Fresh, local, environmentally aware—try these Toronto restaurants raising the bar on sustainability.

Sustainability has become a food industry buzzword for a variety of reasons, including environmental impact, social responsibility and consumer demand. Bonus: sourcing sustainable food ingredients often also translates into fresher, more flavourful dishes, too.

Ready to savour 10 takes on sustainability? Book a table at these 10 Toronto restaurants participating in this year’s Summerlicious (July 5–21, 2024) prix-fixe dining festival.

12 Tables 

12 Tables is a mix of contemporary and traditional flavours from Italy, Spain, France and Poland. This bright, art-filled restaurant is an uptown favourite for special events like birthdays and anniversaries. 

Sustainability highlights: This FeastOn-certified restaurant meets the highest levels of commitment to sourcing Ontario-grown and Ontario-raised ingredients. 

Choice purveyors include 100km Foods, Oakville’s Woodward Meats and a niche, Ridgeville, Ontario-based microgreen supplier (Fresh Herbs by Daniel). A daily ordering system and repurposing of surplus ingredients cuts food waste.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: Wagyu meatballs, gazpacho, sun-dried tomato tagliatelle, with key lime pie or pavlova for dessert 

Amano Trattoria 

Italian restaurant Amano Trattoria in downtown’s Old Town neighbourhood is a great dinner-with-friends destination, with its rustic-elegant exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood accents and iron fixtures. 

Sustainability highlights: Amano Trattoria’s local suppliers include White Lily Farms, which procures organic vegetables from family farms. Another is Affinity Fish, which uses sustainable Japanese fish handling techniques for their harvests from the Great Lakes. 

Standout Summerlicious dishes: mizuna sunflower Caesar salad, 24-hour braised short ribs with risotto Milanese with brown butter gremolata, and Nonna’s Tiramisu


Ambiyan is an upscale Indian restaurant with a menu that spans southern India’s light, tangy flavours to the rich, robust cuisine of the north. 

Located in Midtown, the restaurant also offers an extensive range of vegetarian and vegan dishes. With a focus on fresh, organic ingredients paired with authentic spices, Ambiyan’s dishes truly capture the essence of Indian cuisine.

Sustainability highlights: They prioritize sourcing ingredients from within a 100-kilometre radius using suppliers such as Caledon, Ontario’s First Choice artisan produce.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: flavour-packed lamb roganjosh (lamb curry from Kashmir, India), vegan chana masala (aromatic chickpea curry), vegetarian paneer tikka masala (creamy curry with spiced paneer)

Little Sister 

The King West-adjacent outpost of Indonesian-Dutch food bar Little Sister on Portland feels like a tropical eatery you’d find in Bali, with Southeast Asian accents throughout, including decorative lanterns and botanicals.

Sustainability highlights: Little Sister reduces waste by repurposing ingredients. For example, leftover fresh ginger used in cooking is recycled into a syrup for cocktails. 

And the leftover pulp from the syrup? It’s dehydrated and blitzed into a powder which is used as a food and drink garnish.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: watermelon, cucumber and radish salad, crispy Balinese pork slaw, sapi bakar (marinated grilled flank steak) and Indonesian spiced cake with a pineapple rum sauce.


Nestled in the west end Junction neighbourhood, curious diners will find Lucia, a charming, 30-seat eatery that boasts jungle bird wallpaper and a lush colour palette of soft rose, tan and green. 

Lucia champions ingredient driven, locally grown, Italian-inspired cuisine—“served with a generous dose of love.”

Sustainability highlights: Lucia grows its own vegetables May through October in a two-acre kitchen garden located in King City, Ontario. 

House-grown veggies include tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, asparagus, eggplants and fennel. Any shortfall is filled by local supplier Sandy's Farms, a sustainability-minded, female-led farmers’ market located in nearby Woodbridge.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: handmade pastas including rigatoni with nduja ragu, spaghetti with basil pesto, and gnocchi with rapini, taleggio and lemon zest, followed by panna cotta and vanilla soft serve with seasonal fruit 


Luma is located inside the TIFF Lightbox, which provides lovely terrace views of all the action taking place below in the Entertainment District. The interior is designed with an eye to the visuals, with rich woods, leather, stone and eye-catching artwork.

Sustainability highlights: Luma’s suppliers include Ontario farms located within a 100-kilometre radius. Their meats come from Toronto’s Butcher Shoppe, their artisan vinegar is from Niagara’s Minus 8, and dairy is sourced from Hagersville’s Hewitt’s Dairy.

Summerlicious menu highlights: locally grown courgette and cucumber gazpacho, grilled chicken with polenta from artisan millers K2 Milling, and Eton mess featuring wild Ontario blueberries. 


Located right below Luma, Canteen is TIFF Lightbox’s 3,500-square-foot street-level bistro. This brunch-perfect space is bright and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows that let the sunlight flood in. 

A casual, family-friendly restaurant, Canteen sources fresh Canadian ingredients wherever possible.

Sustainability highlights: Canteen reduces food waste by using ends and meat trimmings in its dishes, and by pooling resources with Luma to streamline transportation, reducing fuel use.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: local strawberry salad, midsummer vegetable risotto with veggies from 100km Foods, and peaches and cream cheesecake made with juicy Niagara peaches. 

Soulas Modern Greek Cuisine  

Soulas Modern Greek Cuisine can be found on the quietly eclectic Danforth Greektown strip. The menu is based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, with an abundance of plant-based foods, healthy fats and lean proteins. 

Sustainability highlights: Soulas’ meat supplier—Mister Greek Meats—is located down the street. The family-owned butcher shop has been their go-to since the 1970s. 

Another supplier is Niki Importing, which supports Greek artisans and sources food products that prioritize sustainable agriculture and fair labour practices.

Standout Summerlicious dishes: saganaki (pan-seared cheese), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), arni fournou (braised lamb shank), pastitsio (lasagna) and karidopita (walnut cake).


Midtown’s Taline takes a deep dive into Armenian and Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant honours Chef Sebouh Yacoubian’s late mother in numerous ways, through both its menu and decor. 

You’ll notice olive green, rose, earthy brown and copper colours—his mother’s favourites—woven throughout the restaurant's aesthetic.

Sustainability highlights: Seasonal ingredients are integral to Armenian cuisine and Taline stays true to tradition with local ingredients and a longstanding relationship with Diana's Seafood, which provides responsibly sourced seafood from healthy fisheries.

To minimize food waste, Taline incorporates leftover components into sauces, stocks, condiments and other flavour enhancers. 

Standout Summerlicious dishes: hearty hummus, vochkhar (Ontario lamb), kaghamp (braised cabbage), and soorj (Armenian coffee) served with pistachio nougat.

The Chef’s House 

Located in the heart of Old Town, The Chefs’ House is an innovative dining concept led by students at George Brown College's Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts. 

Guided by seasoned instructors, culinary students collaboratively design, execute and serve Canadian and international cuisine at this fine dining restaurant. Their menu changes seasonally in tandem with new cohorts of students and as different local ingredients become available. 

Sustainability highlights: Prioritizing local is a key component of the curriculum. The restaurant favours smaller, responsible local purveyors, including Diana’s Seafood, King Cole Duck and The Butcher Shoppe. 

Standout Summerlicious dishes: ajo blanco, (white gazpacho), miso cod, maple-glazed duck breast and dessert options like millionaire's chocolate tart.