Zagat Releases 2012 Toronto Dining Survey Showing Restaurant Industry Trending Upwards

Winners include Scaramouche, Canoe, Spring Rolls and Scaramouche Pasta Bar & Grill

NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Zagat released the results of the 2012 Toronto Restaurants Survey. The new content, available on zagat.com and via Zagat for Mobile, covers 315 restaurants as reviewed by 2,266 Toronto area diners.

Spending, Dining Out Up: Toronto survey participants report dining out an average of 3.1 times per week, which puts the city in the same ranks as locations like Chicago (2.8), New York City (3.0), Las Vegas (3.3) and Los Angeles (3.4). When asked whether they are dining out as often as last year, 28% of diners say they are eating out more often, while 18% say less. When it comes to spending, 34% of diners report spending more compared to last year, while 9% report spending less. The average percent tip left by Toronto diners is 17.1%, two percent less than the average in major U.S. cities.

Winners: This year's winner for Food in Toronto is Forest Hill's Scaramouche, earning an impressive 28 on Zagat's 30-point scale. Scaramouche's sibling restaurant, Scaramouche Pasta Bar & Grill, is also a winner, taking home top honors for Service, while the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower's high-rise restaurant, Canoe, earns top scores for Decor. The most popular restaurant is Spring Rolls, with numerous locations across town, and the Top Bang for the Buck is Mexican chain Burrito Boyz. The complete list of winners includes:

Most Popular

Food

Decor

Service

1. Spring Rolls

1. Scaramouche

1. Canoe

1. Scaramouche Pasta

2. Canoe

2. Chiado/Senhor Antonio

2. Auberge du Pommier

2. Scaramouche

3. Il Fornello

3. Burger's Priest

3. La Societe

3. George

4. Ruth's Chris

4. George

4. George

4. Campagnola

5. Asian Legend

5. Campagnola

5. Scaramouche Pasta

5. Jacobs & Co.

Top Newcomers: This year's top newcomers represent a variety of cuisines, price points and neighbourhoods in Toronto. Leading the pack is Top Newcomer Campagnola, a Little Italy Italian, earning a 27 out of 30 for Food, and also landing in the top 5 for Food and Service. Coming in the No. 2 spot is the French Ici Bistro, located in South Annex, followed in order by the Entertainment District's Khao San Road (Thai), Little Italy's Woodlot (Canadian/Italian) and Roncesvalles' Barque Smokehouse (BBQ).

Letter Grades: As Toronto's successful Dinesafe program celebrates ten years of providing "red-yellow-green" inspection grades, a near unanimous 92% admit they agree that restaurants should be required to post the results of such health inspections.

Green Dining: Locally sourced, organic and sustainably raised food items are a trend considered important by 71% of surveyors, while 56% say they are willing to pay more for these ingredients.

Digital Dining: Online reservations are the method of choice for 53% of surveyors in Toronto, followed distantly by phone reservations at 37%. When it comes to mobile manners, 51% say it is "rude" to text, tweet, call or e-mail at the table while 87% consider it "ok" to take pictures of food, companions, etc.

Miscellaneous: When asked how celebrity chefs impact their dining decisions, 54% of surveyors said that a celebrity chef in the kitchen has no effect on where they choose to dine. Diners have also weighed in on their preferred cuisine: Italian is the favorite cuisine for 25% of surveyors, followed by French with 16% and Japanese with 14%.

About Zagat Survey, LLC: Known as the "burgundy bible," Zagat Survey is the world's most trusted source for consumer-generated survey information. With a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the "most up-to-date," "comprehensive" and "reliable" guide, published on all platforms. Zagat content is available to consumers wherever and whenever they need it: on ZAGAT.com, ZAGAT.mobi, ZAGAT TO GO for smartphones and in book form. In September of 2011, Zagat was acquired by Google Inc.

SOURCE Zagat Survey

For further information:

Tiffany Herklots, +1-212-404-6416, therklots@zagat.com; or Nicholas Sampogna, +1-212-404-6417, nsampogna@zagat.com

http://www.zagatsurvey.com

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