Tracking Down Toronto’s Best Tartare

The city’s top spots to indulge in the deliciously divisive dish

Commonly associated with French cuisine, the truth about tartare is that it has many diners divided. Those who love it can’t keep from ordering it, while others have trouble looking beyond the concept of uncooked meat (often topped with a raw egg… double whammy).

A blank canvas for creative flavour combinations and unique ingredients, it acts as a showcase for both intricate knife skills and exceptional technique. From the classic beef renditions to innovative seafood twists and even a nod to nostalgic fast food flavours, join us as we explore the artistry behind this classic dish and share the diverse array of tartares gracing the tables at our favourite restaurants across the city. Prepare for your taste buds to be tantalized: these are our picks for Toronto’s top tartares.


Venture to The Well and ascend to the 38th floor where Aera’s two exceptional variations of steak tartare feature a side of impressive city views. At lunch, enjoy notes of smoky mustard, capers, dill pickles, and radish sandwiched between two rounds of everything-spiced toast. At dinner, classic steakhouse flavours blend with upscale sushi house cravings. Mustard and capers point to a traditional interpretation of beef tartare while tempura bits, nori and its accompanying rice crisp deliver a uniquely Asian twist.

La Plume

Fittingly, diners will find a few variations of tartare at La Plume, O&B’s new South of France inspired brasserie at The Well. Served with grilled bread, house pickles and crisps, choose from Traditional Beef, Trout, Scallop, Venison and even a Mushroom offering tossed in truffle cream. Quickly becoming known for its enticing “tartare bar”, enjoy a trio of options at lunch or choose from all five at dinner. Book toute suite and escape to the shores of southern France with every bite!

The Dorset

Mesmerizing guests with the flavours of the British coast and countryside, The Dorset combines familiar English fare and elevated fine dining under one roof. The latest O&B restaurant to open at The Well, the bright and airy two-storey space pays homage to Executive Chef Ryan Lister’s southwestern English heritage. Try the tuna tartare in the inviting main-floor dining room or venture upstairs for a premium wagyu tartare and devour a combination of crispy egg yolk, puffed cheddar, capers and shallot as you take in the elegant ambiance.

The Joneses

Perhaps one of the most creative variations of the sought-after starter, The JonesesBig M beef tartare is a cheeky nod to a popular fast food burger (you know the one). Diced AAA Canadian beef is mixed with brunoised dill pickles and onions and dressed with a housemade mac sauce, which doubles as a garnish on the plate. Topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, it is served with sesame baguette, resulting in a bite that packs a big (M) punch.

Maison Selby

A classic French preparation of tartare is not to be messed with when dining at Maison Selby’s cozy quarters. The east-end bistro offers a beef tartare that is as time-honoured as it gets. Featuring traditional garnishes and grilled baguette, share it with friends during lunch or dinner or make it a main with the addition of frites. Plus, say bonjour to beef at brunch with the option to add a fried egg. Tartare for breakfast? Oui oui!


For an unexpected take on tartare, sample R&D’s amped-up beef tartare using galangal root, a spice native to Southeastern Asia, and sambal, an Indonesian chili sauce or paste. Bringing the heat while not taking the spice level over the top, lemongrass and coconut help to balance each bite. Served with rice chips that offer a light and airy crunch, this beef tartare is one for the books!

The Rabbit Hole

British flavours are centre stage at The Rabbit Hole with Executive Chef Andrew Nowry’s take on beef tartare. Seasoned with marmite dressing, the tartare is topped with a quail scotch egg and served with Yorkshire pudding to deliver a dose of elevated pub fare. At dinner, Albacore tuna tartare offers a seafood rendition starring lemongrass ponzu, corn crema and coriander. Try them both and pick your preferred palate-pleaser!


Quintessentially Canadian ingredients are key when it comes to Canoe, which is why the 54th-floor kitchen crafts an exquisite venison tartare, crafted from naturally lean deer meat. The only venison variation on our list, this artfully assembled plate features red cabbage, pickled blood plum, a game parfait, smoked venison heart and beetroot to deliver a striking dish inspired by Canada’s raw, rich land.

Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery

This Liberty Village destination smokes the competition to deliver a Canadian gastropub version of the classic beef tartare. For an extra $3, enjoy it served hors-d’oeuvres style on a burnt Tamarack Farms applewood log. On route to diners, both the beef tenderloin mixture and accompanying Brodflour sourdough are kissed with smoke from the charred log, balancing the flavours of housemade AP sauce and the creaminess of a low-and-slow egg yolk. Finished with seasonal pickles and mustard, enjoy it small, large or smoking!

Auberge du Pommier

Exquisite and timeless, Auberge du Pommier’s elevated tartare de bœuf is an indulgence worth savouring. Beautifully hand-cut with exacting precision and seasoned with Dijonnaise and Roscoff onion (a variety that grows in the Brittany region of northwest France), the delicate dish is served with gem lettuce and perfectly crispy gaufrette potato rounds for a classically French presentation with a fanciful twist.

Beaumont Kitchen

Spice things up at Beaumont Kitchen with a tuna tartare that brings the heat. Available for both lunch and dinner, this Asian-inspired shareable is the perfect refreshing bite with a kick that will recharge your shopping game or start your meal in style. Featuring the crunch of cucumber, the herbaceous pop of cilantro and the toasty notes of sesame, this heavenly app is served with crunchy wontons for easy scooping.


Another traditional preparation that honours tartare’s simple yet distinguished flavours, Luma’s classic beef tartare sticks to what connoisseurs know and love. Beef tenderloin is complemented by mustard, shallot, pickles and oyster dressing as well as cured egg yolk for an extra dose of lusciousness. Served with crostini, add a dollop on top and enjoy this pre-show staple!


Another tuna-rific appetizer option, one of O&B’s longest-standing outposts has mastered the flavour profile of this lovely and light dish. Jump’s tuna tartare is made with jalapeño, ginger and avocado, while mesquite barbecue chips add texture and smoke. Ideal for sharing, jump into this Fi-Di favourite.


Offering a South American spin, Leña’s beef tartare goes to show just how versatile a classic can be. Embracing Latin flavours, green olives join the mix along with oyster mayonnaise and smoky vegetable ash for a briny, satisfying bite. Beautiful to look at and even more perfect on the palate, this savoury snack is a plate worth stopping in for!

Enjoy this delicacy however you please; from classic French flavours to new and innovative, our options city-wide are sure to satisfy. Who knows, you might even turn your fellow skeptics onto something new.

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