Here are 5 of Toronto's most buzzworthy restaurants right now

Buzzworthy Toronto restaurants to check out for a bite and a drink

With all of its openings and closures, Toronto’s dynamic restaurant scene has a constant oscillating motion. This could be due to a number of factors such as real estate and lease updates, evolving tastes and trends, or simply just creative minds looking for a new space to show off their talents.

While the food scene can feel too robust to have a complete grasp on, one thing is for sure: Toronto always has a new (or new-to-you) restaurant to explore.

Here are five new (and new-ish) Toronto restaurants and bars that, in my opinion, are worth checking out this spring. 

Electric Bill

Electric Bill is a cocktail and snack bar from the folks behind Civil Liberties that aims pays homage to Aussie culture. The space carries a relaxed and playful vibe, which is meant to resemble the no-pretenses bar concepts you’ll find in Sydney and Melbourne. 

One of the most charming design details of the place is the Oxford dictionaries that serve as seasonal cocktail lists (look for the tabbed pages that highlight Aussie slang words and phrases). 

For example, Bin Chicken is a cocktail named after the Australian white ibis bird. They’re gross scavengers—akin to a Toronto or New York rat. At Eclectic Bill it's the name of an earthy, sour and sweet cocktail made with beet-flavoured gin, Cocchi Americano, pineapple skin oil and lemon. Other fun drink names include: Budgie Smuggler (slang for speedos), Durry Muncher, Grass Cutter, Whiskey Apple. 

When it comes to the food, they offer the quintessential Aussie meat pie, which is a must-have. Their take on the iconic dish has a nice flaky pastry with a well-seasoned beef filling, and they’ve got a seasonal vegetarian version too. The grilled napa cabbage is already a fan favourite, made with a Marmite and black tahini glaze. If you’ve ever had Marmite, you’ll be relieved to know that the cabbage is not as absurdly salty as the polarizing condiment.

One of Australia’s most famous baked goods is, without a doubt, the lamington. Electric Bill makes their version by way of making a (purposely-dry) vegan sponge cake, raspberry filling, encased in a chocolate shell and a coconut anglaise. It’s a fairly far departure from a traditional lamington, so think elevated Jos Louis instead!


This lovely new-ish restaurant excels by way of its multi-course tasting that celebrates the spectrum of colours and flavours of Mediterranean cuisine.

The chef’s choice experience begins with a selection of canapés such as cube-shaped chickpea fritters topped with caviar, labneh and Greek bottarga. The fourth course is when flatware is doled out, which is needed for the lovely pan-seared Ibérico secreto layered with a thick grapefruit demi-glace, followed by the shawarma-spiced halibut and remaining courses.

To end the meal two desserts are served. First, a fancy interpretation of fig newton made with an olive cake, chevre and bergamot and then a lovely take on pan perdue topped with (an unexpected piece of) mortadella and chocolate. An unorthodox savoury dessert with the perfect touch of sweetness. 

Azura’s wine program does a great job of transporting you to the sun-kissed vineyards and salty sea breezes of the Mediterranean too.

As you leave the restaurant, a staff member will take a polaroid of you and your dinner guest(s) to commemorate the experience. How’s that for a cute final touch? 

Lisbon Hotel

We love a concept that makes the most of a 24-hour clock, and Lisbon Hotel is a café by day and a cocktail bar by night. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s neither a hotel nor has any connection to Lisbon, it’s just a demure hideaway reminiscent of a classy hotel lobby bar. 

Portugese assumptions be damned, the cocktails at Lisbon Hotel are undeniably well-constructed here. For scotch fans, Boy with the Apple has a nice sweetness from the white port, apple notes thanks to some craft cider and brandy and finishes with a light peatiness and smokiness a la Ballantine. For something bright and airy, the Little Wing Highball is made with fino sherry, sake, and cucumber.

The bar snacks here include garlicky lupini beans and roasted marcona almonds—which are very hard to not eat in excess when placed in front of you. The ricotta and port-poached pear dish, finished with crispy prosciutto and tarragon and served on toasted sourdough is a notable stand-out on the Lisbon Bar menu.


Aera is taking its gastronomy experience to new heights…literally. One of Oliver & Bonacini’s newest restaurants is located on the 38th floor of The Well.

The views! They make a guest feel like they’re eating amongst the clouds.

While you can experience the steak-and-sushi-focused Aera for lunch and dinner, its brunch menu has proved to be the best bet here, thanks to an array of elevated classic A.M. dishes. The presentation, creativity and flavours found on its brunch menu are exciting.

The warm, griddled cornbread served with maple syrup and shoestring corn chips is a fabulous start to a meal here. Avocado toast is ever present on menus these days, but Aera fancies theirs up by adding a layer of whipped to the whole grain toast.

If you’re a lover of martinis, then their take on a classic Belvedere is a must. What makes this one memorable is a single malt wash in lieu of vermouth and garnished with a blue-cheese-stuffed olive.

You may have just found your new favourite martini in Toronto.

Lulu Bar

Lulu bar has long been a popular destination on Calgary’s bustling 17th Avenue, but its new location beyond the city limits sees a vibrant two-level restaurant with a tropical colour palette tucked happily into The Well. Lulu’s food and drink offerings are as broadly tropical and oceanside-inspired as its interior design, pulling influences from Asia, Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest.

The menu is vast and offers everything from snacks and small plates, to meat and veggie skewers, dumplings, fried chicken and so much more. Not to be missed are the succulent steamed lobster tapioca dumplings, an ode to a style of traditional Vietnamese dumpling. The mochiko fried chicken is reminiscent of a well-balanced Manchurian chicken dish glazed with a tangy, sweet-and-spicy sauce.

Coconut lovers must order the coconut tres leches cake for dessert. What’s not to love about caramelized coconut, chantilly cream and a little lime?

One of the best parts about a dinner at Lulu Bar is sipping on a cocktail (or two). Their take on a classic Mai Tai, the crushable Coconut Cooler, the full-bodied Pineapple Negroni…the drinks here are colourful, fun, and make you wish for summer.