Where to Eat and Drink During TIFF
Film lovers unite! From September 7 to 17, the famed Toronto International Film Festival returns and the city becomes host to movie madness, prestigious premieres, special screenings, and lively parties. As Toronto’s Entertainment District buzzes with excitement, both movie buffs and cinema newbies alike begin their hunt for the city’s best spots to grab a bite between screenings or sip a cocktail while celeb-spotting.
While TIFF may look different this year due to ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, there remain plenty of red carpets, panels, and brand activations to explore as the festival’s 48th edition gets underway. For those looking for the perfect place to drink and dine during the renowned 10-day stretch, we’ve rounded up the top spots for every occasion, all conveniently located near the heart of the action. Grab your tickets, passes, and popcorn… TIFF, here we come!
TIFF Bell Lightbox, the central hub of the entire festival, is home to two must-try restaurants. Stop by Luma on the second floor for a pre-show dinner and enjoy fresh fish and seafood, quality meats, and seasonal vegetables in the warm and inviting dining room. You can also grab drinks and bar bites in the lounge overlooking King Street West for an aerial view of the action before your screening.
Speaking of drinks, keep your eye out for LUMA’s TIFF-themed cocktails, inspired by some of the year’s most talked-about films. A beverage to match your movie? We’re in!
Please note, Luma will be offering a shortened dinner and lounge menu during TIFF (Sept 7–17).
In the mood for something casual, fresh and tasty? In a rush and need to grab something on the go? Canteen, the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s street-level restaurant, offers an airy dining room and wrap-around patio on one of the city’s busiest and buzziest corners. (As an added bonus, from September 7 to 17, King Street transforms into a pedestrian paradise, closing to cars from Peter Street to University Avenue!).
Try the movie-themed cocktails, hearty salads, housemade sandwiches, oven-baked pizzas, and plenty of plant-based options within a stone’s throw of venues like the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Roy Thomson Hall, and the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Please note, Canteen will be offering a shortened brunch and all-day menu during TIFF (Sept 7–17) and will be walk-in only throughout the festival.
Getting dressed up for a red carpet premiere? Reserve a table at Canoe, Toronto’s iconic 54th floor establishment for haute cuisine, ranked number 18 in the nation according to Canada’s 100 Best. Try the tasting menu for one of Toronto’s best dining experiences (complete with wine pairings) or sip on a handcrafted beverage at the bar and take in one of the city’s best views.
The Rabbit Hole
Just east of TIFF’s Festival Street in the Financial District lies The Rabbit Hole, a wild and whimsical gastropub serving up bold British flavours, cocktails, wine, and craft beer. Stop by for a quick fixe lunch ahead of your showing and soak in what’s left of patio season on the three-level garden terrace. Visiting with friends? Enjoy happy hour specials Monday to Friday from 3 to 6pm, Wednesday to Friday from 8:30pm, and all day Saturday.
Amidst the film frenzy, find a moment of retreat at Jump and take in its legendary sky-high glass atrium, hidden-gem courtyard patio, and bustling wrap-around bar. Serving honest, fresh, and flavourful cuisine and a robust selection of spirit-forward cocktails, stop in from Monday to Friday and enjoy the $28 lunch combo featuring a daily inspired sandwich and soup or salad. For dinner, indulge in a $40 prix fixe, featuring your choice of appetizer and main. Plus, don’t miss happy hour Monday to Friday from 2 to 6pm and 8 to 9pm. This timeless Toronto treasure is a buzzing escape in the city’s downtown core.
Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery
While exploring all that TIFF has to offer, you might find yourself sauntering through Liberty Village in need of a place to rest and refuel. The perfect spot for a pre-show pint and bite, Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery is a proper Canadian brewpub serving up farm-to-table cooking and delicious craft beer. If you’re visiting from Tuesday to Friday, enjoy their Liberty Express Lunch from 11:45am to 2:30pm. The $25 deal features a choice of four delicious dishes, served with raw vegetable salad, daily soup, and a flourless chocolate brownie. Plus, with one of the best patios in the area and daily drink deals, you’re guaranteed a good time!
From grab-and-go options to elevated pub fare and even fancy fine dining options, no matter how you do TIFF, there’s something for every movie-lover and action-seeker. Join us as drink and dine our way through the 10-day dose of glamour and excitement that TIFF 2023 is sure to deliver!