One Day in Toronto: singer and radio host Laila Biali

The JUNO Award-winning musician and radio host shares her favourite food and drink spots in Toronto

From New York City's Carnegie Hall to Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has been captivating music lovers around the world for years.

The talented artist's forthcoming 2023 release Your Requests, Vol. 1 showcases personal arrangements of jazz classics requested by her followers and features guest vocalists Kurt Elling, Emilie-Claire Barlow, and Caity Gyorgy plus instrumentalists Anat Cohen, Grégoire Maret, tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, bassist George Koller, and drummers Larnell Lewis and Ben Wittman.

Give her newest single "Come Rain or Come Shine" below.

Being lucky enough to call the food mecca that is Toronto home, Laila Biali took some time to share her favourite spots for coffee, dinner, and more with us.


I have a number of food sensitivities and Lady Marmalade caters beautifully to those restrictions without compromising on taste and presentation. All their plates are bursting with flavour, and the environment is fantastic with friendly wait staff, large windows, lots of vibrant plants and cozy wooden finishes.


When I first moved to Toronto in 1998, a friend told me about this place on Queen Street called Juice for Life. They had amazing organic vegan bowls, smoothies and juices and it quickly became one of my go-to stops for quick, ethical, delicious food.

Over the past 20+ years, Ruth Tal (the owner) has expanded from that first store and opened “Fresh” restaurants across the city; even in a few places around the world. I’m not a vegan myself, but the food and drink at Fresh is so colourful, healthy and nourishing, their various locations across the city are among my most frequented fooderies. (I might even be their most frequent diner.)


Kamasutra is our best-loved local haunt for takeout. It gets top marks from me, my husband and our 12-year-old son. We lived in New York for many years and had our pick of amazing ethnic restaurants; but, other than one exceptional Indian meal enjoyed in London (UK) whilst on tour with Suzanne Vega back in 2007, this is the best Indian food I’ve had.

Their Butter Chicken is downright addictive!


I can’t drink alcohol due to an allergy, so for this category I’m going with hubby’s top choice for hot brew–Jimmy’s Coffee.

Ben (my husband, drummer and co-producer) loves his beans dark and bold, and Jimmy’s Hendrix blend hits all the right notes for our household’s coffee connoisseur.

Watch: Laila Biali - Pennies from Heaven (feat. Caity Gyorgy)