Hy’s, the Quintessential Canadian Steakhouse

This 50-year-old Toronto institution offers Alberta Prime beef, classic cocktails and warm hospitality.

Photo courtesy of Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar.

Whether for an intimate dinner date or a family reunion, a steakhouse is often where people’s important milestones are celebrated. As the vaccination rate increases and the city springs to life again, Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar is sure to get busy.

Hy’s story started in 1955 when its founder Hy Aisenstat, a son of Russian Jewish immigrants, opened the first location in Calgary. The initial success led him to expand with other branches in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and the United States before passing the torch to his three sons.

The white linen dining area offers a quiet and more private space.
The white linen dining area offers a quiet and more private space.

The Toronto branch on Bay Street, Hy’s flagship restaurant, has been an institution since 1970. This 18,000 square-foot space spreads across three levels, each of which offers diners a different experience. The main floor exudes a vibrant and interactive vibe with cozy booths and cocktail tables, while the white linen dining area upstairs is quieter. On the lowest level, you can find two private rooms with their own kitchen and bar, which can host up to 100 guests. There’s live music in the lounge from 7 pm to 11 pm, Wednesday to Saturday.

Whisky bar.
Whisky bar.

The kitchen is led by Chef Saku Velummylum, whose career spans 25 years in different cuisines. All of Hy’s steaks are Canadian prime beef from High River Alberta, aged a minimum of 28 days and grilled to order. Choose from a selection of New York strip ($59.95 for 10oz), Porterhouse ($114.95 for 22oz), filet ($48.95 for 6oz), bone-in rib steak ($98.95 for 20oz) and dry aged bone-in rib steak ($179.95 for 24oz).

Hy’s steaks are Canadian prime beef from High River Alberta, aged a minimum of 28 days and grilled to order.
Hy’s steaks are Canadian prime beef from High River Alberta, aged a minimum of 28 days and grilled to order.

Besides steaks, there is a casual lounge menu where you can find snacks and sharing items, including the popular cheese toast ($11.95) and beef sliders ($19.95). One classic experience you cannot miss at Hy’s is the tableside service for dishes such as Caesar salad ($22.95) and steak Diane ($64.95). Watching the crisp lettuce and crusty croutons being tossed in pungent dressing at your table adds to the dining experience.

An extensive wine list features more than 30 regions, from South Africa and France to home-grown winemakers in Nova Scotia and Ontario. For a classic cocktail, choose a Negroni ($18), Manhattan ($18), or Whisky Sour ($18). Happy hour is 3 pm to 6 pm and after 9 pm daily, with drink specials and 30 per cent off the lounge menu. There is also a selection of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages.

At the end of your meal, sink your teeth into Hy’s famous cheesecake with berry compote ($13.95) or order bananas foster ($17.95) and feel the heat from the blow torch caramelizing syrupy bananas from the edge of your seat.

Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar

  • Address:
    • 365 Bay St. Toronto, ON M5H 2V1
  • Hours:
    • Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
    • Saturday & Sunday: 3:00pm – 11:00 pm

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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