Toronto chefs on which restaurants they think will (or should) be granted Michelin-star status

Toronto chefs on which restaurants they think will (or should) be granted Michelin-star status

More on Michelin

Today, the Michelin Guide will reveal which Toronto restaurants have earned a coveted star (or stars). Regardless of your stance on Michelin—world’s best dining guide or an outdated measurement—it’s still a pretty big deal. Ahead of this evening’s announcement, we asked some of the city’s chefs which Toronto kitchens they think will—or should—make the cut.

David Schwartz, MIMI Chinese and Sunnys Chinese

Edulis and 20 Victoria are certainly deserving. Aside from their excellent food and service, I know that these places treat their team members with respect, which should be a prerequisite for getting a star—though it most definitely is not. A few spots I’d like to see recognized on the Bib Gourmand list that I think serve consistently delicious and thoughtful food—in no particular order—are Pho An Vu, Fuji Lamb House, Yan’s Soy Foods, Casa Imperial, Fonda Balam, Famiglia Baldassare, Donna’s, Café Polonez, Country Style Hungarian, Rasta Pasta, Sumaq and Richmond Hill’s Nianyikuaizi.”

Photo by Caroline Aksich
Anthony Rose, Fet Zun and Fat Pasha

“Though I don’t know if they’ll make the list, House of Chan is always ahead of the trends and definitely Michelin worthy in my books.”

Photo courtesy of Amanda Bradley
Amanda Bradley, Vela

“I am wildly in favour of any initiative that supports and promotes Toronto hospitality, but I wish the playing field had been a bit more level before Michelin decided to come to town. The pandemic ravaged our industry and it seems a bit unfair to those that are worthy but have struggled and are still struggling. Personally, I would have loved to see this roll out two years down the road. Naturally, I hope Alo, George and Vela make it the list, as they all hold very special places in my heart and have helped shape my career to date.”

Photo by Sarah Brownlee
Carl Heinrich, Richmond Station

“The Michelin Guide coming to Toronto will boost tourism and likely lead to higher-quality dining experiences for guests. But this singular drive might also perpetuate poor working conditions in an industry that’s currently reckoning with a growing awareness of systemic inequities, particularly at the fine-dining level. I was living and working in fine dining in New York City when the guide arrived in 2006. While many restaurants that deserved the recognition got it, many others did not.

“I hope to see Actinolite make Toronto’s list. In my opinion, it serves some of the most thoughtfully prepared food in the city, with the most incredible ingredients you can find in southern Ontario. Every umami-filled meal I’ve eaten there includes at least one bite that blows my mind.”

Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Victor Barry, Piano Piano

“I love that the Michelin Guide is coming here. It will push restaurateurs. Famiglia Baldassare should get a star for their craft and consistency. The food is always simple but prepared with more discipline than at 99 percent of restaurants. And I’ve dined at many three-star restaurants around the world, but I’ve had far better dining experiences at Alo, so it could be a contender for three stars. There is no better tasting menu in Canada that I have tried.”

Kate Chomyshyn (left) with business and life partner Julio Guajardo Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Kate Chomyshyn, Fonda Balam

“A few days after the Michelin Guide was announced, Toby and Michael from Edulis came into my restaurant for dinner, and I told them they would be our ‘bar to know’ if this was legitimate. Edulis deserves all the stars because they are a rare gem in our industry. They take care of every tiny detail, and the care they put into all aspects of hospitality shines every time you eat at their restaurant.”

Photo by Kayla Rocca
John Horne, Canoe

“I’m excited for Michelin to bring international attention to our city’s restaurants and hopefully properly showcase our amazing multicultural food scene, which is such a huge part of what makes Toronto special. I’d love to see spots like DaiLo, Edulis, Alo, Actinolite, Richmond Station, Yasu and Pai make the list—as well as a couple of our own, of course. That said, as much as Michelin represents one of the highest honours a restaurant can achieve, I’m really proud of what my own team and our peers have achieved over the past few years—especially while navigating a pandemic.”

Scott Vivian (right) with chef Nate Middleton Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Scott Vivian, Beast Pizza and Beast at Blood Brothers

“I’ve always been a huge advocate of promoting Toronto as a major food city in the world. We have an amazing collection of great restaurants and an extremely diverse food culture in the GTA. I don’t love the pressure that the Michelin Guide creates for restaurants and chefs, but I welcome the exposure and future that it holds for our dynamic culinary city.

“I think Alo will definitely get two stars. I believe that Edulis is worth two stars, and I’m curious to see if they receive this well-deserved accolade. Langdon Hall should get one star for sure but could possibly be awarded two.”