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13 Best Restaurants in Toronto’s Little Italy

13 Best Restaurants in Toronto’s Little Italy

Little Italy is an underrated neighbourhood in Toronto with plenty of amazing restaurants and food spots.

Known as an older neighbourhood dotted with pizza, pasta, and gelato spots, it’s now a diverse area with everything from Japanese izakaya restaurants to modern game board cafés.

So, where exactly is Little Italy in Toronto?

Most people know of it as the area on College from Ossington to Bathurst, but it does stretch a bit further north at Harbord and a bit south at Dundas.

Though Dundas could technically be considered part of the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, we’ll be including restaurants on Dundas here anyway. Okay? Okay.

Without further ado, here are some of the best restaurants to visit in Little Italy in Toronto!

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More things to do in Toronto

Food tours are another fun way to experience Toronto’s food scene, and this Kensington Market food tour, Canadian food tour, and craft brewery tour are all fantastic options!


Best restaurants in Toronto’s Little Italy


Brunch at Old School Restaurant in Toronto

Old School

School meets diner vibes at this adorable brunch spot on Dundas West.

I’d say Old School is definitely up there on my list of the best brunch places in Toronto – the food here is absolutely incredible!

Their Blueberry Hill Pancakes are life – definitely some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in Toronto.

From the brown sugar butter to the savoury slices of bacon, it’s just so dang good.

Old School serves up some of the best pancakes in Toronto

I did a whole video feature on Old School’s pancakes for Lonely Planet, which was super fun!

If you visit on the weekend, be sure to come early – the restaurant gets pretty packed pretty quickly.

LOCATION: 800 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON


Starving Artist Waffles & Espresso

In the mood for all things waffles?

Everything on Starving Artist’s menu is served on or with waffles: Waffle Grilled Cheese, Breakfast Benedict Waffle (on potato waffles), Spicy Chicken Sandwich Waffle, you name it.

They’ve even got dessert waffles for the sweet tooth, like their Caramel Pecan Waffles or Waffle S’more.

Starving Artist has been around for over a decade, and they’ve now got several locations around the GTA (including in Markham).

LOCATION: 810 College St, Toronto, ON


Sisters & Co

Can’t get enough of all the brunch spots in Little Italy?

You’ll find Asian-inspired brunch dishes at this cozy breakfast spot on Dundas West.

Go for something unique like their Bulgogi Beef Benedict or something more classic like their Sisters’ Traditional Breakfast.

It’s owned by three best friends who consider themselves practically sisters, hence the name.

LOCATION: 887 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON


Fonda Balam

Formerly a popup restaurant, Fonda Balam serves up some of the best birria tacos in Toronto.

They serve up a lot more than just birria tacos now, including fish and carnitas tacos.

It’s co-founded by celebrity chef Matty Matheson alongside his partners Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo!

You can find the Mexican restaurant at Dundas & Palmerston, just east of Trinity Bellwoods.

Fonda Balam actually received Bib Gourmand designation on this year’s Toronto Michelin Guide, which is pretty awesome!

LOCATION: 802 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON


Odd Burger

Got a craving for some good ol’ fast food, but vegan?

Odd Burger started out at a Ribfest in London, Ontario, made their way to becoming Canada’s first vegan fast food restaurant, then opened the world’s first 24-hour vegan drive-thru.

Their story is pretty awesome, and so are their vegan burgers.

Go for their stacked Famous Burger with house-made chickpea patties, secret sauce, and dairy-free cheddar, or try their Pulled Jack with BBQ-marinated jackfruit and dairy-free mayo.

They make a lot of their own ingredients in-house, including their patties, “meats”, and sauces.

Odd Burger has a bunch of locations across the GTA, and their only restaurant in downtown Toronto is in Little Italy.

LOCATION: 492 College St, Toronto, ON


Duff’s Famous Wings

When it comes to chicken wings, Duff’s does it right.

They’ve been serving Toronto their delicious wings since the 90’s, and they’ve been using the same traditional buffalo sauce recipe since the company started out in Buffalo in the late 60’s.

It was two Canadian brothers who brought Duff’s over to Canada in 1998, and they’ve now got locations in Little Italy, Midtown Toronto, and Vaughan.

They use fresh roaster-sized wings that are delivered daily to each location, so you can enjoy the big bois (not the smol bois).

LOCATION: 558 College St, Toronto, ON


Ramen Isshin

Ramen Isshin is your spot for authentic Japanese ramen in Little Italy, and their College location is actually their OG spot.

They’ve got all the classic Japanese appetizers like Chicken Karaage and Deep Fried Pork Gyoza, with an extensive list of different ramen options.

They’ve even got a few vegetarian ramen bowls with egg-free noodle options.

They also have two other locations on Queen West and in Etobicoke.

LOCATION: 421 College St, Toronto, ON


The Fourth Man in the Fire Pizzeria

When in Little Italy, you eat pizza. Capiche?

The Fourth Man in the Fire serves up American-style pizza (some of the best pizza in Toronto), and they’re by the same people behind the popular Burger’s Priest chain in Toronto.

They’ve got everything from classic Pepperoni, to Hawaiian, to BBQ Chicken.

You can also got fresh doughnuts from Harry & Heels Donuts, made in-house daily, if you’re looking to fill your belly with even more doughy goodness.

LOCATION: 832 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON


The Commoner Restaurant, Toronto

The Commoner Bar Room

A sister restaurant to The Commoner in Roncesvalles, you’ll find elevated pub eats and an extensive drink menu at The Commoner Bar Room.

They’ve got shareables like their Truffle Fries and Szechuan Cauliflower and pub bites like their Southern Chicken Sandwich and Steak Frites.

They also have a stunning back patio that’s perfect for summer happy hours.

LOCATION: 614 College St, Toronto, ON


La Palma

La Palma is a gorgeous Italian restaurant that’s as much Instagram-worthy as it is delicious.

They have a small menu of classic and modern Italian eats, including their Albacore Tuna Crudo, Cacio E Pepe Pizza, and 100 Layer Lasagna.

You can also enjoy a small selection of some fun house-made cocktails, local craft beers, and local and imported wines.

They’re only open for dinner if you’re looking to dine in, and they’ve also got a good selection of takeout and cook-at-home meals you can order.

LOCATION: 849 Dundas St. West 2nd floor, Toronto, ON


DaiLo Restaurant in Toronto

DaiLo

DaiLo serves up incredible French-inspired Chinese cuisine in the heart of Little Italy.

The menu changes every so often, and I’ve never been disappointed by any dish I’ve ever tasted at DaiLo.

You can either order individual plates or do the DaiLo’s Choice tasting menu ($95 per person), and honestly I’d say the tasting menu is more worth it.

This way, you get to try a bunch of dishes at once!

If you decide to do individual plates instead, definitely get multiple dishes to share!

LOCATION: 503 College St, ON


The front of Bar Isabel in Little Italy, Toronto

Bar Isabel

In the mood for some Spanish tapas?

Indulge in Bar Isabel’s contemporary Spanish dishes made using fresh and local ingredients and imported European ingredients.

Go for their Roasted Bone Marrow or their famous Grilled Octopus.

If you’re feeling a drink, grab one of their craft cocktails or craft beers (local and imported), or choose from their extensive wine list featuring wines from across Europe and Canada.

The vintage wood details and eclectic Mexican tiles will transport you right to Spain, and it’s the perfect spot for date night in Little Italy.

Take note that they automatically apply a 20% service charge to your bill!

LOCATION: 797 College St, Toronto, ON


Quetzal

You’ll find upscale Mexican cuisine at this romantic and gorgeous restaurant in Little Italy, which actually won one Michelin Star in the 2022 Toronto Michelin Guide!

You can either go for their $100 tasting menu or order à-la-carte, and they even grind their own corn for their house-made tortillas.

Chef Grant van Gameren is one of Toronto’s most well-known chefs, and he operates both Bar Isabel and Quetzal!

LOCATION: 419 College St, Toronto, ON


Best restaurants in Little Italy Toronto:

  1. Old School
  2. Starving Artist Waffles & Espresso
  3. Sisters & Co
  4. Fonda Balam
  5. Odd Burger
  6. Duff’s Famous Wings
  7. Ramen Isshin
  8. The Fourth Man in the Fire Pizzeria
  9. The Commoner Bar Room
  10. La Palma
  11. DaiLo
  12. Bar Isabel
  13. Quetzal

These were some of the best restaurants and food spots to eat at in Little Italy in Toronto!

What are the best restaurants in Little Italy in your opinion? Are there any other Toronto restaurants you love? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

Food tours are another fun way to experience Toronto’s food scene, and this Kensington Market food tour, Canadian food tour, and craft brewery tour are all fantastic options!

More things to do in Toronto

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog


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