Canada is home to plenty of celebrity chefs and world-class restaurants, such as Alo in Toronto which recently was listed as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world! If you consider yourself a foodie, you might dream of slowly eating your way across Canada by eating at Canada's best restaurants. But, several of the restaurants recently listed as the best restaurants in Canada are so expensive most can't easily afford to eat there.
From $850 personal sized pizzas to an $880 piece of steak some menus might leave you price shocked. Many of the best restaurants in Canada offer multicourse blind tasting menus that are priced around $150 a person, with the drink pairing often being an extra $100 - the prices aren’t something the average person can comfortably afford.
Despite all the high prices, there are also plenty of celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Susur Lee, and Vikram Vij who offer outstanding food at a reasonable price. For example, at chef Vikram Vij restaurant My Shanti entrees are affordable prices at entrees range from $11-23, and the food is so good Prime Minister Prime Minister Trudeau and even William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tried it!
Here are some of the best restaurants in Canada, including 10 that only the 1% can afford.
With 3 locations around Montreal, Lov is considered one of Montreal’s most beautiful restaurants. Recently the restaurant has been drawing plenty of press, and in July 2018 was featured in both the Globe and Mail and Forbes as where you need to eat in Montreal. At Lov, the focus is providing in the fine dining experience without meat. The very Instagrammable restaurant offers outstanding organic and local vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The menu offers healthy versions of your favorite dishes like beet tartare, mushrooms risotto or coconut curry with prices ranging from $8-18.
With a nearly perfect 5 out of 5 rating on both TripAdvisor and Yelp, Jacob’s & Co. is highly regarded as one of the best steakhouses in Toronto. The elegant steakhouse and piano bar is the perfect spot for an opulent, romantic dinner. With $77 a person seafood towers, many of the steaks costing over $100, such as the $880 16 oz Kobe ribeye or striploin, the prices here are too high for the average person. Even the drink list might leave you price shocked, with several of the items costing several thousands of dollars, such as one bottle that costs $8605!
Chances are you’ve tasted the popular California roll which has rice on the outside and is filled with crabmeat, cucumber, and avocado. The dish was first created in Vancouver by Canadian sushi chef, Hideakazu Tojo in the early 1970s. At the time he had created the California roll to make sushi more appealing in North America by hiding the seaweed inside the sushi roll. Still, to this day, California rolls are available throughout the world. In Vancouver, you can visit Hideakau Tojo’s restaurant, which is named after him. While the set meals at the restaurant can cost over $150, you can also affordably enjoy an order of Hideakazu Tojo’s signature California rolls for $14-28.
Chef Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant in Toronto located in the Hazelton Hotel offers a luxurious dining experience. The dinner menu focuses on grilled meat, pasta, and seafood but the prices are rather high for the average dinner. The bone-in 20 oz. grass fed Prince Edward Island ribeye costs $100. Once you add in a side of vegetables ($13-19), fries ($12-17), and a sauce for your steak ($6.50) your steak dinner will cost you over $131, and that is without an appetizer or a drink!
His fine dining restaurant, Cactus Club has 25 locations and features fresh and local ingredients. The menu takes inspiration from global cuisine and offers classic dishes including everything from burgers, sandwiches, poke bowls and salads all under $20.
Chef Michael Smith is best known as the Food Network’s host Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef At Home and Chef Abroad. While visiting Prince Edward Island, you need to try his restaurant Fireworks which prepares a feast for you using fire. Dining at Fireworks is $145 a guest, and begin at 6 pm with an all-you-can-eat oyster bar and tour of the gardens. Make sure to save room, as the massive feast starts at 7 pm, which is a family style meal which includes freshly baked bread, local shellfish, seafood chowder, roasted meats, and vegetables.
Resident Judge on Top Chef Canada and a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards Janet Zuccarini is also the restaurateur of several restaurants in Toronto including Gusto 101 and Trattoria Nervosa. This year she opened her first non-Italian restaurant this year, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen. Her newest restaurant has a gorgeous tropical interior and is helmed by the Jamaican-born chef, Donavon Campbell. Reasonably priced, the menu ranges from $6-25 for home-style Jamaican food such as fish fritters, Jamaican patties, Jerk chicken, oxtail stew and goat curry. Since opening, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen has been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, The Globe And Mail, Huffington Post and Thrillist.
Chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud is best known for his French cuisine and restaurants across the globe. With restaurants in Boston, Washington, Miami, Toronto, London, Singapore, New York and Miami, his most famous restaurant in New York has 2 Michelin Stars. In Montreal, you can experience Maison Boulud eight-course tasting menu which is $130 a person. In compliment the tasting menu, you can also add the drink pairing to the meal for an extra $120, bringing the total of the meal up to $250!
If you love watching cooking shows on TV chances are you’ve seen Nicole Gomes, co-owner of Cluck n’ Cleaver. Nicole won season 5 of Top Chef Canada, Top Chef Canada All-Stars in 2017, and made it to the second last episode of Food Network’s Chef Gauntlet in 2018. If you are curious to try her food, you need to visit Cluck N Cleaver which she opened in 2016 with her sister. The restaurant specialty is fried, and rotisserie chicken and the casual restaurant offers meals for $10.75 and affordable takeout, family sized meals. For a genuinely Canadian twist on southern cooking, Cluck N Cleaver also has fried chicken poutine that is topped with their signature chicken.
For a truly memorable dining experience, Atelier in Ottawa promises to dazzle you with creative platings and delicious flavor combinations. The molecular gastronomy restaurant has a near perfect rating on both TripAdvisor and Open Table and is located in a townhouse converted into a restaurant. The 3 hour 12-course blind tasting menu costs $125, and the drink pairing to go with the meal is an extra $75 for nine different beverage tastings. The chef Marc Lepine was awarded the most innovative chef in 2018 by Canada’s 100 Best, and here you can expect to find playful dishes like helium-filled edible balloons.
Award-winning cookbook author Chef Roger Mooking is probably best known for being the host of the television shows Everyday Exotic, Heat Seekers, Man Fire Food, and Man’s Greatest Food. You also might have seen him on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Marilyn Denis Show, Iron Chef and Top Chef Canada or as a guest judge on Chopped Canada and Chopped All-Star.
In his Toronto restaurant Twist by Roger Mooking, he offers comfort food with a global twist. The affordable menu ranges from $5-26, including meals you crave like shaved prime rib cheesesteak, mussels, and samosas
Chef-owner Patrick Kriss’s Alo in Toronto has recently been drawing international attention. It was rated the best restaurant in Canada this year by Canada’s 100 Best, and this July was ranked in the top 100 restaurants in the world! Centrally located at Queen and Spadina, it is highly recommended to make a reservation far in advance to get a table. The contemporary French restaurant and cocktail bar offers an impeccable five-course blind tasting menu starting at $90. To accompany your tasting menu, the drink pairings are available with prices starting at $65.
Celebrity Chef Susur Lee is praised as being one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” in 2000 by Food and Wine Magazine and was given Canada’s Best Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. The owner of several Toronto restaurants, he has also appeared on numerous cooking television shows including being a finalist on Top Chef Masters, competing against Bobby Flay in Iron Chef America, and as a guest judge on Chopped Canada, Top Chef Canada, and Top Chef. In 2018, Chef Susur Lee opened his newest restaurant Kid Lee, which focuses on affordable Asian and French-influenced dishes. The menu has a build your meal structure, with $14 entrees for three items including one main and two side dishes. For example, you could enjoy creamy potato mash, Lee’s slow braised beef and a local beet and avocado salad with tomatoes, watermelon, feta and pumpkin seeds.
With an emphasis on local products Toqué in Montreal breaks against the typical fine-dining experience, by making sure dinner is fun-filled. At Toqué renowned chef Normand Laprise offers a seven-course tasting menu featuring Québécois dishes for $142. If you select to have the drink tasting to accompany your meal, that will cost an additional $105, bringing the price up to $247 a person! The highly reviewed restaurant has received plenty of publicity this year, as it won second place for the best restaurant in Canada and best pastry chef by Canada’s 100 Best.
A culinary master, Vikram Vij has been was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and was a guest judge on both Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, you need to try celebrity chef Vikram Vij’s restaurant My Shanti in Vancouver where entrees range from $11-23. Offering dishes inspired by Indian street food, My Shanti was nominated by Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2014. The food is so delicious at My Shanti that Prime Minister Trudeau and even William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tried it!
The stylish French-inspired cuisine at La Banane offers spectacular eye-catching dishes you will want to post on Instagram. The French bistro is tired platters of assorted seafood, and artistic Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg are two favorite dishes that dinners love to photograph. Inside the restaurant, you can find a large counter dedicated to raw seafood, but the price of the and the massive tower of seafood called la grande banana is too high for most dinners as it costs $300! Other opulent options include adding 50 grams of caviar to any of the dishes for an extra $190, or $50 chocolate desserts. If you can afford to dine here, you will be reward with exquisite food, as La Banane won best new restaurant 2018 by Canada’s 100 Best.
You don’t need to go all the way to Japan to enjoy a delicious bowl of ramen. The Michelin-endorsed Konjiki Ramen has been named ‘Best Ramen in Tokyo’ and ‘Best Ramen’ in Japan by Tokyo Walker Magazine and has a location in Toronto. Konjiki Ramen is so famous in Tokyo that people have been known to wait for hours to get a bowl, and in Toronto, you can try chef Atsushi Yamamoto mouthwatering ramen for only $14 a bowl. The hearty dish will undoubtedly fill you up with all the flavorful broth and noodles, so make sure you go hungry.
For a memorable Japanese meal, Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto in Toronto offers a fantastic Japanese cuisine that will make you feel like you are in Kyoto! Dinner at Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto is $300 a person and takes up to 3 hours for an 8-course blind tasting menu. Focusing on providing you Japanese culinary delicacies you will find dishes like Wagyu beef, season fish and tempura prepared by a master chef and owner Masaki Hashimoto. After dinner, guests can enjoy the relaxing tea ceremony in a traditional Japanese tatami room.
Jamie Oliver is one of the most prominent celebrity chefs on the planet. He has published over 20 cookbooks and has regularly appeared on television since 1999 on his countless cooking shows including The Naked Chef, Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food, and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In Toronto, his restaurant Jamie’s Italian has two locations in Square One and Yorkdale. The restaurant focuses on rustic Italian comfort foods designed to share made with fresh seasonal ingredients. On the menu, you’ll find all your Italian favorites like antipasti, pizza, and pasta with entrees being under $35.
A pizza restaurant is probably not somewhere you’d expect to find expensive food, but at Steveston Pizza Co. in Richmond British Columbia, they sell one of the most expensive pizzas in the world. The award-winning restaurant has received international attention for their Seenay pizza which has tiger prawns, lobster, smoked steelhead, Russian Osetra caviar and Italian white truffles and costs $850 for a personal size 12-inch pizza! Unable to afford over $800 for a pizza, you can opt for the 12-inch pepperoni instead which is only $17.