One day in Toronto: chef Andrea Nicholson

This Top Chef Canada contender shares her favourite breakfast, lunch, dinner and drink spots in Toronto

An entrepreneur, chef and host of Food Network’s Restaurant Takeover and contestant on the first season of Top Chef Canada, Andrea Nicholson knows what goes into good food and successful restaurants.

Nicholson's culinary journey began at the age of 14, when she discovered her fascination with the art of food. After completing the culinary program at Toronto's George Brown College, Nicholson toiled in the kitchens at a slew of restaurants in Toronto including The Fifth and Trattoria Nervosa. From there, her experience took her to the world-renowned six-star cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Nicholson has also trained in New York City under Roberto Caporuscio, garnering her with a diploma from the A.P.N. of Naples, Italy, distinguishing her as a certified Pizzaiuoli.

Her every experience at home and abroad helped shape her multi-dimensional culinary know-how, but don't be mistaken that her travels and experience in working abroad have diluted her dedication to Canadian ingredients. A proud supporter Canadian farmers and purveyors and the Ocean Wise program, Nicholson celebrates the purity of local and seasonal produce in every dish, and most recently, in her own artisan product line called Killer Condiments.

With a profile like that, this talented and knowledgeable Torontonian is just the person to ask about gems in the city.


I am a purist when it comes to breakfast — nothing sweet, just some properly cooked eggs, crispy bacon and rye toast. For that, I really like Rosemary & Thyme. It's fast, friendly and has really good coffee!


I lived in Chinatown for years and fell in love with Rol San, a Chinese restaurant with really tasty and fresh food. It has a killer dim sum menu on the weekends and its crispy beef is wicked good (ask for it special).


David Duncan House, this place is an old school gentleman's club/restaurant that is all about French service— complete with trollies, flambé and the whole bit — set in an old historic house. The servers are older men dressed in tuxedo-like uniforms who make the best tableside caesar salad and Spanish coffee. It's expensive, but it's an experience worth having. 


Kitch: it's a super cool hipster bar with great cocktails and guaranteed dance party, always.