Seemingly overnight, takeout and delivery in Toronto went from a luxury to a lifeline. Local restaurants, forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to adapt or perish, have reopened closed doors, shuffled menus and created to-go programs where there previously were none.
Many restaurateurs worry about the future of their businesses and miss the friendly faces in their dining rooms – but for the time being, getting food to go is a way for everyone involved to cling to a little piece of everyday life.
To salute some of these hardworking businesses, and give you an idea of who to try next, we scoured the city and came up with a list of 60 top-notch takeout and delivery spots that span the entire region, including a variety of cuisines and price points.
This list is by no means exhaustive; if your fave isn’t featured, rectify our wrongs by telling a friend to try that place out for themselves. And remember: Convenience is an understandably big draw, but if you want your cash to go further toward helping a local business, consider ordering from them directly.
Alo & Aloette
Strange times indeed: Alo, the number-one fine dining restaurant in Canada is offering takeout – but Patrick Kriss’s flagship kitchen has adjusted with aplomb, offering weekly chef’s choice menus for at-home dining. (Most recent was a roasted veal tenderloin with morels, ricotta agnolotti with porcini and chocolate fondue.) Meanwhile, their downstairs diner sibling is now delivering yuzu honey-fried chicken and a Beaufort-crusted burger. Alo: Takeout (advance orders via Tock). Aloette: Takeout (Ritual) or delivery (DoorDash, Uber Eats). alofoodgroup.com
Though Buca has shifted operations uptown to its new St. Clair location, they offer delivery to the downtown core. Order from their usual slate of pizzas and pastas throughout the week, or stock up on cook-at-home options on Sundays. Takeout, delivery (via website). buca.ca
Cherry Street Bar-B-Que
The brisket is aces at this Port Lands smokehouse – but so is the burger and the mac and cheese. If a sanguich is more your speed, order from chef Lawrence La Pianta’s newly opened Italian paninoteca Elm Street Deli instead. Takeout (416-461-5111) or delivery (Uber Eats or SkipTheDishes). cherrystreetbbq.com
The mom and pop Spadina spot – which didn’t even have a website pre-pandemic – is now delivering their doughy delights in a couple of different varieties, plus a long list of dishes like green onion pancakes, tomato-egg stir fry and mapo tofu. Delivery (Uber Eats and SkipTheDishes).
One of the first places to close down as the pandemic hit, the fine dining spot praised for its seasonal truffle menus is offering five-course meals for pickup, with dishes including tuna with Ontario ginger and smoked local pickerel with leeks. Takeout (advance orders via Tock). edulisrestaurant.com
The thin-crust pies from this downtown pizzeria are available frozen – and they’re so thin, a hot oven crisps ‘em up in about five seconds flat. (Get a pizza kit if you’d rather do the hard labour yourself.) Takeout (Ritual), delivery (DoorDash). gapizza.com
You can stock up on housemade fresh tortillas at this spinoff of Campechano – but why stop there? Their taco kits, available for delivery, let you load the suckers up with chipotle meatballs, chicken tinga, stewed poblanos and more. Takeout (via Instagram DM), delivery (Uber Eats). @goodhombres_to
Khao San Road
Sister restaurants Nana and Bang Sue may be closed, but the always-stellar massaman curry and pad gra prao at Monte Wan’s original eatery are still up for grabs. Takeout (647-352-5773 or Ritual), delivery (Uber Eats). khaosanroad.ca
You won’t find a better (or more delicious) deal than the meal delivery service run out of Douglas Ling’s Caribbean restaurant: Six days of meals, from curry chicken roti to beef lasagna, for $80. Delivery (info on Instagram). @maracas.ca
Sukhothai is a delivery classic, but sister spot Pai’s Northern Thai dishes are in a league of their own. Plus, you can tack on a smattering of pantry staples like coconut milk, glutinous rice and fish sauce with your order. Takeout (via website), delivery (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats). paitoronto.com
Porchetta & Co.
I’ve never had a bad day a porchetta sandwich – with parm, grainy mustard and a big ol’ pile of sauteed rapini – couldn’t fix. But the King West location of Nick auf der Mauer’s sandwich shop keeps things fresh with specials like buttermilk fried chicken done up burger-style on a potato roll. Takeout (Ritual), delivery (DoorDash, Uber Eats). porchettaco.com
What a cosmic bummer that the sprawling new production space meant to fuel the Terroni restaurants currently has no restaurants to supply. The good news: Consumers can now get all those pastas, pizzas, sauces and baked goods – whether hot from the kitchen or packaged up for cooking – sent right to their door. Takeout (416-368-4248), delivery (DoorDash). terroni.com/spaccio
Taste of China
The sizzling plates and the locally beloved service staff at Taste of China, sadly, do not come with the takeout experience – but the broad menu of Chinese favourites (including a number of top-notch seafood options) remains. Takeout (416-348-8828), delivery (Uber Eats). tasteofchinarestaurant.ca
If your takeout eats have been lacking in pageantry lately (as I think most of ours have), consider picking up a full kamayan dinner from this Filipino spot in St. James Town, featuring a spread of grilled seafood, pork belly, veggies and rice ready for digging in utensil-free. Also available: Classic Filipino all-day breakfasts like bangsilog and longsilog. Takeout (647-343-9294), delivery (DoorDash). tinunothirtyone.com
In business since 1986, this family-run Hakka spot is said to have introduced Toronto to chili chicken (and still does some of the best in town) – but the Manchurian chicken and 12-hour-braised pork belly also get raves. Takeout (416-977-0933), delivery (DoorDash). yuehtungrestaurant.com
St. Clair’s favourite destination for custom ice cream sandwiches is doing “quarantine kits” of cookies and pints – in flavours like toasted marshmallow or key lime pie – for DIY assembly. (So much classier than just eating a pint over the sink – though they do also just sell the pints.) Takeout, delivery (booyah-inc.com).
This local chain boasts roughly a dozen locations dotted around Markham and Mississauga. The dish that gives the restaurants its name, available in a couple dozen different variations, is a comforting staple – but it’s hard to go wrong anywhere on their broad menu. Takeout (congeequeen.com), delivery (Uber Eats).
Already a popular takeout joint pre-pandemic, this spot has earned plenty of fans in North York for its tandoor specialties (including ultra-moist chicken dishes and whole trout and salmon) and curries alike. Grab the daily thali at lunchtime. Takeout, delivery (647-436-2538). the-copper-chimney.com
Frank’s Pizza House
Operating since 1965, Giorgio Taverniti’s pizzeria has been one of St. Clair West’s defining takeout joints for decades. The pizzas and (massive) calzones are all here, but you can also get dough or a DIY pizza kit (or a face mask). Takeout, delivery (416-654-6554). frankspizzahouse.ca
The Thai street food spot – from the folks behind Eat BKK and Koh Lipe – boasts three locations in North York and Scarborough, all serving vibrant specialties from all over Thailand. Takeout, delivery (jatujak.ca)
At its original Queen West location, Lamesa helped usher in a whole new era of modern Filipino dining in Toronto. Their new takeout and delivery menu runs toward comforting dishes like classic lumpia, BBQ skewers and fried chicken silog. Takeout, delivery (647-343-1110), lamesatoronto.com
This Indo-Dutch spot in midtown does a mean short rib rendang – but you can also save the experience for later with rotating cook-at-home dishes or revive the snack bar experience with batched cocktails like the Ubud Hangout with jalapeño black pepper syrup, chili and lime. Takeout (416-488-2031). littlesisterto.com
The specialty at this Richmond Hill spot is seafood – specifically, king crab and lobster – but diners also dig less splashy dishes like BBQ noodle pork roll. Takeout (905-881-8188), omeirichmondhill.com
The locavore restaurant has daily changing menus featuring comfort food and global specialties (think Korean fried chicken, crispy jerk cauliflower or their signature house burger), plus wines. Takeout, delivery (416-658-9898). theoakwoodhardware.com
The malt-boiled bagels at this Oakwood Village shop were already a mighty hot commodity pre-pandemic, with the shop routinely selling out on weekends. Luckily, you can now get them via pre-order (in addition to house-smoked gravlax, fish salads and even vegan cream cheese). Takeout (primrosebagel.com).
This mom and pop shop (est. 1982) is home to some of the best jerk chicken on the Eglinton strip (plus, they’re open until the wee hours of the morning – good news for midnight snackers). Takeout (416-784-0008), delivery (DoorDash, Uber Eats). facebook.com/rapsoneglinton
Sang-Ji Fried Bao
The chewy, pan-fried soup dumplings at this tiny North York eatery are the big draw – but you can also stock your kitchen with tasty scallion-oil noodle kits. Takeout (647-346-9199), delivery (Uber Eats, Fantuan, Lanyangyang). @-sangjibaotoronto
This St. Clair West sushi spot balances à la carte favourites with an omakase program, and their delivery menu still offers a chef’s choice program, including a special option for fish exclusively from Japan. Pre-orders are suggested due to limited staff. Takeout (647-748-7288), delivery (DoorDash). shunoko.com.
While the conveyor belts have ground to a halt at Aburi’s “laneway sushi” restaurant in Yorkville, you can still avail yourself of their seared pressed sushi, maki and much, much more. Takeout (Ritual), delivery (UberEats). aburitora.com.
This strip-mall spot near Kipling station has been quietly turning out delicious Turkish eats for well over 15 years. They’re offering reduced prices on takeout during the pandemic; the manti – tiny dumplings smothered in yogurt and butter sauce – are a must-order. Takeout (416-207-0596). anatoliarestaurant.com
Cravings for Mediterranean eats of all types will be sated by this Spanish-Italian hybrid joint in Baby Point. Rotating options throughout the week include boquerones, fresh pasta and some truly righteous chorizo-spiked meatballs. Takeout (647-346-2267) and delivery (Uber Eats). camporestaurant.com.
Recently back from hiatus is this Scandinavian comfort-food kitchen on Lansdowne, where the sandwiches, salads and baked goods are quietly sophisticated and reasonably priced. Takeout (advance orders via donnas.ca).
Dylan To Go (via Uncle Mikey’s)
In lieu of the usual small plates, Uncle Mikey’s has whipped up a new takeout/delivery concept serving “health conscious K-food”: Banchan, bibimbap, six different types of kimchi, nifty fermented condiments – plus Korean fried chicken and sake to balance things out. Takeout, delivery (416-537-8973, eatunclemikeys.com).
At this Ossington spot lauded for its modern and ultra-fresh approach to Thai, chef Haan Palcu-Chang has come up with a whack of new menu items to appeal to the takeout and delivery crowd, including wines and cook-at-home meal kits (sold under his Mama Flo’s banner). Takeout (437-916-9069). myfavethai.com
Fresh pasta? Pizza kits? Bottled Old Fashioneds? An entire marinated octopus to whip onto the grill? This sophisticated Italian spot covers all kinds of bases with its new cook-at-home menu, but they’ll also do regular-degular takeout. Takeout, delivery (416-964-0606, giu.ca).
Beloved by seafood aficionados all over the city, this fishmonger in the Junction will sell you the day’s catch cooked fresh. On top of seafood burgers, okonomiyaki and shrimp cocktail, they’re serving wines, bubbly, beers and more to go. Takeout (416-604-9992, honestweight.ca).
Hotmess Tex Mex
The gleefully trashy Tex-Mex at Hotmess is the comfort food of choice for many a Little Italy resident, but beer geeks come from far and wide for their lineup of craft short cans from brewers like Dominion City, Left Field and Blood Brothers. Nacho and taco kits are available, too. Takeout (416-551-1322), delivery (UberEats). hotmesstexmex.com.
This lively Dundas West Japanese snack bar has installed a takeout window for the duration of the pandemic, so you can pick up their homestyle Japanese curries and braised pork belly all the more efficiently. Takeout (imanishi.ca).
Le Phenix quite literally rose from the ashes of Chantecler, which shuttered due to a fire not long before the pandemic happened. The new delivery service lets you class up your Tuesday night takeout with French onion soup, steak tartare, and more. Takeout (416-342-1587), delivery (UberEats).
The Originals Dining Lounge
The diner formerly known as Harry’s, now under the management of former staff, reopened earlier this year not long before the pandemic hit. Parkdale locals can avail themselves of those classic char-broiled cheeseburgers and other diner fare.
Takeout (416-532-2908). @originals_ dininglounge
Craig Wong’s Jamaican-Chinese joint went the large-format route, offering family-sized heat-at-home care packages stocked with oxtail, curry shrimp, jerk chicken, beef patties and rum punch kits. Takeout, delivery (advance orders via Tock). patoistoronto.com
Hanmoto, Pinky’s Ca Phe, and Oddseoul are all back in action and offering takeout – but we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t steer you toward the fantastic kimchi chopped cheeses and fried eggplant at this new-ish Bloordale joint. Takeout (Ritual, email@example.com), delivery (DoorDash, UberEats). @seoulshakersclub
South Indian Dosa Mahal
Not even a pandemic could stop this Bloordale staple – shut down due to a fire (and a subsequent landlord dispute) – from reopening. Pre-order their satisfying, reasonably priced vegetarian Indian fare via Whatsapp. Takeout (905-608-1745). facebook.com/southindiandosamahalbloor
Parkdale’s (and Andy Shauf’s) favourite diner is back open with a takeout roster that includes the return of fried chicken Fridays, Chinese-Canadian Mondays and whole pies. Takeout (416-536-3682). @theskyline-restaurant.
Parkdale has many momo options, but Tibet Kitchen’s uniquely saucy preparations, featuring chicken, beef or veg dumplings drizzled with tamarind or curry, help them stand out. Sister restaurant Momo House, located down the street, has a tighter menu of dumplings, sides and soups. Takeout (416-913-8726). tibetkitchen.ca
Beach Hill Smokehouse
The city’s east end has its share of BBQ options, but this Beaches spot is a cut above. Must-orders include the tender brisket and a cooling, cilantro-laden coleslaw. Takeout (416-792-8275), delivery (DoorDash, Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes). beachhillsmokehouse.com
This Dutch “brown cafe”-inspired spot has been offering Indonesian rijstaffel meals for pickup on weekends; recently, they’ve also revived some Dutch staples like frikandellen, kroketten, and the all-important fries. Takeout (email firstname.lastname@example.org). borrel.ca.
This Hakka spot is a fave of Danforth and East York locals, who say the chili chicken is the best in the east. (Also worth picking up: crispy ginger beef and shrimp pakoras). Takeout, delivery (danforthdragon.com).
Sick of your regular delivery pizza? Fall headlong into one of this Leslieville joint’s ultra-dense, delicious Detroit-style pizzas. Takeout (647-347-1168), delivery (Uber Eats). descendantdsp.com.
This Middle Eastern meat market also does – for my money – some of the finest shawarma plates in the GTA. (Pro tip: Get pomegranate molasses for drizzling.) Takeout (416-750-7404), delivery (DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats). ghadirmeatmarket.com
One of the few places in town offering Japanese diner-style yoshoku eats, Isabella’s offers mochi donuts, karaage with waffles and wiggly Japanese-style pancakes on weekends. Takeout (isabellasboutiquerestaurant.com).
Lahore Tikka House
The Little India institution, beloved for its biryani, sizzling platters and tandoori specialties, is reopening this week for delivery and curbside pickup. Frontline workers get a free dessert with ID. Takeout, delivery (416-406-1668, lahoretikkahouse.com).
Maha Barsoom’s stellar Egyptian brunch spot has made their full menu available for takeout while the restaurant’s closed. Stock up on lentil soup, hummus and baba ghanouj for your fridge. Takeout (416-462-2703). mahasbrunch.com
Momo Hut and Gardens
Flying the banner for Tibetan food in the east end, our Readers’ Choice 2019 Best Momos winner has mouth-watering options for every dietary need, including a whole slew of vegan dumplings. Takeout (416-363-8580, Ritual), delivery (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats).
Though it’s been a west-end fave for a while now, with locations in the entertainment district and Little Italy, this old-school burger chain opened a new Danforth location during the pandemic for your delivery dining pleasure. Takeout (rudyresto.com), delivery (DoorDash).
The Real Jerk
The Drake-and-Rihanna-approved jerk spot has been serving the east end for decades – and they’re not about to stop now. Both their Gerrard and Upper Beaches locations are open for pickup and delivery. Takeout (TouchBistro, Dine), delivery (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats). therealjerk.com.
Sala Modern Thai Kitchen
An east-end sleeper hit, Sala offers elegant takes on Thai classics. During the pandemic, they’ve begun offering DIY meal kits for pad see ew, pad Thai, thom kha and more.
Takeout (salakitchen.com), delivery (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats).
The curries, dosas and snacks like vadas and pakoras at this Little India stalwart are a favourite of east-end vegetarians. The restaurant has rolled out special takeout deals during the pandemic, and health-care workers receive a free meal combo.
Takeout (416-405-8189, Ritual), delivery (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats).
Wong’s Ice Cream
Get entire pints of Ed Wong’s innovative Asian fusion ice cream flavours – including vegan dark chocolate five-spice, Thai iced tea and boozy egg tart – to go.
Takeout (advance pickup via wongsicecream.com).