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Where to Dine During TIFF

A film buff’s got to eat.

Visiting Toronto for its annual film festival makes for an excellent opportunity to try out some of the city’s most noteworthy new restaurants—after all, what pairs better with a movie than dinner?

If in the vicinity of TIFF Bell Lightbox—film fest headquarters—sneak off any time of day to Maman, the first Canadian outpost of the beloved New York bakery by the same name, specializing in treats from the South of France, salads, charcuterie, and share plates (plus French aperitifs at happy hour). From there, one is near both Bosk—the Shangri-La Toronto’s seafood-forward signature restaurant, with a lovely seasonal patio and excellent butter (trust)—and Miku, where Toronto’s best sushi is prepared aburi-style and all dishes are works of art.

Those posted in Yorkville have plenty at their fingertips, as well—from a dash into local legend Pusateri’s for a snack or a quick, prepared lunch, to some of the city’s best new fine dining. Buca Yorkville, where chef Rob Gentile serves exceptional Italian pizzas and seafood (the branzino is ninja-sliced tableside) to Café Boulud, located in the Four Seasons Yorkville, which serves chef Daniel Boulud’s classic Lyonnaise fare—dishes one would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in Canada.

Those venturing slightly further afield should not hesitate to call an Uber and head to chef Victor Barry’s new Italian restaurant, Piano Piano, which serves home-style dishes like fried gnocchi, pizza, and soft-serve ice cream for dessert (all by one of the finest culinary masters in the country). Bonus: once there, one is only a stone’s throw from Canada’s first dedicated cider bar, Her Father’s Cider, serving a head-spinning variety of gluten-free drinks down the street.

With 473,000 attendees at TIFF last year, if your heart is set on trying any of Toronto’s best new restaurants, reservations are certainly recommended. Once those are settled, all there is left to do is remember not to fill up on popcorn—this is not the time to spoil your dinner.