Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants, those opening in January 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
The Holidays have swept us up and away, and while many of us are still trying to balance the budget (never mind the scale), make sure to make time to enjoy the best that Toronto offers. Hibernation isn’t a good look, so peel off that adult onesie and explore the city’s newest restaurants and foodie events.
What January lacks in panache it makes up for in duration-31 days can feel like forever in freezing temps, but mid-week boredom busters like Lisa Marie’s Triple B Tuesdays can put a spring in anyone’s step- especially if you come away a winner with their quirky bingo prizes. On the other end of the spectrum, TOCA is hosting their second cheese cave evening, this month focusing on fondue.
Winterlicious, the red-headed step-child to Summerlicious is upon us, with restaurants packing people in for two weeks spread over January and February- reservations start January 14th. This year they’ve upped the ante and added a curated list of events as well, one of which features celeb Chef Vikram Vij coming into town to not only dazzle with his culinary skills but also speak about the food and offer stories and inspiration with each dish.
The Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival is being held at footstep of Steam Whistle Breweries on January 30th, and this year with prizes going for best retro ski outfit. Maybe it’s time to bring back that adult onesie after all…
January’s new Toronto restaurants and those coming soon…
Aroma Espresso Bar
Aroma Espresso Bar has been quietly transforming the grab and go (or sit and nosh) landscape of the fast causal food scene in Toronto and their latest location (32nd for those that are counting) at Queen’s Park has just opened in Mt Sinai Hospital.
The eclair has landed in Toronto and may just be the new cronut. Delysees was responsible for bringing the “real” eclair to the city – others have attempted but failed at capturing the delicious pate au choux that we find in the Paris patisseries – and now we have been graced with an eclair only bakery. Gotta sweet touth? Heard over to Queen West to check out this sweet spot.
Sadie’s Diner on Adelaide and Portland closed a while back and its new owners have officially opened a 100% gluten free taqueria for all the locals to enjoy. The very simple spot features a range of corn tacos and limited drinks but prices are fabulous and the look is fresh.
The west end mall is seeing a lot of action on the food scene recently, as the massive overhaul of the aging mall is finally nearing completion. New concept Bar Freddo Caffe will be opening soon, offering upscale Italian eats, gelatos and most importantly wine. Joining Saks 5th Avenue is gourmet food purveyor Pusateri’s, who will be overseeing their food hall (as well as the downtown location at Queen and Bay) when they both open in early 2016. Good things come in threes, this time by way of O&B branch out Beaumont Kitchen, set to open soon, making the mall a solid contender for dinner as well as designer shoes.
The long awaited and slightly ambitious eatery from Old School owner Brad Moore is putting the final fixes on its restaurant/bakery/ prêt-à-porter/soda jerk/bar concept, located at Sudbury and Dovercourt. Look for it to open its doors (screaming children running from the building not included) late January/ early February.
Bombay Street Food
Just a pinch south, Bombay Street Food is opening their first bricks and mortar location after several successful seasons operating out of East York Farmer’s Market. Look for their spicy rice bowls, sandwiches and sweet lassis curated by sisters-in-law Seema & Amreen Omar.
If timing is of the essence then Cacao 70 is right on time with their second Toronto location on Queen West. Lovers of all things warm and chocolatey can seek safe refuge from the cold with their menu, soaked in sweet and meant for sharing.
Looking forward to February, we’re hoping fancy pants STK Steakhouse will be ready for lovers to endure meat sweats together this Valentine’s Day. The first Canadian location of the eponymous meat brand will fling open their doors in typical Yorkville fashion, with over 8,000 square feet of glitzed up glamour to go with that (overpriced) plate.
Flock Rotisserie & Greens
A little tweak here and a little fluff here is all that’s required for the rebrand of THR & Co, a nugget Cory Vitiello shared over Instagram recently to announce the shift into a second location of Flock Rotisserie and Greens on Harbord. Apparently this is the second of several franchises opening around the GTA.
Closing & Announcements
Kingpin Playa and all around nice guy Dave Sidhu is branching out onto College with Cafeteria his latest version of Mexican food. Look for his latest spot, in the old Black Skirt location to open soon.
Gusto54, the group behind much loved Gusto101 is growing- a new location in LA as well as two new hangouts for the 6ix, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen will open in the summer just up from the original Gusto, as well as Gusto501 set to open soon on King Street East.
Zoe’s on King West announced late in December that they would be selling off their assets after decades in the industry. Ditto for Papillion on the Park, who were embroiled in legal battles with former staff over labour issues.
Exciting news for Kensington Market comes by way of Globe & Mail after they reported that both Jen Agg and ex-business partner Grant van Gameren will both be opening their own restaurants in the market sometime in early 2016.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.