Our best new Toronto Restaurants Countdown: #4, Atai Bistro

A few months into its run, Atai Bistro is already wooing diners with its combination of cosy, French café vibes and flavourful Moroccan fare.

The restaurant aims to bring a contemporary approach to Moroccan cuisine, with chef de cuisine Meaghan Foster putting her own spin on traditional regional recipes using French cooking techniques.

The smoked eggplant flatbread with pickled zucchini, pomegranate and tahini.

“While we were looking to create this concept during COVID, we experienced a lot of challenges that other restaurants and businesses in this city felt—delays on product, staffing, restrictions,” says Atai Bistro general manager, Haley Johnson. “We had to lean into a mindset of we will do what we can.”

The menu at Atai Bistro features plenty of beautiful spreads and sharing platters.

The menu at the inviting Junction area restaurant emphasizes sharing-style meals, including beautiful mezze platters; savoury flatbreads such as the Bresaola topped with fennel, harissa, ricotta, za’atar and pomegranate; and dips like hummus with Urfa chilli oil.

Atai Bistro’s house-made hummus created with organic tahini.

The basteeya exemplifies Atai’s dual French-Moroccan culinary ethos, featuring braised chicken pie and almond and brown butter hollandaise in a phyllo pastry.

Atai Bistro’s signature dish inspired by the classic Morrocan B’stilla, with braised chicken, almond, phyllo and brown butter hollandaise.

Cocktails also draw inspiration from the North African nation with the Aube Marocaine, for example, made with a
blend of light bourbon, mint, spice syrup, Moroccan tea, and Peychaud bitters.

Aube Marocaine’s spiced, refreshing, and light flavour with bourbon, mint, spice syrup, Moroccan tea, and Peychaud bitters.

There’s also a brief list of French wines,local and international beers and, true to Morocco’s dining culture, plenty of loose leaf tea options.

In addition to its dine-in menu, Atai Bistro also offers an extensive selection of house-made pantry items like a za’atar spice blend, chili oil and smoked almonds.

“The overwhelming response from communities backing us up and showing support is really a testament that there is a greener pasture ahead for us,” Johnson concludes.

3047 Dundas St. W

Article exclusive to TRNTO