The doldrums of a cruel winter and an unusually wet spring have finally evaporated into full sunshine, an NBA championship and a city that is genuinely buzzing with excitement for these precious summer months. From July 5th to the 21st, Summerlicious is back! So we rounded up a handful of the best offerings in Toronto, so you can tuck into a well-curated three-course meal from one of the city’s finest eateries. Here are our top picks!
Bar Buca is known for its elevated Italian fare and relaxed trendy atmosphere. For $23 at lunch and $33 at dinner, guests receive not one, but two starters, a main and a dessert. With options like their pomodoro; a lusciously ripe tomato salad with barrel-aged balsamic; and the scamorza pizza; handmade with wild Ontario leeks, smoked mozzarella and salumi; this relatively recent addition to midtown will leave every customer feeling as if they just had a meal on the Italian Riviera. 101 Eglinton Ave E.
For great Lebanese eats, North York locals know to look no further than Tabule. This year the Summerlicious menu at this well-loved spot is sure to impress with its very reasonable price point of $23 at lunch and $33 at dinner. Enjoy some delicious Mediterranean treats, such as the seared Hallum cheese salad on a bed of arugula with pomegranate dressing, or the tawuk, marinated chicken skewers with seasoned rice and grilled veg. 2901 Bayview Ave.
Auberge du Pommier has been a North York institution since 1987, serving the finest French cuisine in two beautiful refurbished woodcutter’s cottages from the 1860s. This year’s Summerlicious offerings feature a $33 prix fixe lunch and a $53 option for dinner. Highlights from the menu selection include anise cured salmon with crème fraîche and fried leeks, gnocchi with sweet peas, parm and lemon thyme cream, and of course a decadent tarte au chocolat or clafoutis for dessert. 4150 Yonge St.
Summerlicious is the perfect time of year to get into the goodness that Piano Piano delivers on the daily. For mains, try “the pretty woman” with your $28 lunch, and dive into mounds of melted fior di latte, black olives, capers and anchovies. Or if you’re in for the $43 dinner, we’d opt for the grilled octopus featuring kale, pancetta and chermoula. 88 Harbord St.
This Queen West hotspot features modern French fare, well-paired wine and intriguing cocktails. Bacchanal‘s $53 dinner option features delectable classics with a twist, like the foie gras crêpes suzette to start, a standard but well-executed steak frites and a tangy lemon tart to finish. 60 Sudbury St.
Nestled in Yorkville’s posh Four Seasons hotel, Café Boulud has been serving up the city’s most sought after French fare for years. Their seasonally changing menu offers the best of France’s illustrious cooking tradition, with modern and worldly influence. And while a three-course dinner here would usually set you back a pretty penny, during Summerlicious, you can get a taste of the goods without breaking the bank. At $33 for lunch and $53 for dinner, you simply can’t go wrong. We recommend the halibut en persillade with apple purée and green beans. 60 Yorkville Ave.
Torontonians often look to Queen Street to keep on top of the city’s ever-changing trends in food and drink. Carbon Bar brings those evolutions to the table with ease and a southern twist season after season. And this year, why not head over to experience the movement yourself. Dinner is an affordable $43, so you don’t have to skip on the critically acclaimed cocktails. Indulge in a seafood boil complete with spring salt mussels, littleneck clams, charred corn, purple potatoes and flavour-packed andouille sausage, all simmered in a beer blanc and seafood broth. The whole melody of flavours is as delicious as it is fun to eat. 99 Queen St E.
Leña brings Argentinian cooking with hints of Spanish and Italian influence to downtown Toronto. Their stunning interior is the perfect home to a Summerlicious splurge, and the menu is sure to tickle your tastebuds with its spicy palette and hearty dishes. At $28 for lunch and $43 for dinner, you can enjoy delicacies like the gaucho mushroom empanadas or the grilled veal loin milanesa with white anchovy and chimichurri. 176 Yonge St.
We all know that sushi is plentiful in this city, but exceptional sushi is a rare boon. Miku has proven itself to be a cut above the rest. For lunch ($33) go for the sushi plate. The chef’s selection will not disappoint. For dinner at $55 you can elevate your experience with some Japanese-inspired entrees. We like the tamari soy glazed cauliflower steak. It’s always exciting when veggie options are as interesting and flavourful as their meat counterparts. 10 Bay St.
Canoe has always been synonymous with impeccable fine dining, by any foodie’s standards. With dishes inspired by Canada’s many amazing regional textures and flavours, a trip to Canoe will be one you remember for years. Try the braised beef cheeks for your $33 lunch with roasted baby gem lettuce, caramelized onion jus, crispy shallot and a wild rice crumble. At dinner, for $53 you can get a sumptuous local Tamworth Farm pork jowl with roasted chicken consommé, new potatoes, baby carrots and charred spring cabbage. 66 Wellington St W.
Mark McEwan’s financial district mainstay Bymark is a must for any of the “liciouses,” and this year’s summer edition is no exception. Located just a few floors below Canoe in the TD Building, this culinary titan offers style and substance at just $53 for a three-course dinner. The duck confit accented with a blueberry compote is not to be missed! Or if a quick $33 lunch is your MO, try the grilled sea bream served with Israeli couscous, cauliflower, lemon za’atar yogurt and olive tapenade. 66 Wellington St. W.