There is a reason the Senator is considered iconic in Toronto. Not only is it the oldest restaurant in continuous operation at the same location in the city, it is a spot loved by some major global artists.

And during a time of so many uncertainties in the city, along with loss of some of Toronto’s well known establishments, it’s important for us to remember the places that are still standing, and part of the culinary history.

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The Senator’s story over the past two years will sound similar to other restaurants and small businesses. This space lost 884 days of business. The team behind The Senator, owner Bobby Sniderman and Chef Eoin Ramsbottom, brought the restaurant back to life this fall with a new dinner menu using local ingredients, as well as curated wines.

For those visiting, the menu is meant to be enjoyed as “family style”, sharing dishes that include quick bites, small plates, and larger plates. Being so close to Massey Hall and Mirvish Theatre, this is a perfect spot for those small plates before a show. From tuna tartar to PEI Mussels, there are light fare several options to share. The larger plates, also meant for sharing, include steak, branzino, and chicken pot pie.


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Of course, one must try item on The Senator’s menu is the burger, which Elton John famously called the best in the world. “Every time we come to Toronto, David and I pop into the Senator Diner for the best burger in the world,” he said.

At the time, Elton John also commented on the “warm hospitality” provided by the team at the Senator. And that is really the heart of this place. The people behind it.


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The owner, Sniderman, will probably be at the restaurant, greeting you when you enter – whether you’re visiting for dinner or their famous brunch. Sniderman says they have been “feeding guests for generations”, and his passion truly shows when he talks about the space and its history.

In the coming months, the Senator is hoping to open up their piano bar. It’s a space above the restaurant that can host live music. They also have a fully operational bottle shop, where you can pick up hard-to-find bottles from all over the world, and Canada.

The Senator may be a known spot for its regulars, but it is a part of the city’s history that some may not know about.


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According to the Senator, in 1929, Robert Angeloff, a Macedonian entrepreneur, first converted the space to the BUSY BEE DINER. “The ‘B’as it was known consisted of an open kitchen and dining counter and started a tradition for serving hearty comfort food for the community In 1938 – the year is still visible on the bottom of the large Coca-Cola sign hanging in the middle of the restaurant.”

It was later sold to George Nicolau, “a cook with a vision”, who renamed it The Senator in 1948.

Years later, in 1984, Sniderman saved and renovates the Senator, making it the iconic place that it is now.

Visiting the Senator is not just about dining in Toronto, it’s about being part of the city’s culinary history. One that’s been in the same spot for 93 years, and counting.

The Senator

When: Tuesday to Friday, 5 PM to 9PM, Saturdays 10-2PM and 5-9PM
Where: 249 Victoria Street