Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list 2024

These are the top restaurants and bars in the country, according to Canada’s 100 Best

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Published May 13, 2024Last updated 13 hours ago4 minute read

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Montreal’s Mon Lapin is the country’s top restaurant for the second year running, according to Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants List 2024.

“It’s really a magical spot, but it’s totally unpretentious. The food is completely delicious and imaginative and fresh and bright and unaffected, and the whole experience is just delightful,” says Jacob Richler, editor-in-chief of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.

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Edulis, Alo and 20 Victoria in Toronto and Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ont. round out the top five. Victoria’s Marilena (No. 27 overall) tops the Best New Restaurants List, followed by Toronto’s Casa Paco (No. 34 overall) and Sushi Yugen (No. 49 overall). Bar Pompette and Civil Liberties in Toronto and Montreal’s The Cloakroom Bar took the top three spots on Canada’s 50 Best Bars ranking.

The 2024 list marks the 10th anniversary of Canada’s 100 Best. As a former National Post restaurant critic, people often asked Richler for recommendations. He did the same when he traveled — turning to chefs and friends in the know for advice. To Richler, this information was too good not to share.

What he started “completely” on a whim, drawing on picks from a judging panel primarily of chefs and restaurateurs, has grown in credibility and reach. “Now we have some great brand recognition and a lot of industry respect, and I couldn’t be more delighted about it.”

type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp">Snacks at Montreal's Mon Lapin>>>>>
Guests dig into blood in a blanket, asparagus, sweetbreads and clams, and a few snacks at Montreal’s Mon Lapin. Photo by Maude Chauvin

One hundred and fifty judges selected this year’s best restaurants, including author Bonnie Stern and television host Pay Chen. For the larger provinces, Richler assigns judges based on the proportion of the country’s population. He gives extra representation to the Maritimes “because if there’s only 500,000 people in a province, one judge isn’t going to cut it.” Then, he balances the number of judges between the cities, again by population. Each judge is required to vote for at least three out-of-province restaurants. (Richler plans to incorporate algorithmic balancing between cities for future lists.)

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Richler notes that the quality of ingredients continues to improve, and regional differences are becoming increasingly pronounced. Quebecois cuisine may be easy to identify, but most high-ranking restaurants “serve almost unquantifiable types of food — other than being very contemporary and forward-thinking.”

Spots such as 20 Victoria (No. 4) and Restaurant Pearl Morissette (No. 6) epitomize this approach, creatively incorporating disparate influences. “They’re very of the moment. They’re very sophisticated, but they’re drawing on fundamentally European techniques, but they’re expressing it in a very Canadian way with local product.”

Montreal and Toronto included over half of this year’s list with 28 and 24 restaurants, respectively. Richler credits Montreal’s dominance to the fact that it’s a popular destination with well-rooted traditions.

Since Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche founded Toqué! (No. 19) in 1993, a distinct Quebec style emerged. “It has French reference points, but it has nothing to do with traditional French fine-dining restaurants at all. It’s very forward-thinking, very ingredient-driven. They have an acutely developed sense of season, more than most places in the country.”

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type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp">A chef pours maple syrup on fried pancakes at La Cabane d'à Côté in St-Benoît de Mirabel, Que.>>>>>
A chef pours maple syrup on fried pancakes at La Cabane d’à Côté in St-Benoît de Mirabel, Que. Photo by Scott Usheroff

Aside from the big names, Richler was happy to see a Quebec countryside restaurant, La Cabane d’à Côté (No. 32), ranked in the top 50.

“They cook everything on a wood-fired maple syrup evaporation table, and it’s a complete Quebecois experience but with incredible finesse. And these days, when half the kitchens are turning things out in sous vide just so they don’t make a mistake, to see people cooking things perfectly over a bunch of recently felled maple trees is pretty spectacular.”

Richler advises the panel to judge the entire experience, including the wine list and the decor. Ultimately, food is the most important thing, he underscores. If it’s delicious, the circumstances don’t matter that much. A restaurant such as Toronto’s cult favorite fresh pasta maker Famiglia Baldassarre (No. 45) ranking on the list shows him they get it.

“No one is going to say that’s a fine dining establishment. It’s pretty rough and tumble when it comes to even getting into the place, but Leo’s (Leandro Baldassarre) food couldn’t be more delicious.”

Canada’s restaurant scene has experienced a “seismic change” in 10 years, in no small part due to the pandemic. Many restaurants disappeared, and others opened to replace them. “Looking at the quality of the restaurants on the list, the overwhelming takeaway for me is what they’ve just come through, and what we’re getting is pretty sensational.”

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type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp">A dish of whitefish, chicken jus, cauliflower and fermented gooseberry at Toronto's 20 Victoria>>>>>
A dish of whitefish, chicken jus, cauliflower and fermented gooseberry at Toronto’s 20 Victoria. Photo by Ashley Van Der Laan

Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2024 — The top 10

  1. My Rabbit (Montreal)
  2. Edulis (Toronto)
  3. Alo (Toronto)
  4. 20 Victoria (Toronto)
  5. Langdon Hall (Cambridge, ON)
  6. Pearl Morissette Restaurant (Jordan Station, ON)
  7. Published on Main (Vancouver)
  8. Beba (Montreal)
  9. Bar Kismet (Halifax)
  10. Kissa Tanto (Vancouver)
type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp"> type="image/jpeg"> type="image/webp">The seafood tower at Victoria's Marilena.>>>>>
The seafood tower at Victoria’s Marilena. Photo by Allison Kuhl

Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2024 — The top 5

  1. Marilena (Victoria)
  2. Casa Paco (Toronto)
  3. Sushi Yugen (Toronto)
  4. Bar Prima (Toronto)
  5. Sabayon (Montreal)

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Canada’s 50 Best Bars 2024 — The top 10

  1. Bar Pompette (Toronto)
  2. Civil Liberties (Toronto)
  3. Cloakroom Bar (Montreal)
  4. Atwater Cocktail Club (Montreal)
  5. Bar Mordecai (Toronto)
  6. Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York (Toronto)
  7. Dear Friend Bar (Dartmouth, NS)
  8. The Keefer Bar (Vancouver)
  9. Cocktail Bar (Toronto)
  10. Proof (Calgary)

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