Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in April 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
April is the official start of patio season, and while March may have left us wondering what we did to piss off Mother Nature, we can all take solace in knowing good things come to those who wait, and lord knows we’ve waited long enough.
April might be soggy and unpredictable weather wise, but food and events in and around the 6ix will be anything but- except for Songkran, the indoor water fight hosted by Nana owners in celebration of the Thai New Year. Grab your tickets for this sell out event, held on April 10th & 11th.
Also on deck that weekend, iYellow Wine Club is hosting a night dedicated to California wines at the Burroughes Building, so grab your cab sauv crew and pop bottles all while tasting Cali’s best vintages. 99 Sudbury will also see food gawkers descend on April 6th for the third annual Cover Me Urban with restaurants like Levetto, Fonda Lola and many more cooking up a storm in support of Youth Without Shelter.
Head over to the Aga Khan Museum on April 9th for the second annual Curryfest, with a stellar lineup of TO’s finest curry cookers all in a pristine setting- admission to the museum is gratis with each ticket.
While we hardly expect Canada’s favourite JT to show up, we can assume the 4-20 festivities at Dundas Square to be cloudy with a chance of munchies. Those more concerned with water than fire may want to check out the Waterkeeper Gala, held on April 21st at the CBC Headquarters. Last year’s attendees included Gord Downie, Tanya Tagaq and countless other do-gooders.
FNL ROM will be kicking things off again this April 29th for another semester of drinks and dinos, with the kickoff party revolving around their new exhibit- Tattoos.
Victor Barry re-imagined the Splendido space into Piano Piano, which just recently opened after a few months of renovations and includes a colourful mural that flanks the pink building. Food will still be oversaw by Chef Barry himself, with co-chefs Jeff Lapointe and Allison Grundman donning the whites as well.
Pronto Café, located on Bay Street also opened last month, with Italian inspired ready-to go meals for the time compressed. Hemant Bhagwani has also opened his newest spot, The Fat Beet, just a pinch north in Thornhill. Unconventional is his speciality, and here he bucks the trend again, with a no-tipping policy in place for his menu, which brings Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean influences to the spotlight.
Nanashake, a vegan plant-based frozen dessert spot, is the first tenant to open in the giant green hulk towers at Yonge, south of Sheppard. Stay tuned for a First Look soon.
Arturo Anhalt’s sandwich shop Torteria San Cosme opened last month, serving authentic Mexican food- a perfect addition to Kensington Market.
El Rey Mezcal Bar
TO’s favourite Golden Boy Grant Van Gameren is set to break the internet again with his next mission, this one set in Kensington Market. Expect Latin-inspired eats and treats at the new spot. Dubbed El Rey Mezcal Bar, you can also look forward to some serious cocktails to wash it all down. Look for this one to open sometime in April.
Count Chocula should be first in line on April 4th when Cacao 70 opens on Queen West. Already melting hearts in the Distillery District, this Montreal import will make a delicious addition to the neighbourhood.
Just a pinch north, everyone’s favourite Japanese Uncle is spreading his wings, this time with the new Angel Café set to open on April 4th. The new café will also serve as a sit down eatery finally crushing the queues and likely the twitter account that reports on those wait times…
Flock on Richmond
A third Flock is set to take flight- this location on Richmond Street, by the Eaton Centre. Though this eatery has become a franchise, Cory Vitiello ensures sourcing of natural birds with no antibiotics or hormones creating mouth-watering rotisserie style chicken with deluxe sides – no neon coleslaw in sight.
Junction-based Dirty Food is opening soon on DuWest, with guilty pleasure comfort food like Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese and waffled everything.
A little further down on Dundas, near Roncesvalles, a new beer factory is set to open, with Bandit Brewery announcing plans for a microbrew pub opening this spring.
Eats north of Bloor just got a whole lot more promising with the announcement of La Carnita opening near Yonge and Eglinton. Also on deck will be a second Sweet Jesus, and rumours of a cocktail bar as well.
If there’s one thing missing from the King West landscape surely it’s an Irish pub, and Belfast Love will soon remedy that when they open this spring. With a chain already out in BC, expect a deluxe pub setting with loads of beer on tap and food options beyond just fish n’ chips.
Citta turns Tex Mex
The do-over that was Citta should be ready this month, so seasoned Jay’s fans can look forward to Tex-Mex style eats from Icon Legacy (Khabouth et al) post Jays wins.
Doomie’s Home Cookin’
Vegan Jays fans will have to stretch a bit further, with the announcement of a Doomie’s Home Cookin’ opening on Queen West this spring. Papered windows and a sign with #whatveganseat will soon be replaced with vegan Big Macs and other guilty-ish pleasures.
Another Kickstarter goal set, another restaurant ready to launch. Real Mo-Mo’s, located in St Lawrence Market (sorry, “Old Town”) area, will bring a few different cuisines to the forefront, with influences from Holland, New Zealand and Australia.
Leslieville will be welcoming Greta Solomon, a euro inspired eatery early in April. Taking over from where the Glas Wine Bar left off, diners will be noshing on small plates and a healthy cocktail menu.
The Ossington strip will get another restaurant later this month when Té takes over the old Baby Huey space (Baby Huey moved just down the block, snapping up the old Rock Lobster spot) Asian fusion snack style plates will dominate the menu, with brunch and breakfast also in rotation.
A stones thrown from the Market, Lbs. Restaurant will be opening in May with a by the pound nod to seafood, burgers and more.
Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen
Harbord Village will be a lot juicier when Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen opens in May, with Executive Chef Ryan Barclay helming the kitchen.
The meat sweats are coming to Yorkville with Caplansky’s opening on Cumberland in early May.
Right next door, the old Caren’s Wine and Cheese Bar will get a dramatic overhaul (don’t worry, the sublime patio stays put) when Bar Reyna moves in. Behind the new venture is our own Vv Magazine’s founder, Nicki Laborie. The menu will feature Mediterranean style snacks with boozy libations to go with it.
The east scores again with Ardo, opening on King Street in early May. Sicilian-born chef Roberto Marotta (formerly of Nodo) will be cranking out the cannolis when this new eatery opens in May.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.