While tipping at restaurants seems like a standard practice while dining out that’s existed since the beginning of time, a handful of restaurants in Toronto have started to embrace a new model of no tipping; meaning that these spots have implemented fair wages for staff, lessening the need to rely on tips.
What does this mean for date night? While every restaurant’s model is different and unique to what works for them, these places in Toronto don’t accept tips, so if you’re looking for a unique experience (and to support these local businesses), check out the following:
1. Then & Now
Then & Now is a new restaurant nestled in Parkdale serving up delicious eats! Their mission is to provide a livable wage to all employees by establishing a non-tipping concept while still maintaining an elevated service with Asian fusion cuisine.
As you enter the space, it’s very cozy and intimate doubling as both a restaurant and a bar. The datenight team was able to visit this spot and the cocktails were beautifully made; we especially enjoyed the Empress Violet. Dishes we recommend include the Ricotta Dumplings and Steak & Frites with compound butter and chili aioli.
Where: 1316 Queen Street West
2. Bampot House
For a versatile date night spot, Bampot House is exactly what you need. This self-proclaimed anti-cafe is a cozy and unique tea house that offers a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of tea blends. You pay by the hour to use the space ($12/hour for the first 2 hours and $6 for every additional hour) but you gain unlimited coffee and tea in return (as well as a cup of soup).
This is a great spot to connect with your date that pay their staff a livable wage.
Where: 201 Harbord Street
Barque Smokehouse in Toronto is a popular restaurant that specializes in smoked meats and classic BBQ dishes. The restaurant is located in the trendy Roncesvalles Village neighborhood and offers a warm and rustic atmosphere that is perfect for casual dining or special occasions. Barque Smokehouse offers a menu that is packed with delicious and hearty options, including smoked brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken, as well as a range of sides and salads to complement the main dishes. The restaurant also features an impressive selection of craft beers and cocktails that pair well with the smoky flavours of the meat. They also have put an end to tipping in their establishment by paying their staff a livable wage.
Where: 299 Roncesvalles Ave
4. Beast Pizza
Beast Pizza is a popular pizzeria that offers delicious and creative pizzas made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. The restaurant is located in the Queen West neighborhood and offers a casual and cozy atmosphere that is perfect for a night out with friends or a family dinner. The menu features a range of unique pizza toppings, including smoked meat, roasted vegetables, and artisanal cheeses, as well as classic options like margherita and pepperoni. Beast Pizza also offers vegan and gluten-free options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a delicious slice of pizza. The restaurant is committed to sustainability and pays their staff a livable wage which removes the need for a tip!
Where: 96 Tecumseth Street
Richmond Station is a popular restaurant that offers a creative and seasonally inspired menu of contemporary Canadian cuisine. Located in the Financial District, the restaurant offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for both casual and special occasions. The menu features a range of dishes made with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, including house-made charcuterie, fresh seafood, and artisanal cheeses. Richmond Station’s menu is constantly evolving to reflect the changing seasons and showcase the best of Canadian produce. The restaurant also offers an extensive selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails that pair well with the food. Plus, you won’t have to leave a tip because the cost is built into the wages of the employees.
Where: 1 Richmond St West
How do you feel about the end of tipping? Is this how our society should be pivoting? We think this is a neat idea that works well in other parts of the world. Canada could be next to make waves!
Enjoy exploring your city with more Toronto date ideas.
Written by – Jenna Kaplan