View the Vibe Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in September 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
September is a busy month in Toronto. Back to school means back to TIFF, Toronto’s annual indulgence of everything Hollywood, which means late night parties and all day schmooze fests, as well as throngs of starlets, entourages and the resulting gawkers that follow.
Restaurants are going all out to swoon stars to their tables, with Luckee serving up all day dim sum out of the SoHo Hotel. King Street haunt Brassaii will be open for brunch hosting The Hollywood Reporter Lounge while Her Majesty’s Pleasure will be doling out Ciroc cocktails for $10 during Happy Hour. Nearby Gusto 101 will be a hotspot with wine on tap and a packed patio to drink it on. TIFF hangovers can be cured on September 15th at Fonda Lola – a little hair of the dog never hurts and neither does the price tag. Fonda Lola will be celebrating Mexican Independence Day by giving away free shots of tequila to the first 40 people through their Queen West doors – let’s hope the patio season is still in it’s prime for this one.
Puck bunnies rejoice! The World Cup of Hockey is taking over Toronto this September. Real Sports is a top choice for catching all the action, with the holy trinity hat trick of mega-sized TV’s, mega-sized beers and mega-sized burgers.
Veg Food Fest is also on from September 9-11th at Harbourfront. Look for gourmet vegan and vegetarian eats under blue skies.
Salt and Tobacco
Open just a few weeks on Parliament, Salt and Tobacco serves up traditional roman style pizzas with classic toppings. They’re also licensed, creating boozy Italian cocktails like Negroni.
The team behind Toronto-based clothing brand, Peace Collective, have started a new venture in desserts. Located in their new flagship store, the Peace Treats bar offers over-the-top milkshakes, worthy of all the Instagram likes.
O&B’s new restaurant Leña has now opened in the new Saks Fifth Avenue building at Yonge and Richmond. Anthony Walsh, the empire’s Executive Chef has placed Argentinian eats on a pedestal, and it’s deservedly so. Look for dishes from his own mother in law’s recipe collection, and a top notch bar menu to go with it.
Hemant Bhagwani’s new restaurant is now open on Bay Street. The king of curry, Hemant is known for his inspired dishes at top notch Indian Street Food, The Fat Beet, and the original Amaya chain. Look for Indian fusion style eats and of course, a no tipping policy in effect.
Husband and wife team Guy and Kim Rawlings are now open at Montgomery’s on Queen West. Formerly of Bar Raval and Bar Isabel, Guy is dreaming up a menu of clearly Canadian eats, using local Ontario grown produce for curious finds like Cooked Lettuce with Broth or Sour Vegetables.
This BC import is inching closer to making waves on Queen West. This new ramen joint is just in their soft opening phase, with an official opening date slated for later this month.
Those looking for the next big thing in Italian eats can test the waters at Masseria, a new casual eatery on King West. Chef Rob LeClair (ex-Fabbrica) is helming the kitchen that features a quick concept pizza station with pies bubbling up in 3 minutes tops. Expect Italian wine and beer pairings on the bar menu.
Liberty Village condo dwellers and surrounding offices now have a new burger joint to flock to. BQM has opened on the corner of King and Strachan and is flipping fresh patties on the regular.
The Dime on Queen
Situated in the old Rock Lobster Queen West is the Warehouse Group and Darryl Fine of the Bovine Sex Club’s latest venture, The Dime. Expect tattooed servers, a $4.95 food menu – think Jerk Chicken Tacos, Korean BBQ Cauliflower, Perogies and more – and a glorious rooftop patio.
Taking over the home of Mother’s Dumplings on Danforth by Pape is Chef James Harrison (ex F’Amelia) who will be bringing some Italian flare to local products. Look for them to open this fall.
Holt Renfrew at Yorkdale
Need some frites with those flats? Holt Renfrew at Yorkdale is getting a new restaurant installed in their space. Expect a swanky space featuring gourmet finds befitting of this lux Canadian retailer.
Chef Steve Gonzalez may still be touring about on the Baro-mobile, but his new bricks and mortar restaurant, just down the street from the original Valdez location, will be opening this fall. Expect big things from this multi-floor space, and of course, loads of tequila.
Harry’s Char Broil & Dining Lounge
Same name, new owners.Harry’s in Parkdale is being brought back to life with the help of Grant Van Gameren and ex-Bar Isabel Chef Nate Young. Channelling the nostalgia of the space, expect charbroiled burgers done right with on trend proteins and toppings. Word is Harry’s will be ready by mid-September.
Brandon Olsen is a busy man. After recently opening the insanely artfulCXBO on College Street he’s back in the heat bringing his newest venture on Ossington, taking over the recently vacated The Saint, which will be reopening soon at a yet to be announced location. La Banane, backed by King Street Food Company (Buca, Jamie’s Italian) will bring ‘modernized French food’ to Toronto later this fall.
Moooove over Boston! Toronto will see our own STK open later this fall, a prime season for meat sweats in the 6ix. The One Group, the hospitality chain behind this beefy concept has just announced San Diego, Boston and Dallas as their next locations.
Bar Volo may have found a new safe haven after their original location came under attack by condo developers, but beer lovers can toast their newest offering, Birriera Volo, when it opens on College Street later this month. Bar Volo has plans to reopen just east of the original location on Church Street later this year.
Veg heads will surely flock toPlanta, the recently announced plant based restaurant by Chase Hospitality Group. Superstar Chef David Lee (Nota Bene) is curating the menu of veggie heavy finds, taking over the old Pangea space at Bay and Bloor. Look for their opening towards the end of September.
Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns
Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns has set an early October for their opening on College Street. Known as one of Toronto’s top food guru’s, expect Amy’s buns to be the next big thing in food trends this fall.
The sandwich wars wage on as San Francesco opens their sammie shop up on Yonge near Lawrence, while heavyweight contender California Sandwiches is getting close to opening their newest location on York Mills by Don Mills.
Kensington Market will soon be homeNorth Poke. Poke, a Hawaiian staple, brings fresh fish to the forefront with a mixture of oils, acids and spices, similar to a ceviche. Here the inspired choices offer a good range of proteins and flavours, look forward to their opening in early September.
Jack and Lil’s
Jack and Lil’s is aiming for an October opening for their South African eatery on Dundas West. Expect more than biltong from this duo, with Seed Bread and well stocked pantry finds too.
This Bayview Village restaurant is still under construction; look for this restaurant to open later this year.
Just announced, Terroni’s Italian bakery, Sud Forno, will be opening a new home in the Financial District in March 2017 across from Dineen Coffee Company.
And with great sadness, we have to report Furlough closing its doors just a few weeks ago. The former home of Ursa (RIP) we hope the next tenant has better luck at this Queen West address.