Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants, those opening in February 2017 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
Swirling with snow and biting with cold, days might feel bleak but they are getting longer, and a bit brighter. With a super short month like February on foot, craft a calendar like no other with events and new restaurants guaranteed to put a spring in your step.
FNL ROM is a perfect way to kick off February blahs, with the first Friday in February dedicated to celebrating Black History Month with their Afro Fête party. Shining a spotlight on the history, art, and culture behind Black History Month, early bird tickets have sold out, but there will be limited entry at the door.
Food snobs will be clamoring for a ticket to Toronto Life’s Sonos sponsored dinner party. Hosted by the who’s who of Toronto’s chefs (Patrick Kriss from Alo, Afrim Pristine from The Cheese Boutique and Franco Stalteri from Charlie’s Burgers), guests will be chomping down on some serious eats, at a secret location naturally. Expect tickets to sell out early for this February 6th event.
Chinese New Year celebrations continue at many Toronto restaurants, with superstar Chef Susur Lee leading the pack with his traditional offerings at Luckee at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. Red lanterns dot the jewel box of a restaurant, but all eyes will be on the signature Truffled Salt-Bake Chicken Flambé, a cocky nod to the year of the rooster.
Winterlicious is finally winding down, and while many industry workers will be breathing a sigh of relief, it surely won’t last long with Valentine’s Day rendezvous eating up reservations all weekend long. Still looking for a table? Check out our post on top picks for snagging a spot.
Ski clad suds seekers will be gallivanting around The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival, set to take over Roundhouse Park with over 30 local and Canadian craft beers to sample and slurp. Limited tickets are available at the door on February 11th.
Take a night off protesting and reward your do-goodism with a night out in support of another good cause. FoodShare’s Recipe for Change is set to take over St Lawrence with a night of revelry with some of TO’s top chefs pitching in for food literacy for the schools aged set.
Leela Indian Food Bar
In a nod to roadside restaurants dotting roads and highways in India, Amaya’s latest offering pays homage to the humble grab-and-go eats by way of Leela Indian Food Bar. Located in the Junction on Dundas West, Hemant Bhagwani’s newest restaurant merges Indian flavours and spices with Western staples, like his version of the Chicken Tikka Taco.
King St. West just got another Instagram-worthy eatery. Italian bakery/restaurant Oretta recently opened the doors to the big, bright, gold and pastel accented eatery.
Leaside’s infamous Adamson BBQ swallowed up a nearby unit to bring you Conspiracy Pizza. The pies are aptly named; channeling their cheeky name with pizzas like Moon Landing Was a Hoax, with cheese curds, ranch crust, and fior de latte. Expect queues to rival their BBQ joint next door.
Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery
The soft opening is complete at Liberty Village’s latest beer based bistro. With O&B taking care of the eats, you can expect upscale plates to pair with your pints. A wood fired grill can only mean good things.
Financial District folk now have another option for their coffee breaks – Boxcar Social just opened their fourth location on Temperance and brewed beans aren’t the only thing they’re serving up. The location also boasts an impressive 95-bottle whiskey wall, 16 rotating craft beers, and 45 wines for après work sips.
With a new restaurant, book deal, and revamp of her original space, Jen Agg isn’t holding back for 2017. Her first restaurant, The Black Hoof on Dundas will be getting a little pick-me-up and is scheduled to reopen on April 1st with a brand new prep kitchen. Nearby, in Kensington Market, her newest offering, Grey Gardens is inching closer to the big reveal, with the windows shrouded in paper getting exposed on her Insta earlier this week.
Joe Friday’s successful spot is getting a Yorkville encore. Look for the poké inspired eatery to unleash his California-Hawaiian fast casual concept to Bay and Cumberland this month.
The Poet Café
This spot is ready to launch on King Street east by Jarvis. Not much is known about this Middle Eastern eatery but it looks like coffees and tapas will be the main meat of the menu.
Café de Paris
A pinch further uptown, Yonge and Sheppard will see Café de Paris compete with nearby Bake Code for Asian/French-inspired offerings. Get ready to order a fresh fruit “bon bon”; fresh fruit paired with housemade whipped cream and smoothies, when a second location opens later this month.
Power-couple Chef Nuit and Jeff Regular have been busy bringing Thai flavours to Toronto, with Pai, Sabai Sabai, and Sukhothai being standouts for Thai restaurants in the city. Their newest offering, Kiin, is set to add another dimension to their empire (think celebration-style dinners vs. fast paced dining), honing in on ingredients and recipes from Chef Nuit’s upbringing across Thailand.
Reverie At Weldon Park
Ex-Spice Room Chef Greg Couillard is attached to oversee the kitchen at Reverie At Weldon Park, with Chef Chris Showalter and Teddy Peris handling day to day execution. No food influences have been posted yet, but it seems like this new College Street restaurant is going for avant-garde, with references to a ‘Jungle and Forest’ themed menu. The space underwent an ambitious yearlong renovation, having been home recently to Weldon Park Bar.
And another restaurant (and win for uptown!) will see waffles a’ plenty with the opening of the third location from Starving Artist. Known for inspired breakfast offerings, with boozy coffees and cocktails to match, the Mount Pleasant location is set to open early February.
Super stud Chef Cory Vitiello should be feeling cocky with the announcement that Flock is ready to take flight at College and University. Look for his newest location to open this spring.
The Drake Commissary
We let it slip back in the fall news of The Drake moving into the Junction, and now we can finally let that cat out of the bag. The Drake Commissary is opening in spring, combining a bakery and prep space, grab-and-go concept and catering kitchen for the popular hotel and restaurant fleet.
Another big development on the west end will see Dundas General open in March. The well-stocked food emporium will carry a variety of goods and provisions, many sourced locally.
Over on Avenue Road, Rosie’s Eatery is set to rise, a new vegan and gluten free hotspot for the uptown collective. Baker Rose Diker aims to bring smoothies, cookies, and yes, granola to her new digs. Expect doors to open in March.
Closed & Moving
Long-time tarot card reading N’awlins inspired eaterySouthern Accent fled their long lease over in Mirvish Village. They are now set up in their new home at College and Ossington.
Another relic, this time in the Willowdale hood, Italian roots have swung a bit south, with Paisanos moving to York Mills.
Queen Street live music venue Rivoli is closed for a reno. Look for them to reopen this spring.
This Bloor and Bathurst establishment just finished up their final month.
After 5-years, local chef Geoff Hopgood announced he’s closing his restaurant Hopgood’s Foodliner. Their final day is February 6th.
County General Riverside
On the east end, County General Riverside is also closing up shop, but their Queen West restaurant will remain open.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurant openings? Let Vv Magazine know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.