The list is the product of a panel of industry experts who considered every new bistro, pub, and café across the country to generate a delicious selection of restaurants for one writer to visit. This took the (very lucky) food critic on a month-long culinary journey from coast to coast, sampling an eclectic cuisine that included everything from steak and seafood, to gourmet burgers and photo-worthy salads. The list of the country’s top 10 new restaurants reduced from a larger list of 30.
Here’s a complete list of fresh new spots in our home and native land to add to your restaurant list.
1: The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette (Jordan, ON)
Offering another reason to hit wine country in the Niagara Peninsula, The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette in Jordan, Ontario has been awarded the top honours. The spot – which sits atop a massive barn – features two chefs who serve a changing, multi-course, prix-fixe menu that’s full of locally produced and foraged ingredients and inspired by seasonal French cooking. This is paired with wine drawn from the winery’s holdings and like-minded makers across the globe.
2: Vin Mon Lapin (Montreal, QC)
Coming in second place is Montreal wine bar, Vin Mon Lapin, the latest installment from the city’s seasoned Joe Beef team. The intimate, cozy spot is located in Little Italy and opened its doors last winter to offer a place to sip natural, organic wine and enjoy fresh local food. The menu features an assortment of small plates and changes daily depending on local produce.
3: Elena (Montreal, QC)
Another Montreal establishment to make the list is the modern Italian comfort food spot Elena, a bustling pizza and pasta place from the Nora Gray team that has become a quick hot spot. Talking points at here include things like a diet breaking-worthy wood-fired pizza topped with six varieties of mushrooms, handmade tagliatelle with a robust pork and beef ragù, and a fresh kale salad.
4: St. Lawrence (Vancouver, BC)
Vancouver’s cozy, teal-paneled spot St. Lawrence serves up a French-inspired menu that the meat-lovers will particularly enjoy. It features a classic Quebecois theme that’s filled with storied talking points, with must-try menu items like the sautéed sweetbreads with mashed potatoes, the steak or beef tartare, a traditional venison meat pie, and a grilled hanger steak.
5: Giulietta (Toronto, ON)
Toronto’s much buzzed-about west-end spot Giulietta has the stamp of approval from the city’s foodies with a satisfying menu filled with small plates that is served within its Italian-wool-covered walls. Menu highlights include the grilled octopus, the cacio e pepe tonnarelli pasta dish, and the comforting La Giulietta pizza.
6: Aloette (Toronto, ON)
Offering a refined neighbourhood diner feel and taste, Aloette – the sister spot to famed (fancier) spot Alo – is Aloette. Menu options include a wedge salad with thin slices of avocado and crunchy wild rice, pumpkin seeds and soy beans; torched scallops with wasabi peas; a burger enriched with brisket and pungent Beaufort cheese, and a memorable mac and cheese.
7: Avenue (Regina, SK)
The super-tight chef-bartender team behind Saskatoon’s Ayden Kitchen pleases palettes at Avenue, with a menu filled with prairie ingredients. It features things like tender seared Diefenbaker trout preens on a creamy bed of fresh peas, asparagus, a three-grain risotto, and a raspberry soufflé. The elevated comfort food is washed down with a solid selection of craft cocktails.
8. Bündok (Edmonton, AB)
Welcoming neighbourhood spot Bündok features a chef-driven menu of sharable plates and a well-curated cocktail menu. Offering an assortment of options for the plant-based people and carnivorous set alike, the small plates feature things like beef Carpaccio, grilled broccoli, pork ribs, grilled hen, grilled nectarine tartine, and roasted cauliflower.
9: Sand and Pearl (Picton, ON)
In Ontario’s bustling Prince Edward County region, Sand and Pearl is making a quick name for itself with its memorable menu items, like Fogo Island crab legs, buttery lobster rolls on pain au lait, and Manitoulin Island trout niçoise salad with pickled green beans and lemony crème fraîche. The eats are paired with Parsons Hula Hoop Sour beer or a Huff Estates pinot gris.
10: The Courtney Room (Victoria, B.C.)
If you have a soft spot for refined steak and seafood, you may want to check out The Courtney Room the next time you are in Victoria, B.C. Located in the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, this spot offers a French-inspired menu filled with seasonal ingredients. A popular option here is a five-course tasting menu.