This Michelin-starred Toronto restaurant was just named Canada’s best

Earning a Michelin star already posed a challenge for snagging a reservation at Toronto’s Kappo Sato, and now, claiming the top spot on Air Canada’s 2023 list of the nation’s best new restaurants will make it even harder!

Under the culinary guidance of Chef Takeshi Sato, the Japanese establishment, known for its  tasting menu prepared before guests, was closely trailed by Wild Blue in Whistler and Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar in Victoria, securing the second and third positions, respectively. 

The top 10 list will be featured in the November issue of Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and online.

Chef Takeshi Sato @kapposato/Instagram

Selected by food critic Amy Rosen, author of Canada’s Best New Cookbook, the 2023 list features restaurants opened between late spring 2022 and June 2023, promising exceptional experiences in food quality, service and culinary creativity.

Kappo Sato


On December 20, 2022, a new Japanese restaurant opened its doors in Davisville. The first of its kind in Toronto, Kappo Sato serves up traditional Japanese eats masterfully made by a chef that has over a decade of experience in Kappo-style cooking. Kappo, which simply means “to cut and to cook,” is a cooking method by which expertly trained chefs use cutting and boiling techniques to make the food, in addition to having a deep understanding of the tea ceremony and flower arrangement culture prevalent in artful Japanese cuisine and culture. Becoming a Master of Kappo usually involves 10 to 15 years of steady training, which is why it is uncommon to find Kappo restaurants in North America. Armed with his education and passion for Kappo-style cooking, the new spot echoes simplicity and quality with every decision made from cooking equipment to utensils to décor – intentionally chosen. The food is prepared right in front of the diners at an open-facing counter in a relaxed atmosphere with Japanese-inspired design. The restaurant accepts eight reservations per seating — either at 5:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. — and serves just 16 people per day, which allows the team to focus on quality, delivering an intense, highly perfected experience for guests.

Celebrating its 22nd year, Air Canada’s cross-country restaurant ranking stands as the longest-running, relying on a single, anonymous reviewer.

The top 10 also includes notable entries including Matty Matheson’s Rizzo’s House of Parm in Crystal Beach, Ontario.

Rizzo’s House of Parm

Rizzo’s House of Parm on Instagram

Helmed by chef Andy Donofrio (formerly of Meat + Three), there’s also an abundance of classic pasta dishes including linguine and clams,  Carol’s chicken cacciatore  and Matty’s bolognese  Rounding out the menus is traditional Italian sides (rapini, polenta and marinated hot and sweet peppers), soups and salads, as well as a kids’ menu with loads of pasta options. This is not Matheson’s first foray into the Fort Erie food scene. During the pandemic, The Bear star opened up Matty Matheson’s Meat + Three, a now defunct pop-up serving up delicious BBQ which raised more than $6,000 for Women’s Place of South Niagara.

Celebrating its 22nd year, Air Canada’s cross-country restaurant ranking stands as the longest-running, relying on a single, anonymous reviewer.

Here are the 2023 additions:

1. Kappo Sato (Toronto, ON)

2. Wild Blue (Whistler, BC)

3. Marilena Café and Raw Bar (Victoria, BC)

4. Rizzo’s House of Parm (Fort Erie, ON)

5. Petit Socco (Winnipeg, MB)

6. Bonheur D’Occasion (Montreal, QC)

7. Folke (Vancouver, BC)

8. Le Molière par Mousso (Montreal, QC)

9. Espace Old Mill (Stanbridge East, QC)

10. Darlings (Bloomfield, ON)

A recent addition to the annual awards includes a diverse array of special mentions, featuring Trailblazers of the Year, Dish of the Year, Dessert of the Year, Cocktail of the Year, Tableware of the Year and Design of the Year.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO