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Canada's Best New Restaurants 2012

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Vanessa de Jong

Friday, October 26th 2012 12:02
This list is just offensive. Six in Toronto, two in Montreal, and two in Calgary. Where is the diversity? Obviously the Montreal writer shows an East Coast bias, but really? Only three cities? I wonder if the only city Ms. Musgrave visited in the West was Calgary. I love the food scenes in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary, but Canada has so much more to offer. This review completely missed Vancouver and Victoria, as well as stuck completely to large urban centers. En Route can do better. This is a magazine that is supposed to represent Canada, not solely a small pocket of it.


Friday, October 26th 2012 16:36
Hi Vanessa,
Thanks for your comment. The process for picking Canada's Best New Restaurants is quite thorough. First, our list of panelists send in their recommendations from across the country. Our writer Sarah Musgrave whittles that list down and eats at over 30 restaurants to come up with her top 10. In previous years, we've had Canada's Best New Restaurant in Newfoundland, Vancouver etc. It was just an exceptional year for new restaurant openings in Toronto. Here's a bit more about how we choose the list:
Jasmin, enRoute web editor


Tuesday, October 30th 2012 00:27
Hard to believe that there's no Vancouver restaurants on there, I've always thought of it as a pretty top notch food city. Must have been a slow year. Out of the list I have only been to Pastaga (it is all of one block from my house), and I can certainly confirm that it deserves to be on there. Great food, great atmosphere.

YVR supporter

Thursday, November 1st 2012 13:44
Vancouver is a top notch food city but no restaurants worthy of even being considered this time around. Sad statement but there was a huge lack of top notch openings recently. Likely changes next year as they're already 3-4 spots that will be in contention.


Monday, November 5th 2012 14:41
Very disappointed in the lack of Vancouver/BC listings. The usual eastern bias evidenced by an eastern-based corporation. For certain, I won't be discussing or sharing this top 10 with any of our foodie friends. Vancouver has been consistently rated as one of the top foodie destinations in the world. We have many excellent new restaurants that fit your criteria that have opened.


Monday, November 5th 2012 15:47
Vancouver has many high-end restaurants in terms of expense and interior decoration, but none in terms of food (kitchen or ingredients) and service when judged by the standards easily set by many east-coast cities. This has been true for years. There are many reasons to be proud of Vancouver but our fine dining scene is not one of them! As a Vancouver resident who routinely travels to Seattle, Toronto, and San Francisco for dining, I look forward to this situation changing.

Ralph Riley

Monday, November 5th 2012 16:18
We woulld like to see more resturants in Edmonton in the review

Michael Kukelko

Monday, November 5th 2012 17:33
The only new restaurants worth talking about are in either Calgary, Toronto or Montreal? Reallly???

As the pictures and the language in the pseudo review imply, your writer appears as interested in establishing her "cool" street cred as her knowledge of food.

Finally, perhaps you could list the 30 nominees and the criteria used to establish "merit". Openness, accountability and all those good things you know!

Mark Le Page

Monday, November 5th 2012 18:42
I find it hard to believe that 6 out of 10 the Best New Restaurants are in Toronto. It certainly leads the reader to believe that there is bias in the process, or the article itself.

I would be curious, like other readers, to know how many times visits were conducted to other cities.


Monday, November 5th 2012 19:44
Vancouver my old home be still, the Maritimes don't even exsist. How ordinary yet again.


Monday, November 5th 2012 20:03
Hmmmm....the New Your Times seems to think Vancouver is #2 in North America after NYC.

meredith kerrigan

Monday, November 5th 2012 20:46
Give Boland's Open Kitchen on Mt. Pleasant a try.

Jim Oei

Monday, November 5th 2012 21:44
I think the term " Best new Restaurant " is subjective and it is not to be taken too seriously. It would have been better to have the " Best New Restaurant in each Province " instead

Bryan Lewis

Monday, November 5th 2012 23:32
Please take a short drive from Toronto (45 minutes) to the Cellar in downtown Georgetown - it WILL make your list, if you only can get out of the city. Enjoy the country drive as you go!


Wednesday, November 7th 2012 05:21
I love 'trying' to find creative high end restos in Vancouver, but truly Montreal and Toronto have an abundance of talent in the kitchen. I've yet to try Hawksworth but can't think of any that equal back east or Seattle for that matter. As much as I wish it so.


Tuesday, November 13th 2012 10:21
I would have to agree with some of the comments earlier @Vanessa de Jong @David and YVR supporter. Having dined at many of YVR restaurants I am a little surprised that majority of this list are from TO & MTL. I'm even surprised that two restaurants made it from YYC. But it does sound like a rigorous process with a defined marking rubric so - maybe it just comes down to opinion. I would be interested in knowing more or being more involved in the process of the critics but definitely an interesting selection here. Guess it's time for a trip East. Keep in mind, dining experience is about the amazing food - but also about the experience, which means the service and ambiance are a great factor too.


Sunday, November 25th 2012 20:17
I eat and frequent both the Vancouver and Calgary food scene. I am disappointed there was no representation of new places in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Vancouver. Model Milk and Borgo are good places to eat but I have not been blown away by their plates. They still have to compete with restaurants like Vij's, Chambar, Mercados.........there's no comparison.

Boulud Fan

Sunday, November 25th 2012 23:21
The title says Canada's Best New Restaurants, not "A Diverse Look at Canada's Restaurants That Are Not Necessarily The Best But Chosen to Appease the Whiners Supporting Under-Represented Regions". Best is Best. Period. Best is subjective. Period. Food is subjective. Period. Don't come here griping about why this restaurant or that restaurant, or this city or that city, isn't represented. You don't have to agree with the judges, but to suggest you're offended with their choices means you either need to get out and establish your palette, remind yourself food is about enjoyment or grow a thicker skin.

I done tasting menus at almost all of the Michelin 3-star restaurants in the World. Do I agree with all of the ratings? No. But who cares? If I enjoy it, I come back. If not, I do. Do I only eat at 3-star restauants? No. Some of the best food comes from the weirdest places. Best Banh Mi I've ever had was from an elderly woman in Ho Chi Minh with a sandwich cart on the street who served it to me in a newspaper. It'll destroy every Banh Mi that you could ever think could challenge it. Will you agree? Maybe. But that's just me. My taste. Not yours.

In the end, it's up to us to explore and enjoy. Get out there and eat. Use the lists as guides, or stepping stones.

Michael Johnston

Tuesday, November 27th 2012 14:57
I have to admit it's silly to complain about the list. Just go and enjoy wherever you are. About Toronto... last time I looked, there's almost 6 million people int the GTA... just per capita it's gonna have a lot of top places.


Thursday, December 6th 2012 10:45
Bravo! I may or may not agree but I am looking forward to trying some of these. I too am a fan of the YVR dining scene. Now that I live in Toronto, I get to try these places without having to fly across the country. I agree with @Boulud Fan and with @Micheal Johnston. There's lots to enjoy and celebrate. Let's stop the quibbling and break some bread!


Monday, January 7th 2013 22:46
You've done an honest job. This year was Toronto's. But why not include a category of Honorary Mention for every region. After all, your magazine is on Air Canada, and travellers would appreciate knowing where would be good to eat.

Best restaurants in Montreal

Monday, August 12th 2013 17:41
Almost a year later. Pastaga is still up there amongst the best restaurants in Montreal.
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