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Summerlicious 2014: 40 Restaurants That Are Your Best Bets

07/08/2014 04:37 EDT | Updated 07/09/2014 11:00 EDT
Gary Blakeley via Getty Images

If you weren't quite on the ball when it came to Summerlicious reservations, you may think your opportunity has passed to try out one of Toronto's top restaurants for a fraction of the price (or as it really turns out on the bill, a free dessert).

But fear not, Torontonians! We've taken a look at the offerings being showcased in the summer of 2014 and determined which menus have the best options (which, in many cases, means the most options), truly original dishes and a great price point — not to mention, reservations still available.

Take a look at our list of Summerlicious restaurants you can still try out, and let us know where you've visited this time around.

Summerlicious Picks 2014

Restaurant: Blu Ristorante

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Short rib agnolotti with zuccihini, corn, pepper, and a Napolitana sauce (and tons of vegetarian options)

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day except Thursday, July 17

Restaurant: Bodega

Neighbourhood: Chinatown

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Blue crab cakes with ancho chili aioli & tomato provençale

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day except Saturday, July 19

Restaurant: Bymark

Neighbourhood: Financial District

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Lindt chocolate pudding with toasted marshmallows, cookie crumble, strawberry cannoli

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Yes, but not via OpenTable — must call (416) 777-1144

Restaurant: Bier Markt

Neighbourhood: Esplanade

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Markt charcuterie For One with espresso candied bacon, saucission sec, markt pickle, house mustard, smoked gouda cheese, grilled bistro bread

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but limited on Thursday, July 10

Restaurant: Biff's Bistro

Neighbourhood: Front St.

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Salmon tartare with Belgian endive, zucchini ribbons & Espelette mayo

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Bloom Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Bloor West

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Calamari with caramelized sour onion tossed in arugula-cilantro and onion mojo salad

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but no seatings between 7 and 8 p.m.

Restaurant: 5th Element

Neighbourhood: Queen West

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Railway mutton curry, slow-cooked with tamarind, Kashmiri chili and cardamom (and so many other options)

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: 7 Numbers

Neighbourhood: Midtown

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Salsiccia (homemade Barese veal sausage)

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Arisu

Neighbourhood: Koreatown

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Galbi Jjim (signature braised beef short ribs with simmered vegetables, traditional Korean herbs and ginseng)

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Bangkok Garden

Neighbourhood: Yonge and Gerrard

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Sugar cane shrimp with potato, wild ginger with curry paste; served with sweet & spicy sriracha sauce

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Bannock

Neighbourhood: Financial District

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Smoked salmon and salt-baked beets with split and sweet pea hummus, grapefruit, grenadine

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, closed for dinner Sundays

Restaurant: Cafe Boulud

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Cumbrae beef brisket with wild leek kimchi, grilled watermelon, crispy rice, black sesame

scallion & ginger sauce

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but very limited times still available

Restaurant: Chiado

Neighbourhood: Little Italy

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Terrine of salted cod with wilted spinach, shrimp, red wine sauce

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Destingo

Neighbourhood: Queen West

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Rack of New Zealand lamb in a fresh mint sauce, served with roasted vegetables

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Edward Levesque's Kitchen

Neighbourhood: Leslieville

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: 12-hour stout-braised braised pork shoulder with cabbage/carrot/lime/sesame slaw, Boston baked beans

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but must call: (416) 465-3600

Restaurant: Estiatorio VOLOS

Neighbourhood: Financial District

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Seafood barley pilaf with eggplant, giant sea scallop, and gulf shrimp

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but getting limited; closed Sundays

Restaurant: Five Doors North

Neighbourhood: North Toronto

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: “The Butcher's Son” Szechuan marinated Miami ribs

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but limited times on Fridays and Saturdays; closed Sundays

Restaurant: Globe Bistro

Neighbourhood: Danforth

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Perth County pork loin with cucumber kimchi, wild rice, Korean BBQ sauce, cilantro

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, except for July 10 and July 14

Restaurant: Harlem

Neighbourhood: Old Toronto

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Southern fried chicken and waffles and signature Scotch-bonnet-coriander-lime syrup and homemade gravy

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: John & Sons Oyster House

Neighbourhood: Summerhill

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Potato crusted albacore tuna, grilled asparagus, oven roasted roma tomatoes, smoked egg, chermoula aioli

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but increasingly limited times

Restaurant: La Société

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Pickerel with asparagus and barley risotto, lemon olive oil

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but very limited times for July 11 and 12

Restaurant: L'Unita

Neighbourhood: North Yorkville

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Chocolate truffle cake with Nutella mousse, candied pecans & maldon salt

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day; closed Sundays

Restaurant: La Fenice

Neighbourhood: Entertainment District

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Papardelle egg noodles with tomato and red wine braised pork back ribs with assorted mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day; closed Sundays

Restaurant: Lee

Neighbourhood: King West

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Thai fried chicken, green mango and citrus salad with grapefruit, jicama, lime leaf, chili calamansi vinaigrette, sesame crisp

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but very limited times (especially Thursday, Friday and Saturday)

Restaurant: Maialino Enoteca

Neighbourhood: Parkdale

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: White pizza topped with fresh Arugula,vine ripped tomatoes and our house cured Prosciutto, and Olive Oil

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Michael's on Simcoe

Neighbourhood: Entertainment District

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Pan-seared Orata fillets on fennel puree topped with tomato, olive, potato and crab salad

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Mistura

Neighbourhood: North Yorkville

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Roasted pork capicollo and creamy white polenta and caramelized carrots and black garlic cloves

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but increasingly limited times on weekend evenings

Restaurant: Momofuku Daishō

Neighbourhood: Financial District

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Somen noodles with pea dashi, mizuna, scallion

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but only limited times still available

Restaurant: Nota Bene

Neighbourhood: Queen and University

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Oceanwise albacore tuna sashimi with citrus soya, ginger, coriander, bonito flakes

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Ouzeri

Neighbourhood: Danforth

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Pastitsio, Greece’s most famous pasta dish, baked layers of penne pasta and spiced ground beef topped with béchamel cream served with baby greens

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Pangaea

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Duck breast spiced with coriander seed, fennel seed and orange zest, carrot puree, roasted root vegetables, orange-coriander gel

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day; closed Sundays

Restaurant: Pukka

Neighbourhood: St. Clair and Christie

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Beef short ribs braised with black cumin, garlic and ginger

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but increasingly limited times

Restaurant: Pulcinella Ristorante Italiano

Neighbourhood: Etobicoke

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Cinghiale, three-hour braised farm raised Boar Ragu with home- made Rigatoni pasta and shaved Caciocavallo Cheese

Patio: Coming soon

Reservations available: Every day; closed Mondays

Restaurant: Rock Lobster

Neighbourhood: Ossington

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Rock Lobster Roll, consisting of Nova Scotia lobster, mayo, lemon and RLFC seasoning

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day, but must call (416) 533-1800

Restaurant: Splendido

Neighbourhood: Annex

Price point: $45 dinner

Menu highlight: Black Truffle Agnolotti with Ricotta, Nutmeg & Parmigiano Reggiano

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but limited times and must call (416) 929-7788

Restaurant: Tabülè

Neighbourhood: Midtown

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Akaawi, cheese seared with nigelli seeds topped with tomato concasse and finished with za'atar and extra virgin olive oil drizzle

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: The Host

Neighbourhood: Yorkville

Price point: $25 dinner

Menu highlight: Kori Gassi, Manglorean style chicken cooked in a gravy of zesty masala which ranges from peppercorn, coriander to coconut and tamarind

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Rosedale Diner

Neighbourhood: Rosedale

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Petite Poutine au Canard: off-the-bone duck confit & québécois cheese curds, frites, demi-glace gravy

Patio: Yes

Reservations available: Every day

Restaurant: Toula Restaurant

Neighbourhood: Lakeshore

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Handmade Canadian Atlantic lobster ravioli, with a Sauvignon Blanc San Gimignano saffron cream reduction

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but increasingly limited times on weekends

Restaurant: Weslodge

Neighbourhood: King West

Price point: $35 dinner

Menu highlight: Saffron tagliatelle with spring vegetables, olive dust, Bufala mozzarella, pickled enoki

Patio: No

Reservations available: Every day, but very limited times on weekends