Buca - on King West
This is probably my favourite restaurant in all of Toronto. All of the food is amazing and I love the location. It can be difficult to get in without a reservation made well in advance, but not impossible, so worth checking it out on Open Table to see what you can get. There are also tons of other places around there to grab a drink if you have to wait.
Drake One Fifty
You know we love the Drake Hotel on Queen West, but the downtown version is equally satisfying. The cocktail menu is a treat and the food is always tasty.
Terroni - on Adelaide
Terroni has solid Italian food with lots of choices. The building on Adelaide is an old courthouse and has some really neat seating. I have never been disappointed with my meal there. If you are early enough it is also appropriate for children. There is another location on Queen West, also good.
This restaurnt is owned by Ivan Reitman (director of Ghostbusters, father of Workin' Moms, Catherine Reitman) and it has a California vibe which I like, especially if it's the middle of winter in Toronto. I've eaten full meals here and also just stopped in for drinks and dessert.
Real Sports/ Elleven
I grouped these two together since they are in the same building so where you go would depend on the atmosphere and food you want. Obviously Real Sports is a sports bar with your typical sports bar offerings, although done very well, lots of beer on tap, and screens galore to catch your game. It is an experience that is worthwhile for tourists and Torontonians. Also a great place to bring kids because it is loud and the TVs provide distraction. E11even is right next door and is a bit classier with more traditional plates. It won't let you down. Both are great if you are heading to a Leafs or Raptors game since it is beside the
This one is right on the water, so technically slightly outside of the downtown core, but you can still get there quickly. We have eaten here in the summer on the patio, which is lovely of course, but also in the fall when we got to enjoy the cozy inside. Again, it is great for kids with lots of choice for beer and on the food menu.