Eat, drink and be merry in Toronto, where our cultural diversity — and global restaurant scene — ensure there’s almost always a holiday to celebrate with food.

Toronto is known for its cultural diversity and illustrious food scene. With over 250 ethnicities and 170 languages represented within our city limits, it’s no surprise that we are renowned for our international dining options. 

Whether you’re hungry to celebrate the holidays with friends and family — or to appreciate another culture’s culinary traditions — look no further. Here are five multicultural holidays you can explore through the menus of 15 exciting Toronto restaurants. 

Hanukkah

November 28 to December 6, 2021

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple. It’s also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. Jewish families celebrate this holiday by eating fried foods such as latkes (fried potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (fried jelly doughnuts) to remember the ancient oil miracle.

Taverne Bernhardt’s 

Taverne Bernhardt’s is a rustic west-end French bistro that sometimes provides Jewish comfort food. Last holiday season, they offered a Hanukkah “appetizing box” with potato latkes, cold smoked salmon and other classics.

Milk ‘n Honey 

Milk ‘n Honey is a North Toronto kosher restaurant and catering spot that offers Jewish comfort food, pizza and an array of sandwiches in a casual setting.

​​Bistro Grande

Feast on modern Mediterranean Israeli cuisine at Forest Hill’s Bistro Grande. From the seafood tartare tower to the truffle-ricotta gnocchi, it’s all good and all kosher.

Christmas

December 25, 2021

For Christians, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. But it’s also a winter celebration of togetherness and good cheer. A typical Canadian feast may include roast turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, with puddings and pie for dessert (don’t forget the Yule log!), although regional tweaks abound, from mac and cheese (an African American tradition) to carp (Poland).   

Old Mill Toronto

This historic Bloor West Village inn is known for its annual holiday buffet. Although the buffet may be on pause at Old Mill Toronto, holiday dining is on for 2021. Past menus have included roast beef, lamb and chilled seafood.

Louix Louis

Located on the 31st floor of downtown’s St. Regis Toronto, swanky Louix Louis is the place for an opulent festive dinner with dishes like roast duck, Dover sole and eggnog white chocolate cheesecake.

Toca

The Ritz-Carlton Toronto’s Italian-focused Toca is the place for a traditional turkey dinner. This year’s holiday menu has yet to be released, but previous ones have featured filet mignon and turkey.

Las Posadas

December 16 to 24, 2021 

Las Posadas is celebrated in Latin America, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and Spain, as well as by America’s Latino community. The holiday symbolizes the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph as they sought shelter in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus. Traditional fare includes tamales, buñuelos (fried dough fritters) and atole (a hot masa-harina-based beverage). 

Maiz Latin Food

Maiz has two locations: one uptown and one in the west end. This fave has topped local best-of lists for tacos, Latin food and Mexican food.

La Cubana 

A mini-chain with Roncesvalles Village, Ossington Village and Leslieville outposts, La Cubana serves meticulously prepared Cuban comfort food with house-baked bread and home-brewed craft beer.

Como en Casa

Downtown Yonge Street’s Como en Casa offers budget-friendly Mexican classics, including chicken mole and pork-tomatillo tamales. 

Kwanzaa 

December 26, 2021 to January 1, 2022

Kwanzaa is a seven-day African American celebration of community, family, culture and heritage. The holiday also nods to harvest celebrations in Africa that honour crops and labourers. A typical Kwanzaa-style meal could include eclectic menu items like Cajun catfish, West African groundnut stew and Caribbean mainstays like beans and rice.

African Village Bar & Grill 

Head to the west end’s African Village Bar & Grill for fresh and delicious foods like jollof rice, bobolo and pounded yam. 

Roux 

The Junction neighbourhood’s Roux puts a contemporary French-American twist on southern comfort foods like hush puppies, gumbo, catfish and jambalaya.

Upper Beaches Bourbon House 

Scarborough’s Upper Beaches Bourbon House is a Cajun-Creole fast-food restaurant offering spicy delicacies like blackened chicken livers and po’boy sandwiches.

Lunar New Year 

February 1, 2022

A major holiday in China, South Korea, Vietnam and other East Asian cultures, Lunar New Year signals the beginning of spring (though it won’t feel like it in Toronto). It’s a two-week-long festival with New Year’s Day falling on February 1, 2022. Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with whole fish and chicken, jiaozi (dumplings) and noodles (which symbolize longevity).

Hong Shing 

Chinatown’s Hong Shing is a family-style eatery serving regional dishes, including barbecue meats, Vancouver crab and their signature lobster e-fu noodles.

R&D

Another Chinatown fave, Spadina Avenue’s R&D offers a fresh, fusion take on modern Chinese, with a slick cocktail menu (Szechuan Sazerac, anyone?) and dishes like whole roasted duck and XO spicy wontons.

Lai Wah Heen

Home to Toronto’s most celebrated dim sum menu, Lai Wah Heen offers a holiday menu that has in past years featured delicacies like braised abalone, roasted squab and lobster casserole.