Canoe Restaurant & Bar, in the Toronto Dominion Tower.
updated 10/16/2006 1:38:03 PM ET 2006-10-16T17:38:03

Bistro 990, 990 Bay St. (tel. 416/921-9990): This opulent French restaurant has a reputation as the place where visiting celebrities come to dine. Is it true? I have no idea -- I'm too busy eating the remarkable meals.

Brassaii, 461 King St. W. (tel. 416/598-4730): Having an unforgettable dining experience usually makes a dent in your wallet -- but not at Brassaii. This refined but low-key spot serves up bistro classics with a modern twist.

Canoe Restaurant & Bar, in the Toronto Dominion Tower, 66 Wellington St. W. (tel. 416/364-0054): Defining Canadian cuisine is a tricky task because the country has absorbed a wealth of cooking styles and techniques from around the world. Come to Canoe to see how these are blended with Canadian produce; it's a recipe for a perfect meal.

Scaramouche, 1 Benvenuto Place (tel. 416/961-8011): The food here is splendid and very rich, I promise, but what will take your breath away is the view. Scaramouche's floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the downtown skyline from an uptown perch, showing off glittering views of Toronto.

Susur, 601 King St. W. (tel. 416/603-2205): Dining at this downtown fusion restaurant would be a highlight of any trip to Toronto. Simply put: Great chef plus great food plus great service equal one magical meal.

Best Brunch: Who would imagine that the place to go for gourmet omelettes and pancakes would be an Indian restaurant? But Xacutti, 503 College St. (tel. 416/323-3957), is full of surprises.

Best for a Celebration: The atmosphere at Blowfish Restaurant & Sake Bar, 668 King St. W. (tel. 416/860-0606), is lively every night. The mix of the glamorous dining room, fine sushi, and a cool crowd gives the restaurant its edge.

Best for a Romantic Dinner: I'm the first to admit that I'm biased, but the Rosewater Supper Club, 19 Toronto St. (tel. 416/214-5888), is my idea of perfect romance (it's where my husband proposed). Relax and let the pampering begin.

Best Bistro: Bistros often do well with comfort foods, but Biff's, 4 Front St. E. (tel. 416/860-0086), serves up modern takes on classic dishes; its setting goes beyond comfortable to luxury.

Best Italian: Il Posto, 148 Yorkville Ave. (tel. 416/968-0469), serves fine modern Italian cuisine in elegant digs -- and the efficient, knowledgeable waitstaff makes everyone feel at home.

Best Greek: The cooking at Pan on the Danforth, 516 Danforth Ave. (tel. 416/466-8158), will convince you that Pan was actually the god of food, not forests. This is Greek cuisine updated with panache.

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Best Out-of-Towner: Talk about catching on like wildfire -- the new restaurant Elements Restaurant, Culinary Theatre & Lounge, at Taboo Resort in the Muskoka region (tel. 705/687-2233), is a work of art. Give yourself over to the genius chef by having one of the 3-, 5-, or 7-course tasting menus.

Best for Families: Millie's Bistro, 1980 Avenue Rd. (tel. 416/481-1247), is a family favorite with sunny dining rooms and a special children's menu. A more casual choice is deli-style Shopsy's (33 Yonge St.; tel. 416/365-3333).

Best for a Red-Meat Fix: Barberian's, 7 Elm St. (tel. 416/597-0335), has boosted the level of protein in Torontonians' diets since 1959. It also serves great martinis and desserts, but everyone comes here for the meat.

Best Pizza: A cubbyhole-size eatery in midtown, Serra, 378 Bloor St. W. (tel. 416/922-6999), makes thin-crust pizzas laden with gourmet ingredients.

Best Sushi: Hiro Sushi, 171 King St. E. (tel. 416/304-0550). Chef Hiro Yoshida offers up classically prepared sushi as well as a few unique specialties. But there is competition from Blowfish Restaurant & Sake Bar, 668 King St. W. (tel. 416/860-0606).

Best Afternoon Tea: A very tough call. Afternoon tea in the lobby lounge at the Le Royal Meridien King Edward, 37 King St. E. (tel. 416/863-3131), has been called Toronto's most authentic English tea, but I'm partial to the lavender-and-rose-infused Rooibos Provence tea that you'll find at Annona at the Park Hyatt, 4 Avenue Rd. (tel. 416/924-5471).

Best Alfresco Dining: The lovely patio at Biff's, 4 Front St. E. (tel. 416/860-0086), is just about perfect. Set well back from the street, it affords terrific people-watching possibilities.

Best Desserts: It's a tie. Dufflet Rosenberg bakes up a storm at Dufflet Pastries, 787 Queen St. W. (tel. 416/504-2870). You'll find her name on the dessert list at some of the city's top restaurants. And then there's the Senses Bakery, 2 Queen St. E. (tel. 416/364-7303). Resistance is futile.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed restaurants, visit our online dining index.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

Photos: Toronto: An urban gem

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  1. Casa Loma Garden

    The former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, Canada's foremost castle is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens (open May-Oct.). (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Nathan Phillips Square

    Nathan Phillips Square is a city square that forms the front (south) entrance to Toronto City Hall or 'New City Hall', and features an ice rink/reflecting pool, a peace garden, and the 'Three-Way Piece No. 2' ('The Archer') by Henry Moore at the north end in front of City Hall. (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The Rexall Centre

    The Rexall Centre is an international tennis center built with the local community in mind. The park-like setting provides dining, shopping and interactive activities to add to the tennis experience. (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The Toronto Zoo

    Sumatran tiger cubs play in their pen at the Toronto Zoo. (Adrian Wyld / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Royal Ontario Museum

    A totem pole extends towards the skylight in the main stairwell of the Royal Ontario Museum. (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Air Canada Centre

    The Air Canada Centre, often referred to simply as The ACC, is a multi-purpose arena located on Bay Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario. It is the home of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL, and the Toronto Rock of the NLL. It was also home to the Toronto Phantoms of the AFL during their brief existence. (Robert Laberge / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Chinatown

    Toronto has the second largest Chinatown in North America and the largest when all six Chinatowns are grouped as one. It has grown significantly over the years and has come to reflect a diverse set of Asian cultures through its shops and restaurants, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai. (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Rogers Centre

    The Rogers Centre is home to Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays and the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. While it is primarily a sports venue, Rogers Centre also hosts other large-scale events such as conventions, trade fairs and concerts. (Harry How / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Hockey Hall of Fame

    The Hockey Hall of Fame which celebrates the history of ice hockey with exhibits featuring memorabilia and NHL trophies (including the Stanley Cup). (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Eaton Centre

    The Toronto Eaton Centre is a large shopping mall and office complex in downtown Toronto, and is a top tourist attraction. One of the most prominent sights in the shopping mall is the group of fibre glass Canada Geese hanging from the ceiling. This sculpture, named Flight Stop, is the work of artist Michael Snow. (Tourism Toronto) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Toronto skyline

    The Toronto skyline with a view of the CN Tower, at 1,815 feet, 5 inches tall, is the world's tallest freestanding structure on land. It is considered the signature icon of the city; more than two million international visitors are attracted annually to the tower. Guinness World Records has listed the CN Tower as the world's tallest 'building' for 30 years. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
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