian

Why You Need To Go: Darlings is owned by Jesse Fader, the former co-owner of Toronto's Superpoint, which is a very popular pie joint in the city and so you already know the pizza at the new Bloomfield restaurant is good.

Air Canada's critic said, "The 3-D cartoon menu cover is a portal into a gloriously off-kilter Mexican-inspired red sauce joint, with woodfired pizzas, housemade pastas, handmade stracciatella and sugar pie with preserved Prince Edward County cherries."

And don't skip out on the drinks either, apparently, because "he created a place where the Spicy Paloma has mucho personality."

Darlings Menu


Price: 💸💸

Address: 1588 Dupont St, Toronto, Ontario

Cuisine: American

Why You Need To Go: With a small menu and a walk-in-only policy, this restaurant made it on the list because of its simplicity. With the limited foods offered on the menu, the Air Canada critic mentioned each item in their review.

Chef Jay Carter created a menu filled with things "you want to eat," which included pimento cheese with Ritz crackers, Caesar salad, a striploin with Worcestershire butter and a little cheeseburger with fries.

Chef Carter is "at the top of his game pulling salt-finished chocolate soft-serve, and life has never been so deliciously uncomplicated," the Air Canada review mentions.

Dotty's Menu

Kappo Sato

Price: 💸💸💸

Address: 575 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, Ontario

Cuisine: Japanese

Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for an experiential restaurant, this place should be on your list if you've got the wallet for it because it's quite pricey.

At Kappo Sato, the food is prepared in front of you, Omakase style.

The restaurant's Omakase menu costs each guest up to $360 and includes 12 dishes that range from Wagyu beef, sushi and sashimi to grilled dishes, tempura and rice.

Chef Takeshi Sato worked at a Michelin Star Japanese restaurant in Tokyo before he moved to Canada and later opened his own restaurant, which also recently made the new Michelin Guide.

Apparently, he "smokes Nova Scotian toro, so sweet and fatty it’s like a roasted Atlantic marshmallow."

Now, doesn't that sound delicious?

Kappo Sato Menu

Lao Lao Bar


Toronto's restaurant scene is getting a taste of Lao! This downtown street oasis will transport you to Southeast Asia the minute you walk in the door with decor straight from Lao and recipes from the country's markets. Narcity's Brooke Houghton went to check out the new spot and gives us her honest review. #toronto #torontofoodies #ontario #narcity #canada #torontorestaurants

Price: 💸💸

Address: 5 St Joseph St, Toronto, Ontario

Cuisine: Laotian

Why You Need To Go: If you are looking to try something new and experiment with flavours, then this hidden Laotian restaurant is the spot for you.

From papaya salad to curries and Laotian sausage, this Toronto restaurant offers delicious eats that even Narcity's Brooke Houghton raved about when it first opened.

She visited the restaurant for a first look and said not only is the dining room stunning but the food menu is robust and the cocktails are impressive.

Lao Lao Bar Menu

Rizzo's House of Parm

Price: 💸💸

Address: 2 Ridgeway Rd, Ridgeway, Ontario

Cuisine: Italian

Why You Need To Go: Matty Matheson does it again with his latest restaurant addition. Having Toronto's Fonda Balam and Prime Seafood Palace on last year's Air Canada best new restaurants list, he's offering nothing fancy or extravagant this time.

Instead, this restaurant is the opposite and offers customers family-style Italian food with a nostalgic element. It's similar to the vibes you get at an Old Spaghetti Factory.

"Homemade mozzarella sticks have a death-defying cheese pull, Matty’s Salad is an old-school Italian triumph," the Air Canada food critic said.

So, if you're craving Italian comfort food, make the drive out to Ridgeway because the cheese pull looks worth the trip.

Rizzo's House of Parm Menu

Simpl Things


Simpl Things is a new cocktail and snack bar in Toronto serving up two entirely different menus under the same roof. The Parkdale restaurant features an open-concept kitchen and a retro-looking bar where customers can enjoy food from two continents, depending on the time of day they visit. #Toronto #Ontario #Narcity #Canada #torontofoodie #parkdale

Price: 💸💸

Address: 269 Dunn Ave, Toronto, Ontario

Cuisine: Italian and Taiwanese

Why You Need To Go: Serving Italian food by day, Taiwanese food by night and brunch on the weekends, this spot has it all.

I visited this restaurant when it first opened and was fascinated by everything she ate.

The space is filled with colour and specifically curated furniture, making every corner Instagram-worthy.

The Simpl Things also boasts an all-star lineup of contributors. The cocktails are made by bartender Evelyn Chick, Pasta Cartl's chef Cody Wilkes brings customers the Italian and brunch goodness, while Eats By Betty's chef Betty Chia takes you to the dark side with a range of Asian flavours.

In other words, Simpl Things is three different cuisines under one roof; basically a one-stop shop for all your cravings.

Simpl Things Menu

Mira Nabulsi
Associate Editor
Mira Nabulsi is an Associate Food & Drink Editor for Narcity Media focused on all your favourite eats and is based in Toronto, Ontario.