A retro storefront called The Senator
Photography, Kayla Rocca

New flavours at one of Toronto’s oldest restaurants

Toronto's iconic Senator restaurant has re-opened its famous doors with a revitalized menu for the post-pandemic era.

One of Toronto’s iconic culinary sites (and first true weekend brunch spots) has re-opened its famous doors with a revitalized menu for the post-pandemic era.

The Senator, a landmark of the city’s dining scene, has operated near Yonge and Dundas since the 1920s, serving up fare to the hungry patrons of the nearby Mirvish Theatre and Massey Hall. “We’ve been feeding guests for generations and have been the go-to common place for high-quality comfort food that isn’t ‘commonplace,” says Bobby Sniderman, who’s owned the business since the eighties. Originally the casual Busy Bee diner, the quality and presentation has gradually elevated to establish the Senator as a culinary destination as well as a historical one.

table with lots of plates of food
Photography, Kayla Rocca

Irish Chef Eoin Ramsbottom (previously of the Junction’s Farm House Tavern) has debuted his new menu at the Senator, served family-style with small sharing plates. Ramsbottom’s elevated take on a wide range of diner classics like chicken pot pie and steak are on the menu, as well as their house-cured salmon and more. For brunch, Eggs Benedict and the Senator Fry-Up are back along with new offerings like Shakshuka and avocado toast. There will also be no shortage of ways, including in cocktails, to enjoy the Senator’s famous royal Canadian honey, sourced from the restaurant’s farm.

table with menu coffee cup and cookies
photography, Kayla Rocca

The restaurant will also be opening an on-site bottle shop where guests can purchase hard-to-find, rare bottles from all over the world and Canada. In the coming months, the Senator will also open the speakeasy-style piano bar upstairs.

Photography, Kayla Rocca

Now in its 93rd year of operation, the Senator family is finally serving Toronto once again. And, with Chef Ramsbottom at his side, Sniderman has made it clear that Toronto’s beloved diner – which is the longest-operating restaurant at the same location in the city – has plans to stay. “The Senator has been my life’s work and after what our team, and the city, has faced over the last two years, we look forward to welcoming guests back more than ever – where they can feel taken care of,” he says.

The Senator Restaurant
249 Victoria Street
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