December 6, 2023

Food City

The Best Darn Food City Uou Can Get

Scarborough almost completely left out of Michelin guide for Toronto

Michelin has revealed their inaugural guide picks for Toronto, and people have noticed one of our most diverse and stunning food neighbourhoods is largely missing: Scarborough.

One Scarborough restaurant made the guide’s list of Bib Gourmand picks (friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices), SumiLicious. The restaurant serves smoked meat and poutine, delicacies some might argue another major Canadian food city is better known for.

Where was the shawarma? The roti? The kebabs and pho and jerk? Doesn’t the neighbourhood that a prominent economist once dubbed one of the best in the world for ethnic food deserve a little shine?

People were quick to point out that the 13 picks that received Michelin stars leaned heavily Japanese.

Many restaurants are also located in more downtown areas like Yorkville.

The other restaurants that made the guide’s Bib Gourmand list are far from Scarborough: The Ace, Alma, Bar Raval, Campechano, Cherry Street Bar-B-Que, Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Enoteca Sociale, Fat Pasha, Favorites, Fonda Balam, Grey Gardens, Indian Street Food Co., La Bartola, Puerto Bravo, R & D and Wynona.

Some people also felt other neighbourhoods like Chinatown had been left out.

It’s worth noting that in total, Michelin recommended 74 Toronto restaurants overall though they only gave stars and Bib Gourmands to some.

Mother’s Dumplings and R&D in Chinatown were technically included, and while they didn’t necessarily seem to make it out of Yorkville much they did give one star to both Frilu in Thornhill and Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto in East York. Michelin also recommends Babel in Don Mills.

In terms of showcasing some of the cuisines Toronto is most known for, they technically also recommended Chubby’s, Ca Phe Rang, Pai, Pho Tien Thanh, Koh Lipe and Musoshin Ramen.

While Michelin is pretty well known to be synonymous with expensive luxury restaurants, people have also been commenting that it feels like restaurants were highlighted based more on price range than other factors.

Someone did point out, however, that they’ll give out stars to street stalls, so it’s not out of the question that a great Scarborough restaurant could be considered.

Either way, there’s definitely a strong sentiment out there that Michelin could have done more to recognize the diversity of Toronto’s vast food scene.

There are some people who don’t even give much credence to Michelin guides at all (Anthony Bourdain called them “meaningless”) so just remember, locals know best.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at SumiLicious