Like many of us, eating is pretty much one of Hayden’s favourite activities. So the Toronto resident likes to joke that becoming a chef was really just a glamorous way for him to eat for a living. (That sounds pretty good to us!)

When he’s in the kitchen, Hayden loves utilizing all of the best ingredients a season has to offer, from fall’s bountiful squash to spring’s fresh asparagus. Whatever is available at the market is pretty much what inspires him on any given day.

Outside of the kitchen, Hayden loves digging into all of the culinary options the city has to offer. Here are his Top 5 picks on where to eat when in The Six.

Enoteca Sociale

The Roman menu at this hot spot is designed to bring people together through bright flavours and simple food. With layered ingredients and a carefully curated wine list, chef Kyle Rindinella is all about reminding guests to live in the moment—a moment involving delicious plates of food, of course. So what does Hayden recommend?

“Try a double order of the Cacio e Pepe with a glass of Chianti,” he says. “Chef Kyle is a really good guy and ask to sit in Gary’s section; he’s the best!”

Montgomery’s

Chef and co-owner Guy Rawlings shines a spotlight on Canadian ingredients and innovative cooking techniques with his Queen West spot, and the critics (and customers) have certainly responded. Hayden counts it as one of his “neighbourhood favourites” at this point.

“Guy Rawlings is creating some pretty unique dishes using only Canadian ingredients,” he says. “Try the bone broth with grilled lettuce.”

Pizzeria Libretto

When it comes to the slice of all slices, Hayden is down with this Toronto pizza chain. With five locations across the city featuring a wide assortment of pies—including gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan—these pizza makers are hoping to convert guests into raving fans, one slice at a time.

Hayden certainly counts himself among them. “House Made Sausage Pizza for the win,” he raves about the popular topping. “Libretto’s prix fixe lunch is the best value in town.”

The Good Son Restaurant

Hayden is a fan of this resto-bar and its mission of embracing the local Queen Street neighbourhood. While the establishment’s focus on local and seasonal ingredients makes it a hot spot to be sure, Hayden reveals the handcrafted drinks are a large reason to make reservations.

“It has one of the most underrated cocktail/drink programs in the city,” he says. “Sit at the bar and ask Connor (the bartender) to make something special for you!”

 

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Take a seat at our bar and enjoy one of our Handcrafted Cocktails at #TheGoodSonTO tonight.

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Richmond Station

Obviously, Hayden couldn’t leave out his own eatery when talking about all of the best culinary options the city has to offer. So he included Richmond Station (co-owned by former Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich) as one of his must-try places—“I’m not biased at all!”

Specifically, he’s all about the Station Burger, which comes with a beet chutney, aged cheddar and a side of rosemary fries.

Watch Top Chef Canada Mondays at 10 PM E/P on Food Network Canada.