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WHERE VEGAN CELEBS EAT CARROT DOGS PLANTA
There’s no need for vegan celebs to make special requests for meat- and dairy-free meals here. Every dish—pizza, pasta and even a hot dog—is 100 per cent plant based. The burger, a deeply satisfying legume creation, is a contender for the city’s best meatless patty. And the cocktails? Well, they’re made with cold-pressed juice and fresh fruits and vegetables. 1221 Bay St., plantarestaurants.com
WHERE STARS TAKE IN THE SURF (AND TURF) STK
Yorkville’s sizzling-hot steak house hosted the Papillon prescreening party last year (which was attended by director Michael Noer and star Charlie Hunnam) as well as the Call Me By Your Name premiere party with stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. There’s a good chance surf-and-turf-loving stars will pop in for luxe dishes like a dry-aged porterhouse with foie gras butter, or decadent baked potato tater tot poutine.
153 Yorkville Ave., togrp.com/ venue/stk-toronto
WHERE THE CENTREPIECE IS A SWIMMING POOL LAVELLE
King West’s rooftop playground for adults has had its fair share of celebrity—it hosted parties and panel discussions for the Rachel Weisz vehicle Disobedience, as well as Academy Award–winning
The Shape of Water starring Michael Shannon. Warm festival nights might see this year’s stars dipping their toes in the 47-metre pool—one of North America’s longest—or taking in the skyline from one of the poolside cabanas, maybe with a bottle of Dom Pérignon rosé that goes for a cool $1,250. (A more affordable, but still boozy, option: a scoop or two of mojito sorbet.) 627 King St. W., chezlavelle.com
WHERE L.A. MEETS T.O. MONTECITO
Film producer Ivan Reitman’s ( Ghostbusters, Meatballs) Entertainment District restaurant may serve California-inspired cuisine, but Canadian ingredients are given top billing: Fogo Island cod, Perth County pork belly and B.C. albacore tuna, to name a few. George Clooney, Julianne Moore, and Brie Larson popped in during TIFF last year, and it was a revolving door of star power. Celeb tip: get the signature potatoes, which are parboiled, smashed, fried and sprinkled with parm. Sandra Bullock loved them so much when she visited she ordered a second helping. 299 Adelaide St. W., montecitorestaurant.ca
WHERE THERE’S A PRE-THEATRE PRIX FIXE BOSK
While the Shangri-La’s flagship restaurant is staying mum on which celebs dined there last year, there’s usually a flurry of activity in its hotel lobby where stars and studio executives can be seen sipping cocktails. In the dining room proper, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Dakota Johnson were all spotted here last year, possibly feasting on such options as butter-poached lobster, wild chinook salmon, and smoked quinoa and cucumber. At just $49, Bosk’s three-course pretheatre dinner menu could prove to be a popular prix fixe. 188 University Ave., shangri-la.com
WHERE THERE’S A PARTY ON EVERY FLOOR STORYS BUILDING
The four-storey, 170-plus-yearold brick building is ground zero for pre- and post-screening parties during the festival.
Bryan Cranston was here for the premiere party of his comedy/drama The Upside.
Her Majesty Claire Foy graced the space, as did Canada’s own Rachel McAdams, in town for her film Disobedience, who happily posed for photos with co-stars Alessandro Nivola and Rachel Weisz. 11 Duncan St., storysbuilding.com
WHERE TORONTO MEETS TEXAS WESLODGE
Weslodge, a “modern saloon,” is about as cowboy as it gets on King West: the vested bartenders wear leather gun holsters and hunting trophies hang on the walls. The food has a rustic twist, too: there’s Southern fried chicken with a Tabasco-honey glaze and charcoal skillet corn bread. A formal sit-down dinner with Richard Gere and director Jon Avnet was hosted here for their movie Three Christs, while Kristin Scott Thomas and Gary Oldman toasted their film Darkest Hour at a pre-screening fête. 480 King St. W., weslodge.com
WHERE BIG STARS SHARE SMALL PLATES PATRIA
One of Charles Khabouth’s many swanky spots, Patria’s mouth-watering tapas dishes are like a Spanish siren call to the stars—many of whom are lured in during the film festival. The George Clooney–directed Suburbicon starring Julianne Moore held a cocktail party here last year, where Clooney signed autographs on his way in. 478 King St. W., patriatoronto.com
WHERE EVERYONE GETS A GOOD SHUCK THE CHASE
The Financial District’s splashy seafood restaurant has hosted an ocean’s worth of high-profile guests, which celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this summer by bringing back classics from the last several years. In TIFF years past, Jessica Chastain, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Angelina Jolie (whose film, First They Killed My Father held a private bash here last year) have all had the pleasure of dining on the restaurant’s surf-andturf specialties, like scallops with pulled and crispy ham hock, braised short ribs, and gnocchi with dungeness crab. The $225 Diamond Platter (Fogo Island snow crab, Nova Scotia lobster, prawn shrimp salad, dungeness crab salad, tuna, poached shellfish, and oysters) paired with The Chase’s rooftop terrace is enough to make anyone feel like a VIP. 10 Temperance St., thechasetoronto.com
WHERE THE CHEF IS A CELEBRITY, TOO CAFé BOULUD
Celebs flock to Daniel Boulud’s brasserie for French favourites like a Parisian steak tartare seasoned tableside, slow-cooked cured duck leg, or Boulud’s signature Frenchie burger. While the hotel has a superstrict policy about keeping guest info classified, a source tells us that Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Hudson, Denzel Washington, and Al Pacino have all dined at Café Boulud. 60 Yorkville Ave., cafeboulud.com/toronto