For the first time, Canada is now home to more than a dozen Michelin-star restaurants after the first selection of eateries included in the Toronto Michelin Guide was announced on September 13, after much anticipation.
In a presentation at Evergreen Brick Works, the Toronto Michelin Guide was revealed to include a two-star sushi restaurant, Sushi Masaki Saito, run by chef Masaki Saito, whose New York restaurant Sushi Ginza Onodera earned a Michelin star in 2017 and two stars in 2018.
Saito left that restaurant to open Sushi Masaki Saito in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in 2019, where an omakase dinner costs $680 per person.
Michelin’s inspectors praised Sushi Masaki Saito, noting that “only here will you find shirako boldly skewered and grilled over binchotan, and only here will you eat melting slabs of chutoro buried under a blizzard of white truffles,” as quoted by CBC.
Four contemporary cuisine restaurants also got one star in the Toronto Michelin Guide — Alo, Enigma Yorkville, Edulis, and Frilu — while a star each went to Alo’s French sister eatery Alobar Yorkville, Mexican restaurant Quetzal, and Italian restaurants Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto and Osteria Giulia.
Gwendal Poullennec, the Michelin Guide’s international director, said inspectors were impressed by “the diversity and the vibrancy of the local culinary scene.”
“Here, there is a lot to say about the diversity, the homegrown talent, and we really feel that’s not only a great beginning but that Toronto has a great potential.”
Poullennec added that a Vancouver edition is set to launch later this year.
Finally, Michelin named 17 restaurants worthy of the Bib Gourmand designation, which recognizes great quality at restaurants that offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for less than $60.
Toronto’s first Michelin-Star restaurants
- Aburi Hana (Japanese/Kaiseki cuisine)
- Alo (Contemporary cuisine)
- Alobar Yorkville (French cuisine)
- Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto (Italian cuisine)
- Enigma Yorkville (Contemporary cuisine)
- Edulis (Contemporary cuisine)
- Frilu (Contemporary cuisine)
- Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto (Japanese/Kaiseki cuisine)
- Osteria Giulia (Italian cuisine)
- Quetzal (Mexican cuisine)
- Shoushin (Japanese/Sushi cuisine)
- Sushi Masaki Saito (Japanese/Sushi cuisine) – two stars
- Yukashi (Japanese/Kaiseki cuisine)
Toronto’s Bib Gourmand restaurants offering great quality for good value
- The Ace
- Bar Raval
- Cherry St. Bar-B-Que
- Chica’s Chicken
- Enoteca Sociale
- Fat Pasha
- Favorites Thai
- Fonda Balam
- Grey Gardens
- Indian Street Food Company
- La Bartola
- Puerto Bravo
- SumiLicious Smoked Meat & Deli
The guide also named winners of three special awards.
The Michelin Service Award was won by Edulis, led by husband-and-wife chefs Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth. Sommelier of the Year went to Christopher Sealy and his team at Alo, and the Exceptional Cocktails Award was won by the team at Osteria Giulia.
Check out the full Michelin Star Toronto guide here.
Photo via John Tory