Where to Eat in Toronto on Christmas Day (2012 Edition)

Heya – Updated version of this list for 2014 can be found here.


Despite the pervasiveness of the festive season, not everybody gives a damn about turkey and stuffing and sitting around with the family listening to some pop singer butcher the holiday favourites, for a whole variety of reasons. Some folks might want a more low-key celebration (one in which they don’t have to do the washing up) and for others, it’s just, well, Tuesday.

I’ve been putting together a “Christmas Day dining for heathens” list since the first year we ran TasteTO, and it was very popular last year when I was writing for Toronto.com. So here it is again, modified and updated and fact-checked for your dining pleasure. (Parkdalers – the Beaver is closed on Christmas Day this year, so check the list below before heading out!)

As usual, I’ve not included a lot of Chinese restaurants because they are usually open on Christmas Day as a default. However, because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, and many Chinese-owned businesses are closed on Tuesdays, do yourself a favour and call ahead if you’ve got a favourite spot in mind.

Also, reservations are required for all of the options offered at hotels.

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Marche-ing to an Old Drummer

I once told a reporter from the Globe and Mail that I never stand in line to get into hot new restaurants, that it’s just not worth the wait. But back in the early 90s, there was one restaurant that my friends and I were happy to stand in line to get into, and that was Mövenpick Marché (181 Bay Street). Food snobs may scoff, but it was at Marché that I learned to enjoy Caesar salads, where my love of good coffee was nurtured, and where I developed a taste for rosti-style potatoes that I cannot shake to this day.

Marché was where we always took people from out of town. This was partially because the place was overwhelming in a “welcome to the big city” kind of way, but also because there was something for everyone. Once after an awe-inspiring performance by Montreal dance troupe La La La Human Steps across the street at the then-O’Keefe Centre,  we headed over to Marché for snacks, only to discover the dance troupe settled into one of the corner dining rooms enjoying dinner.

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