Bar Isabel

4.7
374 reviews
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CAN$51 and over
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European
Top tags:
  • Tapas
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
Enjoy an intimate dining experience at Bar Isabel -- a cozy restaurant where creative Spanish-inspired small plate dishes are combined with craft beers, cocktails and an extensive wine list. The restaurant's elegant interior boasts an intriguing blend of soft lighting, curved walls and a beautiful mosaic tile floor.

Managed under the guidance of Chef Grant Van Gameren, Bar Isabel's menu includes a diverse mix of tapas, cheese, seafood dishes and entrees. Diners rave about the grilled octopus, the cheese platter and the oysters. Treat yourself to some Andalusian cured tuna, with almonds and citrus. For dessert, the Basque cake and sherry cream is a must-try. Bar Isabel is open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and extends its closing time to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a good pick for late night dining.
What 374 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I am not sure why this place has such rave reviews.

Having parents that were restaurant owners, their seasoning was careless. Any food that has a distinctly strong seasoning flavour i.e. salt, shows me they haven’t mastered how to balance flavour.

They are experimenting with simple food that is over complicated that shouldn’t be.

I’m sure the owner/staff are great and work hard at operating Bar Isabel.

However, it did not meet my expectation given the hype and review of this place.

Went after watching on youtube and seeing great review online. However, was rather disappointed by the food.
I ordered ceviche, foie gras, and grilled octopus.

Ceviche tasted like a creamy avocado raw fish with some vinegar. I think they complicated a simple dish and it didn’t elevate the ingredients of what makes a ceviche.

Foie gras was oily and soft with the texture of mucous. It was only palatable due to the over salty seasoning.

Grilled octopus was tender and grilled perfectly.

Oysters weren’t anything special. Their house sauce and some other sauce it came with, again over complicated something that didn’t need to be.

Drinks were ok.

Bill came to $160 before tip. I was actually tempted to not tip

I could have easily made the ceviche better at home, the foie gras was underwhelming.

The interior ambience is unique and casual. The interior design wasn’t conducive to creating an ambience that I guess it was trying to create. It just appeared to be a tacky interior with red lighting that seemed to detract from the food’s presentation.

Because of the poor food quality and the outstanding price, I would not recommend any of my friends to go here.

I know it may sound harsh, but a tapas bar/restaurant’s product is their food and drinks. When I pay for my food at a place with such rave reviews, I expect it to exceed my expectation.

I left wanting to just grab a simple burger at McD’s at a fractiom of the cost.

A one time experience to try something different.

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B
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this place when visited Toronto. One of the best oysters I have had! Definitely going back there when in town .

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TC
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

We found it to be quite expensive, very loud and too dark. Cute place and service was good but the food for the $$ was not up to par.

Sea bream ceviche was very good by literally 4 bites for $32. The steak was fine but again expensive for fine. The oysters were delicious

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E
Toronto
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food Excellent service Extremely noisy.

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RS
Toronto
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dessert in the city

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OT
Toronto
36 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was incredible and the food was AMAZING!! Love this place!

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LL
Toronto
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. The garden pickles, Pan con Tomate, Patatas Bravas, Garlic Snow Pea Leaves and octopus. Basque Cake with Hot Sherry Cream for dessert.Everything was delicious. I will be back

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EM
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always love coming to Isabel and I was celebrating a special occasion with a friend. Only negative this time was how noisy it was. We couldn’t hear each other unless we shouted across the table.

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KB
Calgary
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So delicious!! Knowledgable and kind staff, and a fair amount of vegetarian options :)

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JC
Vancouver
16 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was delightful and delicious

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OT
1 review
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had an amazing experience at Bar Isabel!

We had a tasting menu, and our server was really great at explaining what we could expect and whether the chef should avoid anything (ex. Dietary restrictions or any aversions).

Everything was delicious and the plates kept coming. One after another, each dish hit the mark! The Ceviche, Octopus, Froie Gras, And Basque cake really stood out as the best dishes of the night.

The menu was a tad pricey, but the quality was really great.
My only other criticism would be that the restaurant was loud at times and we couldn’t hear the staff explaining the dish. Other than that, we had a great experience!
We’ll be back for sure!

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NP
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

As always, yummy food and lovely staff! Always a treat!

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QZ
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Haven’t been back for a couple of years and exactly how I remember it to be. Tight seating, low lighting and filled with energy. The food was good and overall very consistent. For tapas, the portions were quite good. Our server was great.

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SL
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

100% Amazing experience! The wait staff was top notch and the host was amazing. Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived, but even though it was not worries for us, we were treated to complimentary Champagne. The meal was out of this world and we couldn’t recommend enough!

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CN
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful place to dine! Highly recommended!
Octopus is sensational, appetizers just yo make you come back! Desert wonderful!

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DT
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Incredible service. Food was great especially the grilled Octopus which was the best I ever had. Only complaint was the noise level was a bit high.

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KJ
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 3 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is my favourite place in the city. The food and drinks are wonderful and they have fantastic staff!

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KD
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on 3 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was my first time dining. It was nice but felt we were rushed through our meal.

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S
1 review
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and delicious food. Our server was very knowledgeable, water glasses were always full, and drinks were tended to promptly. We ordered the mixed cheese and meat plate, the shishito peppers, patatas bravas, asparagus, and spot prawns. All delicious. Must return.

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

My husband and I had dinner for our anniversary. Overall the experience was ok. Some of the dishes we ordered were mediocre and not worth the prices. It was also extremely noisy and at times we could not even hear each other talking across the table. We did have excellent service and would consider going back and trying new dishes

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SB
London
10 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unusual but interesting interiors, the best customer service that we had received for the whole of our trip to Toronto. Tables nicely spaced apart or you can choose to sit at the bar.

The dishes came out separately and each was excellent. My favourite was the razor clams in a buttery garlic sauce , my partners was the seared bison. Generous portions for tapas. We chose cava which was nice and chilled. The perfect finish was the special cake with warm sherry cream which was absolutely delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and service. A bit too loud, and a bit of complementary bread to soak up all the yummy sauces would be nice.

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SD
Saskatoon
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Awesome restaurant, amazing food, on the loud side.

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FJ
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Parking is virtually non-existent... It can get loud ... but the food and drink is worth it. Really spectacular tapas. Would have gone back the next day. I must visit in Toronto.

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LB
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding. It was really really lovely from beginning to end.

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food selection and cocktail menu! We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and will be back.

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing first time at Bar Isabel! The service and food was incredible. The space is well decorated, I really liked the vibe. Will definitely be back!

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S
Montreal
3 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. First wine we tried by the glass was not that great. Server immediately addressed the situation. Fantastic experience overall.

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OT
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on 22 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in Toronto by far.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Sat at the bar, had a very knowledgeable server, both in the wine list and menu. Great coordination with all of the staff. Would recommend. Lives up to the hype.

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JH
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go to Bar Isabel every year for our anniversary and we love it! Great food, great cocktails and amazing service. Love the fois gras, croquettes and of course the basque cake!

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OT
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambience. Inventive food. Personal and charming.

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JC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly brilliant - from food to service to memories.

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MA
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 13 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The only thing is that the staff thought it was our anniversary which leads me to believe that there is an issue with the booking software through open table.

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DF
1 review
Dined on 13 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This restaurant really is outstanding. It is some of the best food you can eat!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food but very limited menu. Pretty pricey for the quality and quantity. Restaurant vibe was dimly lit but energized and upbeat. Lots of packed tables having fun dinners.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was absolutely fantastic! We had the bone marrow, sweetbreads, grilled octopus and a special of gooseneck barnacles. I’m a bone marrow fanatic so definitely had high expectations and was not disappointed. It was flavourful, rich and came with toasted slices of home made bread. The grilled octopus was perfectly done - soft and crispy at the same time. Gooseneck barnacles was new to me but I’m so glad we decided to try it! Simply cooked and served with olive oil and a chimichurri-like pesto. We rounded off the whole epic meal with the basque cake paired with a delicious port recommended by the bartender. I could go on and on but bottom line is this...you can’t go wrong ordering pretty much anything on the menu. Some of the items are on the pricier side considering the size but it’s well worth it!

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f
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

As always, we were very pleased with our evening there. We were lucky to come on a day that barnacles were served! Amazing! Cocktails, octopus, patates, Tempranillo, and basque cake were stunning! Always great service and vibe! Will be back for sure!

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RH
1 review
Dined on 5 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place, quality and service are always excellent. No complaints!

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DD
Montreal
1 review
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great and delicious food. Very attentive service. Will definitely go back.

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