The 5 best restaurants in the Annex, ranked

Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood is renowned for its rich history and vibrant culture, boasting Victorian homes and bustling streets. Among its many attractions, the area is celebrated for its diverse array of fantastic restaurants.

Here are five of the best eateries in the area.

5. Victory Cafe

@victorycafepub/Instagram

Full of pub grub and craft beer on tap, it’s truly no surprise that Victory Cafe is a hotspot for the college students living nearby. It also helps that there’s always a new event taking place at the casual haunt, from drag shows to live music, and trivia nights. But the homemade pizza, crafted in an Italian-style Napolitano woodfire pizza oven, is a draw to not just the students but the working professionals, families and visitors of the Annex, too.

4. By the Way

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This Meditteranean restaurants was actually one of the first in the city to offer authentic Middle Eastern street food flavours. Now known for Mediterranean grill entrees and vegetarian fare, By the Way is a staple in the Annex. Inside, a stunning mural covers the wall in the dining area, while, outside, a spacious patio makes for a perfect Sunday brunch spot with friends.

3. Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen

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Off the main Bloor Street West strip of eateries and pubs, Harboured Street hosts a few spots that are a bit more hidden, giving you the chance to make a place all your own. Ciders from across Ontario can be found at Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen, all displayed in the wide fridges which cover the span of the back wall. Large front windows let in light into a dining area, made comfortable by a velvety strip of seating, and kept casual by the bright geometric mural across the brick walls.

2. Kinka Izakaya

@kinkaizakayato/Instagram

Kinka Izakaya first began with a location right downtown Toronto before opening across the city. The Annex location, nestled on Bloor street between a line-up of casual eateries, is the neighbourhood’s destination for Japanese eats. What makes Kina Izakaya unique is their zashiki room, imitating the traditional Japanese seating arrangement with low tables and cushioned seating. While standard dining and bar seating are also available, the zashiki rooms gives you the opportunity to experience authentic Japanese tradition.

1. Fat Pasha

@fatpasha/Instagram

Fat Pasha serves Israeli, Ashkenazi and European Jewish flavours; owner  and Bib Gourmand recipient, Anthony Rose cites chef Yotam Ottolenghi as an inspiration.  The 50-seat restaurant, decorated by Palmerston Design Consultants, features reclaimed wood, a marble bar top, filament bulbs and a black-and-white mural guest-starring Jerry Garcia (Rose is a proud Dead Head, and he’s scattered vintage Grateful Dead posters throughout the place).

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