Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in May 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
May might be limping in like its cold and miserable sister April, but the heat will surely follow. With Raptor fans warming up Jurassic Park and Drake ready to set the city on fire, the 6 has never looked so good.
May celebrations kick off with tequila filled Cinco de Mayo on May 5th, with usual suspects like Fonda Lola offering signature margaritas and Mexican beers to wash down their $5 quecas (fresh corn masa tortillas stuffed with hibiscus flower & oaxaca cheese). Stick around, as owner Ernesto offers a piñata to smash every hour. Gain entry to Valdez‘s party for $20, which includes tickets for tequila samples and a live DJ. Taco Fest tickets will go on sale on May 2nd, with the event taking place over Father’s Day weekend in June. They’ll likely sell out quick, so snap them up while you can.
Also likely to sell out, Seeds of Hope – a heartwarming fundraiser for the Maddie Project, a charity focused on helping youth with mental health issues. This BYOB outdoors event takes place June 4th and will have live music, a full catered meal, and likely a spectacular blanket of stars that you never see in the city.
Mother’s day is just around the corner! If these brunch spots don’t tickle your fancy, pop some bottles for the Mom in your life, and go beyond basic brunch pancakes with a dim sum selection at Luckee instead. Two seatings are being offered, with a four course brunch or a six course dinner feast.
May will also see the opening of TOAST, a pop up at the Distillery District featuring an all-star lineup of grains. Artisanal breads will come decked out with gourmet toppings, think Dark chocolate sourdough topped with ball park peanut butter.
MACHO Radio Bar
The new iteration of Citta, down by CityPlace, is now open. MACHO is a new concept from INK Entertainment and Icon Legacy Hospitality, with a Tex-Mex Vibe and a killer patio to drown your sorrows post Jays game. Nostalgia seekers will seek solace in their rec-room inspired arcade games.
Popular LA-based vegan resto Doomie’s is now open in Parkdale. Plant-based eaters can expect vegan takes on classic comforts like the Big Mac, bacon cheese fries, pulled pork sandwiches and more. Oh, and don’t forget to make a pit stop in Toronto’s first selfie room while you’re there.
Maple Leaf Tavern
The long awaited and much-worth-the-hype Maple Leaf Tavern is officially set to open their Gerrard St. doors on May 3rd, with Chef de Cuisine Jonathan D. OC at the helm.
Belfast Love is set to open this month on King West, with Guinness on tap no doubt, as well as countless other Ontario craft beers. The menu will be gourmet gastropub – I’m calling it a Fancy Firkin.
Bombay Street Food
Bombay Street Food is inching closer to opening their Bay Street restaurant, an exciting and promising venture from their indie pop-up and farmer’s markets roots.
A newly renovated Blowfish, on King West, is set to open this month, with a gussied up exterior to greet the gussied up clientele that has been waiting months to sip sake and revel at their stylish sushi.
EL REY Mezcal Bar
Perennial talk of the town, Chef Grant van Gameren has been busy – almost as busy as his packed Bar Isabel and Bar Raval. Good things come in threes and his Kensington Market spot EL REY Mezcal Bar is nearing completion, with a definite May opening slated.
Chef Grant van Gameren’s other project, a bar in Parkdale dubbed Pretty Ugly, is also getting a makeover from its origins as Salvador Darling on Queen West. Raval partners Robin Goodfellow, Mike Webster and Harbord Room’s Evelyn Chick are all partnered to make it happen.
Big Crow BBQ
Big news for BBQ lovers, Anthony Rose’s Big Crow BBQ will be getting a second outpost, taking over Swan’s patio on Queen West.
If you’re American, or just prefer your measurements in Imperial, stop by LB’s Restaurant when it launches this month down by St Lawrence Market. Seafood, burgers and more will be served up in pound size portions, except the boozy cocktails, which will hopefully be by the gallon.
After a little Yorkville nip and tuck, Bar Reyna is set to open this month, with an official opening slated for May 25th. The menu will be equal parts healthy and hedonistic, with Mediterranean flavours that will appeal to both vegans and omnivores alike. Cocktails will taste even better, especially on their garden-esque back patio.
East side ARDO is almost open, putting the finishing touches on their King East spot, which will feature Sicilian eats and homemade cannolis.
Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen
Timing is everything, and Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen has that down to a T. They’re launching on May 27th, just in time for Ontario Craft Cider Week. Chef Ryan Barclay is manning the kitchen located on Harbord near Spadina.
The first of many more Caplansky’s is opening in Yorkville, neighbouring up to Bar Reyna. Follow the meat scent in early May and don’t forget the pickle.
OMG on the Park
Well known and celebrated vegan cupcake baker OMG Baked Goodness is ramping up for their second outpost. This one will focus on their famous focaccia and more savoury options with a soft open scheduled for June 5th. Dubbed Omg on the Park, the café format will include breakfast pastries, gelato, panini sandwiches and salads. Look for them across from the Drake on Queen West.
Under wraps for months on Peter Street, Ricarda’s is soon to open in the QRC West building with a Mediterranean approach, although there are some nods to other cuisines, with croissants being mentioned on their splash page.
The location at Yonge and Eglinton is still slugging away at renovations, but we’re hopeful that the young and eligible masses will be tipping for more than just tacos soon.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.