New year, new food! Who needs to keep up with that New Year’s resolution diet anyways, right? Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants opening this January.
With the holidays safely behind us and the restraints of social festivities finally easing up, January is the perfect time to regroup with pals to check out a few of Toronto’s newest restaurants. While financial constraints may be a serious holdback for most, those wishing to forgo the insanity that is Winterlicious will find these new Toronto restaurants a safe haven — prix fixe not required.
December’s offerings were a feast during the festive season with ballers like Città (from Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth) and Borealia breathing new life into Toronto’s ever-expanding restaurant scene. Meanwhile, landmark institutions Sotto Sotto and Spuntini fell victim to a suspicious — and well-timed — fire.
Here’s Vv magazine’s best bet for Toronto’s new January restaurants.
Bareburger, the NYC chain (with an outpost in New Jersey and Ohio) has their eyes set on our burger-craving stomachs with the first franchise outside of the US opening on Dundas West (at Bay) later this month. Voted as NYC’s best burger from 2011-2014 by Zagat and recommended by Michelin, these burgers are the real deal with top-notch organic ingredients and a strict “no pesticide or GMO” menu.
The Barchef boys are back at it again, this time expanding a little further down Queen West at the former home of Ursa close to Trinity Bellwoods Park. Frankie Solarik and Brent VanderVeen are deviating slightly from the original format — Furlough will feature a heavy wine list and more meal-focused dinner menu, making it a cozy spot to snuggle into on a long winter’s night. Look for them to open around January 20.
Kanpai Snack Bar
Pop up La Brea Food is graduating from food stall to food mecca with their highly-anticipated Kanpai Snack Bar. While fusion has been a dirty word in the food scene for a while, La Brea meshes (see what I did there?) Mexican and Asian flavours impressively, so fans of their food will no doubt be lining up out the door when Kanpai hits Cabbagetown later this month. Look for their take on Taiwanese street food curated by chef and co-owner Ike Huang (other co-owners are Arshad Merali and Trevor Lui). Look for wok-fried treats, cold plates, and a slick bespoke yakitori grill to dominate the menu. The open kitchen will flank a large communal table, all built out of sustainable building materials.
Queen Margherita Pizza Richmond
What was supposed to be open in summer bled into fall. And now, with winter upon us, surely Queen Margherita Pizza will be announcing the opening of their latest highly-covetable address, 111 Richmond Street, smack in the middle of the financial district and next to Google’s corporate offices.
The side by side Libretto and Porchetta & Co.
While we’re mostly just speculating, it seems like this union will be opening soon as their previous 2014 dates have come and gone. The marriage made in culinary heaven that is Libretto’s Max Rimaldi and Porchetta’s Nick auf der Mauer will eventually culminate in a one-stop-shop on King West for all your Italian cravings.
It’s the first of its kind in Toronto: a vegan pub. Brought to us by owners Rick Hardisty (formerly of Woodlot) and Ross Corder (formerly of Hogtown Vegan), these guys are pretty courageous to bring vegan to the pub world – but also pretty cool in our books. Porter House is replacing what used to be Brockton General on Dundas West.
Jon Bil (Keep on Shucking) is set to open his new take on a fish shop on Dundas West the first week of January. This compact fish shop will have a wholesale counter and takeaway, with a few tables for eating in. But don’t expect the usual fish tacos or fish ‘n chips here. With no deep fat fryer in sight, Honest Weight is set to revamp Toronto’s palate for fish, with curious creatures like jellyfish and surf clams on the menu. For the less inclined, the reel (bad!) ahem real draw will be the oysters.
The cool outpost that caters to coffee lovers by day and cocktail lovers by night will be opening their second location mid-month at Dundas and Bellwoods. Perfect for the hipster crowd we predict this will be the new West side hot spot. Like the original location, we hear the menu will be the same with fun snacks and eccentric cocktails.
Yup, the king of hot dogs is due to open his second location very soon. Serving gourmet hot dog creations like the 90210 which includes avocado, bacon and tomato or the Fancy Francine which is topped with two fried eggs, bacon and Hollandaise, Fancy Franks is certainly a perfect addition to the quickly developing gourmet corner that is Queen and Spadina.
Which of these New Toronto Restaurants are you dying to try? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “New Toronto Restaurants: January Edition” in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.