The biggest change to this year’s list of Joanne Kates’s 100 favourite restaurants is that there are now two lists.
We put a great deal of thought into how our readers view restaurants and how that affects our rankings. We know that diners want different things from different restaurants. Sometimes they feel like ramen at a counter, and other times they're after top quality ingredients and superb service.
In our critic’s own words: “We had to slice and dice the Kates 100,” she writes. “We saw this coming — tasty Toronto restos have been going relentlessly downscale for several years. The vast majority of this year’s terrific new restaurants are casual and cheap. They can’t be judged against white tablecloth temples of gastronomy.”
Some of the new entries are luxurious and upscale. Most notably, Patrick Kriss’s Alo debuts at the top of our Spend a Lot list. Fans of the chef can find out more about his experience and inspiration from our recent profile.
Chefs Patrick Kriss (left) and Rob Gentile top this year's two lists
Rob Gentile and the King Street Food Company hold onto one of the top spots as Bar Buca registers number one on the Spend a Little list, where two people can eat for $65, before alcohol, tax and tip. (As well, Buca Yorkville and the original Buca are number two and four, respectively, on the more spendy chart.)
Further down the Spend a Little list, local favorites like Indian Street Food Co., Honest Weight and Big Crow pulled in top ten rankings. Well-heeled standbys Edulis and Cava held onto their coveted spots in the first tier of the Spend a Lot list.
Grant van Gameren joined Rob Gentile as the only chef-restaurateur with a restaurant (Bars Raval and Isabel) in the top ten of both lists.
Even though this is the seventh year for the project, we continue to see plenty of new names. Twenty-six restaurants made it into the top 100 for the first time.
All that said, it's entirely possible that after you check out the two lists you'll find your favorite haunt is missing. If that's the case, let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on social media through the hashtag #kates100.
From the lead photo: Top row, left to right: Sushi from Shoushin; strawberry parfait with elderflower sherbet from Auberge du Pommier; braised octopus with B.C. clams from Buca Yorkville; homemade gnocchi from La Cascina; cured trout tartine from Chabrol. Bottom row, left to right: Arvi tuk from Indian Street Food Co.; house special fried noodles from Asian Legend; baby back ribs from Big Crow; sweet and sour spicy ramen from Kinton Ramen; steak tartare from Bar Begonia; a bowl of noodles from Magic Noodle