Summerlicious in Toronto is back! Here's where to go

Over 200 restaurants are participating in Toronto's Summerlicious event, running July 7 to 23, 2023 — and we've narrowed down the 17 best ones to hit up. 

Summerlicious Toronto 2023 restaurants | An assortment of dishes on the patio at Kasa Moto

Summer is finally here, and with it comes food festivals galore, al fresco dining on the city's best patios and, of course, Summerlicious. The annual, two-week long Toronto event sees over 200 participating restaurants across the city offer prix-fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner. Each one comes with three courses — usually an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. Now, you never have to hear, "want to share an appetizer?" It's all yours, baby.

We're always on the hunt for a good deal, whether we're scouring the city for cheap eats or drinks during Toronto's best happy hours. But Summerlicious just makes it easy. With lunch menus ranging from $20–$55 and dinner menus from $25–$75, you can dine at some of Toronto's best restaurants for a deal. Plus, you can relax and enjoy your meal without having to tally up prices in your mind or worry about ordering dessert — it's already included. 

Here, we've rounded up our favourite spots to visit during Summerlicious for excellent food — some of them are even restaurants recognized by the Michelin Guide. Reservations for Summerlicious open on June 29, and you'll definitely want to book your spot in advance.

17 of the hottest Toronto restaurants for Summerlicious 2023

1. PAI Uptown 

2335 Yonge St. | $34 Lunch | $45 Dinner

Downtown or uptown, we’d travel anywhere for chef Nuit Regular’s soul-soothing Thai food, and with $34 lunch and $45 dinner, we're practically running to their Yonge Street location. Dine under the glow of hanging lanterns and feast your eyes on all the colours and murals inside this sprawling space. Then, dive into steaming plates of khao soi, pad gra prow and cult-fave curries.

2. Nuna Kitchen & Bar

1265 Queen St. W. | $41 Lunch | $55 dinner

A hidden gem in Parkdale, Nuna dishes out Peruvian food packed with punchy flavours in a cozy and charming space. Born and raised in Lima, chef Nazario’s passion for Peruvian food shines through the menu. For Summerlicious, arrive at lunchtime for a $41 menu that draws you in with shrimp sliders, croquettes or salad, then fills you up with shrimp risotto, pork belly fried rice or gnocchi. For the $55 dinner, start with the zesty ceviche or oysters followed by upgraded versions of the lunch mains (hello, duck risotto). Whether lunch or dinner, go for the Peruvian flan for dessert — it's pure heaven.

3. La Bartola

588 College St. | $55 dinner

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This vegan Mexican restaurant on College has already been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction for outstanding takes on Oaxacan cuisine at affordable prices — but Summerlicious makes things even friendlier for your wallet. For a $55 dinner, revel in chef Iván Castro’s bold flavours in an appetizer, main and dessert course. Try wild mushroom and jackfruit carnitas taco, then dip into a pink mole with seasonal vegetables before devouring the creamiest avocado sorbet you’ve ever had.

4. Minami Restaurant

225 King St. W., Unit 100 | $48 Lunch | $65 Dinner

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It may sound pricey, but $48 for lunch and $65 for dinner is a steal at this gorgeously decorated Japanese restaurant in the Financial District. A colourful koi fish mural swims all around you while cherry blossoms float along the walls in the beautiful, modern space. Both lunch and dinner menus feature nori glazed cauliflower, sushi options (including their signature aburi sushi) and the same desserts (blueberry-cassis dark chocolate almond cake, Earl Grey panna cotta and mochi). Differentiators include wagyu miso teriyaki udon for lunch and wagyu beef carpaccio and saikyo miso sablefish for dinner. At least one option from each course is vegan for our meatless friends.

5. The Drake Hotel

1150 Queen St. W. | $41 lunch | $55 dinner

The Drake Hotel always has something fun going on, from live music to drag brunch and happy hour. Stroll by during Summerlicious for their $41 lunch and $55 dinner menus, where you can score a variety of bites from a hearty vegan bolognese to their iconic Drake burger with Perth bacon, aged cheddar and that dreamy Drake sauce — it's even graced our Toronto's best burgers list.

6. Reign Restaurant + Bar

100 Front St. W. | $75 Dinner

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The last time we dined at Reign for two, the bill came up to $500, so believe us when we say don't walk, run for their Summerlicious menu. Set in the Fairmont Royal York hotel, the incredibly plush atmosphere and impeccable service at Reign make for an unforgettable experience before you even start your meal. For $75, the dinner menu doesn't hold back. Choose from indulgent apps like smoked duck rillettes and albacore tuna, followed by mains like a marinated flank steak with duck fat fingerling potatoes and chicken supreme with roasted maitake mushrooms. There are other options, too, but that's all we needed to hear.

7. Curryish Tavern

783 Queen St. W. | $41 lunch | $55 dinner

Curryish Tavern on Queen West is chef Miheer Shete's former pandemic meal kit service-turned-full-fledged-restaurant. Here, the Mumbai-born chef reimagines traditional Indian dishes by welding them together with seasonal Canadian ingredients. For Summerlicious, he’s offering both a lunch ($41) and dinner ($55) menu stacked with dishes that feature his token twists, like a tandoori chicken with Ontario corn curry and kale.

8. Tabule

2901 Bayview Ave. | $27 lunch | $35 dinner

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This Middle Eastern mini restaurant empire has locations all around the city, but it's their Bayview spot that's participating in Summerlicious this year. At $27 for lunch and $35 for dinner, Tabule is a wallet-friendly and delicious option. Start with the crispy, flash-fried cauliflower drizzled with tahini before digging into the vegan falafel entrée or the kefta banadura — juicy skewers of ground lamb and beef swimming in a zesty tomato sauce. For dessert, the rice pudding is the best we've ever had, but you can't go wrong with the baklava either.

9. Biff's Bistro

4 Front St. E. | $41 lunch | $55 dinner

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Enjoy your own little slice of Europe inside Biff's swish space or on the enchanting street-side terrace at this modern Parisian bistro. For a $41 lunch or $55 dinner, cool down from the summer heat with chilled leek and potato soup, fresh heirloom tomato salad or shrimp rolls. Sink your teeth into lamb sirloin, Cornish hen or gnocchi for the main course, then finish off with a sweet treat like poached apricots or strawberry shortcake roulade.

10. Kasa Moto

115 Yorkville Ave. | $55 lunch | $75 dinner

Catch us posting up on Kaso Moto's sexy rooftop terrace this summer. You can snag their spectacular chef's selection of sashimi, nigiri and maki for a discounted price with their $55 lunch and $75 dinner menu. They even have wagyu tataki on their dinner offering, and our favourite miso caramel cake sundae for dessert.

11. Skylight

90 Bloor St. E. | $75 dinner

The rooftop restaurant at Yorkville's W Toronto hotel, Skylight is a show-stopping affair with lush greenery and drapes cascading from the ceiling. Here you’ll find a bumping atmosphere late into the night and a Mediterranean menu of share plates that you can hog all to yourself during Summerlicious. Much of the $75 dinner menu is vegetarian, but you won't miss the meat with these flavourful dishes.

Start with one of their creamy dips (babaganoush or hummus with chicken shawarma) or eggplant and pine nut sambousek (savoury pastries). We'd choose the charred octopus for our main, but the pistachio-crusted beef kebab and organic cauliflower are also great options. For dessert, baklava cheesecake and Turkish coffee crème brûlée have us swooning.

12. Mademoiselle Raw Bar + Grill

563 King St. W. | $75 dinner

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A seafood haven awaits lovers of sea bass, octopus, wild salmon and more on King West. Book your spot at Mademoiselle and sink into one of their slinky banquettes for a three-course extravaganza in their boujie dining room. Dinner is $75, but for that you’ll get some knock-out dishes in one of the city’s buzziest spots. Plus, there are plenty of highlights on the Summerlicious menu for those who aren’t set on seafood, like steak frites and mushroom rigatoni.

13. ēst Restaurant

729 Queen St. E. | $55 lunch | $75 dinner

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We held our breath waiting for ēst Restaurant to reopen (under new ownership) late last year. The classy and modern Riverside restaurant makes for a great date night, especially if you're in the mood for French and northern Italian. Their three-course $55 lunch menu is a steal, but we're here for the $75 dinner featuring classics like burrata (with truffle!) and steak tartare. After a complementary sorbet palate cleanser, tuck into mains like 12-hour braised short rib with brown butter pomme purée — and a vegan brownie for dessert (balance).

14. iSLAS Filipino BBQ & Bar

1690 Queen St. W. | $35 dinner

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iSLAS is our dream neighbourhood restaurant: affordable, down-to-earth and damn good. Their comforting Filipino dishes are inspired by the more than 7000 islands in the Philippines. It's always summertime vibes at this Parkdale gem, but the addition of their Summerlicious menu makes things even sweeter. The $35 dinner menu screams flavour with dishes like marinated and chargrilled chicken inasal with garlic fried rice. Hot take: they have the best empanadas in the city.

15. Maison Selby

592 Sherbourne St. | $48 lunch | $65 dinner

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This iconic French bistro, located within the walls of the historic C.H. Gooderham House, was once the dwelling of literary legend Ernest Hemingway. During Summerlicious, you can tuck into a very affordable (and delicious) three-course Parisienne-inspired meal. If buffalo mozzarella, Cornish hen and a warm camembert cheese dessert sound magnifique, book your lunch ($48) or dinner ($65). And don’t forget to take a trip to the basement to sneak a peek at the kind-of-secret bar Sous Sol.

16. Il Covo

585 College St. | $55 dinner

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Il Covo wins for best entrance on College Street — we always feel extra snazzy walking through those giant cast iron doors. This trattoria is beautiful on the inside too with its baroque-style mirrors, brass fixtures and moody dim lighting. Their $55 dinner menu is an escape to the Italian countryside with appetizers like fresh melon wrapped in 18-month Prosciutto di Parma, and intricate mains like roasted octopus with local burrata and lemon salted caramel.

17. Chiado

864 College St. | $55 lunch | $75 dinner

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Old school hospitality — we're talking uniformed waiters in pressed white aprons — meets “progressive Portuguese cuisine" at this timeless College Street institution. Seafood is a must here, especially with their $55 lunch and $75 dinner menus. You can have your fill of the sea in many ways, from salmon tartare to pan seared skate fish and a heavenly lobster and shrimp bisque. Psst, they absolutely nail a caipirinha cocktail.