Winterlicious 2018: My Top 10 Picks

Hey Toronto Foodies,

A little late this year with my Winterlicious list but it has been surprisingly frustrating getting reservations this time.

It was pretty hard to find a restaurant that 1) served Winterlicious lunch on a weekend, 2) I have not been to already and 3) had good reviews for the most part.

I have been to a lot of restaurants in the past so my search was definitely limiting.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Ricarda’s
    • Note: Dined here for a Summerlicious lunch over a weekend and enjoyed myself. Tried a promotional flight of drinks too which was nice and included 3 glasses from options such as ice wine, white and red wines. I believe the TV show Suits filmed here as well.
  2. Carbon Bar.
    • Note: Only has Winterlicious dinner but reviews look good. I might check this restaurant out on a regular day.
  3. Biff Bistro
    • Note: I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant for ages but it only has Winterlicious weekend dinner.
  4. Cactus Club Cafe
    • Note: I have been to this restaurant a few times and liked the butternut squash soup or duo (ask how many pieces you get for appetizer), feenie burger and chocolate mousse.
  5. Estiatorio Volos
    • Note: Again, another restaurant I was unable to book because they only do weekend Winterlicious dinner. Check in on your Yelp app for a free appetizer.
  6. The Queen and Beaver Public House
    • Note: Reviews seem good and it looks like a nice pub/brunch spot.
  7. Wickson Social
    • Note: Enjoyed the drinks here, have not tried food but it could be a more affordable casual option.
  8. Miku
    • Note: Never been but a coworker recommended it. Miku has good reviews as well on Yelp.
  9. Kasa Moto
    • Note: Tried dinner here before and its not bad. If you like their Winterlicious menu, give this place a chance. Usually on the pricier side so it would be an opportune time to try.
  10. Insomnia.
    • Note: A solid good brunch pick, I’ve been there a few times. I love the eggs benedict. Recommend!
  11. Bonus Pick – Noce Restaurant
    • Note: Never been to this restaurant but I will be doing my own Winterlicious lunch here. Not too many reviews but from what I read, most of them are positive.

Again, please double or even triple check that your restaurant choice is participating during the weekend if that is your availability. Looking at you Bar Buca! I once made reservations there for a Licious lunch and the staff said they do weekend when they don’t. Happened to not just me but another table who was sitting nearby.

Hope you find my recommendations useful!

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Pickle Barrel – Atrium ★★

Price: $15-20+

This is a popular place frequented by students, families and professionals looking to grab a bite and have drinks after work. The atrium downtown location near Eaton Centre is where I usually eat, so I will be basing my review on that. I recommend their seafood linguine, sweet potato fries, italian sausage penne, grilled chicken hummus wrap and cheesecake. I dont recommend their soups, esp. the chicken soup w/ matzo ball. It seemed like something from a cambells soup can with just two large meat balls. What also recently turned me off was when I ordered a mojito, I found a bug in it! If it occurs again, I’ll lower my rating.

Service here is sometimes spotty as well. For example, for my last visit the hostess was clearly not having a good day with all the glares, no smiles and greetings she was showing. But the waitress for our table was very nice, always checking up us. Their roles could easily be switched if I had gone on another day. So I don’t think they have consistent service.

Website: http://www.picklebarrel.ca/index.php
Menu: http://www.picklebarrel.ca/menu/pickle_barrel_menus/grand.pdf
Location: 312 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M5B 1R4
Telephone: (416) 977 – 6677
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 8am to 11pm, Friday & Saturday: 8am to 12am.

The Pickle Barrel on Urbanspoon

Moxies ★★1/2

Price: $25+

I went to Moxies, a popular restaurant chain for my birthday. It was a restaurant I hadn’t tried and was kinda convenient to eat at. Decor is nice and lighting is somewhat dark, giving it a relaxing atmosphere I guess. I think our waitress was kind of new, she didn’t really seem experienced but she was friendly so I have no real complaints there. Now with the food, I had a seafood linguine and a strawberry-blueberry daiquiri. I found there was too much sauce in the pasta and the daiquiri was overly sweet even for me (which is saying a lot).

Not sure about this place yet, I don’t necessarily love or hate it at the moment. I’ll update my review should I ever happen to visit it again though. Moxies is a place to go with friends and family but not anything business related.

Website: http://www.moxies.ca/
Location: Various locations, review for 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M6A
Telephone: (416) 787 – 7600
Hours: Sunday to Monday – 11am to 12am, Tuesday to Thursday – 11am to 1am, Friday to Saturday – 11am to 2am.

Moxie's Classic Grill on Urbanspoon

Jack Astors ★★★

Price: $15-20+

This is a goto place for students and people looking to eat after work. Family-friendly and great for group outings. Popular dishes with me are the easy sell pizza, grilled chicken quesadilla, lobster and crab dip, chicken fingers and chipotle chicken pita and salad (a lunch special only). Recently, tried their steak fajitas – cajun style and I have to say, its pretty tasty! Meat arrives sizzling in a stone bowl and you are given a bit of salad, cheese, veggies, sauce, etc to put in your soft flour tortillas. I had a lunch size and it was very filling, definitely worth trying again. Their root beer floats and drink menu is pretty good too.

Decor is very eclectic. Frames of cartoons fill the walls and tables are covered with paper so people can draw on them. They have unique lighting fixtures, comfy booths and a patio. This is a good place to go with friends and family but not anything business related.

 

Website: http://www.jackastors.com/index.aspx
Location: Various locations
Hours: Vary depending on location. Check website.

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon