January in Toronto means cold, snow and Winterlicious! Toronto’s favourite winter activity is back for its 18th year and, with a record 206 restaurants participating, the foodie festival promises to be better than ever. Here are some Theatre District restaurants you won’t want to miss.

 Stages Restaurant

Hand-crafted cocktails, Canadian-inspired local flavours and a perfectly curated wine list…need we say more? Stages Restaurant at the Pantages Hotel is offering a $33 prix fixe dinner menu and it looks delicious. Start off with seared mushrooms with Yuzu dressing, bacon-wrapped cauliflower or a savoury southeast Asian style bone broth. Move on to the mains with a choice of braised lamb shank, pan-seared pickerel or vegetarian z’aatar-spiced eggplant rolls. As for dessert, we’ll let that be a surprise – but you can view the full menu here.

Batch House

Batch House – a historic brewery and tasting room on Victoria Street – will be offering a $23 lunch/$33 dinner menu with a cozy pub theme. Seasonal soups, burgers, tourtière, bangers and mash and braised short ribs are but a few of the menu items you can look forward to at this popular locale. If you want to round out your experience, you can sample your way through one of their popular tasting flights, featuring in-house brews like Strawberry Cream Ale and Black IPA.

Estiatoria Volos

Estiatoria Volos puts a modern twist on classic Greek dishes – and their Winterlicious menu is the perfect opportunity to try something new. Here you can always expect the best and freshest seafood in the city – so if grilled Moroccan octopus with walnut eggplant mousse and glazed figs, or orzo with crab meat, tiger shrimp and braised fennel is calling to you, this is the place. Oh, and did we mention the baklava? The restaurant will be offering a $28 lunch and $43 dinner menu. Reserve early to avoid disappointment.

What is Winterlicious?

Originally designed to boost the restaurant trade at a traditionally slow time of year, Winterlicious and its summer counterpart Summerlicious have grown into annual celebrations of the culinary arts. The event is run by the City of Toronto, which selects the restaurants that are allowed to participate based on a number of stringent criteria. Participating restaurants must offer prix fixe menus at specific price points – this year, that means $23/$28/$33 for lunch and $33/$43/$53 for dinner. It’s a great way to experiment with new restaurants around town and to enjoy a meal at a location that may normally be out of your price range.

Winterlicious isn’t just about indulging your taste buds – it’s also about learning. Over the course of the two-week festival, you can participate in a number of culinary events where you can learn the secret of a perfect pizza, explore the ancient arts of fermentation and preservation, sip afternoon tea at Casa Loma and more. Winterlicious dates are January 31st to February 13th, 2020, but don’t wait until the last minute. You can reserve your table beginning January 16th.

Knowing this delicious indoor feast is just around the corner makes braving the winter weather so much easier. Welcome Winterlicious 2020!

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