The Dish Power Rankings: the Jack Bauer edition

The Dish Power Rankings: the Jack Bauer edition


Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

Bar Isabel holds strong at the top and Jack Bauer’s presence pulls a normally buzz-free tavern into the number ten spot.

  1. Bar Isabel (no change)
    As Toronto chefs and foodies continue to make their pilgrimage to Grant van Gameren’s new restaurant, a consensus is emerging: get the octopus.
  2. Hopgood’s Foodliner (no change)
    Following an endorsement from René Redzepi and an appearance on our best new restaurants list, Hopgood’s has been hopping, with tables fully booked last weekend.
  3. Farmhouse Tavern (↑1)
    There are already 50 names on the wait list for Farmhouse’s next Hunt Camp dining series—which takes place in November.
  4. Playa Cabana Cantina (↑2)
    If you manage to get a table here—the next prime weekend seat is on May 10—make sure to order the whitefish ceviche (our critic Mark Pupo couldn’t get enough of it).
  5. Chantecler (↑3)
    Jonathan Poon’s tasting menu is fully booked through June.
  6. Electric Mud BBQ (↓1)
    Lineups are easing off at Parkdale’s buzzy barbecue joint, where the kitchen is now open until 1 a.m.
  7. OddSeoul (↓4)
    Not everyone is totally enamoured of OddSeoul—Stephen Davey recently accused it of being tired and derivative—but you wouldn’t know it on a Saturday night when the Han brothers turn out a steady stream of Looseys and squash poutines.
  8. Bellwoods Brewery (back this week)
    A new reno added a handful of seats to Ossington’s buzzy microbrewery, which were all filled on a recent Tuesday night. Also new: an expanded menu with fried chicken and pork belly.
  9. Kingyo (back this week)
    Four months in, and this Cabbagetown izakaya, number eight on our best new restaurants list, is still drawing hour-and-a-half lineups. Amy Pataki recently praised its hospitality as being “a rebuke to our often complacent service standard.”
  10. Elephant and Castle (new this week)
    Only the mighty Kiefer Sutherland could generate enough buzz to catapult the Elephant and Castle onto this list.

Honourable mention: Chris Nuttall-Smith discovers cheffy favourite 416 Snack Bar.

Dropped off the list this week: Queen Margherita Pizza 2.0, Patria, Catch