If you've been spending a few too many wintry weekends on the couch finally watching "The Sopranos," Toronto restaurants are giving you an excuse to get out of the house. The annual Winterlicious festival, featuring prix fixe menus from $15 to $45 at eateries across the city, is in its 11th year, running from January 31 to February 13, 2014.
More than 200 restaurants are slotted to participate, included tough-to-reserve hot spots like Bent, Chiado, Momofuku Daisho and One, with reservations accepted as of January 16. The majority of restaurants are located downtown, but the offerings spread throughout the city, so those living north of the 401 and east of the DVP needn't be completely left out.
And a fair warning to the diners of Toronto — even if you don't want to partake in the Winterlicious prix fixe, going to any of the participating restaurants during those two weeks can mean you might have to. Call ahead to make sure, or try out some of our other favourite restaurants in Toronto.
You can check out the full list of participating restaurants (and their prices and menus) at the City of Toronto's Winterlicious site, but as you can see, it's a pretty overwhelming task. To help you out, the Toronto-based HuffPost Canada editors have selected their favourites based on a variety of criteria.
Are we right? Are we wrong? Let us know in the comments below:
<a href="http://www.bentrestaurant.com/" target="_blank">BENT</a> 777 Dundas St. W. 647-352-0092 $35 dinner Asian, international This beautiful fusion hot spot on Dundas W. is a Winterlicious newcomer with a standout menu. While others scramble to get reservations to Lee, the resto most closely associated with Toronto's own famous chef Susur Lee, hip diners can opt for this lesser-known Lee family establishment. Fresh, hearty and innovative Asian-twists like shrimp ravioli with scallops are a steal at $35 for three courses.
<a href="http://www.cantine.ca/" target="_blank">Cantine Bistro & Bar</a> 138 Avenue Rd. 416-923-4822 $15 lunch, $25 dinner French, continental In an area (alright, close to an area) known for overpriced everything, Cantine is a sweetly unobtrusive restaurant that perpetually offers a great brunch. Winterlicious gives diners a chance to try out their other dishes, like mini crab cakes or a pan-seared calves' liver. Bonus: you're beside the best flower stores in the city for a surprise bouquet.
<a href="http://www.jaipurgrille.com/" target="_blank">Jaipur Grille</a> 2066 Yonge St. 416-322-5678 $15 lunch, $25 dinner Indian It's consistently good Indian in a relaxed, comfortable spot, and the three-course menu gives everyone an excuse to eat pakoras without guilt. It's also one of the few menus to offer a bevy of choices (not just three) for the prix fixe.
<a href="http://lasociete.ca/" target="_blank">La Société</a> 131 Bloor St. W. 416-551-9929 $20 lunch, $35 dinner French Get past the corporate exterior, and this Bloor bistro's decor is like a Belle Époque dream come true. Enjoy a perfect steak frites under the stained-glass ceiling that dominates the dining room, or tuck in for some champagne and oysters at the zinc bar. The food is excellent, but not extraordinary, so usually the price of admission to enjoy the decor is a little too steep. But at $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner, there's nothing to lose during Winterlicious.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
<a href="http://momofuku.com/toronto/noodle-bar-to/" target="_blank">Momofuku Noodle Bar</a> 190 University Ave. 647-253-8000 $15 lunch, $25 dinner Asian fusion Momofuku's entry-level Toronto restaurant is already one of the best places in the city to get bang for your buck, so expect them to come through big time for Winterlicious. Been waiting to see what all the hype is about? Not more excuses -- go stuff your face with pork buns.
<a href="http://splendido.ca/" target="_blank">Splendido</a> 88 Harbord St. 416-929-7788 $45 dinner Continental Arguably the best restaurant in the city, Splendido never fails in its adherence to incredible service, delicious food that never relies on trends and an experience that, in a city of restaurant-goers, still feels like an event. So while $45 might sound steep, it's a deal for this stellar spot that isn't afraid to put sweetbreads on its Winterlicious menu.
Trevor Kitchen & Bar
<a href="http://www.trevorkitchenandbar.com/" target="_blank">Trevor Kitchen & Bar</a> 38 Wellington St. E. 416-941-9410 $35 dinner Canadian Trevor is a Winterlicious sleeper hit. A cool, cavernous vibe and a giant prix fixe menu make this a favourite for group dining. With five choices for each course (as opposed to the standard three), even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find something appealing on the menu. Plus there are added bonuses, like ample space for larger parties, cotton candy at the end of your meal and a laid back ambiance that makes you feel you can stay as long as you want.
<a href="http://wishintoronto.com/" target="_blank">Wish</a> 3 Charles St. E. 416-935-0240 $20 lunch, $35 dinner Comfort, international A huge favourite among those just starting to date, Wish can be a great spot for nostalgia-seekers to see whether it still holds up years later. The price point for items like a lamb shank or artisanal sausage might seem a bit high, but their desserts (marshmallow brownie?) sound incredible.
<a href="http://www.ago.net/frank/" target="_blank">Frank</a> 317 Dundas St. W. (in the AGO) 416-979-6688 $20 lunch, $35 dinner Seasonal global bistro Not to be confused with Frank's Kitchen (which sadly, will probably never do Winterlicious), the signature restaurant of the AGO has been quietly putting out great food while superstar exhibits carry on all around it. For the prix fixe, we're particularly interested in the steak with three sauces (for lunch) and the lamb loin (for dinner).
<a href="http://www.sevennumbers.com/" target="_blank">7 Numbers Danforth</a> 307 Danforth Ave. 416-469-5183 $25 dinner Italian, market fresh 7 Numbers is a place worthy of a non-Winterlicious visit. It's a nice, family-friendly atmosphere run by a woman whose favourite quote is, "You don't like it? Open your own restaurant, do it your way!" For those who want to want to get their hands dirty, chef Mama Rosa is hosting an "intimate and interactive" on Feb. 10 promising to reveal trade secrets and tips to make the perfect fresh pasta. Fresh ingredients, generous helpings and a spot at Mama's table always promise a good time.
<a href="http://www.cafeboulud.com/toronto/" target="_blank">Cafe Boulud</a> Four Seasons Hotel 60 Yorkville Ave 416-963-6000 $45 dinner Mediterranean, seasonal It's not every day that three-Michelin-starred chefs come to town and if you haven't yet had a chance to try French American chef Daniel Boulud's new Toronto outpost last year, now's your chance to do it on the cheap. The posh Yorkville restaurant features some of the chef's French and Mediterranean-inspired hits but the Toronto team has also been focused on using fresh local ingredients from Canada with its wild game and seafood offerings.
<a href="http://originnorth.com/" target="_blank">Origin North</a> 2901 Bayview Ave Ste 300 416-479-8833 This is chef Claudio Aprile's third Origin installment in the city and a first for the uptown crowd. Known for his inventive international cuisine and creative combinations, the reasonable $25 dinner menu features goodies such as pastrami spring rolls with pickles and chili lime dressing.
Amaya, The Indian Room
<a href="http://www.amayarestaurant.com/amayair/" target="_blank">Amaya, The Indian Room</a> 1701 Bayview Ave 416-322-3270 $15 lunch, $25 dinner Indian Not to confuse Amaya, The Indian Room with the company's growing takeout empire across city, the fine dining version of the restaurant is above and beyond your typical buffet fare. We highly recommend the value of the dinner option for $25 to sample the restaurant's modern and wonderfully flavourful creations. Tip: The lamb dishes are not to be missed.
NEXT: The Best Restaurants Overall In Toronto, according to HuffPost Canada editors.
Electric Mud - Medium Priced
"Up until recently, Toronto suffered from a serious lack of legit BBQ. Electric Mud, brainchild of the creators of Grand Electric, is helping change that, with a slate of sit-down, take-out and delivery options that is bringing the heat of the South to the Great White North." - News editor Michael Bolen <a href="http://www.electricmudbbq.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Momfuku Noodle Bar - Medium Priced
"Eat the pork belly buns that changed the food world forever and get full and drunk for less than $40." - News editor Michael Bolen <a href="http://momofuku.com/toronto/noodle-bar-to/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Sushi Kaji - Very Expensive
This tasting menu only restaurant is "arguably the best sushi joint in Toronto," says acting Living editor Claire Sibonney."It's worth the splurge for the all-out tasting menu ($150) that will have you begging for mercy by your last few courses. The restaurant is located in an Etobicoke strip mall, a reminder you're paying for the super fresh and creative food, not the flashy decor." <a href="http://www.sushikaji.com/top.html" target="_blank">Website</a>
Grand Electric - Medium Priced
In the word's of HuffPost Music editor Joshua Ostroff: "The greatest taco joint of all time ever." <a href="http://www.grandelectricbar.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Pizzeria Libretto - Medium To Low Priced (Prix Fix Is A Steal)
HuffPost Style editor Chloe Tejada says Libretto is her favourite resto in Toronto because it has a "simple menu that doesn't change too often, thin crust pizza that has so much flavour and savoury goodness." Also, "their pudding is to die for." News editor Michael Bolen thinks Libretto has the closest imitation in the city of the blissful pie he experienced in Naples. <a href="http://pizzerialibretto.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Lahore Tikka House - Low Priced
This cheap spot in Little India is the probably the best food you'll get on paper plates in the city. And it's worth going just for the nan bread, which is easily the best News Editor Michael Bolen has ever had in Toronto. Sneak into the hallway kitchen to see the daring cooks throw the dough onto the walls of the volcanic tandoor ovens. <a href="http://www.lahoretikkahouse.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Bar Isabel - Expensive
This Spanish sensation has taken the Toronto food world by storm. And for good reason. News editor Michael Bolen says the octopus is the "single greatest thing" he's eaten all year in Toronto. <a href="http://barisabel.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Cafe Polonez - Medium Priced
According to Business editor Daniel Tencer (Polish by birth), Cafe Polonez is "the best Polish restaurant in Canada, now that <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/mazurka-montr%C3%A9al-2" target="_blank">Mazurka</a> in Montreal is history." <a href="http://cafepolonez.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
King's Noodle House - Low Priced
If News editor Michael Bolen could only eat one thing for the rest of his life it would probably be the BBQ pork from King's Noodle House. Just walk in and grab a pound from the takeout counter. Ridiculously cheap, ridiculously delicious. <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/kings-noodle-restaurant-toronto" target="_blank">Website</a>
Guu - Medium Priced
Proof that Japanese is about way more than sushi, Guu has spread from Vancouver to multiple Toronto locations. Cheap, but delicious dishes and a rocking atmosphere explain why. Parentdish editor Kristy Woudstra says "every dish is better than the next and I sort of like people shouting at me in Japanese while I smile at them like a goof." <a href="http://guu-izakaya.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Bitondo - Very Low Priced
Managing editor for News Jen MacMillan votes for this Toronto institution "mostly for the ambience of a 1980s pizza joint." Website (they don't have one, but there's always <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/bitondos-pizzeria-toronto" target="_blank">Yelp</a>.
Hopgood's Foodliner - Expensive
"For a true taste of the East Coast, go with four people and try the whole menu of seafood (and donair) goodness." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://hopgoodsfoodliner.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Bairrada Churrasqueira - Medium To Low Priced
"Lovely backyard patio, my dad is a huge fan of their suckling pig. Also, quite cheap considering how much food you get." - Entertainment editor Chris Jancelewicz <a href="http://www.bairrada.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Acadia - Expensive
"Cajun-inspired art on a plate that looks too delicate to be filling, but it is." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://acadiarestaurant.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Tacos El Asador - Low Priced
For Central American fare, it doesn't get much more authentic than Tacos El Asador. A fave of a number of HuffPost editors. Website (no website, but there is always <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/tacos-el-asador-toronto" target="_blank">Yelp</a>)
Richmond Station - Medium To Expensive
HuffPost managing editor Kenny Yum doesn't eat out much, but he's a big fan of Richmond Station's rib-stuffed burger served with their "perfect fries." <a href="http://richmondstation.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Burger's Priest - Low Priced
"Plus one million points for decadence," says HuffPost Business editor Daniel Tencer. Associate editor Emma Prestwich agrees this spot is "worth all the hype," but she prefers the vegetarian "Option," better-known as that "fried mushroom thing." <a href="http://www.theburgerspriest.com/secret-menu/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Barque - Medium Priced
Entertainment editors Chris Jancelewicz thinks Barque is the " best BBQ in the city." Others may disagree, but it's certainly further evidence of a the good things happening with low and slow meats in Toronto. <a href="http://www.barque.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Buca - Expensive
According to acting Living editor Claire Sibonney, Buca provides "artisanal and innovative Italian that never disappoints. They make every single thing on their menu from scratch, and work wonders with seasonal ingredients in unusual and delightful combinations. Oh, and the novelty of getting to cut your own thin-crust pizza with scissors provided at the table never wears off." <a href="http://www.buca.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
JaBistro - Expensive
This one isn't exactly cheap, but the fish is exceptionally fresh, according to more than one HuffPost editor. If you're tired of standard sushi, this is a great place to expand your Japanese horizons. <a href="http://www.jabistro.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Hawker Bar - Medium To Low Priced
Business reporter Sunny Freeman saw legendary Toronto chef Susur Lee and his sons dining at this casual (cardboard menus) Ossington hotspot serving up Singaporean street food, including some of the best Laksa in the city. <a href="http://hawkerbar.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Foxley - Medium To Expensive
"Amazing food without the pretentious atmosphere or service. The menu is interesting because of the flavour pairings, not because the chef uses foam or serves microscopic portions.Time-tested and true." - Blogs editor Angelina Chapin. <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/foxley-bistro-and-bar-toronto" target="_blank">Website</a>
Chinese Traditional Bun - Low Priced
"A grungy basement restaurant and murder scene at Dundas and Spadina. It's also the greatest steam buns and dumplings joint outside of Northern China (and maybe inside, too.)" - Music editor Joshua Ostroff Website (they, unsurprisingly, don't have one, but there is always <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/chinese-traditional-bun-toronto" target="_blank">Yelp</a>)
Ruby Watchco - Expensive
"The brainchild of Chef Lynn Crawford serves a menu of Upscale family style meals that change daily." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://rubywatchco.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Gusto - Medium Priced To Expensive
"An amazing kale salad, well-executed Italian classics and $1/oz. wine." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://gusto101.squarespace.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Utopia - Low Priced
Travel editor Brian Trinh likes this low-price student joint because of the "patio in the back, friendly service in the front and good food all around." His favourite? The "killer sweet potato panini." <a href="http://utopiacafe.ca/home" target="_blank">Website</a>
Canoe - Expensive
"Consistently ranked one of Canada's best restos, need we say more?" - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://www.oliverbonacini.com/canoe.aspx" target="_blank">Website</a>
OddSeoul - Medium Priced
"Korean street food that goes way beyond bibimbap. It's loud and fun and reasonably priced, with giant platters of meat and a dish that is a spectacular copy of a Big Mac." - Living editor Rebecca Zamon <a href="http://www.yelp.ca/biz/odd-seoul-toronto" target="_blank">Website</a>
Bent - Medium To Expensive
"Susur Lee and his son's beautiful Fusion tapas resto. Ask for the surprisingly reasonably priced chef's menu and you won't be disappointed. " - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://www.bentrestaurant.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Sukho Thai - Medium Priced
"For someone who hasn't been to Thailand yet, I'm told this is the real deal. For vegetarians at least, the tofu nuggets, curries and pad Thai dishes are flavourful, spicy incredibly addictive. The restaurant owners have a few other (equally delicious) restos, including the overly-popular Khao San Road and a newer tapas joint, Sabai Sabai." - Associate Living editor Arti Patel <a href="http://www.sukhothaifood.ca/menuSukho.html" target="_blank">Website</a>
Campagnolo - Medium To Expensive
Stylelist editor Sarah Kelsey likes Campagnolo for its "amazing Italian food and bone marrow." Oh, and the "awesome wine selection." <a href="http://campagnolotoronto.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
The Black Hoof - Medium To Expensive
The Black Hoof has long been favourites among Toronto foodies. The hoof will always be Living editor Rebecca Zamon's #1, and not just because they let her bring her 2-week-old son in so she could eat her first cured/raw meat in 10 months. <a href="http://theblackhoof.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Wish - Medium To Expensive
Travel editor Brian Trinh: "Wish is another favourite, though I like it mostly for its clean, intimate atmosphere. Menu changes seasonally (or at least it gives the impression that it does with frequent new additions) and the service is attentive and friendly." <a href="http://wishintoronto.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Enoteca Sociale - Medium To Expensive
"The pasta-focused sister resto to Pizza Libretto offers Roman flare and local ingredients." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://sociale.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Ascari Enoteca - Medium Priced
"This east end cool and modern resto came personally recommended by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station. Less busy and better food than some of the city's other Italian hotspots." - Business reporter Sunny Freeman <a href="http://www.ascarienoteca.ca/" target="_blank">Website</a>
Ki - Expensive
"Impeccable sushi. Pork belly is ridiculous. A bit overpriced, but you get what you pay for." - Entertainment editor Chris Jancelewicz <a href="http://www.kijapanese.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
THR & Co - Medium To Expensive
"A warm neighbourhood feeling, with amazing cocktails, great music and wonderful locally sourced food. A fave right now." - Walletpop editor Ilona Biro. <a href="http://thrandco.com/" target="_blank">Website</a>
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