Earlier this week, the Michelin Guide unveiled its map to the stars in the city of Toronto. At a ceremony at History entertainment venue, the guide expanded on its inaugural list of noted restaurants — first announced last September — and awarded several chefs and restaurants standalone awards.
Two restaurants were added to the list of existing one-starred restaurants. The first is Kappo Sato, chef Takeshi Sato’s chef’s counter on Mt. Pleasant Road. The second is 20 Victoria, a busy downtown spot for pitch perfect food (Chef Julie Hyde) and service (owner Chris White) that feels like a warm hug.
Alongside their Michelin Star, Twenty Victoria took home the award for best service.
Those awarded one star join last year’s ranks. Aburi Hana, Alo, Alobar Yorkville, Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, Edulis, Enigma Yorkville, Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto, Osteria Giulia, Shoushin, and Yukashi all retained their star. Sushi Masaki Saito is the only two-star restaurant in the city.
Two restaurants were awarded a Michelin Green Star, an award acknowledging significant commitment to sustainable gastronomy. Frilu earned the nod thanks to a keen focus on compost and Canadian ingredients. Owners John-Vincent and Sandro Troiano also own the no-till, all-organic Willowolf Farm in Tottenham.
Second recipient White Lily Diner also operates a 10-acre former hobby farm that grows produce (like fennel, fioretto, and other farm fresh greens) for over 15 other restaurants in the city. At the all-day East End restaurant, the local produce is transformed into comfort food staples.
“Since the inaugural selection in Toronto last year, we have seen and felt the momentum grow in this culinary community,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director of the Michelin Guides. “The passion, encouragement and determination has been evident, and we see the fruit of that labor today. We are very pleased to welcome Kappo Sato and Restaurant 20 Victoria into the family of Michelin-starred restaurants. The famously anonymous Guide inspectors were also inspired by the commitment to sustainable gastronomy at Frilu and White Lily Diner.”
BB’s, a high-energy Filipino space; Sunnys Chinese, a neon-hued Chinese diner; Tiflisi, a homey spot for Georgian food, and White Lily Diner also earned the Bib Gourmand award.
Marco Thompson from Osteria Giulia was recognized from their book-length list of Italian wines (including many deep cuts) and Quetzal was recognized for the cocktail program.
Other individual award winners of the evening include David Schwartz, chef-owner of Sunnys Chinese (Bib Gourmand recognized) and Mimi Chinese. Schwartz, Chef Braden Chong, and the Sunnys and Mimi team focuses on explorative and exacting dishes that pull from across China’s rich and expansive culture, like Sichuan chicken thighs pooled with chili oil and fennel, crispy-fried chicken tossed in dry spices and hidden under blankets of heaven facing chilis, and hen of the woods mushrooms with kao fu. (Their website also lists off their favorite local spots to pull inspiration from or fuel up after a shift, including Spadina Ave’s Papaspicy and Swatow and Markham’s Skyview Fusion Cuisine and Xin Jiang Restaurant.)
Curious about other options in the city? Here’s a list of my personal favorite spots.