Bar Isabel

797 College St,
Toronto, ON M6G 1C7


About the Restaurant

When Grant van Gameren debuted his Bar Isabel back in 2013, he was relatively green. After forging a name for himself at the Black Hoof (RIP), the chef departed, causing many a foodie to question his next move. A stint at Enoteca Sociale resulted in a partnership with Max Rimaldi and the birth of the original restaurant in an ever-growing empire. Tiles were flown in from Mexico and chef Brandon Olsen was recruited. Since then, the eatery has matured beautifully. Long wood tables are filled with share-happy diners who travel to Barcelona via pan con tomate, spiffy Marcona almonds and blistered shishito peppers. Those hunting for the extra-special should look out for gooseneck barnacles from B.C. (or occasionally Catalonia). The delicacy is only in season for about a month. Bread is made in-house (upstairs) and is for sale daily after 2 p.m. If you can’t get a table, just grab a loaf for home. Oenophiles should also stay tuned for Cuvée Lila — a red wine collab with Pearl Morissette made exclusively from Ontario Lemberger grapes. This is why people keep coming back.


"My favourite thing is the little Spanish fix I get when I go there. The room, the drink and the food make me nostalgic about Spain."