Where to Eat in the Financial District

By Suresh Doss  |  November 15, 2013

Toronto’s Financial District has undergone a culinary transformation in the last few years, becoming a hot bed for exciting new restaurants. Ready yourselves, it’s time for power lunches loaded with seafood towers, ssam, ramen and frogs' legs.

  • The Chase Fish & Oyster

    It’s a seafood lover’s dream at the bottom floor of the Chase Restaurant complex. The casual compliment to the fine-dining Chase restaurant upstairs features one of the best raw and seafood bars in the city along with modern Americana fare. The daily menu features a rotating selection of oysters and seafood platters ($50 and $110 versions). The kitchen pumps out dishes like crispy pickerel salad, grilled swordfish and arctic char. If seafood is not your thing, not to worry - the fried chicken lunch has become an instant hit, along with yogurt-marinated lamb chops.

    10 Temperance St.; 647-348-7000

  • Drake 150

    The Financial District’s newest restaurant brings its approachable brasserie-style cooking and vintage aesthetics that made its Queen West restaurant a big hit among discerning diners. Chef Ted Corrado’s culinary style is seasonally focused with the occasional homage to his Italian roots. Lunch is a loud bustle at the 180-seat restaurant, filled with clanking glasses of Ontario sparkling wine, and fast-moving plates of liver and onions, burgers, Margherita pizzas from the wood-fired oven and rotisserie chicken.  

    150 York St.; 416-363-6150

  • Momofuku Noodle Bar

    The cafeteria-style eatery brings all the popular aspects of David Chang’s New York Momofuku bar to the Downtown Toronto core. Situated by the Shangri La Hotel, stiff slushies and craft beer complement a menu that features a selection of wet and dry noodle dishes, a variety of stuffed steamed buns (veggie and meat) and plenty of fried chicken to share. Lunch is fast-paced, for those eager to slurp their ramen and get back to the office.

    190 University Ave.; 647-253-8000

  • Biff’s

    The French Bistro has recently undergone a transformation with Chef Amanda Ray taking over the reins, creating a more accessible and globally influenced menu. The lunch menu features popular bistro specialties like warm octopus salad with kale, grilled calf’s liver, steak frites and a rotating charcuterie board. Occasionally, fried frogs' legs make an appearance on the menu. If you see it, order it. $1 oyster specials kick in at 5 PM.

    4 Front St. E.; 416-860-0086

  • Gabardine

    The relaxed gastropub on Bay Street features an affordable libations selection that is complemented by chef Graham Pratt’s progressive takes on pub fare. And it’s some of the best pub food in the Downtown core, with portion sizes a non-issue here. Lunch is abuzz with popular plates like shrimp po’ boy, mac 'n' cheese, daily grilled fish and sirloin bacon cheeseburgers rushing out of the open kitchen at rapid pace. A ‘by-the-glass’ wine list changes daily, and the full bottle list is one of the best priced in the area.

    372 Bay St.; 647-352-3211

  • Swish by Han

    The young Han brothers hit the nail on the head when opening Swish a few years ago, bringing a modern take to classic Korean dishes while encouraging communal dining. The ssam sets are a popular lunch item - pick your protein for the set, which comes complete with rice, housemade kimchi, pickles and lettuce.

    38 Wellington St. E.; 647-343-0268