NOW Magazine's annual Best of Toronto polls have opened, and the city's food enthusiasts can exercise their inner critics in over one hundred different categories. They range from the highly specific (best falafel) to the all-encompassing (best bar). One of the more contentious categories for the Toronto crowd is sure to be best patio—contenders include Drake Hotel, Sky Yard, El Catrin, and Paupers Pub but oddly, it bears no mention of iconic patios like the Park Hyatt Rooftop or Ceili Cottage. Another competitive category will surely be best brunch; for Torontonians and beyond, the weekend pilgrimage to late morning meals is sacred. Vying for the top prize are Bristol Yard, Hogtown Vegan, and a few others (no The Federal, no Senator, no Farmhouse Tavern). For those that know their service staff well, vote on best barista as well as best mixologist and best bartender— and yes, those are separate categories.
Some contenders are angling hard for votes; the process closes on September 12, and readers' choices will be announced in the November 6 issue. Last year, some of the honours went to Rock Lobster (best Caesar), Common (best espresso), Insomnia Restaurant and Lounge (best martini and best lounge) and The Emmett Ray (best scotch selection). Head to NOW Magazine to cast your vote, or check out last year's winners here.