With wooden seats, bright paper lanterns and the savoury scent of meat grilling in the air, Kintaro Izakaya seamlessly recreates Japanese izakaya culture in the heart of Toronto.
Kintaro Izakaya, located near the busy intersection of Church and Wellesley, brings the cosy, lively atmosphere of Japan’s izakaya restaurants to downtown Toronto. Half bar, half tapas restaurant, Kintaro serves up the best of both worlds. Here diners can relax among the comforting murmur of fellow patrons without the need for a shouting match with the people sitting across the table. And the wide variety of dishes on offer—both traditional and fusion-inspired—promises a delicious meal for any palate.
Though the menu includes ubiquitous Japanese fare like sushi and ramen, Kintaro’s claim to fame is their broad selection of yakitori— juicy skewers of charcoal-grilled meat that are a staple for any respectable izakaya in Japan. Kintaro offers classic Japanese favourites such as momo negi (chicken thigh and green onion) and hatsu (chicken heart) as well as culinary curveballs like bacon-wrapped pineapple.
Their enoki bacon (bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom) is a crowd favourite. One order consists of two skewers, perfect for sampling a range of combinations.
At Kintaro you’ll find healthy grills and greens, a refreshing change from the usual deep-fried bar food. Try pairing their skewers with fresh, scrumptious sides like the salmon and avocado salad. Feeling the autumn chill these days? Step inside and warm up with a hot bowl of oden—fish cakes and vegetables in a light soup of fish broth. It’s a comfort-food classic in Japan.
However, ask anyone in Japan and they’ll tell you that nothing pairs with savoury grilled skewers quite like an ice-cold drink, and Kintaro’s newly revamped cocktail menu goes toe to toe with their assortment of tapas. Choose from a slew of Japanese mixes blending traditional ingredients like sake, shochu, ginger and yuzu, which infuses cocktails with a fragrant hit of sweet citrus. Kintaro’s wabi-sabi Caesar is a Japanese twist on a classic, blending sake, vodka, Clamato juice and secret spices.
An oasis of warm comfort in the city, Kintaro Izakaya’s homey ambience invites diners to relax into a unique brand of bar culture normally found only in Japan.
459 Church St., Toronto
OPEN: Sun–Thu 5 pm–1 am • Fri–Sat 5 pm–2 am