A romantic atmosphere is one of those irresistibly indefinable things. It could be the warm glow of a flickering candle or a neon sign that shines a soft pink-hued light on their face in just the right way. It’s sultry jazz music played by a quartet at one of Toronto's bars with live music, but it’s also melodic electronic beats that make you want to dance. It’s a synchronized sigh after the first bite of something so delicious. Whatever it is, Toronto’s most romantic restaurants are oozing that charm and ambiance.
There are a lot of incredible eateries and great bars in Toronto, from Michelin Guide recommended restaurants to hole-in-the-walls serving cheap eats and the feeling of being in the know. But our favourites, and some of the best restaurants in the city, are also the most romantic restaurants in Toronto.
Lately, there’s been a whole slew of new restaurants in Toronto with a focus on combining entertainment and over-the-top décor with excellent eats. The rise of the resto-lounge has seen steakhouses serve nightclub-esque vibes, and (surprise, surprise) they’re now some of the most romantic restaurants in Toronto. Of course, you can still find plenty of spots dishing out old-school romance without the theatrics.
You’ll find ambience and charm of all kinds on this list of the most romantic restaurants in Toronto that are sure to get your heart beating. Easy, tiger.
23 of Toronto's most romantic restaurants
25 Toronto St.
Follow the floating sparkle-encrusted, periwinkle butterflies and the golden script into a fine dining restaurant that will instantly enchant you. Laylak is a whimsical dream full of velvety cream banquettes and marble tables under the glow of a magnificent chandelier made up of interwoven gold leaves and white flowers. Here, the atmosphere manages to strike the perfect balance between vivacious and elegant, lively and alluring.
The menu of authentic and halal Lebanese dishes is bursting with exciting flavour and texture combinations, from the crunchy halloumi cheese rolls with watermelon to the grilled octopus on a bed of herbs. Cocktails and mocktails lean on the refreshing side, like the signature Laylak cocktail that's blossoming with lavender, elderflower, butterfly pea, lemon, mint and gin.
2. The Hamptons
53 Clinton St.
A visit to The Hamptons restaurant is like attending the best dinner party that you could imagine. Tucked down Clinton Street just off of College, the restaurant is set in an adorable house reminiscent of a Victorian-style mansion. Inside, settle into the homey space where marble tables, fresh flowers and white wood details add polish to peeling walls that give way to exposed brick. It’s as comfortable as dining at a friend’s eclectic home that oozes charm.
With produce coming from 100km Foods, you can taste the freshness in the cooking. The menu changes often, showcasing the best local ingredients of the season pulled into flavourful and innovative dishes. Even the butter served with bread is seasonal and changes weekly. Venison tartare, beautiful pastas and wild-caught fish are some of the past stand-outs.
3. Harriet's Rooftop
550 Wellington St. W.
On the rooftop of 1 Hotel Toronto, Harriet's is a glass-enclosed patio illuminated by the twinkling lights of surrounding skyscrapers and string lights glowing overhead. Heaters blast enough warmth onto guests in the winter months to keep the space feeling like the indoors with all the charm of being outdoors. The menu prices might have you double-checking your bank balance, but Harriet's Rooftop isn't really the place to stuff yourself with a full meal. It's a sultry spot to grab delicious cocktails and coyly snack on light bites like sushi and wagyu tataki without getting too full for... erm, post-dinner activities.
214 Ossington Ave.
From the same owner as Mrs. Robinson, this new resto-lounge on Ossington Avenue is just as vibey, but with a killer menu of Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) snack plates and more romance. Three magnificent chandeliers wear hundreds of tiny crystalline leaves that shimmer above the bar. These and the illuminated shelves of the backbar are the brightest part of the restaurant, which is otherwise shrouded in a moody darkness with just the glow from table lamps.
Rhapsody feels both like a cocktail bar you could get dressed up for and a neighbourhood haunt that you could wander into on a spontaneous date night. When we visited, the DJ was remixing old R&B songs into modern, dancey tunes that we couldn't help but bop along to as we tried to daintily stuff our faces with the delicious dishes. The cocktails here are a work of art and range from crowd-pleasers to complex serves that will pique your curiosity and then some.
55 Bloor St. W., 51st Floor
Set on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre, AP restaurant’s atmosphere alone makes it a perfect big-night-out date spot. The sultry space is outfitted with black marble tables and cushy, floral-patterned banquettes. Trying to pry your eyes away from the sparkling cityscape to gaze longingly into each other’s eyes might be a challenge, but the view is worth it.
Play chopstick footsy as you share beautiful plates like delicate bluefin tuna tataki that comes swimming in a ginger emulsion, crispy gyoza and maki rolls. Then dig into mains that will make your date swoon like wagyu steak. For the full experience, we say win your date over with the new $95 Chef's Tasting Menu at AP.
Wine and beer make an appearance on the menu, but you’d be remiss not to try some sake from their delightfully extensive list. Cocktails here are as complex as the dishes, full of layers and intricacy. This is a place to sip and savour the evening. Romance: activated.
243 King St. E.
If pasta is your love language, spend your next date night at Ardo, an unpretentious eatery on King East that gives diners a taste of Sicily. Ardo is all about the love of food with a sense of place, and it's co-owned by chef Roberto Marotta and Jacqueline Nicosia, a husband and wife team (cute) who met in Sicily before moving to Canada to open their own restaurant together (double cute).
The dishes feature the highest-quality ingredients and, like any good relationship, aren't overcomplicated — even the simple house-made bread with Sicilian olive oil tastes special. Don't miss the delicate raw tuna carpaccio with crunchy celery, capers and cucumbers.
97 Harbord St.
On the corner of Harbord and Robert Street, Parquet's contemporary charm and friendly atmosphere are a (very) welcome addition to the city. This French-ish restaurant may be new(ish), but its antique-chic design moments and neighbourhood bistro vibe make it feel like it's been there for years.
Cozy into a cushy, rust-coloured banquette beneath the glow of warm brass lights and indulge in executive chef Jeremy Dennis's (Woodlot, Montgomery’s) wonders. The menu beautifully showcases the classics (cassoulet with crispy Linton pork) alongside unconventional concoctions like glazed maitake mushrooms in calvados (a French brandy) with wild rice and black walnut compound butter.
8. Bar St. Lo
26 Market St.
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Located right on Market Street, this intimate, brick-walled restaurant sources its ingredients right from its neighbour: St. Lawrence Market. Its menu is constantly changing, but expect beautifully plated dishes, bright vegetables, daily catches and delicious bites like gnocchi with truffle cream and mushrooms.
They offer $2 oysters Tuesday to Sunday from 5–7 p.m., along with red and white wine specials. Plus, music lovers are in for a treat with their live music events and rotating list of artists who play every Sunday — you might even catch a surprise performance from Daniel Caesar.
51 Camden St.
This rooftop bar, inside Ace Hotel Toronto, is bookended by two oversized fireplaces for optimal coziness. Floor-to-ceiling windows face west with an unobstructed view for prime sunset watching. Sink into the leather couches with some small plates or a sundowner in hand like the Meiji Restoration, a manhattan riff with Japanese whisky, Cocchi Rosa vermouth, plum wine and yuzu bitters. It's a saucy little minx of a cocktail and the perfect end to a day well spent.
100 Front St. W.
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The Fairmont Royal York Hotel feels like old Hollywood glamour, and its main floor restaurant Reign is no exception. With its warm wood accents, sleek marble fireplace and stunning grand piano, you'll feel like you've just stepped into a gorgeous stately home (the old-money kind).
Reign has just the right amount of sophistication, with an atmosphere that's approachable and homey. Split a bottle from their killer wine list, along with one of their elite tasting boards (Canadian cheese, charcuterie or chef's selection) that will make you question every single charcuterie board you've ever had.
11. Lake Inez
1471 Gerrard St. E.
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Sometimes you love something so much, you just want to keep it all to yourself — that's how we feel about Lake Inez. Selfishly, we don't want to tell you how great this Little India spot is. The restaurant is in its seventh year, and each visit still feels like the first time.
We still don't know how to fully describe the concept. The menu is refined comfort food, the craft beer is all Ontario, and the vintage furnishings are both quirky and sophisticated. OK, phew, we did it. But their Instagram captions do a better job. Follow along for beautiful stories inspired by remarkable food, or maybe it's the other way around?
12. Grey Gardens
199 Augusta Ave.
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Not to pick favourites, but Grey Gardens might be the best Jenn Agg restaurant in our books. The stunning 55-seat wine bar and dining room is bigger than most Kensington Market pocket shops, but it's still wonderfully intimate. Take a seat along the marble bartop or slide into a cushy booth surrounded by botanical wallpaper, then sip on rare, private-order vino and snack on fresh bites of seafood. The dishes, like the decor, command attention without being obscene or too in-your-face. And that's why we keep returning for more (the smoked fish chips n' dip also has something to do with it).
66 Wellington St. W.
A Toronto classic for years, Canoe is where suits go for important business meetings, and where families celebrate extra-special occasions. But thanks to a ($$) renovation, this seminal restaurant on the 54th floor of TD Bank Tower has managed to keep up with the new kids on the block and re-establish itself as one of Toronto's essential and most romantic dining destinations.
The views of the city are spectacular, and the menu of contemporary Canadian cuisine pays homage to The North way beyond maple syrup and poutine. From Atlantic salmon with wild shrimp to citrus-braised Ontario pork cheek, Canoe pulls out all the stops.
14. La Palma
849 Dundas St. W.
True love has many layers. It picks you up when you're down. It's saucy, hot and just the right amount of cheesy. Oh wait, we're describing La Palma's magnificent 100-layer lasagna. Besides sensational carbs (like a cacio e pepe pizza we never knew we needed) and meaty mains, this Italian-inspired eatery has two different, equally romantic vibes. Downstairs the breezy restaurant has an al-fresco aesthetic with wavy pastel murals, while upstairs is giving Palm Springs with blue floral patterned couches, light wood paneling and a central fireplace.
15. Chubby’s Jamaican
104 Portland St.
Chubby’s is all about celebrating Jamaica's food, drinks and people. And we're absolutely head over heels for its warmth, good vibes and homestyle Caribbean cooking. Wood fire-grilled jerk chicken, curry goat, ackee and saltfish bites — Chubby's has it all.
It's impossible to have a bad time inside this 19th-century row house transformed into an island oasis with palm tree murals, tons of bushy plants and jumbo rattan lights dripping from the ceiling. P.S. Ask to see their rum-tasting menu for a trip through Caribbean rum culture. Island time starts now.
1375 Dundas St. W.
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The Dundas West neighbourhood is iconic for a reason, especially when restaurant concepts like Milou come around. Opened in early 2021, this café-bistro-bar is the Toronto take on a quintessential Parisian restaurant (it's inspired by the kind of haunts where artists and writers like Hemingway would post up). From the black-and-white checkered floors to the uneven brick walls, the touches look old-school Paris. Reminisce with a lover over some bubbling gruyere fondue, or catch the eye of someone new when you pop in for an afternoon cuppa.
17. Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie
35 Tank House Lane
Every day, Cluny opens its doors at 8 a.m. to service the under-caffeinated in its stunning, light-filled café. And from Wednesday to Sunday, their dazzling eatery brings another glow to the Distillery District with modern French dishes and pastries that give us that "joie de vivre." In the summer, their patio could give the City of Lights a run for its money with thousands of twinkly lights woven through leafy vines. It's a truly magical experience.
18. Bar Mordecai
1272 Dundas St. W.
There's something so romantic and sentimental about a hotel lobby, and the conceptual Bar Mordecai on Dundas West evokes that same dewy-eyed grandeur of hotel lobbies from yesteryear. Inspired by the imaginative sets of Wes Anderson's films, every detail in this fanciful space has been thoughtfully chosen, from the bubble-gum-pink bar to fairytale scenes covering the mirrors like ivy. The same care and creativity go into their menu of small plates, and cocktails developed by co-owner Christina Veira. Many of these crushable concoctions are takes on hotel bar classics like the Royal Old Fashioned which uses rum instead of whisky. We know you'll enjoy your stay here.
19. Coffee Oysters Champagne
214 King St. W.
The swanky Coffee Oysters Champagne on King West prides itself on doing its three namesake items exceptionally well. There’s plenty of room for indulgence with fresh oysters selected daily and enough bubbly — the largest collection in the city — to cover a multitude of sins. A lengthy cocktail list and decadent bites like tuna tartare, double smoked bacon stuffed dates and truffle fries will round out your meal. If you're wanting more fancy feels, ask your server to see the champagne room. We won’t give any more away, because secrets don’t make friends, but they sure make things fun.
20. The Comrade
758 Queen St. E.
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Stepping into the Comrade is like sneaking back in time to a 1920s speakeasy. The warm, rustic atmosphere — and occasional taxidermy — give this Riverside hideaway a homey feel that’s hard to leave behind. Good thing there are some of the best snacks and specialty cocktails to keep you entertained long into the night. Check out their hush-hush sister spot Goods and Provisions in Leslieville for more prohibition vibes.
21. Bar Koukla
88 Ossington Ave.
If you find yourself strolling along Ossington's restaurant row, you can't help but stop and stare at Bar Koukla's glowing copper fixtures, sparkling terrazzo countertop and statement curtains made out of fishing rope. From the outside, it's one of Toronto's most beautifully designed spaces, and it gets even better once you're inside.
"Koukla" is a Greek term of endearment meaning "doll," and you’ll want to be with whomever you hold dear in this intimate Mediterranean snack bar. Expect small sharing plates of Aegean-inspired dishes like baked feta wrapped in crispy phyllo and topped with pomegranates; grilled lamb ribs with creamy tzatziki; and chewy sesame bread with whipped honey butter. Have a glass (or several) from their low-intervention Greek wine list.
642 King St. W.
Everything sounds better en Français, and at Lapinou, a neo-bistro and wine bar highlighting the best of inventive French fare, it tastes pretty darn good too. The dishes may be modern takes on French flavours (hello, fois gras eclairs), but whenever we're here for dinner and dessert, it's like we've been transported inside an old Hollywood movie with soft lighting and dramatic pauses.
77 Portland St.
Stepping into Maxime's, the illuminated, mesmerizing hallway is the first indication that the new King West resto-lounge isn’t here to blend in — she’s here to steal the show. The bones of Scale Hospitality’s former concept, Shook are still here, but they’ve thoroughly transformed the décor and the vibe with seductive red, gold and plenty of mirrors. Nightly live DJs play vibey electronic music, while trippy visuals on floor-to-ceiling screens transfix guests. Befitting the glamorous space, the menu at Maxime’s is all show-stoppers. Succulent seafood and juicy steaks share the spotlight, while plates of pasta wait in the wings. All of it compels diners to heat things up after — on the dance floor or elsewhere…