After a brief hiatus, Air Canada enRoute is thrilled to present the anticipated Top 10 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants, with Toronto’s Restaurant 20 Victoria taking the number one spot.
Led by chef Julie Hyde, Restaurant 20 Victoria features an upfront bar area for à la carte plates and an elegant dining room and patio for the six-course tasting menu. In second place, Montreal’s Mastard showcases Quebec terroir with fresh seasonal ingredients. Mimi Chinese, this year’s third-place winner, takes diners on a tour of hyper-regional Chinese cuisine from its location in Toronto. The full Top 10 list is featured in the November issue of enRoute magazine and online at CanadasBestNewRestaurants.com.
The Top 10 Canada’s Best New Restaurants were selected by award-winning journalist Nancy Matsumoto after a month-long cross-Canada journey, where she dined anonymously at more than 30 establishments nominated by an expert panel. From the culinary vision and quality of ingredients on the menu to the trappings and team spirit that surround it, every element factored into an equation that savours deliciousness above all. Ultimately, it all came down to one meal.
“Air Canada is proud to take off with this tradition once again and to put the Top 10 best new restaurants on Canada’s culinary map,” says Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand, Air Canada. “It’s inspiring to see these restaurants make their mark with world-class cuisine while also leading the way on industry trends such as sustainability and workplace wellness. We wish them all luck and success.”
Canada’s Best New Restaurants
Here is the complete list of Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2022:
- Restaurant 20 Victoria (Toronto, ON): Two years after the abrupt closure of Brothers Food & Wine (No. 8, 2017), a reshuffled team led by chef Julie Hyde and sous chef Jenna Reich shows us the way back from the pandemic-born land of the fast and casual with pitch-perfect six-course tasting menus.
- Mastard (Montreal, QC): Chef Simon Mathys’ passion for Quebec terroir is palpable in dishes like the thick, ruby-red slice of tomato from La Ferme des Quatre-Temps resting in a pool of camelina oil, adorned in herbs and flowers and doused with smoked beef fat—Matsumoto’s favourite of the year.
- MIMI Chinese (Toronto, ON): Executive chef David Schwartz and head chef Braden Chong present hyper-regional renditions of Chinese cuisine ranging from deep-fried, sesame-showered shrimp toasts from Guangdong to a four-foot-long, chili oil-slicked take on Shaanxi belt noodle, scissored tableside.
- Perch (Ottawa, ON): For those who love fine dining tasting menus but not the starchy attitudes, Perch is a gift from chef Justin Champagne-Lagarde, who foregrounds sustainability and minimal-waste cooking with offerings like a deeply flavoured compost broth made from daily veg scraps.
- Một Tô (Calgary, AB): “Crunch” could be its own category on the menu of this Crescent Heights Vietnamese spot, judging from the crackly crab pork and taro spring roll and the grilled cheese served with a pho broth dipping bowl.
- Hearts Tavern & Bar (Kimberley, ON): One visit to this dream version of a roadside tavern and you will want to come back for the silky slices of house-smoked fish or fat spears of Meyer lemon-spiked asparagus served alongside a generous wedge of Château de Bourgogne cheese.
- Fonda Balam (Toronto, ON): Chefs Julio Guajardo and Kate Chomyshyn turbocharge tacos and their birria subset with their sublime quesabirria con consome, oozing corn tortillas filled with braised beef, mozzarella and aromatics.
- Major Tom (Calgary, AB): 40 floors above Calgary find a steakhouse reimagined for the modern age, delivering crispy egg halves topped with pepperoni jam, extra-terrestrial prime rib, alongside cocktails like All the Way Up—Matsumoto’s pick for best cocktail of the year.
- Fox & Monocle (North Saanich, BC): The culinary talents of chef Ross Bowles and pastry chef Tracie Zahavich come together in offerings like cod and potato pithivier and B.C. spot prawns served with roasted red peppers and crunchy polenta cubes.
- Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, QC): Only ingredients sourced from within 150 kilometers are considered fair game for chef Tim Moroney’s inventive and delicious tasting menus (wine, ethically produced salt, yeast, milk and cream are the exceptions).