What's Toronto's best restaurant? Toronto Life released its list of the city's best new restaurants earlier this month (the online version is up now
should be up in the next few weeks) and, unsurprisingly, two of Momofuku's Toronto outposts scored high on the list.
Of course, Toronto Life isn't the only game in town. Ask any Toronto foodie for his or her list of best restaurants for 2013 and no two will be the same. With spring finally here and restaurant-goers emerging from their annual hibernation, it's a good time to take stock of the exciting things going on in Toronto's restaurant scene. Which hot new spot should you check out? Is there an old gem that you missed out on last year?
[UPDATE June 3: We've added Joanne Kates' latest list, Now's 25 Hottest Restaurants and Corey Mintz' Best 44 Restaurants to the mix]
We take a look at some of the best lists from 2012 and 2013, compiled by local publications and try to match them up to the many different kinds of Toronto foodies out there. Bon appetit.
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Who should use it: If you absolutely need to go to the most-buzzed restaurants in the city then this is the list for you. Toronto Life's list combines heavy-hitters (two Momofuku outposts are on the list) and smaller eateries. But where's the east side? We didn't spot a single restaurant east of the Don River on the list.
Who should use it: The list looks like it's determined by compiling user reviews from Yelp users in Toronto so it favours older more-established restaurants. Both the Hoof and Khao San Road have more than 250 reviews each. Think of Yelp's list as Zagat's for a younger, hipper and more tech-savvy crowd.
Steven Davey picks the hottest restaurants in the city. The list is a great overview of the food trends that have got diners and chefs talking. Ramen and tacos figure prominently.
Who should use it: The hipster diner. The alt-weekly's list skews toward the restaurants that have the fixie-riding, tuque-wearing, foodie set talking.
Corey Mintz' The Best 44 Restaurants In Toronto, 2013
Mintz, a Toronto Star food columnist, creates this list for out of town guests attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The list is divided into low, middle and high-price ranges.
Who should use it: Those who want to play tourist in their own town. Corey's list is the one you wish you had for every single city you visited.
Who should use it: Are you in town for business? Need to find a decent restaurant near your hotel? This is the list for you. Judging by the high-end names on the list, it's even better if the company is picking up the tab.
Top picks: 1. Hopgood's Foodliner, 2. Ursa
Who should use it: The trend-chasers. Dozens (if not hundreds) of restaurants open in Toronto each year. BlogTO's list includes both high-end and decently-priced food options.
Top picks:1. Scaramouche, 2. Yours Truly
Who should use it: The completeist. Have you exhausted all those piddly lists with a mere 10 or 20 restaurants? Then this is the list for you. Kates is one of Toronto's most veteran restaurant critics with almost four decades at The Globe and Mail under her belt. Her 2012 list has a great mix of steady stalwarts (Splendido, Black Camel) and rising stars (Hopgoods Foodliner, Acadia).
Who should use it: The opinionated foodie. Chowhound is one of the best places online to gab about food. The conversation thread that spawned this list has more than 85 replies. Better get eating if you want to contribute to the 2013 list.
Who should use it: The really stumped. Zagat has broken down the list into categories ranging from best decor to best Italian. I'd be wary of some of the ratings though. Cookie cutter 'Asian' fusion chain restaurant Spring Rolls as most popular? Really?
Who should use it: The populist foodie. Urbanspoon's user reviews and submissions seem to skew toward the cheap and cheerful end of Toronto's food scene. It explains why Ryerson mainstay Salad King takes the top spot in their list.
We also should give a shoutout to The Grid, which has excellent food coverage (but sadly no best of 2012 list) and The Globe and Mail's Chris Nuttall-Smith for his overview of the Toronto food scene in 2012.