Locals Know Best: A Guide to Toronto’s Old School Restaurants and Bars

With all the hip and cool new restaurants exploding all over the city, it can be easy to overlook the real OG’s! Toronto has an array of restaurants that, over the decades, have stood the test of time, becoming part of the fabric of the food scene.

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Photo Courtesy: @TheSenatorTO

The Senator

Originally a home built in the 1850s, the self-proclaimed “oldest restaurant in Toronto” was founded in 1929. Due to its successful history, The Senator has become somewhat of a landmark in Toronto and in its 89th year of continuous operation, the diner maintains high quality food and service in a nostalgic setting.


Photo Courtesy: @JososRestaurant


As well as being a celebrated folk musician in the sixties, Joso and his wife Angiolina were also the owners of what is often referred to as Toronto’s best fine dining seafood restaurant. Joso’s is filled with unique, eye catching nautical art and has been enticing new and devoted customers for decades.


Photo Courtesy: @Foodieelove

Scaramouche Restaurant and Pasta Bar and Grill

For over thirty-five years Scaramouche has been celebrated by customers and critics alike. Tucked away in a midtown apartment, the restaurant offers stunning views of the city which only serve to heighten the more formal French haute cuisine. A more casual dining experience can be had at the adjoining Pasta Bar and Grill.

The Joy Architects

Photo Courtesy: The Joy Architects

Barberian’s Steakhouse

Opening its doors in 1959, Barberian’s Steakhouse has been the go-to restaurant for exceptional food and drink. The family-run restaurant is one of Toronto’s premier steak houses and the food can be perfectly complemented by one of 15,000 wines in their cellar!


Photo Courtesy: @TheMillerTavern

Miller Tavern

Operating in a building that dates back to the 1860s, The Miller Tavern oozes history and character. What was previously the York Mills Hotel is now an expansive restaurant with extensive menu that encompasses several cuisines to be enjoyed throughout lunch, brunch and dinner.

United Bakers

Photo Courtesy: @TorontoFoodFeed

United Bakers

Founded in 1912 by the Ladovsky family, United Bakers (UB) is an institution. As one of the oldest family run restaurants in Toronto, UB has been serving classic dairy dishes for over 100 years. Families adore UB as there is something on their expansive menu for everyone.

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