A Vancouver fusion favourite has made its way to Toronto, offering locals a unique spin on Japanese dining.

p38_staffpick02Hop off the subway at Osgoode Station, head west on foot and you’ll find yourself in foodie heaven. Surrounded by seemingly endless cuisine options—Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian and even Australian meat pies—you may find it difficult to decide which way to direct your rumbling tummy. But if you’re in the mood for scrumptious Japanese fare, the choice is an easy one.

Ebisu is the new name on the block, though its existence is hardly “new.” The well-known chain has been a hit in Vancouver since 1972, with five locations across the city, and now has finally made its way east to Toronto. Named after the Japanese god of fishermen and good fortune, Queen West’s recent addition aims to live up to its name—so seafood lovers, you’re in luck.

p38_staffpick01The menu is extensive, but several signature Japanese dishes stand out. Ebisu’s miso ramen features thick, fresh noodles cooked in the restaurant’s own pork soup base and served piping hot, perfect for pairing with a side dish of gyoza. Saba (Mackerel) Miso Battera Sushi is served aburi-style: flame-seared right before the customer’s eyes, delighting patrons and adding to the rousing atmosphere expected of a busy downtown hot spot.

You may recognize many of the menu offerings at Ebisu, but you’re definitely in for a few surprises. The franchise prides itself on its creative, fusion-inspired cuisine, which includes Spanish, Italian and Canadian tastes, to name a few. Treat your tastebuds to exciting fusion dishes like Cajun Tuna Tacos, Bonsai Beef Carpaccio and Miso Clam Chowder. Wash it all down with Shakerato, an Italian iced espresso drink fused with umeshu (fruit liqueur). Now that’s a Japanese meal like none you’ve ever had before!

Committed to catering to its Canadian clientele, Ebisu strays from the traditional visually as well. According to manager Takuya Matsuda, visitors can expect to find ever-changing seasonal décor and TVs showing live sporting events. So there you have it: this winter, head out for Japanese tapas, a pint of Asahi and a hockey game. Have your cake—err, sushi—and eat it too!



Amanda Plyley

Five years in Asia broadened Amanda’s horizons—and those of her tastebuds. From eating kimchi for breakfast to grabbing a midnight snack at Beijing’s night market, she’s always open to trying new foods. These days, you’ll often find her slurping ramen with her nose in a book somewhere in Toronto.



204 Queen St. W., Toronto | 416-204-9595

OPEN: Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 am−2:30 pm
Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 pm−10 pm • Fri 5 pm−11 pm

Sat 3pm−11pm• Sun 3pm−10pm