Bar Isabel: Canada’s Best New Restaurant

Diana Chan May 4, 2014 Four Beakers, Late Night, Spanish, Tapas, Toronto


My most recent trip to Toronto to visit a few friends over the long weekend was a blast. I got to catch up with old friends and chill. Flo recommended we hit up Bar Isabel as it is one of the hottest restaurants in town. I am not familiar with any restaurants in Toronto, so she made reservations a few weeks in advanced and we got a spot. This experience in Toronto was created in partnership with momondo.

It is highly recommended you have reservations before you come dine here or else you might be out of luck. The open everyday from 6pm – 2am.

They serve up spanish tapas and are best known for their grilled octopus. They have been named Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2013 by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine. Also, they have been named one of Toronto’s top restaurants in 2014 by Huffington Post.


The interior is pretty cool. It’s a bit dark inside and really red. It was really hard to take photos in here. To have a good time, groups of 2 or 4 are best.


Hopeless Mermaid ($16) has Elyx vodka, St.Germain elderflower liquor, fresh lime and grapefruit juice, rich ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, and grapefruit zest.


We Choose Yer Own Adventure ($15 – $20) is great for indecisive people. The server will have a chat with you to see if you like refreshing/light or bold/sturdy drinks. Then, they will choose something for you.


Roundhouse ($16) has Auchentoshan 12yr scotch, Jameson Irish whiskey, Los Arcos amontillado sherry, bad azz orgeat, fresh lime juice, Angostura bitters, and lemon oils.

All the drinks were pretty good! Pricey…but the quality was really good.


Cured Meat Plate ($16) has some pickled vegetables and you can choose 3 types of cured meats from the menu. We chose chorizo, beef carpaccio and coppa.

Bread ($4) was soft in the centre and has the crunchy crust.


Spicy Fried Squid ($8) has crispy tongue and kale on top. The squid is very soft and tender. I found that the tongue and the kale didn’t add anything special to the squid to accentuate the flavours.


Smoked Sweetbreads ($18), has raw tuna, spicy pickled green tomato, and brown butter. If you don’t know what sweetbreads are, it’s not what you think. It’s really glands from an animal. This dish tasted pretty good and the sweetbreads had a chewy spongy texture to them.


Albacore Tuna Tiradito ($14) has asian pear, celery, jalapeño and fried rosemary. It had a good assortment of ingredients that pairs nicely with the tuna.


Whole Sea Bream Ceviche ($26) was pretty awesome! It even comes with the deep-fried fish carcass and on top of that is the ceviche. Very delicious!


1/2 Grilled Octopus ($34) was my favourite part of the meal. The half-size was plenty enough for the 4 of us. Wow, this octopus was tender. When you bite into the tentacles, the suction cups just fall apart in your mouth. Hands down best octopus I’ve ever eaten. It has great flavours! I still think about this dish a few times a week. MmmMmmmm so good!


Leche Frita & Salted Dulce de Leche ($6) this was my favourite dessert. It was really delicious and the sweetness and flavours were nicely put together. It was like a churro.


Salted Dark Chocolate Ensaimada ($7) was ok, not as good as their other 2 desserts. The star here is the salted chocolate ice cream. The ensaimada didn’t add much to the dish.


Basque Cake ($8.50) has Sherry Cream all over it. The cake was moist and the sherry cream was perfect with it. So simple but so good. My other friends thought this was the best dessert.

Overall, the four of us had a good time at Bar Isabel. The food was good and I would definitely come back.

We Rate Bar Isabel:

797 College St
Toronto ON


Bar Isabel on Urbanspoon

About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.