The NBA All-Star game, taking place in Toronto's Air Canada Centre on February 14, may be all about bringing together the best basketball players in the world, but make no mistake about it, there's more to the All-Star weekend than the big game.
Players and celebrities will be flocking to the city to take part in festivities and hang out in the swankiest of restaurants. While we can't guarantee where you'll get the best sightings, these are some of the local restaurants that are known hang outs. And if you don't see a celeb, you'll at least know you're eating at one of Toronto's best.
Sotto Sotto, 120 Avenue Rd.
This Yorkville Italian eatery is a mecca for visiting celebrities and athletes. They flock for the great food, including the famous antipasti. Everything is made with the freshest ingredients so, if you like Italian, you need to stop by.
Star / Baller sightings: Blake Griffin, The Weeknd, Drake, DeMar DeRozan, Jennifer Aniston, Blake Lively, Ben Affleck
Dbar at the Four Seasons Hotel, 60 Yorkville Ave.
The Four Seasons is a regular hotel for visiting celebs and athletic teams so chances are they'll be at least a few athletes staying here. Wouldn't it be convenient for them to drop by the in-house lounge, that also happens to be helmed by renowned chef Daniel Boulud?
Star / Baller sightings: Alex Rodriguez, Lady Gaga, Woody Harrelson, Bruce Springsteen
Fring's, 455 King St. West
Celeb restaurants aren't always known for the best food but when Drake decided to open a restaurant, he turned to one of Canada's most famous chefs, Susur Lee. A great menu with Drake at the helm almost guarantees that you'll see a player or two during your dinner.
Star / Baller sightings: Drake, Serena Williams, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith
Montecito, 299 Adelaide St. W.
This restaurant is co-owned by director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, etc.) so it's no wonder it gets a fair share of celebs. The California-inspired menu features locally sourced ingredients.
Star / Baller sightings: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Jake Gyllenhaal, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Denzel Washington
Joso's, 202 Davenport Rd.
Joso's is famous for fresh seafood, but it's also quite famous for its obsession with breasts. We're not kidding you. The décor features statues, paintings and photos that pay homage to the female form. Don't let the theme deter you though -- it certainly hasn't deterred the scores of celebs that have come through the door.
Star / Baller sightings: Stephen Curry, Drake, Mick Jagger, Mo Peterson
Brassaii, 461 King St. W.
This famous Toronto mainstay, in the heart of King West village, is a favourite of locals and celebs alike. It has great food and is open concept so is great to "see and be seen." If you get a chance to return in better weather, the cobbled-stone patio offers a rustic oasis in this busy part of the city.
Star / Baller sightings: Steve Nash, Robert Downey Jr., Vanessa Hudgens
Real Sports Bar and Grill, 15 York Street
Don't expect a lot of ambiance here: the RSBG is a crowded, open-concept restaurant serving elevated pub grub. But since it's located steps from the ACC, where festivities will be taking place, chances are you're going to get a few athletes stopping by.
Star / Baller sightings: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, regular Raptors sightings
E11ven, 15 York Street
Next door to RSBG is e11even. Both places are owned by MLSE (owners of the Raptors) but this restaurant is more upscale than its neighbour. The venue has an impressive 3,200-bottle wine list and a sophisticated vibe, so if the crowds are too much to bear next door, head to e11even for some quiet and a nice glass of vino.
Star / Baller sightings: Kyle Lowrie, Drake, Amir Johnson, regular Raptors sightings
Jacob's & Co Steakhouse, 12 Brant St.
This is one of the best steakhouses in the city, featuring steaks aged in-house. Don't feel like a full meal? There's also a pleasant piano bar where you can sit and have a drink or two.
Star / Baller sightings: Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson
For more to see and do during NBA All-Star Weekend, visit www.travelzoo.ca.
Andrea Chrysanthou is the editor of the Travelzoo Canada blog and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.
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