18+ Best Downtown Toronto Restaurants To Dine At

Toronto date ideas that will show you care

…without necessarily breaking your budget either! Whether you’re on a first date, celebrating an anniversary or it’s just a Tuesday with bae, these Toronto date ideas will make sure you two spend some quality romantic time together!

Check out these saucy restaurants, explore the Distillery District, get the low down on the best brunches, and take a look at these local things to do for even more Toronto date ideas that are sure to impress!

1. Rent a tandem bike on the Toronto Islands

tandem bike toronto date ideas
Photo via TripAdvisor

Take a ferry, get out of the city, and you’ll find that the Toronto Islands are ripe with places to explore! From chasing each other through the hedge maze, to stripping down in the sand at Hanlan’s Point clothing optional beach, there are so many date ideas in one small space. Renting a tandem bike to zip around the islands is definitely the most romantic way to see it all!

2. Have a picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park

picnic toronto date ideas
Photo via StyleDemocracy

Stop by a grocery store on your way there, bring food from home to show off your cooking skills or go all in and get some refined takeout at Agora Greek Market & Cafe. Whatever you’re eating sitting in the grass of the park is the perfect way to pass a sunny afternoon, whether you’re practically married or just getting to know each other. If you two get a little restless, walk around and window shop in the surrounding Trinity Bellwoods area for a full day of free fun, then check out the awesome bars on Ossington Ave!

3. Eat at a romantic restaurant, of course

boralia toronto date ideas
Photo by Qanuk

A dinner date isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s a classic for a reason. It gives you lots of time to stare lovingly in each other’s eyes, get into some deeper conversation topics, and bond over how delicious the food is. The key, though, is picking the right place your partner will love. Toronto has no shortage of incredible restaurants, but here are a few that are perfect for a date:

Woodlot: a cozy Little Italy spot offering menus both vegetarian and meat-based menus made from local ingredients in a wood-fired oven. Warm and welcoming, it’s the perfect place to relax, feel at home, have a glass of wine and a good chat.

Frankie’s Italian: is the east end’s sleek neighbourhood joint for pasta and pizza. They serve old classics, reimagined, and make a sweet negroni. $10 pasta specials mean you’ll be able to eat well on a special night out without a hefty bill weighing you down.

Boralia: serves food inspired by Canada’s history. It’s a unique culinary experience that’s sure to give you something to talk about. Treat yourselves to a Carte Blanche adventure and let the chef pick your multi-course meal, making sure you’ll get the best of the best.

4. Stroll through Toronto’s amazing museums

ago toronto date ideas
Photo by the Art Gallery of Ontario

Get inspired together as you visit Toronto’s top galleries and museums, a perfect date for any time of year. Any art loving couple has to pay a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario at least once, and come back for exciting new exhibitions, and check out Toronto’s imminent Museum of Contemporary Art. Culture fanatics and history buffs can’t miss the Royal Ontario Museum, and those seeking a bit of adventure can let their inner child be filled with a sense of wonder at the Ontario Science Centre. Even if you’re not sure it’s your thing, all you need is an open mind and the right partner to make a museum visit a memorable one. Try posing like the statues in the AGO’s Henry Moore Sculpture Centre and you’ll see…

If you want to soak in even more culture, this list of ‘tourist attractions’ is designed with locals in mind for the most definitively Toronto date ideas. 

5. Chill out together at a beautiful bar

bar isabel toronto date ideas
Photo by Ian LaFaber

Especially perfect for first dates, a bit of alcohol in the right setting will make the romance spill out. Little Italy is brimming with bars fit for the task such as…

The Walton: a timelessly beautiful cocktail bar that also makes for a good coffee date destination.

Bar Isabel: a decadent Spanish restaurant that’ll bathe you in a warm red glow. It’s the perfect place for a late night meal that’s  romantic to the utmost. 

LoPan: DaiLo’s upstairs speakeasy-style cocktail bar with Chinese-inspired bar snacks. 

Plus there’s many more gorgeous spots around the city. Mahjong Bar is Little Portugal’s hidden gem. Fronted by a neon-lit convenience store it’s all boozy sensuality once you’re inside. BarChef, meanwhile, is a dimly lit hideaway that caters to the most elegant crowd. It’s cocktails that are out of this world – just take a look for yourself – making it the perfect place to celebrate a special moment together. 

6. Catch a movie at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

tiff bell lightbox toronto date ideas
Photo by Charles Leonio

Going to the movies, another classic date night, but the TIFF Bell Lightbox gives it a twist by delivering a top-tier movie selection. Screening festival circuit favourites, old classics on 35mm film, and international titles you might’ve never heard of, it’s a movie theatre experience for film buffs and adventurers alike. Plus, in surrounding Downtown Toronto date ideas will practically land in your lap, so don’t hold back and make a day of it!

7. Explore the hidden corners of Kensington Market

dancers in kensington market toronto date ideas by ana bilokin
Photo by Ana Bilokin

There’s nothing quite as romantic as checking out all the vintage stores in Kensington Market and trying on funny outfits to make each other laugh. The area is also full of amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving some of the best food in the city, perfect for grabbing a quick bite and exploring new flavours together. If you’re there in the evening, hang out at a local bar, or simply walk the streets and soak in the awesomeness that is Kensington Market.

8. Laugh all night with Second City

second city downtown toronto things to do in toronto
Photo by Marcel St. Pierre

Everyone says that laughter brings us closer, that’s why seeing a show at Second City is one of our favourite Toronto date ideas. It’s important to test out if you two share a sense of humour in the early days, and simply sit back for entertaining night of comedy at its best once you’re more in the groove. Second City does various nightly shows from improv to sketches, or maybe you two can take a comedy class there to really solidify those bonds.

9. Shop for dinner ingredients at a farmers’ market

farmers market toronto date ideas
Photo by datenightcincinnati.com

There are farmers’ markets all over the city from north to south and east to west, so we’re sure you’ll find one near you. The biggest one, however, pops up on weekends at Evergreen Brickworks in the Don Valley. Bring some reusable bags and your chef hats, shop around, take a stroll through the parkland and pick up fresh goodies to prepare at home. Make a night of cooking a fresh meal together and dancing around the kitchen with a glass of Ontario wine. Now that’s romance at its finest!

10. Bring out your inner child at Putting Edge

putting edge toronto date ideas
Photo by Putting Edge

On the edges of Toronto date ideas get a bit more bold. Putting Edge is one of many extreme adventures that you’ll find… indoor skydiving, anyone? At this glow in the dark mini-golf experience, though, you two will travel the planet, dive into the deep sea, blast up to space and enjoy some friendly competition that’ll really strike up a connection! Plus there’s an arcade to keep the fun going. One more perk of Putting Edge: you can now get to the Vaughan location by subway thanks to the latest yellow line extension!

11. Grab some delicious ice cream

dutch dreams toronto date ideas
Photo by Olive Photography

Mmmmelt in your mouth goodness is all over the city. Grabbing ice cream is a quick date idea that can be both casual and romantic, all at once. Bring your sweet-loving partner to one of these unique spots for a cool treat that’ll make them have the hots for you!

Wong’s Ice Cream: is a modest Riverside spot serving unique Asian-inspired flavours that include vegan and gluten-free options. Get yours in a cone or a cute Chinese takeout box!

Dutch Dreams: has been around for a while, and is a pro at serving deliciously loaded cones with a sense of family-run charm. The shop’s eclectic, trinket filled interior is a delightful conversation starter!

Arctic Bites: hop on the latest ice cream trend! This frozen thai creation is frozen on a -20C “grill” and rolled up right in front of you with your favourite toppings mixed, sprinkled and drizzled on to make for a colourful and delightful indulgence.

12. Book a room at The Broadview Hotel

broadview hotel toronto date ideas
Photo by Courtesy Worker Bee Supply

Have a romantic getaway within the city at The Broadview Hotel. Pretend you’re tourists exploring Toronto for the first time (or maybe you are?) and go out and explore the gems of the surrounding Riverside and Leslieville neighbourhoods. If you’re already familiar with the east end scene, or need a break from the city, stay in and enjoy the hotel’s luxurious suites, order room service from their Café + Bar, and dine in their exquisite restaurants such as The Rooftop, which boasts stunning views of Toronto’s skyline. 

With all these amazing things to do in Toronto date ideas aren’t hard to come by! Keep exploring even the most low-key neighbourhoods, such as Cabbagetown, and you’ll never know when you stumble on the perfect things to do with boo.

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