All The Best Eats on the Ossington Strip
Ossington Avenue is a hub of all things savoury, sweet, and intoxicatingly delicious. As you walk up and down the street, every storefront you see is a little culinary world of its own. Each is exploring tradition, seeking innovation, and making sure their guests have a good time, in its own way. The options can be dizzying, as you run from menu to menu, deciding what delightful meal to indulge in that day. That’s where we come in, with recommendations of the best restaurants, bars and places to eat along Ossington Avenue. At these spots you won’t be left hungry, in fact, you’ll leave full not only of good food, but good memories, too.
While you’re in the area, it’s only fair you explore Trinity Bellwoods as a whole, too. Or, check out another rich culinary pocket in Toronto, and take a look at the best restaurants in Kensington Market. On the other hand, if you’re looking to elevate your dining experience to new heights, these Downtown restaurants should do the trick.
1. Côte de Boeuf
The first wine bar from what you will soon realize is a thriving scene, Côte de Boeuf infuses the area with the energy and warmth of your local Parisian Butcher. The menu is french-inspired, too, with rich indulgences such as oysters, cheese, pâté and tartare. They even source their meat from a single farmer, so you can be sure that what you’re eating has been raised in good hands. All this, can be savoured with the perfect glass of wine as you bask in the warm glow of good conversation.
130 Ossington Ave | website
2. Paris Paris
Next on the list, Paris Paris also takes inspiration from the French. Fuelled by their love of wine, they’ve really made it the star of the show. Paris Paris is the perfect place to go for a casual drink any time of day, but make sure you also try the food. From oysters and charcuterie, to more substantial options like chicken and mushroom, the rich and abundant flavours are perfectly cut by a nice glass of wine, or two.
1161 Dundas St W | website
3. Salt Wine Bar
Rounding off the list of wine bars is Salt, one of the best tapas options on the strip. Using local and seasonal ingredients, they imbue traditionally Iberian dishes with a distinctly Canadian flair, making for a truly modern dining experience. As these Spanish dishes take root on Ossington, it’s only fitting that the wines served are some of the best imports that you can find from Spain and Portugal.
225 Ossington Ave | website
4. Pho Tien Thanh
Going in another direction, Pho Tien Thanh forgoes the frills and focuses on doing what they know best: making some of the best Pho you can find in the city. Everyone in Toronto knows that behind modest storefronts immigrant-owned and run spots like this one serve the real deal – Vietnamese food that has stood the test of time. The shop proudly announces on its walls, « I love pho forever, » and I’d agree. A big warm, bowl of soup is sometimes just exactly what you need.
57 Ossington Ave
Having a meal at Té is a true multicultural experience. Named after the Spanish word for Tea, the restaurant serves Korean & Taiwanese flavours, tapas style. The dishes draw on global comfort food influences: from kimchi falafel to bulgogi mac and cheese. On top of that, their dessert and cocktails are all made with tea, so you’ll definitely leave feeling satisfied. Come for brunch, too, to see your favourite breakfast foods in a new light.
70 Ossington Ave | website
6. Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery
Not exactly a restaurant, but if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, Bang Bang is a definite winner. I’ll confess, this place is no secret – it’s insanely popular, but for good reason. They’ve usually got about 15-20 different flavours on the menu and you can get your ice cream in whatever form you like: in a cup, a cone, a waffle, sandwiched between two cookies or even just straight in a tub.
93 Ossington Ave | website
7. Bellwoods Brewery
Similarly to many other restaurants on this list, Bellwoods Brewery focuses on using local ingredients and sustainable practices to craft its varied seasonal menu… and then there’s also the beer. Brewed in house, they are just as creative and colourful as the residents of this hip area. You might have to wait in line to get a taste of these ever-popular beers, so it’s better to come in small groups, or pick some up to enjoy at home from the bottle shop. Once you’re in, the friendly and welcoming space is definitely worth it.
124 Ossington Ave | website
8. La Banane
Bringing a dash of elegance to Ossington Ave that’s usually reserved for the sleek suits of downtown, La Banane is French-inspired, but also so much more. Most notably, they offer a raw bar, and a menu that’s geared towards fresh seafood. With amazing dishes, attentive service and a timeless old-world charm, La Banane is the perfect pick if you’re celebrating something special. There’s nothing else quite like it in the city.
227 Ossington Ave | website
Perhaps the patrons of Ossington Avenue have a bit of a love affair with Paris… Inspired by the warm and inviting atmosphere of a French bistro, Union is a natural gathering place for lovers of good food and good company. Crafted with farm fresh, organic and local ingredients, the menu is constantly changing with the seasons. Stop by during the week for lunch, dinner and a glass of wine, or join them on the weekend for a phenomenal brunch.
72 Ossington Ave | website
10. Pizza Libretto
Part of small chain of restaurants that spans Toronto, Pizza Libretto is a favourite for quality Neapolitan style pizzas that never disappoint. Each wood-fired pie is made to order from local ingredients when possible, so Pizza Libretto can accommodate dietary restrictions and picky eaters. It’s the perfect place to dine out with the whole family, or grab late night drinks with a friend.
221 Ossington Ave | website
After fine-tuning their operations in 2018, Omaw is back and better than ever. Now, the restaurant is more welcoming, more casual, and transitions even better to accommodate a little revelry at night. The menu is inspired primarily by the South, but draws form all over in its execution, dipping its toes in various cuisines. If you really want to dive in, there’s an event space and special chef’s table in the back…
88 Ossington Avenue | website
12. Pilot Coffee Roasters
Expert roasters and baristas make Pilot Coffee a prime Toronto favourite for your caffeine fix. Stop by their Ossington Avenue location to experience everything a cafe can be. They use state of the art equipment to prepare the finest of brews, and offer an eat-in menu for hungry passers by. Plus, if you’re in a rush, grab a bowl or a sandwich to-go and indulge in some cold brew on tap!
117 Ossington Ave | website
13. Mamakas Taverna
Mamakas Taverna serving Greek recipes that have been passed down through generation in space that also pays homage to tradition. The dishes are made to share, but are so good it might be difficult to! Their home made dips and pitas have been such a hit that they’ve also opened up Agora, a takeout place and market, on Queen Street nearby. For Greek food, Mamakas Taverna is truly at the top of Toronto’s game.
80 Ossington Ave | website
14. Schmaltz Appetizing
If you’re in a bit of a rush and just grabbing a quick lunch, or want to settle in for a picnic at nearby Trinity Bellwoods park, Schmaltz is the casual spot you’ve been looking for. They serve bagels and Lox, among other premium smoked fish. Make sure to make your own perfect cream-cheese covered sandwich with a dash of lemon on top. Open in the morning as a cafe, and in the evening as a bar, Schmaltz brings a bit of Eastern European and Jewish-inspired fun to the Ossington strip.
224 Ossington Ave | website
15. Bar Sybanne
Just across the street, resto-bar Sybanne serves tapas inspired by Israeli, Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines. These sharing plates are all about slowing down, relaxing and spending a bit of time together, instead of getting your food in a hurry. They put care and attention into every dish they serve and work to accommodate and welcome each guest individually. Plus, don’t forget – you’ll taste flavours of the Middle East not only in the food, but in the carefully crafted cocktail menu, too.
229 Ossington Ave | website
Named for the family that owns it, Soos serves Malaysian street food with a fine dining twist. The dishes are imaginative while still being authentic, and above all, they’re delicious! For $40 you can opt for the “Feed Me” option where your whole table gets to sample a selection of the best dishes. On Mondays and Tuesdays the space now also transforms into Fat Choi, a plant-based passion project presented by the restaurant’s (increasingly vegan) team.
94 Ossington Ave | website
17. Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese
Bobbie Sue’s is another spot to drop in, swing by, and grab a quick bite. Repeatedly voted the Best Mac & Cheese in Toronto, it’s pretty certain that this place won’t disappoint. Their menu goes beyond the classic pasta-cheese-breadcrumb combination to explore new territories in the world of mac with creations, like their « Curry in a Hurry. » The best part is, Bobbie Sue’s has affordable prices and vegan and gluten free options, making for an accessible meal almost anyone can enjoy.
162 Ossington Avenue #3 | website