nba courtside toronto review


Scroll down to content

The world’s first-ever NBA Courtside restaurant will be opening in Toronto tomorrow. Thankfully, I was allowed to dine in before the doors officially opened to the public. I was excited to check this spot out and in my review below you will get to read my honest thoughts, tips, what to expect (including pictures), and more! Before you read below, make sure to follow the blog via social media (TiktokInstagram, and Facebook) for more to be informed about other cool things to do and eat in Toronto (and more)! Also, feel free to click the hyperlinks to see more related content! For a visual teaser, see the video below.

Please note this blog post uses affiliate banners and affiliate links that help promote products. Transactions done by clicking can support CHIP Lifestyle financially.


As mentioned before this is the first-ever NBA Courtside restaurant and what makes it even more special is that it is located in Toronto just walking distance from the Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Raptors. The concept of this restaurant can be described as a premium take on sports-inspired dining with a focus on celebrating the NBA history while sharing the journey a player takes from being a “dreamer” to a “champion” (you’ll see more of this below). Inside this space you will see a lot of cool artwork and memorabilia displays all over, our waiter (who was great) encouraged us to walk around to appreciate it all.


The restaurant is located at 15 Queens Quay East, Toronto, Ontario. This is right at the harbour so you won’t miss it and beside some other popular spots like sugar beach, Westin harbourfront, Scotiabank Arena, and where most immersive exhibits happen. There are several parking options including right at the restaurant but be mindful of the pricing because sometimes it will be $20 but it might be more when it is really busy. It’s also very accessible via public transportation.


There are a lot of really cool art installations and memorabilia in this venue and I highly recommend you check it out. Our waiter did encourage us but one drawback is that like me if you are not aware, you can miss out on seeing some other cool installations. I went to walk by myself but only after when I checked their Instagram did I noticed they had another section. I would recommend they have a staff to help guide people and show them what’s available or even have a QR code that highlights the different installations so people know what to check out. The waiter we had was great but having someone separate to help with the showing of the different artwork or answering questions about it will be great.

As you can see there is some great stuff to see from the homage to Dr. James Naismith created basketball to seeing signed sneakers from Shaquille O’Neal, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and more! I also liked the grass logo, the Larry O’Brien Trophy made out of Nike Air Force 1s, and the “I will play in the NBA one day” display. Another cool thing to take note of is that some of the tables have been repurposed from former actual NBA game courts. Also, I love that they do have a lot of Toronto (as they should) represented in the artwork from Kyle Lowry hoisting the trophy among other NBA greats in this one section where you would also see this beautiful wooden net-inspired art. My personal favourite is actually where I sat where you see the NBA logo made up of different NBA jerseys and if you look closely you see a lot of Toronto ones. Would have been a nice touch if they did have a Jerry West jersey in there but it still looks great!


Something I do want to mention is that the menu seems to be globally inspired and that is because the restaurant’s culinary ambassador is Top Chef Canada Season 9 and Chopped Canada Season 3 winner, Erica Karbelnik. On the menu, you will see a special Raptors logo beside certain menu items that notes this. That being said and the fact that this is marketed as a premium dining experience, you will have to expect the prices on the menu to be on the expensive side as most items were $17 and the main I tried was $24. You can see the prices on the menu (the basketball leather is a great touch) pictured above and my thoughts on the food in the taste section of this blog post. Also, if you have any questions especially when it comes to modifications and/or dietary restrictions don’t hesitate to ask them. I asked about what non-alcoholic drinks they had and the staff mentioned she can make the Jurrasic juice non-alcoholic and instead of charging the alcohol price (they shouldn’t) they only charged $6 which in my opinion is a reasonable price for the venue and the number of ingredients inside! I also tried the gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Torte which was $11.


When you enter the door you will see a store within the restaurant on the side. They have a few products including official merchandise/souvenir from the restaurant. Frankly, it was pricey as the little Wilson rubber balls were $6 each. However, they are some good finds such as Anishinaabe artist, Jenny Kay Dupuis’s original artwork that depicts the story of the dreamer to champion via Anishinaabe art being displayed and available to be purchased via tote bags, mugs, and more. The tote bag was $65 but the artwork is beautiful and the material seemed durable.


Now, the most important part… how was the food? There are a lot of expectations for various reasons (price, venue, chef, etc.) and I will say I genuinely enjoyed everything I ate, but some way more than others. First and foremost, I love that they have various vegetarian and gluten-free options. As a vegetarian, I feel that in some establishments the vegetarian options are very limited or there is no thought behind what is offered. These items do have a lot of unique ingredients and a lovely display. Starting with appetizers, we ordered the cauliflower tacos which were pretty good as the tortilla was soft and you do get a tiny kick from the pepper and a bit of tangy aftertaste, and thankfully the cauliflower was cooked nicely which made it overall tasty. I was genuinely surprised with the salad as I never had a salad come out like that but it wasn’t bad as the tahini was soaked into the lettuce you can request more sauce on the side ($1.50 extra) but what made the salad enjoyable in my opinion were the roasted maitake mushrooms. I’ve never had or seen these mushrooms before and I will say the mushrooms alone were fantastic!

Next up for mains, we tried the ricotta and spinach stuffed agnolotti which had an ample amount of pesto that wasn’t too creamy or overbearing, plus the crispy sage has a great crunch, and shaved parmesan was a nice touch! Also, don’t be fooled by the portion there is a decent amount of pasta on the plate, it is just layered on top. My favourite item that I tried was the veggie lover’s pizza! They do mention on the menu that pizza has a 10-inch hand-stretched dough that is made to order, and you can tell because this dough has a great texture and paired San Marzano tomato sauce was so good. Just those two ingredients make the pizza great. I personally really liked the toppings on the veggie-lover pizza, it’s not what you usually expect on a vegetarian pizza but it worked. I think the pizza is better without the frisée in my opinion.

Initially, they only had the alcoholic drink menu so we weren’t sure if they did have any other non-alcoholic options but we asked and fortunately, the staff mentioned they can make the Jurassic Juice (once again love the Raptors connection) without alcohol and I liked it but it might be a bit strong for others. The drink consists of dragon fruit, yuzu, pineapple, fresh lime juice, green tea, and tiki bitters so expect some acidity. For dessert, I went with the flourless chocolate torte because I was curious and it surprised me that it was gluten-free and had no flour because it tasted really good. The chocolate was rich in flavour and it reminded me of a comforting brownie.


All in all, I enjoyed my time at the NBA Courtside restaurant and it is something I am happy has come to Toronto! I love seeing NBA installations in the city since the last time something this cool was probably the NBA Winner’s Circle. I can see this place getting busy so you should make a reservation in advance, and take the time to walk around and ask questions about what’s inside so you don’t miss out. I liked the service and appreciated the great throwback music (the 2000s to 2010s). I do recommend they provide something to help people see all the different artwork and although the food is expensive, I do think you need to expect it because of the premium environment and quality ingredients. It’s not somewhere I can afford to visit often but I can see myself going back for a special occasion and trying some other items as well! If you have gone or plan on going let me know in the comments below or on the related social media posts. Make sure to follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for more Toronto and Food content!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: