10 restaurants with stunning interior design in Toronto

The food scene in Toronto is anything but boring when it comes to well designed spaces that give diners the chance to drool over the decor as well as their meal. The restaurants on this list are all massive culinary projects that serve cuisine from around the globe. The emphasis is on the food as well as on everything else that meets the eye, for an interesting and truly immersive experience.

Here are my picks for the top restaurants with stunning interior design in Toronto.  

Carbon Bar
This Southern barbeque spot is situated in a massive space that formerly housed Electric Circus and a Disney studio. The decor gives casul nods to this history - the neon club sign was kept, and now illuminates diners in its fluorescent light while Donald Duck figurines line a shelf near the bar. The leather benches are evocative of a French bistro and large, white globes are suspended from pantographs attached to the ceiling.

The Momofuku complex is housed in a three story glass cube in the Shangri La and offers diners the full Momofuku experience via four very different stopping points. The entire space is decked out in oak, concrete, steel, glass and stone, all accentuated by the natural light coming in through the floor to ceiling windows. At night the wood-paneled space come alive with warmth.

El Catrin
This Distillery District spot has to be the most beautiful Mexican restaurant in Toronto. Designed by Munge Leung, the vibe here is Day of the Dead on acid. Large, chandelier inspired lighting fixtures light the enormous space decorated with smiling skulls, neon flowers and a giant mural painted by street artist Oscar Flores. Make sure to check out the deliciously creepy, votive lit altar on your way to the bathroom.

It's hard to resist Byblos' charm - the airy dining room is mostly decorated in shades of white with accent pieces like Turkish coffee pots adding the necessary pops of color. The white and yellow tilled bar spans an entire wall in the downstairs dining room and is lit by glass lined shelves. The room itself is lit by a series of modern, gold colored chandeliers that cast an ethereal light, perfect for enjoying east-Mediterranean cuisine.

Parts and Labour
Part bar, part club, part restaurant, Parts and Labour certainly also ticks all of the design checkmarks. Diners sit at long communal tables lit by bare, recycled fluorescent lights in an industrial-feeling room designed by Castor Design. The non-traditional space houses a rotating collection of art and is host to different live events and dance parties downstairs

Bar Raval
The younger, sibling of Bar Isabel feels unlike any other restaurant in Toronto. Lined in deep, curved mahogany paneling, the bar pays homage to the intricate Gaudi houses scattered across Barcelona. White tiles are adorned with subtle patterns. Having drinks and snacks here will surely transport you to Raval in Barcelona for the evening

Tucked a few meters away from busy King Street, Patria aims to recreate Barcelona style tapas, though don't be fooled, this place is anything but casual. The piece de resistance has to be the colorful, needlepoint creation hanging above the staircase. Designed by Commute Home, Patria gives a nod to its Spanish roots through a warm, rich color pallet, enormous, Velasquez style paintings and an eclectic melange of antiques.

Via Vai
The new kid on the block, Via Vai is a study in lighting with 45-foot, ceiling to floor windows spanning the entire restaurant and making sure that every seat is a window seat. The space previously housed an art gallery, a fact which has been preserved in the current restaurant's design via large murals and paintings hanging on the wall and colorful pieces of glass suspended from the high ceiling.

The Chase
Beyond the stunning view, this rooftop Financial District spot is sure to impress with its clean, elegant design. Crystal chandeliers and natural light work together to create an almost ethereal lighting. Diners sit in grey, Ralph Lauren booths, chairs or along the bar at white stools which offer the best view outside of the patio. The food is contemporary Canadian with heavy emphasis on the denizens of the deep.

The project of Master Chef Canada winner Alvin Leung, R&D is essentially Chinese Canadian fusion. Another one of Commute Home's works, this enormous restaurant is divided into three different spaces, filled with Chinese street art-inspired murals and lit by large, drum lights while faux crumbling wallas are meant to be evocative of the state of Chinese society.