5 of the coziest high-end restaurants in Toronto to keep you warm this winter

Wouldn’t it be nice if, during the winter, we could all just stay bundled up inside, in front of a fireplace and never deal with the cold? Sure, but since we can’t we put together a list of 5 of the coziest restaurants in the city that are perfect for feeling that warm, fuzzy feeling, even if it’s blizzarding outside.

The Local Kitchen http://www.localkitchen.ca/

Located in Parkdale, this Italian-themed restaurant is the perfect place to take your time and enjoy a cozy evening. The menu is not large, but the chef Fabio Bondi has produced a beautiful and well-crafted selection of eats. There is a Monday prix fixe special, a chef’s table option for two people in which you can view the meal preparation and have a more personalized experience, and a six-course tasting menu Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.

The Sultan’s Tent & Café Moroc http://www.thesultanstent.com/home

Located on Front Street just east of Yonge, this French Moroccan inspired restaurant has the most amazing décor. Cozy exotic interiors filled with Moroccan lanterns, rich Middle Eastern textiles, and tent-inspired enclaves filled with couches and cushions. They offer a wide selection of North African and Middle Eastern inspired entrees, salads and mains. When you’re inside, you can almost imagine that it’s sweltering outside, rather thank freezing. For the ultimate comfort drink, sit and enjoy the ambiance over a large pot of Moroccan mint tea.

The Host http://welcometohost.com/

There is nothing quite as comforting as rich curry served with buttery naan, crispy onion bhaji, and warm samosa. And no restaurant does it better than the Host. There are four locations: The one in Yorkville has low golden ceilings, wood panelled walls, a built-in wood bar, upholstered seating, and white tablecloths. They also have restaurants in Mississauga and Richmond, and the 259 Host is on Wellington Street. This place is popular so a reservation is definitely recommended. However, any waiting is worthwhile. Be prepared for the ultimate in comfort food.

Caren’s http://www.carenswineandcheese.com/

Caren’s has two locations, one in Yorkville and the other in Rosedale. The Yorkville location is situated in an old Victorian house, which lends a certain level of intimacy and cozy comfort that few restaurants can offer. It’s particularly lovely when seated upstairs for private dining. They have an assortment of menus for brunch, lunch, appetizers/hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert and fondue. The menus are not limited to one genre of cuisine, offering an array of options that suit almost any palate. It’s a great place to splurge on a date.

Giancarlo’s Trattoria http://www.giancarlotrattoria.com/

Exposed brick walls, wood panelled ceilings, white tablecloths and an entire glassed wall of wines make Giancarlo’s a cozy gem in Little Italy. It is intimate, inviting and relaxed, but sophisticated. The fixed menu is exquisite and their specials are always delicious. They have eight pasta options and six secondi options. Portions are generous and beautifully presented. The staff are well versed in their wine selection and provide excellent recommendations. For a classic Italian dining experience, this is a wonderful option.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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