Your ultimate TIFF 2016 celebrity hot spot guide

Mark Rupert,

The Toronto International Film Festival brings the world’s biggest stars to town, and when they're not walking the red carpet or sitting down for interviews, they hit the city's hottest restaurants and bars. Here's our definitive list broken down by neighbourhood of where you're likely to spot a famous face or two.



299 Adelaide Street West 

Ivan Reitman’s Californian-inspired restaurant is steps away from the TIFF Bell Lightbox, making it easy for stars to head over after a premiere or press conference. In 2015, after chatting with etalk on the red carpet, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney enjoyed a fun night out celebrating their film "Our Brand Is Crisis." George worked the entire room sipping his Casamigos tequila, while Sandra nibbled on chef Jonathan Waxman's famous crispy potatoes.  In 2014 Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan, along with Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Jason Reitman were spotted at the restaurant.  

Soho House Toronto

192 Adelaide Street West 

Even members can’t get into the ultra-exclusive parties at this private members club during TIFF.  It seems every star that rolls into town ends up at the house, which partners with Grey Goose each year. 2015 saw the likes of Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Drew Barrymore, Shia LaBeouf, Emily Blunt, Michael Keaton, Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons and many more made appearances. It’s also where, in 2013, Taylor Swift and Julia Roberts had a very magical meet cute moment.


11 Duncan Street

This Mediterranean mecca is housed inside the STORYS building right off the King St. strip in the heart of the festival. Last year John Travolta tasted the restaurant's lamb ribs, salmon and empanadas and Gerard Butler was seen ordering fried chicken. The venue’s hosted a slew of stars including Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, David Oyelowo and more.  

The Chase

10 Temperance Street 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: The Chase
(Photo courtesy Arnaud Marthouret/KM images)
During TIFF 2013 Jake Gyllenhaal took in the stunning views overlooking downtown Toronto from The Chase’s sprawling rooftop patio. It’s the perfect place to grab a cocktail or a bite after a film premiere. Almost as perfect: snagging a table inside. The upscale dining room serves standout dishes including a whole roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras, apples and chestnuts. For dessert, their lime curd-layered angel food cake with coconut cream and toasted marshmallow icing is not to be missed. 

The Ritz Carlton

181 Wellington Street 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Ritz Carlton

With its prime location near the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall, stars who stay at The Ritz Carlton don’t have far to travel. They can also enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Toca, grab a drink at the bar like Sam Rockwell did in 2015, or relax in DEQ lounge toward the back of the lobby. The large outdoor terrace, which has hosted the likes of George Clooney, is an urban oasis complete with open-air fire pit and views of the CN Tower.


190 University Avenue

The Momofuku complex has three levels for stars to explore. On the first is noodle bar, where the mouthwatering pork buns are a must. The second level houses Nikai for drinks and Milk Bar for sweets. And on the third, Daisho offers large meat platters and Shoto for fancy tasting menus. Past sightings include Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Tina Fey, Justin Theroux, Lupita Nyong’o, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes


188 University Avenue

The stunning space inside the celebrity-friendly Shangri-La hotel serves Asian-inspired cuisine with a Canadian twist. In 2015, major movie stars dined at Bosk including George Clooney, Johnny Depp and (then wife) Amber Heard and Jessica Chastain.      


280 Adelaide Street West

A new (and yes, slightly surprising) addition to our hotspot list.  Last year "Equals" stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult dropped into the establishment and snacked on what else... buffalo wings!  


Café Boulud inside the Four Seasons Hotel

60 Yorkville Avenue 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Cafe Boulud

Stars like Al Pacino and Denzel Washington love the Four Seasons, and 2015 saw the opening of the hotel's refreshed and reinvigorated Café Boulud. The restaurant’s feel is of a brasserie, with the look courtesy of Martin Brudnizki who’s created celeb favourite spots like The Ivy in L.A. and Cecconi’s Miami Beach. As for the food, think French, French and more French. Plus, there's a stunning rotisserie that slowly cooks meat and veggies simultaneously over open flames.

Kasa Moto

115 Yorkville Avenue 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Kasa Moto
(Photos courtesy Arnaud Marthouret/KM images)

Kasa Moto was the TIFF 2015 new kid on the block from the team behind Colette and The Chase. Housed in the former Remy’s space (including the massive rooftop patio), Asian influences are woven through the restaurant’s design and menu, which offers everything from sushi to seafood and robata (meat and vegetables slow grilled over hot charcoal).


1221 Bay Street 

Popular Nota Bene chef David Lee brings this new plant-based restaurant to life and from the looks of some of the dishes, Planta is sure to impress vegetarian and non-vegetarian stars alike. 

STK Toronto 

155 Yorkville Ave 

The buzzed about American steakhouse won’t be open to the public until later in September, but for TIFF, they’ll be hosting the “Supper Suite by STK” with  VIP dinners and cocktail parties. Anne Heche, Sandra Oh, Uzo Aduba and Alicia Silverstone are all expected to stop in. 

Cafe Nervosa 

75 Yorkville Avenue 

This Yorkville staple has been serving up delicious Italian fare for 20 years. Past TIFF celeb appearances include Jared Leto, Dustin Hoffman and regular Renée Zellweger, who loves their grilled salmon and veggies.  And oh yeah, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy have also dined there. Need we say more?    


Spoke Club

600 King Street West 

For over a decade this private members club has partnered with etalk on the eve of TIFF for The Canadian Filmmakers’ party. Each year the who's who of Canadian film eagerly pack the club. Previous attendees include Jason Priestley and Tatiana Maslany.  Once the festival kicks off, Villa Azur sets up shop blanketing the place in white and giving major Miami vibes in the process.  Celebs spotted at Spoke include Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, Penelope Cruz, Bradley Cooper and Christina Hendricks

Cibo Wine Bar

522 King Street West 

In 2015 this Italian eatery hosted "The Martian" cast dinner, with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels and Donald Glover all in attendance.  Other stars spotted at Cibo include John Goodman, Viggo Mortensen, John Travolta, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Jason Reitman


455 King Street West 

Drake's eatery with celeb chef Susur Lee opened just after TIFF last year, and has already seen its fair share of stars including Rihanna, Serena Williams, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Kevin Hart and Lebron James. So just imagine who might show up during the fest! 

Colette Grand Café

550 Wellington Street West 

This French eatery welcomed British actors Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth in 2014 for the GQ/Hugo Boss party celebrating their film "The Riot Club." Located on the ground floor of the Thompson Toronto, the elegant space has a stunning bar, bakery and al fresco dining – perfect for star spotting.


461 King Street West 

Brassaii has been a festival favourite for years with the likes of Salma Hayek, Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson all stopping by in 2015. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Zac Efron, Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicole Kidman have also been spotted there during past festivals. It also serves as the home of The Hollywood Reporter for the duration of TIFF, so if you book a lunch, brunch or dinner here you’re bound to get a few sightings in.


627 King Street West 

With its massive 16,000 square foot rooftop lounge, a 155 foot-long pool, garden, three bars and even an ice cream parlour, Lavelle is sure to attract the A-list. They also offer dinner, lunch and brunch, so book a table now and get ready to snap a star. 


480 King Street West 

Described as a “casually refined saloon,” Weslodge’s bartenders sling modern cocktails with a focus on bourbon and scotch. For the food, executive chef Stuart Cameron uses traditional techniques like salt curing, brining and smoking. During the festival in 2014, both Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick dropped by after the premiere of their film “The Voices.”  


478 King Street West 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Patria

One of TIFF 2014’s wildest parties took place in this tucked-away Spanish spot. At the after party for “St. Vincent,” Bill Murray led a full-fledged conga line with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in tow. A year earlier, Adam Levine and Keira Knightley were there to fete their movie musical “Begin Again.”  

Thompson Toronto

550 Wellington Street West 
TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Thompson Toronto

It’s all about that view at the Thompson Toronto. The wraparound rooftop is one of the best places to take in the city’s soaring skyline like Brad Pitt did in 2013. Over the last few years it’s also where The Hollywood Reporter has held their annual Breakthrough Awards bash. In 2014, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were honoured for their performances in “The Theory of Everything.”

Hot spots map