Where Toronto’s Michelin-recognized chefs eat cheap: John-Vincent Troiano of Frilu

Although inflation has caused the cost of dining out to soar, there are many standout restaurants in the city with quality food at reasonable prices. And when it comes to restaurant recommendations, who better to trust than a chef — and a Michelin chef to boot!

Chef John-Vincent Troiano, recently awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant Frilu — which features a tasting menu comprised of contemporary Canadian cuisine made with Asian flavours and techniques  recently shared his favourite affordable restaurant in Toronto where two can dine with wine for under $100. Read on to find out which spot he selected.

Chef John-Vincent Troiano wants to eat at: Izakaya Ju

“They do smoky meats and vegetables grilled over charcoal,” Troiano told us. “Super low-key, fun and delicious and great with sake.”

Izakaya Ju

Located in the heart of the J-Town Shopping Centre (Markham), Izakaya Ju is an authentic Japanese restaurant that’s been around for more than a decade. Izakaya refers to a type of Japanese bar that serves up small, inexpensive sharing plates and late-night bites. On the menu, you’ll still find an assortment of sashimi and sushi combos, including popular fish like Japanese bluefin tuna and red snapper. For a quick snack, start with the edamame or the takoyaki (deep-fried octopus ball). Izakaya Ju also offers a selection of charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables, like duck breast or pork belly and shishito pepper or okra. Izakaya Ju also specializes in robatayaki cooking, which is a Japanese method that uses an open flame and charcoal. Try the miso-marinated black cod or the whole hokke finished with salt. There are also several rice- and noodle-based dishes to select from, including ramens, soba noodles and traditional Japanese udon.3160 Steeles Ave. E., Markham

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