Food and travel — name a more iconic duo. To celebrate 2019’s Most Popular Destinations for Canadian travellers, we’ve teamed up with OpenTable, the world’s leading site to make and manage restaurant reservations, to highlight some of each city’s top-rated restaurants.
See where OpenTable diners are saying you should eat out in 2019’s most popular cities.
Not heading to one of these destinations but want to start exploring restaurants for your trip? Download the OpenTable app to access over 48,000 restaurants around the world. Whether you’re planning a romantic night in a new city or need an early bird reservation for the kids, they’ll help you find the right place.
Canada’s biggest city tops our list for as the most-searched-for destination on KAYAK. If you’re planning a visit, spring is where it’s at. We found the best flight prices are in April (median $413 round-trip). And as long as you’re booking at least a month ahead, you can expect to find a good deal. Like its population, the city’s restaurants cover a broad spectrum of tastes and traditions. Here are 3 places OpenTable diners think can’t-be-missed on your next visit:
- DaiLo’s “exceptional” rating is well-earned. It serves “new Asian cuisine” that takes predominantly Chinese flavours and mixes with French techniques. Try the fried watermelon, truffle fried rice or 90 Day Dry Aged Rib Eye — or order the tasting menu and let Chef Nick Liu take you on a journey.
- Tapas get a serious upgrade at LaVinia. Diners rate this Spanish restaurant a solid 4.8/5. Rooted in traditional Spanish cooking, Chef Fernando Garcia has created a menu fantastic for sharing with a group or with a hot date.
- If you’re looking for a contemporary take on Canadian cuisine, Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen should be on your list. Here, you’ll find locally sourced ingredients and a creative twist on comfort food like deviled eggs and burgers. But the real star here is the cider. Her Father offers over 100 varieties from Ontario and around the world. So cheers.
2. London, England
Whether you enjoy an afternoon tea or a late-night kabob and chips, London’s food scene is ready for you. Our data shows you can find a great flight deal in October, so a fall trip is an attractive option. Just try not to save your visit until December if costs are a concern — it’s when you’ll find the highest flight prices (median $1,153). And as for how far ahead to book, prices tend to hover in the same ballpark whether you book 6 months in advance or the month before, so keep an eye on the flights using a KAYAK Price Alert. Once there, here’s where OpenTable diners eat out when travelling across the pond:
- CORE by Clare Smyth is a relative newcomer to London’s food scene. Set in historic Notting Hill, the restaurant pairs a cozy, modern aesthetic with creative, fantastical food presentation. Inspired by traditional British fare, the kitchen offers an elegant tasting experience for diners. Dishes frequently change as they are highly dependent on seasonality.
- The Ledbury, a 2-Michelin star restaurant in Notting Hill, takes a modern twist on traditional English dishes. Diners enjoy a tasting menu of four courses, where they can choose among updated entrees like steamed cuttlefish and guinea fowl.
- No trip to London is complete without indulging in at least one afternoon tea. And the experience at The Rosebury is at the top of OpenTable’s diners’ lists. This former 1920s tea room-turned-restaurant the restaurant retains much of its old school glam. Go for finger sandwiches, house-made pastries and an awesomely curated range of teas.
Canada’s West Coast city is turning into quite the hotspot. As the 3rd most-searched-for destination, it’s also one of the most affordable flights of 2019 which an overall median airfare of $488. And while mild temperatures make Vancouver an attractive option year-round, fall is the sweet spot with long, warm days and little rain. While you’re there, you’ll want to enjoy the bounty of fresh catches the city’s dining scene has to offer. Here are 3 restaurants with a seafood-focus liked by OpenTable diners:
- Located on the water in the Coal Harbour section, diners love Five Sails Restaurant for everything from its food to its service to its views. Many diners note that its ambiance makes this spot the perfect place for a romantic night out. Order the Chef’s Tasting Menu (and don’t skimp on the wine pairings) to get a full spectrum of flavour.
- If Italian cuisine is more your style, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill is the top pick among diners. This Yaletown spot is where you can get fresh-caught halibut to go alongside your house-made gnocchi. Or, order its title dish — cioppino is a seafood stew filled to the brim with shellfish in a tomato base.
- Another Yaletown spot, Blue Water Cafe is not only a delicious stop on our list but also an eco-friendly one. The restaurant is committed to sourcing sustainable seafood and hones in on clean flavours. Diners love its Raw Bar as well as the innovative dishes that combines Asian and Canadian cooking techniques and traditions.
4. Las Vegas
Ever since Vegas got its own hockey team, interest is up for Canadian travellers. From elaborate displays to incredible restaurants, the everyday is made into a grand occasion in the city of neon. And the good news is, travelling to Vegas is relatively affordable — median airfare is below $500 year-round. So use what you save on your flight towards at least one night of all-out dining. Here are OpenTable’s suggestions on where to plan an evening that’s truly jackpot:
- Joel Robuchon’s 3-Michelin-star-rated restaurant at MGM Grand is an icon. This decorated chef’s first US restaurant offers a menu full of inventive dishes. The Menu Degustation (tasting menu) is the most popular pick, giving you a survey of the kitchen’s talents. Just be prepared to shell out nearly USD$500 per person on it. Remember: you go here for the experience.
- Partage is where you go for a show, just not one that’s on a stage. This French-inspired restaurant is committed to using only top-quality ingredients, creating dishes that look like contemporary art. Try their halibut served with dragon fruit and ceviche or the veal with sweetbreads and lotus roots.
- Andrea’s at the Wynn Casino is where to head for an exciting, stimulating culinary experience. The restaurant’s Asian-inspired menu is full of shareable options that make this the perfect group experience. For the perfect end to your night, order the Flaming Mr. Fuji dessert, which consists of Devil’s Food cake with caramel, coffee rum mousse and toasted marshmallows, set ablaze.
5. New York
New York’s travel-hub status is perfect for travellers — it means that you can find flights between $300-400 here, year-round. Be sure to book your flight at least a month in advance for a great deal. And what will you do in the City that Doesn’t Sleep? Each diverse and vibrant neighbourhood has everything from local boutiques to theatre shows to world-class dining. Here are 3 Japanese restaurants OpenTable recommends you add to your list, each with its own specialty:
- Yopparai is an intimate Japanese bar and restaurant whose main culinary focus is sake. The chef chooses fresh sashimi, traditional dishes and more based on how they compliment the restaurant’s sake offerings. This intimate space — there are only 30 seats — allows for Yopparai’s sommeliers to tailor each diner’s experience based on their order.
- Tempura Matsui is a Michelin 1-Star establishment dedicated to the art of tempura. The space itself is designed to emulate a Japanese cottage and guests can elect to have a seat at the counter or tables. The real highlight of dining here is the preparation — guests can watch the chefs lightly fry fresh fish and vegetables before serving.
- While you’re bound to find a sushi restaurant on every block, nothing quite compares to Sushi Kaito. Here, chefs take the art very, very seriously. And there’s no menu. When you go, you have the option of choosing between 2 omakase (meaning “I’ll leave it up to you”) courses — either a 12 or 16 piece course. The restaurant has a daily rotation of seasonal fish, so what they offer may change every day. And while they’re willing to make some accommodations, there are no options for vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diners.
6. Los Angeles
LA is studded with stars — and we don’t just mean the movie kind. The food scene in this city is cutting-edge, marrying a host of different flavours and traditions. And with flights available throughout the year for under $500, the City of Angels is an affordable vacation option as well. But before you book your trip, get your restaurant reservations lined up. These three restaurants highlight some of the iconic — and diverse — dining experiences OpenTable diners say you can get from LA:
- MANPUKU is the Japanese barbecue chain you didn’t know was missing from your life. Originating 60 years ago in Tokyo, this LA outpost continues to delight diners with an array of salted meats and dishes prepared at your table, yaniuku-style. And, based on customer reviews alone, you’re bound to leave “happy with a full stomach,” as the restaurant’s name indicates.
- If you’re down for some old-school Hollywood glamour, Vincenti Ristorante is one of those iconic Italian restaurants that looks like a movie set. Elegant and sophisticated, the chef takes a seasonal approach, frequently rotating menu items from house-made pasta to secondi plates. Service here is a standout and provides an atmosphere perfect for an intimate evening or group dinner.
- Carlitos Gardel Argentine Steakhouse is a Melrose Ave institution that has served the community for over 20 years. OpenTable diners love that, even after so many years, the quality of food and service remains consistent. Start your meal off with some Hongos Rellenos (chicken-stuffed mushrooms with a cabernet reduction) and pair your choice of meat with a side of garlic fries (you won’t be disappointed).
There’s more to Orlando dining than theme park food courts. With new restaurants opening at a breakneck pace, there’s always something new for families and solo travellers alike to try out. While January sees the lowest median airfare ($343 round-trip), you can expect to find flights for under $550 year-round. And as long as you’re booking 3 months ahead, you can find a great price on your flight. Whether you’re putting on mouse ears and hitting the parks or taking time to explore other parts of Orlando, here are 3 places you should reserve your table at now before the opportunity passes you by:
- Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando serves up what it calls “New World cuisine.” By combining the flavours of the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia, the fusion of cultures comes out in highly inventive dishes like the Yuzu Mojo Organic Roasted Chicken with Pad Thai noodles. If you’re not sure where to get started, however, the seasonal tasting menu gives a great review of the restaurant’s top dishes.
- New York City style comes to Florida at Bull & Bear. Located in the Waldorf Astoria, this restaurant is an outpost of the famous NYC steakhouse. Expect traditional menu items — like different cuts of meat and Caesar salad — alongside a rotation of specials Go here for a special occasion, date night, celebration or to impress a potential client.
- After a day spent at the water park, talk to your hotel concierge about babysitting services and book a date night at Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster. Order up some lobster bisque and a prime cut and be instantly transported to a time and place where you didn’t just spend 2 hours waiting in line for a water slide.
Calgary’s laid-back charm and median flight prices that stay under $400 make this city a great option for most of the year. Consider heading there in April. While the weather can be a bit unpredictable (you’ll either hit warm spring temps or see snow), it’s when you’ll find the lowest median airfare ($343). But as long as you book your flight at least one month in advance, you can expect to find a good flight deal. Plus, these restaurants are where OpenTable diners think you should spend your evening:
- Contemporary French cuisine is the primary feature of Q Haute Cuisine’s menu. Its inventive dishes change with seasonality and try to tackle flavour combinations you won’t likely see elsewhere. If you dine during the week (Tuesday-Thursday), you can order the 4-course tasting menu for $94. On weekends (Friday and Saturday), it’s 7 courses ($95). Add a wine pairing and you’re set.
- Ten Foot Henry is a local favourite (and affordable option) that offers incredible vegetarian options (though, it serves fish and meat as well). Unlike fancier restaurants, Ten Foot embraces the ideas of comfort food while “bridging the gap between what you should be eating, and what you really want to eat.” Order the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe for satisfying simplicity at its best — and don’t skimp on dessert.
- Located in downtown, Klein/Harris brings together the best of Canadian cuisine, from wild-foraged mushrooms to fresh oysters. Diners love how knowledgeable the staff is about its dishes, sources and more. Head here for lunch or dinner — you’ll be sure to get stellar service any time of day.
Edmonton is having a moment. Searches are up 161% on KAYAK for this capital city in 2019. And while February is technically the least expensive month to travel there (median airfare is $215), you can expect to find flights for under $450 year-round. However, if you do attempt February’s chilly temps, remember: Edmonton is one of the best places in Canada to catch the northern lights from September to April. So you’ll certainly be rewarded. Whether you need to warm up or cool down, these restaurants are the talk of the town on OpenTable:
- Spend an evening at Tzin Wine & Tapas, voted the best tapas in the city for several years running. OpenTable diners think it’s a great place for groups and rave about the restaurant’s paella. Located near Rogers Park, it’s the perfect place to pre- or post-game.
- Padmanadi is your healthy-eating haven. This vegan and vegetarian restaurant gets some enthusiastic thumbs-ups from more omnivorous eaters. Drawing from South Asian flavours and techniques, try the bean curd drumsticks or the kung pao “chicken” (spoiler: it’s not really meat, but you won’t be able to tell).
- Looking for romance? Bundok is ready to take your order. This restaurant focuses on small, seasonal plates — while keeping it relatively affordable (diners can expect to spend under $30 on entrees). Try the roasted cauliflower and the gnocchi dish of the night for a real treat.
10. Quebec City
While Montreal may be more popular with tourists, many are already aware of what others are just coming to realise: Quebec City should not be overlooked. With Old Europe charm found in its cobbled streets, sidewalk cafes and 17th and 18th-century architecture — this affordable city (year-round median airfare is $529) is a budget-friendly alternative to longer and more pricey flights overseas. Plus, QC is amazing on its own with local shops and restaurants that just bundle you up in culture. These are some of the top choices of OpenTable diners when eating out in the city:
- Chez Muffy, a Relais & Chateau in a historic shipping warehouse, has a farm-inspired menu that changes on the regular. Diners love its ambiance — which gets high marks for adding a bit of romance to your evening — and super creative dishes. Chef Julien Ouellet has an innovative take on local traditions and Quebecois flavours. If you’ve got a group go for the Nordic Spiced Duck, it won’t disappoint.
- Formerly Le Pain Beni, Brasserie Francaise Chez Jules is reinvented as an authentic French restaurant. Its extensive wine list and attention to detail make this place a must-go. Try the frogs legs and foie gras — because when else would you but on vacation.
- Imaginative LaurieRaphael is another favourite among diners. The chef plays with unique flavour combinations, like a halibut ceviche with rhubarb water and cilantro oil. Every dish here is meant to have an element of surprise, so no two nights are alike.
When you need help planning a trip from start to finish, KAYAK and OpenTable have your back. From finding the right flight to reserving the perfect table, we’re here to make you confident you’re planning an epic trip.
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