Toronto is a food-focused city with countless amazing things to eat. Luckily, every summer over 200 of the best restaurants in Toronto offer prix fixe (fixed price) lunch and dinner menus courtesy of Summerlicious. This annual culinary event, which started in 2003, is your invitation to experience what Toronto's many outstanding chefs have to offer and try out new restaurants you might not have otherwise thought to visit. If you want in on the Summerlicious foodie fun, reservations are highly recommended and easy to make, either by phone or online.
- Choose Your Dining Companions
- The huge variety of cuisines available during Summerlicious is wonderful, but it also means there's a lot of room for disagreement. You should decide early who you want to do Summerlicious with so you have plenty of time to find a restaurant (or restaurants) that will suit all of your party's tastes and dietary restrictions.
- Decide on a Day and Time to Dine
- Summerlicious runs for a little over two weeks every July in Toronto. Find a day that works for everyone - and remember, the hours of each restaurant will vary so call ahead or check the restaurant's website to confirm their hours.
- Pick Your Prix Fixe
- There are three price categories for Summerlicious lunch and dinner menus, which vary depending on which restaurant you choose and which meal (lunch or dinner) you're visiting for.
- Lunch - between $23 and $33
- Dinner - between $33 and $53
- Those prices include a starter, entrée and dessert, of which there are usually three options of each course to choose from. But prices do not include beverages, taxes or tips. Be prepared - many restaurants will include the tip as a gratuity charge right on your bill, and the percentage they calculate will vary. You may want to ask the restaurant about their gratuity policy when you call.
- Select Your Restaurant(s)
- Now that you know how much you and your dining companions are planning to spend, you can visit the City of Toronto Summerlicious website where the Summerlicious menus are posted (check back closer to July for a full list). Note that many restaurants won't be able to do any substitutions during Summerlicious, so it's important everyone agrees on an appealing menu.
- There are helpful icons on the site to let you know which restaurants have vegetarian or vegan options, gluten-free choices, seasonal menus and which are wheelchair accessible.
- Make the Call
- Call the restaurant you're interested in directly, using the number provided with the online menu. Be sure to specifically mention that you want to make a "Summerlicious reservation", and don't forget to double-check any details that are important to your group such as the gratuity policy, allergy information or dress code.
- Summerlicious reservations usually become available in June, approximately a month before the event starts. It's also possible to make reservations online at most participating restaurants.
- Show Up
- If you won't be able to make it to the restaurant, you should try to give at least 48 hours notice to cancel. This will allow another group of diners to enjoy the Summerlicious experience.
- Enjoy! This is a great chance to delve into Toronto's thriving food scene.
- Create a restaurant "short-list" when you're looking over the menus with your dining companions. That way if the first one you call isn't able to give you the time you'd like or accommodate other needs, you won't feel pressured to make a reservation you're not happy with.
- Once you've made the reservation, print out the online menu and bring it with you. Sometimes these have more detail on your choices than the restaurant's menus.
- Use Summerlicious as an opportunity to try restaurants you've never been to, or expand your culinary boundaries but opting to try cuisines that are new to you.