‘The Bear’ Co-star Matty Matheson’s Toronto Restaurants: A Guide

a woman holding a tray of food
The Bear’s Matty Matheson’s Toronto RestaurantsAW MATTY

You might know Matty Matheson best as handyman-turned-server Neil Fak in the Emmy-awarding winning comedy drama The Bear, where he also is both a producer and culinary consultant. But Matheson is first-and-foremost a cook and chef—he’s been in the industry for over two decades, and his restaurants in Toronto run a wide gamut.

At his divey Matty’s Patty’s Burger Club, you’ll find cheeseburgers—both of the crispy-lacey smashed varietal as well as juicy thick-pattied versions. On the other end of the dining spectrum, he’s got a more buttoned up, design-forward, seafood-centric steakhouse appropriately called Prime Seafood Palace that offers caviar service to go with giant slabs of rosey-hued cuts of prime rib.

Matheson teamed up with his mentor and friend Rang Nguyen on Ca Phe Rang, where diners will find big brothy bowls of beef pho, and is also a partner in Maker Pizza, which has six locations that offer inventively-topped leopard spotted pies along with the trendy thin-and-crispy tavern style.

Further south in Crystal Beach in Fort Erie, just past the wondrous Niagara Falls, Matheson has another restaurant: Rizzo’s House of Parm, a red-sauce Italian restaurant named after one of his kids.

We recently went to Chicago and ate at Mr. Beef (the restaurant that inspired The Bear) and also checked out some of Matty’s favorite Windy City haunts. It was only fair that afterwards we fly to Toronto and hit up all of Matty’s restaurants. Three days, two lunches, three dinners, and countless calories later, we completed the Matty Matheson restaurant trail. Here's where to go and what to order:

Matty Matheson’s Toronto Restaurants

a plate of food
prime seafood

Prime Seafood Palace

This is by far my favorite of all of Matty’s restaurants. He tapped chef Coulson Armstrong to run the kitchen and execute the menu. I particularly love the Sicilian Crudo to start—it’s clearly inspired by the Sicilian sashimi at Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco, one of my favorite oyster bars in the world. It’s a nice start before getting into the prime rib roast—they offer two cuts/sizes—thin for the win for me--it’s more tender and has less chew.

a tray of burgers
mattys pattys

Matty’s Patty’s Burger Club

Smashburgers are delicious, of course, but I’m a fan of the Matty’s, which feature a big thick 7oz patty that’s cooked to a perfect pink medium-rare in the center—it’s a burger with a bite. The soft and squishy sesame seed bun is a nice vehicle for the thick patty, and I love how the melty American cheese perfectly covers the entire burger’s surface like a duvet. The fries remind me of McDonald’s, which is to say, they’re excellent.

a table with plates of food and drinks on it
Cà Phê Rang

Cà Phê Rang

There are two bowls of pho on the menu, one that features sliced rare roast beef, and another that has braised brisket. The pro move is to ask for both in one bowl, so you can a variety of beef with each bite. There are sides of sriracha and hoisin—don’t squirt those into the beautiful broth, but rather apply them onto pieces of beef carefully to vary the flavor. You could also get a half banh mi to go with your bowl of pho, but I think a side of fresh or fried spring rolls is the better move.

a box of food

Maker Pizza

Dip in for a quick slice, or stay a while and try their version of the thin and crispy Chicago tavern-style pizza, which is available only by the pie. Go ahead, get a side of ranch, it pairs particularly well with salty curly-cupped pepperoni, and save room for dessert: the cookies are thick and chewy and not too sweet.

a table full of food
Rizzo’s House of Parm

Rizzo’s House of Parm

Red-sauce Italian American in Canada? We’re here for it. Head here after you peep the Niagra falls. Start with a negroni, then order Rizzo’s Sharable Chef’s Menu, which is an absurd amount of food that lets you taste the greatest hits throughout the entire menu: mozzarella sticks with a seemingly never-ending cheesepull, homemade fluffy focaccia, two pastas, broccoli raab, a side salad for the health, and a plate of parm of your choice: chicken, veal, or eggplant—take your pick, you can’t go wrong.

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