These upscale Toronto restaurants are musts for special occasions and romantic weekend getaways.

Incredible food, check. Elevated atmosphere, check. Full wheelchair accessibility, check! 

We all know that Toronto is one of the best foodie cities in the world. But combining mouthwatering food, a luxurious vibe and wheelchair accessibility is not always easy—yet these seven restaurants hit the mark. 

Here are seven of my local faves that are perfect for a special night out.

Akira Back

In the luxe Bisha Hotel, Akira Back is any foodie’s dream. Following the lead of its namesake chef, the menu at this MICHELIN-Starred restaurant is an irresistible blend of modern Japanese cuisine with Korean flavours. 

Each dish is a true display of artistry, enticing taste buds with bold, vibrant flavours and stunning presentation.

Accessibility: the spacious interior includes an elevator and a fully accessible washroom. Sight-impaired patrons should note that the restaurant is quite dark.

Vibe: truly one of the most stunning restaurant interiors I’ve ever seen! Bold and sophisticated decor with gold accents and carbon black to tie it all together.

Must-try dishes: AB Wagyu Tacos, Tuna/Mushroom Pizza, Hot Mess Signature Roll and the Ribeye steak.

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Casa Madera

This might be my favourite restaurant in the city! A short walk from the Entertainment District, Casa Madera is not just a restaurant: it’s an experience. 

From the moment you enter, you are transported to a coastal oasis that entices all of your senses. Their menu is fashioned after the “land meets sea” concept and pulls flavour profiles from Mexico and the Mediterranean. It’s important to note they have a wide variety of delicious vegan and gluten-free options!

Accessibility: the spacious interior has automatic push-to-open buttons located throughout and a fully accessible washroom.

Vibe: you will feel like you’ve escaped to the Mediterranean. This fine dining experience includes performance artists, DJs, and incredible greenery throughout.

Must-try dishes: Mayan Hummus, Oysters, Tiger Shrimp, Truffle Risotto and my favourite, the A La Roca!

Black + Blue

Black + Blue most certainly lives up to its premier steakhouse reputation. From start to finish, you will be waited on hand and foot as you dive into any meat enthusiast’s dream tasting menu. The combination of extensive attention to detail and refined luxury decor is top of my list.

Accessibility: there are various seating options inside and on the patio, a big and fully accessible washroom, and incredibly helpful staff.

Vibe: spanning two floors, you can expect classic steakhouse elegance with contemporary flair. With a show-stopping bar, wine wall and marble floors, you can tell no expense was spared for this new Financial District staple.

Must-try dishes: Tableside Steak Tartare, Tableside Caesar Salad, Prime Rib and Japanese A5 Wagyu.

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Leña

With a menu that pays homage to chef Anthony Walsh’s Argentinian mother-in-law, it’s easy to see why so many people love Leña

Just off downtown Yonge Street, this restaurant promises authentic South American dishes with a sprinkle of Italian influences, resulting in elevated yet comfortably familiar dishes. Stop by for their Happy Hour, Monday to Saturday, from 2:30–5:00 p.m.

Accessibility: this venue features automatic push-to-open doors (which don’t require handles), various seat options and heights, and an elevator to the basement with its fully accessible—and might I add, visually stunning—bathroom.

Vibe: the decor will definitely transport you back in time, featuring its bar as the centrepiece, art deco design, and expansive windows throughout!

Must-try dishes: for drinks, try their Gin Slip. I’d recommend Susana’s Gaucho Empanadas, Lala’s Spicy Fried “Bravas” Potatoes and the Grilled Whole Branzino for food.

Lee Restaurant

Combining French and Asian-influenced cuisines, it’s no wonder that Lee has been a Toronto hotspot for over two decades. Now settled into their new location adjacent to the widely anticipated Waterworks Food Hall, you can expect to savour the bright and memorable flavours Chef Susur Lee is renowned for.

Accessibility: utilizing a rear entrance, individuals in wheelchairs can access both the interior spaces and patio. There’s a generously sized, meticulously designed, accessible washroom and an exceedingly accommodating staff.

Vibe: Lee’s interior warrants multiple visits; each corner boasts a distinct yet harmonious array of unique pieces. Of particular note is the stunning modern lighting, unmatched in its beauty.

Must-try dishes: Signature Slaw, Sangria Cart, Cheeseburger Spring Roll, Char Siu BBQ Duck and All-Time Favorites Platter.

Alder

Alder is the sophisticated yet approachable Mediterranean restaurant that is inside the architectural standout, the Ace Hotel. With a menu by Alo Food Group, you can expect an exceptional selection of plates that showcase wood-fired cooking.

Accessibility: accessibility at Alder is flawless, encompassing elevators, easily accessible washrooms, and seamlessly navigable spaces—zero complaints here.

Vibe: Alder is an architect’s delight, seamlessly marrying contemporary lines and textures with a cozy ambiance. I couldn’t help but admire the meticulous line work and attention to detail, particularly when looking upward. An elegant space, perfect for any special night out.

Must-try dishes: Beef Carpaccio, Braised Short Rib, Hamachi Crudo, Coconut Cream Pie and the Good Vibes Only Mocktail (I asked to add tequila).

 

Reign

Located across from the revitalized Union Station hub, Reign is an upscale option for a romantic rendezvous, especially during the holiday season. Set inside the iconic Fairmont Royal York, its menu is inspired by Canada’s harvest, which makes for a seasonal menu supported by sustainable farmers, harvesters and producers.

Accessibility: the restaurant is 100% wheelchair accessible from the front entrance to its open spaces, seat heights and spacious, accessible bathroom. Sight-impaired patrons should note that the restaurant is quite dark.

Vibe: Reign is the place if you’re looking for a fancy night out. Choose an outfit that exudes sophistication because its French-inspired ambiance evokes the feeling of dining within a historical castle.

Must-try dishes: Reign Steak Tartare, 16oz Bone-In Ribeye and Lobster Linguine.