'Michelin Guide' awards its first stars in Canada to 13 Toronto restaurants

The list spans 74 restaurants and 27 cuisines, but has been criticised for a lack of diversity across neighbourhoods and menu styles

Canada’s first restaurant to have two Michelin stars is Sushi Masaki Saito. Photo: Sushi Masaki Saito
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The Michelin Guide has announced its first stars in Canada.

The lauded brand awarded 13 Toronto restaurants stars on Tuesday, with a total of 74 restaurants included in the guide.

Twelve venues received one Michelin star and one, Sushi Masaki Saito, was lauded with two stars. Michelin recognised 17 restaurants in the Bib Gourmand category.

There are several categories awarded by Michelin. One Michelin star is given to restaurants for “high-quality cooking that is worth a stop", two stars are given for “excellent cooking that is worth a detour" and three Michelin stars are given for “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey". Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list refers to restaurants that provide “value-for-money three-course meals”, that is, venues where diners can enjoy several courses under a certain amount (which varies depending on a city’s cost of living).

While the Toronto guide spans 27 different types of cuisine, it has been criticised for focusing its search in central Toronto and primarily awarding restaurants that serve set or tasting menus.

In the list of Michelin-starred restaurants, there are five Japanese restaurants, four contemporary, two Italian, one French and one Mexican restaurant. The Bib Gourmand list includes four Mexican restaurants, two Italian restaurants and one representative of American, Middle Eastern, Asian, Spanish, Thai, Indian, contemporary, fusion, deli, gastropub, barbecue cuisines respectively.

Middle Eastern cuisine is represented by Fat Pashas, a restaurant with communal tables and a sharing concept. "Sharing is paramount here," says the guide. "Though on your own you could make a meal out of the salatim platter, which samples excellent dips like creamy hummus and smoky muhammara, fantastic falafel and grilled pita."

Vice News social media manager Evy Kwong tweeted her frustration that the Michelin inspectors had neglected large parts of the Greater Toronto Area, saying they had clearly "skipped all of Scarborough, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Chinatowns".

SJC Media publisher Ken Hunt said it was hard to criticise the list without "disparaging the many fine restaurants" that were recognised, but described it as a "deeply weird list".

Full list of Toronto's Michelin-starred restaurants:

Aburi Hana, Japanese/kaiseki cuisine — one star

Alo, contemporary cuisine — one star

Alobar Yorkville, French cuisine — one star

Don Alfonso 1890, Italian cuisine — one star

Enigma Yorkville, contemporary cuisine — one star

Edulis, contemporary cuisine — one star

Frilu, contemporary cuisine — one star

Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto, Japanese/kaiseki cuisine — one star

Osteria Giulia, Italian cuisine — one star

Quetzal, Mexican cuisine — one star

Shoushin, Japanese/sushi cuisine — one star

Yukashi, Japanese/kaiseki cuisine — one star

Sushi Masaki Saito, Japanese/sushi cuisine — two star

Full list of Toronto's Bib Gourmand restaurants:

The Ace, gastropub cuisine

Alma, Asian cuisine

Bar Raval, Spanish cuisine

Campechano, Mexican cuisine

Cherry St Bar-B-Que, Barbecue cuisine

Chica's Chicken, American cuisine

Enoteca Sociale, Italian cuisine

Fat Pasha, Middle Eastern cuisine

Favorites Thai, Thai cuisine

Fonda Balam, Mexican cuisine

Grey Gardens, contemporary cuisine

Indian Street Food Company, Indian cuisine

La Bartola, Mexican cuisine

Puerto Bravo, Mexican cuisine

R&D, fusion cuisine

SumiLicious Smoked Meat & Deli, deli cuisine

Wynona, Italian cuisine

In June, 11 restaurants in Dubai were awarded Michelin stars and this month, it was announced the guide is expanding its UAE reach to include Abu Dhabi in November.

Michelin-starred restaurants in Dubai — in pictures

Updated: October 13, 2022, 8:46 AM