Prior to the 1970s, the options of Italian food in Toronto were, to put it charitably – limited. In fact, many of those options were versions of classic Italian dishes that had been rethought to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – an audience that did not include those of Italian descent. Think spaghetti and meatballs and the North American version of pizza, which no true Italian worth their Olive Oil would think of preparing.however all that changed when there was an influx of Italian immigrants into Canada during the 70s. Suddenly quality Italian inspired dishes were part of the Toronto dining scene – and that tradition continues today. There are some extremely talented chefs who have decided to make Toronto their base of operations – and there are also the descendants of those immigrants who have gone back to their Italian culinary roots with menus inspired by a number of regions in their country of origin. The result has been a thriving Italian dining scene. Here are some of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto.
- Cibo Wine Bar.
A wonderful venue that fuses the contemporary with the classic. Not only is the decor a reflection of the clean, fresh flavors of the dishes – but the dishes themselves tread that fine line between the modern and the traditional – and it is a line that the gifted chefs at this dining venue tread both carefully and with great skill. Mouth watering delights such as the Chianti Braised Short Ribs are new takes on old classics – and the flavors deliver. Regional delicacies abound – and the cheese plate is a thing of wonder.
- Speducci Mercatto.
Combining the undeniable attractions of an Italian inspire market and a top end restaurant this dining destination harnesses the undeniable skills of award-winning chef Gabriele Paganelli. Savor the fresh, clean tastes of classic pasta and inspired pizza or delve into the wonder of the ‘calamari fritti. prepared with seafood so fresh it should have no place on dry land. The handcrafted salumi with versions that harness the tastes of (among other) venison and wild boar this destination is a treat for gourmands. The selection of cheeses available for purchase is enough to keep loyal customers coming back again and again.
- Famiglia Baldassarre.
When local chefs start to order from the wholesale offerings of an outlet then you know that you are in good company – and in the presence of a master when it comes to taste. This is the place to go if you want to explore the many subtleties of pasta. With in excess of 30 varieties of the main ingredient of the dishes to choose from you will not be disappointed. The number of choices when it comes to the fillings of the fresh, al dente ravioli alone makes taking a seat at this restaurant well worth booking ahead. The tagliatelle is magnificent and those who miss out on the parma ham will be doing themselves no favors.
Toronto is a destination that foodies who love Italian cuisine should have on their bucket list – quite simply, great Italian restaurants in Toronto are not should not be missed. Buon appetito!