Big cities get all the glory when it comes to must-visit restaurants, but Ontario’s suburbs can hold their own. Proof: these eight eateries
Andrea Nicholson—mother, executive chef, owner and Food Network personality—is the mastermind behind Butchie’s, located on 1.5 acres of conserved green space in Whitby. The menu is packed with tasty Southern barbecue-inspired food, with mains like buttermilk fried chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches and sides like mac n' cheese, coleslaw and buttery mashed potatoes. When it’s time for dessert, Butchie’s has you covered with diner staples like pie and milkshakes.
939 Dundas St. W., Whitby
It may be awhile before Ontarians can travel to France, this contemporary French restaurant in Markham may be the next best thing. Terre Rouge takes inspiration from Canada’s rich red earth with a menu featuring seasonal and locally sourced produce. From truffle pizza to lobster squid ink pasta, Beyond Meat burgers and chili glazed lamb chops, this award-winning destination offers a diverse array of options bound to appeal to every party.
162 Enterprise Blvd, Markham
One of Vaughan’s highest-rated restaurants, Loukoumania is your new go-to for sweet treats like flaky baklava, milkshakes and Greek yogurt and honey. And while you’re there, why not sample their namesake dessert? Dating back to 776 B.C., loukoumades are fried dough balls smothered in local honey. They’re long been considered the dessert of the Greek gods, but you can enjoy yours with an espresso or lose-leaf organic tea.
3120 Rutherford Rd., Unit 10, Vaughan
With locations in Thornhill, North York, Markham, Scarborough and Mississauga, it doesn’t matter what Toronto suburb you’re in, there’s likely a Congee Queen nearby. Perhaps not surprisingly, the beloved Chinese restaurant makes excellent congee, but there’s also an enormous menu to explore. Don’t miss the fried turnips, salt and pepper squid or the Chinese BBQ duck. (And, if you want to try your hand at the iconic Peking-style preparation at home, we suggest getting your bird from Whitchurch-Stouffville’s King Cole Ducks. A family-owned operation for nearly 70 years, they use natural farming practices and promise to serve up humanely harvested duck meat free of additives.)
2930 Steeles Avenue East, Thornhill. 895 Lawrence Ave. E., Unit 8, North York. 5308 Hwy 7, Unit 5-7, Markham. 3850 Sheppard Ave. E., Scarborough. 230 Commerce Valley Dr. E., Unit 1, Thornhill. 6464 Yonge St., Unit 152, North York. 800 Boyer Blvd., Unit 5, Mississauga. 1911 Dundas St. E., Unit 17, Mississauga.
McKoy’s Caribbean Fusion
Nestled in the heart of Mississauga, the small restaurant serves dishes such as curry goat, chicken roti and a Canadian-inspired jerk chicken poutine, as well as Caribbean classics like rice and peas, oxtail and, of course, Jamaican patties. McKoy’s also carries an assortment of tasty Caribbean beverages like Ting and Grace Island Soda.
950 Southdown Road, Mississauga
Look no further than Scarborough for authentic Indian cuisine. Chef Vishnu has been cooking traditional Indian food from the age of 16 and prides himself—and his restaurant Lageez—on the quality of his food. “Cook like you would for your family, with quality ingredients and love,” he says. Leaning on over 30 years of experience cooking, Vishnu uses local ingredients to serve classic dishes like samosa, pakoras, tandoori shrimp, butter chicken and lamb masala.
641 Pharmacy Avenue, Scarborough
That Italian Place Café and Eatery
Craving homecooked southern Italian food? Look no further than Brampton’s own That Italian Place, run by brothers Paul and Gino Fuda under the careful supervision of their mother, Ma Ma Fuda. This café and eatery offers customers the comforts of Italy, from hearty pastas to authentic New York City pizza and sandwiches for an on-the-go meal. Or, feed your entire family with take-home catering trays of veal or chicken Pomodoro, their daily pasta and two vegetable options.
470 Chrysler Drive, Unit 31-33, Brampton
Quitters began in 2014 as a passion project for musician Kathleen Edwards, but it’s since become a community and one of the city’s staple spots for coffee, food, craft beers, wines and spirits. Known for its warm and welcoming environment, Quitters keeps people coming back with its homemade squares, cookies and scones, delicious stacked sandwiches and coffee, of course. Better yet, they’re always looking to support and join forces with local roasters, brewers and producers, so you always know what you’re drinking or noshing on hasn’t come from too far away. And that personal touch extends to who’s serving, you, too. Even while the restaurant continues to expand, you may find Edwards behind the counter and clearing tables.
1523 Stittsville Main St., Stittsville
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