The In-No-Way-Definitive Guide to Winterlicious 2016

Nick Papageorge (1L)

Toronto is an ersatz city in many respects (I’m looking at you, TTC), but at least twice a year it gets something right. That something is Winterlicious and its aptly-named counterpart Summerlicious. Those of you who have spent some time in Toronto should already know it, and to those still getting acquainted with the city, it is my pleasure to introduce you to this epicurean delight.

Winterlicious is an annual two-week long event, on from January 29 through February 11 this year. In addition to a handful of pricier ticketed events, restaurants across the city are offering superb deals in the form of three-course prix fixe menus. These are generally for dinner, though many have lunch menus as well. Winterlicious is a fantastic opportunity to eat for less at some of your favourite places or try something new. With over 200 restaurants to choose from you are certain to find something that suits your tastes. Below are a few suggestions, while the full list can be found online. Having a reservation is advisable during this event as places will get busy.

Wander not too far south of campus and you’ll find Baldwin Street. Once a hotbed of New Left radicalism and refuge for Vietnam draft dodgers, today the stretch between Beverley and McCaul is perhaps the most dependable concentration of restaurants in Toronto. Matahari (Malay, Chinese, Peranakan, and Indian) and Valens (Mediterranean) are two excellent spots participating in Winterlicious, but the jewel of the street is Bodega, a contemporary French and Spanish bistro.

Travel east from campus on the subway for five or six stops and you’ll be on the Danforth. This has long been Toronto’s Greektown, and it remains so, but the street is now also home to dozens of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines—and ten of them are participating in Winterlicious. Ouzeri is the class of the bunch and the go-to place for Greek food, but Globe Bistro (Canadian) and Il Fornello (Italian) certainly will not disappoint.

Winterlicious also gives you a prime chance to try restaurants regarded among the top ones in the city—priced accordingly during the rest of the year, but highly accessible over these two weeks. Two such places are Bent and Lee (Chinese Fusion), run by world-renowned chef and fusion-cooking pioneer Susur Lee. Also, just steps away from the law school is La Société (French) with its vibrant, bustling Parisian bistro atmosphere.

As prospective Bay Street lawyers, you might also want to get acquainted with Financial District mainstays like Biff’s Bistro (French), Bymark (Canadian), and Jump (American), as well as one of the newer additions, SOCO Kitchen & Bar (Mediterranean). There is also Canoe (Contemporary), located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower and worth checking out for the view if nothing else.

Of course my recommendations should matter little, and probably not at all to you. So don’t take my word for it – check out the website, find something you like, and get going. Bon Appétit!