By now your New Year’s resolutions of eating out less and saving money have probably gone down the drain. No worries, because Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants opening this February.
While Winterlicious and Valentine’s Day may be competing for your salary and social requirements, February’s stunted 28 days means you’re going to need to hustle to fit in this list of Toronto’s newest and brightest restaurants.
While some are off-shoots from existing restaurants, others can be safely filed under “American Invasion,” as is the case with the first location of the much maligned Carl’s Jr. Yum Cha, the second annual dim sum fest brought together by Spotlight City Events, will be a huge draw for anyone with a palate (or pulse), taking over Daniel’s Spectrum on February 21.
Opening early this month in the east end (at 514 King Street East to be exact), this new concept from co-owners Patrick Tu and Tom Junek (from Thor Espresso Bar) will bring more than just coffee to Corktown. They have plans for a full brunch menu on weekends and, more notably, a liquor licence featuring craft beers and curated wines.
Memory Lane & Co
Chef Brad Moore has ambitious plans for the six-venue spot located at the foot of the new ART Condos (including room service for those lucky tenants). Boasting two diners, two bars, a bakery, and a gourmet food shop, Memory Lane & Co is a culinary lover’s dream. Brad Moore, who’s been helming the ever-popular School restaurant in Liberty Village for over six years, promises simple, healthy, and fun food. Considering this project has been stuck in construction limbo since their expected September grand opening came and went, we are hoping Memory Lane soon becomes our next most memorable Toronto food hotspot.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign secured the funds required to open her first bakery, Samantha Anderson will be opening her doors February 7 in the St. Clair and Dufferin area with Cakes Cove. Known for her intensely-creative cakes (like the life size R2D2 cake), Samantha can whip up pretty much anything you can imagine. You can pop in for her grotesque selection of zombified decapitated chocolate creations (perfect for Valentine’s, or the return of The Walking Dead).
The second coming of Lucky Red (it shuttered quickly this past summer just after opening) involves a new look and concept, going from fussy and fickle to swift and trendy, with brothers and owners David, Phil, and Peter Chau revamping in favour of a sit-down format instead of fast food. Look for Vietnamese-style snacks like fish sauce chicken wings, Southern-fried chicken gizzards, and, of course, bao.
Carl’s Junior St Clair
The first in what I’m sure will be too many, Carl’s Jr is opening their first Toronto location on Yonge by St. Clair this month, with a second well-known location in the works in the next coming months. They will be harvesting the shell that was once the home of the old HMV on Queen West.
Hawker Bar Expansion
Hawker Bar, the popular Singaporean-style restaurant on Ossington, is ready for a growth spurt since opening almost three years ago. After overhauling the second floor, you can expect not only a few more seats but also new menu items as well as the added allure of taking reservations. Gasp!
This Bloordale spot will bring carefully-crafted cocktails and local beers to Bloor and Dufferin by creative artist Becky Ip and bar enthusiast Ryan Ringer. The casual cafe/bar style format works perfectly in this area, and Grey Tiger will no doubt fit right in its spot on décor and clever food offerings.
Stay tuned next month for more details on the upcoming Buster Rhino’s on College and hopefully news on the long anticipated Grant Van Gameren’s Bar Raval.
Which of these New Toronto Restaurants are you dying to try? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “New Toronto Restaurants: February Edition” in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewTheVibe.