As common sufferers of food envy, we enjoy restaurants that take the pressure off ordering the perfect entree and encourage sharing a variety of nibbles. This tapas-style eating allows us to sample a bunch of menu items, plus we heard that food has no calories when shared with friends. Grab a few of your best pals and try out a few of our fave places below.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include our favourite after-work hangout on this list. Besides being across the street from our office, 416 offers an ever-changing list of scrumptious small plates including scotch eggs, steamed pork buns and tacos. Our favourite item, the mini-Mac (think: a mini Big Mac), was taken off the permanent menu but makes an appearance on Sunday nights as the day’s “special thing”. We can’t think of a better way to end a weekend.
Yours Truly is a relatively recent addition to the popular Ossington restaurant strip, but has quickly distinguished itself from the pack with creative cocktails and inventive food. While they do offer meat and vegetarian prix fixe menus, we highly recommend ordering off the snacks menu. The inari-wrapped salt cod and rice is a must-have, but our favourite touch is the chefs delivering the food to your table.
Looking for a cute place to meet your girlfriends for drinks? Then look no further than Leslieville’s Swirl. The tiny restaurant is a bit tricky to find (it’s on the second floor), but once you get there the pretty decor and reclaimed furniture have you hoping you’ll never have to leave. There’s no kitchen, so almost everything on the menu is served in mason jars. The menu includes duck rillettes, marinated olives and cheese, and charcuterie plates.
Guu originated in Vancouver, opening five restaurants before bringing their concept of the izakaya to Toronto. Pairing traditional Japanese tapas, such as deep fried oysters, carbonara udon and seaweed salad, with a fun, energetic and boisterous atmosphere made Guu an instant hit when it opened on Church St. Their second location in the Annex is equally as popular and no less loud. Be prepared for the entire restaurant staff to yell greetings as you enter and leave.