Michelin Toronto 2023 and Every Restaurant That Made the List
Chef Masaki Saito after it was revealed that Sushi Masaki-Saito held on to its two star rating. This is the second year the Michelin Guide handed out star ratings in the city. Sept. 27, 2023. Photo: Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images
What is a better way to bring people together other than food, friends and a party?
The star (pun intended) studded event drew together the cream of Toronto’s culinary who’s who from celebrity chefs like Matty Matheson (a partner at Fonda Balam a Bib Gourmand winner as well as Prime Seafood Palace and Ca Phe Rang) to regional top tables including Langdon Hall’s executive chef Jason Bangerter plus Pearl Morissette’s chef-owners Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson who were there to support their fellow industry members, food journalists and influencers, and integral industry players that help make the scene shine including Cheese Boutique’s Afrim Pristine and the always dapper Franco Stalteri who just rung in the tenth anniversary of his high profile supper club’s wine program, Charlie’s Burger. Of course, there were all the Michelin recognized restaurants in attendance all anticipating the final results.
Broadcasted worldwide, the celebration of excellence was a gathering where everyone mingled, wined and dined on canapés by Toronto catering darlings The Food Dudes, snacks from Bib Gourmand recipients, hand-carved Spanish jamon by Cinco Jotas, while keeping things fancy with dollops of fine caviar from Petrossian. After the announcements, many chefs returned to their respective restaurants to celebrate with their teams, while groups of revellers descended on Vela to toast the night away.
A go-to resource for diners and travellers around the world – rather, in cities that have been assessed by the guide – the Michelin Guide is based on the assessment of anonymous Michelin inspectors and has an impact on a restaurant’s business with many recognized establishments showing an uptick in business after receiving their stars. For many chefs, receiving a Michelin star is the ultimate honour and a quick way to gain international recognition.
The Michelin Guide judges based on five universal criteria, which include: quality products; their mastery flavours and cooking techniques; the personality of the chef in the cuisine; its value, in addition to the consistency between each visit and through the menu.
Restaurants awarded those coveted one, two, or three Michelin Stars have been identified by Michelin as “serving exceptional cuisine rich in flavour, remarkably executed and infused with the personality of a talented chef.” Those with the elusive three stars attract diners from around the world for their “exceptional cuisine, that’s worth a special journey.“
Kappo Sato, which means to cut and to cook in Japanese, is a fine Japanese restaurant on Mount Pleasant Road that serves Kappo cuisine, a multi-course meal where the chef connects directly with the guest. This is the kitchen where chef-owner Takeshi Sato shines. With more than 20 years of experience as a high-level Japanese chef, he is also qualified in the Japanese arts of tea ceremony and flower arranging in addition to being a sommelier and sake master.
At downtown’s unpretentious and approachable Restaurant Twenty Victoria, chef Julie Hyde and her small team serves a seasonally-changing menu. Hyde’s cooking focuses on celebrating seafood from both coasts and the Great Lakes with offerings like sturgeon and Jerusalem artichoke or smoked and steamed trout with caviar and lovage, served in an intimate dining room and bar.
A personal favourite among inspectors when dining on their own time, and arguably where Toronto excels at, are the Bib Gourmand award. These are given to restaurants who offer good quality food at moderate prices. Recommended selections are high-quality restaurants endorsed by the Michelin committee that aren’t quite a star or Bib level but “is the sign of a chef using quality ingredients that are well cooked.”
This year, Toronto’s guide introduced the Green Star award, which is given to restaurants that are pioneers in sustainable gastronomic practices. The guide also launched the country’s first Young Chef Award “which recognizes an emerging talent who consistently demonstrates culinary innovation” which were announced with its other special professional awards.
In total 82 restaurants representing 28 types of cuisine made it onto the second edition of Toronto’s Michelin Guide in 2023.
These are the winners.
Two stars: excellent cooking, worth a detour
One star: high-quality cooking, worth a stop
Bib Gourmand: friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices
- The Ace
- Bar Raval
- BB’s (new)
- Cherry Street Bar-B-Que
- Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken
- Enoteca Sociale
- Fat Pasha
- Fonda Balam
- Grey Gardens
- Indian Street Food Co.
- La Bartola
- Puerto Bravo
- R & D
- Sunnys Chinese (new)
- Tiflisi (new)
- White Lily Diner (new)
Other special awards:
- Exceptional Cocktails Award – Quetzal
- Sommelier Award – Marco Thompson (Osteria Giulia)
- Outstanding Service Award – Restaurant 20 Victoria
- Young Chef Award – David Schwartz (Sunnys Chinese and MIMI Chinese)
- Canada’s first Michelin Green Star – Frilu and White Lily Diner