Toronto is a good place to eat. The city's rich multicultural makeup ensures a kaleidoscopic banquet. In fact, it's hard to find a taste that Toronto can't satisfy. But the one thing you won't find is an entrenched culinary tradition; food culture is an ever-changing work-in-progress that offers a good deal of gusto and, on occasion, some appetizing originality.
A Note on Smoking -- A provincial law came into effect in 2006 that banned smoking at restaurants in Ontario: There is no smoking indoors, and patios that have any sort of covering are also smoke-free. This has made for a great deal of confusion because tableside umbrellas that are close-set apparently count as covering, according to the law. You can smoke on uncovered patios.
Pricing Categories -- The prices within each review refer to the cost in Canadian dollars of individual main courses, using the following categories: Very Expensive ($$$$), main courses at dinner average more than C$35; Expensive ($$$), C$25 to C$35; Moderate ($$), C$15 to C$25; and Inexpensive ($), C$15 and less.
Downtown West -- This is where you will find Toronto's highest concentration of great restaurants. Little Italy, which runs along College Street, generally has better bars and cafes than restaurants; the streets of Chinatown, which radiate from Spadina Avenue, are lined with brightly lit, busy eateries; and lately, West Queen West, Dundas West, and Ossington Avenue are all proving to be enticing destinations for dining.
The Danforth/The East End -- The general theme along the Danforth has long been Greek, although today there is more variety: good pubs, bars, restaurants, and lounges line the busy thoroughfare. You can still come for good and middling (but cheap) Greek, too.
Uptown -- This area is too large to be considered a neighborhood, stretching as it does from north of Davenport Road to Steeles Avenue. While it doesn't have the concentration of restaurants that the downtown area enjoys, a number of stellar options make the trip north worthwhile.
Out of Town -- Toronto is a sprawling city, and as it has expanded, restaurants have cropped up in formerly out-of-the-way regions. If you have a car, you might want to head out of town for some great dining just an hour or two beyond the city limits.