Toronto is a foodie city, filled with restaurants of all kinds, serving cuisines from around the world. And one of the best ways to try some of what Toronto's eclectic food scene has to offer, is to check out Winterlicious. Every winter over 200 fine dining restaurants in Toronto offer prix fixe (fixed price) lunch and dinner menus as part of Winterlicious, which also includes special culinary-themed events, cooking classes and demonstrations, dinner theatre, tastings and pairings, chef dinners and more - so there's lots of foodie fun on offer no matter what type of culinary experience you're looking for.
If you want in on the Winterlicious Prix-Fixe promotion, reservations are highly recommended and easy to make.
Every year, Winterlicious will runs in and around the end of January and into early February for two weeks. Check the website closer to the date for more information on when you can start making reservations and to learn about all of the restaurants taking part in the annual event and to take a look at their menus. If you're looking for some tips on how to make the most of your Winterlicious experience, check out the tips and guidelines below.
Choose Your Dining Companions
The huge variety of cuisine available during Winterlicious is wonderful, but it also means there's a lot of room for disagreement when it comes to dietary restrictions, cuisine preference and more. You should decide early who you want to Winterlicious with, so you have plenty of time to find a restaurant (or restaurants) that will suit all of your party's tastes and interests.
Decide on a Day and Time to Dine
Winterlicious runs from around the end of January into early February for two weeks of events and dining opportunities (dates for 2019 TBD for now).
Pick Your Prix Fixe
There are three price categories for Winterlicious lunch and dinner menus. These can change year to year, so check the website to be sure closer to the date.
Lunch $18, $23 or $28
Dinner $28, $38 or $48
Those prices generally include a starter, entrée and dessert, but do not include beverages, taxes or tips. Be warned - many restaurants will include the tip as a gratuity charge right on your bill, and the percentage they calculate it at 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 all visit the City of Toronto website where the Winterlicious Prix Fixe menus are posted online. There are helpful icons on the site to let you know which restaurants have vegetarian options, which try and use local or seasonal ingredients, and which are wheelchair accessible. Most often you get a choice of two or three options per course, so there's lots of choice. Many restaurants who are not strictly vegetarian, will also often have meat-free or even vegan options.
Make the Call or Book Online
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 "Winterlicious reservation", and don't forget to double-check any details that are important to your group such as the gratuity policy or allergy information. Many restaurants also offer the chance to make your reservations online.
Show Up (or Call if You Can't Make it)
If you won't be able to make your reservation, you must give at least 48 hours notice to cancel. Winterlicious is a popular event and if you can't make it, let the restaurant know so they can free that spot up for other diners.
Two Tips for Enjoying Winterlicious
- Create a restaurant "short-list". 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 or be ready to access the website on your phone. Sometimes the online menus have more detail on your choices than the restaurant's printed menus.
What You Need:
- Internet Access to Browse the Menus
- A Phone to Reserve your Spot
- A Winterlicious-Ready Appetite