Whether you’re just visiting, just moved into the city, or you’ve been a Torontonian since birth, Queen Street West is one spot you’ll want to return to time and time again. The neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s central hubs, a destination for culture, street art, small shopping boutiques, and, of course, food and drink.
Here are the top restaurants located on Queen Street West.
Bar’kada is your Queen West solution to get the party going. The dark mysterious exterior matches the mystery of inside, where velvet seats, leather bar chairs, and wooden finishings welcome you into a sumptuous place of sultry and high-class sophistication. This tapas and cocktail bar is the place for you to begin and end your night, where you can stay all night, beginning with one cocktail and a dinner on the back patio, and finishing late in the night, as the DJ plays contemporary, soulful tunes.
9. Ramen Isshin
Ramen noodles are always a favourite for university students, but Ramen Isshin might just take the cake for being the most loved by the many, many students living in Toronto. The menu at the Queen Street location is a line-up of choices, with even some of the most highly-praised bowls of vegetarian ramen. The Wok Fried Red Miso Ramen is the signature, made with a Tonkotsu broth over a heaping portion of fresh made noodles. Another addition that makes this ramen stand out above the rest, is the list of appetizers, including pork gyoza, wasabi octopus, and deep fried tofus.
There is no shortage of place to go for diner on Queen West, and yet there’s nothing quite like what you’ll find at Banu. Run by siblings, this restaurant serves up an extensive menu of traditional Persian and Iranian food. Showing off the specialties of Iranian cuisine, the menu highlight is the pomegranate beef tenderloin, a hefty meal that pairs perfectly with one of Banu’s many cocktails.
7. Osteria Du
You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the plant-based pizzas at Osteria Du. If you’re a cheese lover, its understandable you’d have your concerns about plant-based Italian food, but the substitutes (mozzarella and cheddars made from cashew), bold flavours and innovative tastes make up for what the menu lacks in animal products. Inside, the space is light and airy with a back patio open during the summer. You’ll want to hop over to this place soon, as it was just announced that Osteria Du would be closing in September!
6. Kinton Ramen
Queen Street West might now have a lot of ramen houses, when Kinton Ramen first opened in 2012, it was one of the first. Though ramen is their specialty, Kinton has gyozas, Takoyaki, and occasional specials on the menu. It’s no wonder Kinton has not only expanded its offerings and locations, but has encouraged other ramen hotspots to move into area, meeting a demand Kinton helped to build.
Floor to ceiling windows give you the perfect view of the busy Queen Street right from the dining room at Noce. But you’ll be pleasantly separated from the street, with the smells of the wood-burning over drifting over you from the kitchen. NOCE has a space for whatever you’re in the mood for. From the Octopus Lounge for sipping cocktails to the intimacy of the Tuscany Room, there’s nothing that Noce isn’t ready for.
Since 1992, Terroni has been in the heart of Queen Street West. Though it has expanded to locations across the city, and all the way to Los Angeles, patrons will always remember the humble Italian authenticity of the original location here at 720 Queen Street West. Over 30 years, Terroni has continued to serve up traditional Southern Italian eats in a 2-storey cozy space, providing a reliable, friendly service with traditionally Italian tastes.
3. The Good Son
Local and seasonal organic produce are at the forefront of the menu, and the wood-stove oven is at the forefront of the dining space at The Good Son. And it’s not just for their pizzas as many featured specials find their way into it. A full cocktail bar with an extensive list of house cocktails ensures The Good Son keeps busy all weekend long.
Saku is unlike most places you can find in Toronto where sushi, tacos, and cocktails all come to meet up. High ceilings, golden lighting and leather booths may not be the first atmosphere that comes to your mind when you think about sushi, but that’s exactly what you get from Saku. Stone walls and massive chandeliers are the decorative aspects, while the food is anything but decorative. Special roles, pressed sushi and sashimi are all available alongside hard and soft-shelled tacos. Saku cocktails are a must have.
If you’re looking to heat things up, check out Khao San Road’s joint, Nana. A simple sign welcomes patron to a Thai restaurant with not-so-simple flavours. Dishes on the menu are inspired by the street food found in Thailand and the seating is reminiscent of restaurants in Bangkok, with long, high share tables. Though there are tastes to appeal to all, no matter your palate, only the spiciest meals are in true Thai tradition. Come in for dinner and stay to check out Nana’s new cocktail menu.