If, like us, you've spent much of the winter hibernating and cooking indoors, you're probably itching to venture out this spring. Now that you've mastered your craft, it’s time to compare your cooking with some of the city’s best dishes. Bundle up and head directly to Toronto’s best purveyors of pasta. Whether it’s duck ragu, mushroom ravioli or carbonara, these bowls will give you the warm hug and burst of energy you require.
It's not just Little Italy that's doing a fantastic line in pasta – all across the city, Toronto's best chefs are putting their spin on the Italian staple. From Dundas West stalwarts like Campagnolo to eastside eats like Wynona in Leslieville, plates of pasta that have been tweaked and perfected are awaiting your fork.
Whether you're looking for a fine dining dish that transcends everything you thought you knew about the boot-shaped country's cuisine to a comforting dish just like Nonna used to make, Toronto has something for every pasta pundit.
832 Dundas St W
Open since the turn of the decade, Craig Harding’s home base is known for doing simple Italian food superbly. You can’t go wrong with any of the pasta plates on executive chef Stephen Baidacoff's menu at this snug Dundas West spot, but the house-made spaghetti all’amatriciana is a fan-favourite for very good reason. For a richer dish, the ricotta cavatelli with lamb ragu calabrese, pecorino and mint, or the white bean cappellacci with parsley root and brown butter are also great noodle options.
819 Gerrard St E
The only thing better than a big bowl of pasta is a delicious glass of Italian vino to match. Wynona, a beautiful restaurant and wine bar in Leslieville, has a well-curated list spanning from Old World to skin-contact wines. Pair a glass with chef Jeff Bovis’s Ontario corn agnolotti with chive and summer truffle or the spaghetti topped with creamy stracciatella, bottarga, zucchini and chili. Order a side of grilled house foccacia to mop up that pasta sauce – you won’t regret it.
88 Harbord St
Chef Victor Barry is back on fine form at Piano Piano, which took over from Splendid on Harbord back in 2017. Take your pick from canestri alla vodka tomato, made with chili, mascarpone and spicy pork sausage, or dig into the decadently buttery black truffle linguine. While this bustling spot does a great line in noodles, we wouldn't blame you for straying over to the pizza side of the menu where pies like the mushroomy "Fun Guy" awaits.
Jessica Blain Smith
1727 Dundas Street W
Helmed by the pair behind the Commodore, Jon Vettraino is putting his heritage and travels to good use with a menu that puts an emphasis on northern Italy. Our top pick at Viaggio: the ultra-buttery snow crab tagliatelle, topped with honey mushrooms and edamame.
972 College Street W
Rob Rossi mended broken hearts when he opened Giulietta in the Bestellen space. Order a sharing plate and prepare to dig into delicious pizza, yummy salads, octopus and, of course, pasta. Highlights include the classic cacio e pepe and the slow cooked oxtail ragu pappardelle masterpiece.
633 King St W
The pasta is our favourite reason to visit Oretta. Their executive chef Gabriele Di Marco was born in Sicily; his heritage and expertise is apparent in dishes like the anelletti al forno with duck ragu, bechamel, caciocavallo cheese, or the ricotta ravioli with mushrooms, porcini sauce and truffle oil.