The 41st Toronto International Film Festival is finally here. Want to see your favourite actors and filmmakers? This is where to eat and drink for the next 10 days:
Dining out with the stars
No doubt you’ll spot more than one celeb at these spots around town:
- Café Boulud
Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant is home to many stars and celebs year round (Serena Williams, Justin Bieber, Joe Jonas and DNCE, Gwyneth Paltrow,and much more). It simply heightens during the festival.
The room is sophisticated yet not stuffy and the food and service is sublime - a match made in heaven.
- Cibo Wine Bar
Cast and after-parties have been held at King West’s sprawling Italian restaurant in recent years.
- Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse
Steak, wine and whisky in an elegant setting - what more could you ask for?
Director Ivan Reitman is co-owner and being located so close to TIFF Lightbox, hosting stars is just part of the landscape. A handy tool during the frenzy? The secret back entrance.
- Soho House Toronto
This one’s not open to the public so it’s a haven for stars trying to get away from it all.
- Sotto Sotto (pictured above)
THE biggest celebrity spot in town, beloved by Drake and a must-stop for every A-lister. You probably won’t be able to snag a table, but you might just get a glimpse of your favourite actor arriving.
- The Spoke Club
This member-only spot considered a home-away-from-home for many visiting filmmakers and folks in the biz.
But you can visit their new pop-up Villa Azur with Miami’s Villa Azur Restarurant & Lounge in celebration of TIFF. The weekend's events will be lead by Villa Azur’s own Executive Chef Erwin Mallet, with classic French-Mediterranean dishes as well as creative offerings inspired by the cinematography of this year’s film fest. Lunch, dinner, bottle service, and Champagne Brunch on the rooftop (Sunday only) reservations are now available. Call (416) 368-8448 ext. 221 or email VillaAzur@thespokeclub.com. We'll have coverage on our Instagram, so stay tuned.
The Yorkville hotspot with rustic Italian fare is a long-time fave for stars including Beyonce and Jay-Z, Jamie Foxx and Jared Leto.
Be sure to also check out hotels and their restaurants including Bosk at The Shangri-La, Café Boulud and d|bar at The Four Seasons Toronto, DEQ Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, One at The Hazelton Hotel, Rooftop Bar and Lobby Bar at The Thompson Hotel, and Windsor Arms Hotel.
Poppin’ the bottles
Celebrate with champagne in hand this season. Two Toronto hotels are doing it up big time:
- L’Eden by Perrier-Jouët, a lush garden oasis on the d|bar patio features champagne by Maison Perrier-Jouët, producer of the bubbly since 1811. d a new all-day summer menu from Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Assie.
- The official sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival since 1982, and the Academy Awards since 2015, Piper-Heidsieck has a red and gold pop-up champagne bar at The Ritz-Carlton where you can enjoy their Cuvée Brut. It’s also available at restuarants and bars around the city including Byblos, Cluny, Fairmont Royal York, Figo, Holts Café, Lavelle, La Société, Le Select Bistro, Patria, and Ricarda’s.
And should you wish to enjoy your champagne without imbibing, Delysees is offering "Cheers to TIFF" - a limited-edition champagne collection of macarons.
p.s. More drinks coverage - including a $600 cocktail! - can be found in our TIFF 2016 edition of Where to Drink Like a Star.
While celebs will be tucked away in private dining rooms and banquettes near the back, moviegoers can enjoy extended patios at 18 participating restaurants in the Entertainment District during Festival Street opening weekend:
- El Caballito
- Elephant & Castle
- Forget About It Supper Club
- Fred's Not Here
- Hey Lucy
- Il Fornello
- Kit Kat Italian Bar & Grill
- La Fenice
- Lone Star Texas Grill
- Los Colibris
- Maki My Way
- Pearl King
- Sushi Oniwa
In addition, visit the Lindor Chocolate Mobile Truck for truffles and The Dairy Farmers of Canada pop-up theatre where cheese samples are paired with Canadian film trailers.
Still hungry? Grab a bite in between films at the on-site food trucks: Heirloom, Feedthe6, La Loteria, Sushiburri, A Taste of Europe Via Icelandair’s Euro-inspired food truck, and Tdots Naansense.