Toronto restaurants are as diverse as the people who live in the city. Some of the best restaurants in Canada are in the 6ix and the cuisine options are limitless, although the options can be overwhelming if you're a newcomer.
I've travelled all around the globe and I personally think Toronto has some of the best restaurants you can find anywhere, so I'm here to share some tips on where to start your food journey as a newcomer to the city.
I became a food writer because of how much the restaurant scene motivates me, so when I tell you it's good, it's good.
According to Destination Toronto, there are over 7,500 restaurants in more than 140 neighbourhoods across the city. In other words, if you ate at a new restaurant every day, it would take over 20 years to try every single one.
So where should you start in order to get a real taste of the 6ix?
Here are nine restaurants I recommend you visit at least once.
Address: 255 Queen St W, Toronto
Why You Need To Go: there are a whole bunch of Indian restaurants in Toronto. As a matter of fact, the farther away you are from the downtown core, the more authentic it gets. But if you've never had Indian food and are looking for some flavourful dishes, Little India in downtown Toronto is a staple you can't miss.
Even though Butter Chicken isn't an authentic dish, it's still pretty delicious at this Toronto spot.
Additionally, they have foods like chicken tikka, masala, lamb vindaloo and so much more.
Address: 552 King St W, Toronto
Why You Need To Go: If you love the sound and smell of sizzling fajitas, then Wilbur Mexicana is where you must spend your night.
It is one of my go-tos when craving Mexican food because it's a delicious spot for tacos, burritos, salads, chips, guac and so much more.
Located in the heart of the King Street West area, this spot cannot be missed, and if you're lost, just look for the line of people waiting to order their food.
Oh, they also have a wall of hot sauces and it's the perfect opportunity to live out your "Hot Ones" dream.
Mildred's Temple Kitchen
Address: 85 Hanna Ave., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Home to the famous Mrs. Biederhofs Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Mildred's Temple Kitchen is a rite of passage for anyone who truly wants to experience the tastes of Toronto.
This has been a beloved brunch spot in Toronto for many years and it's always busy with people looking to devour their sweet and savoury foods.
If you love brunch, then you'll love this.
Address: Various locations
Why You Need To Go: Pai serves authentic Northern Thai food and has various dishes from curries to noodles, salads, soup and more.
Not only is it a Michelin-recommended restaurant, but it's also one of actor Simu Liu's favourite Toronto spots.
Liu's go-to meal, and the chef's favourite, is the Khao Soi, which is "fresh egg noodles in a golden coconut milk curry topped with crispy noodles, coriander, green onions, and your choice of Braised Beef, Chicken Breast, Shrimp, Tofu & Veggies," according to the website.
Address: Various locations
Why You Need To Go: Terroni is a classic Italian restaurant in Toronto. The first location opened in 1992 and they've expanded with more spots across the city and in Hollywood, where Canadian actors still stop by there to get a taste of home.
There are various locations to choose from in Toronto, each with its own special vibe, so make sure you check their website before going. But my favourite is Terroni Adelaide because the building has so much history and feels like I've been transported to Italy.
Cuisine: Japanese Ramen
Address: 249 Queen St W, Toronto
Why You Need To Go: This restaurant has two branches, one that serves chicken ramen and the other pork. So if you prefer chicken, like I do, you'll love this. The ramen spot also has a vegetarian option.
Ramen is a perfect meal for a cold and gloomy Sunday when a warm and hearty meal is needed to boost your serotonin levels.
Cuisine: West African
Address: 1510 Queen St W, Toronto
Why You Need To Go: From Kelewele Tostones to Shrimp Surfers and Jollof, this restaurant has authentic West African food that will seriously warm your soul.
The comfort food is filling, herby, spicy and cheap, which makes for the perfect meal in Toronto.
Address: Various locations
Why Not Need To Go: Jamaican patties are an institution in Toronto. They are cheap, flavourful and an excellent option for an on-the-go food item that you can find in many parts of the city, especially in TTC subway stations.
But Patties Express is a spot that I personally tried for the first time last year and thought it was seriously incredible.
The patty has a herby beef stuffing, and the outer shell is doughy and crispy simultaneously, making for a satisfying consistency.
If you're trying a patty for the first time, I would seriously suggest giving this place a go first.
Address: 181 Dovercourt Rd., Toronto
Why Not Need To Go: Pizza is a great meal for anyone, and there are various versions of it in the city, but Badiali has been open for years and people will still stand in line for it.
I tried it for the first time last year and must admit it might be one of the best pizzas I've ever had.
From the dough to tomato sauce and cheese, each bite was heavenly.
The crust was cooked to perfection with hints of olive oil and some salt. I didn't even need a dipping sauce to make it more flavourful.
There are various pizzas to choose from, but if I were you, I would make sure to put an order in a day in advance to avoid the lineup and guarantee yourself your favourite pizza slice.