Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in October 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
Our boy Drake is wise. The OVO clad rapper proclaims October as the best month of the year, and one look at the events and activity swirling around the 6ix and it’s hard not to agree. With Nuit Blanche rolling into town on the 1st, surrounding us with artsy views and impulsive installations all over the city, October crashes into our calendar – a sure-fire cure for TIFF hangovers and the cooler fall temps. While leaves are falling, our own buds are back in town, with a hefty sports season at the ACC – and hopefully the Jays edging into the playoffs.
FNL ROM is also back, with their well-curated and inventive parties that bring a fun and fresh dose of dinosaurs and drinks to the Toronto collective.
While Kitchener holds the crown for Oktoberfest parties in Canada, there are options for Lederhosen ladies and lads to quaff beers in Toronto, with parties at Mill Street Brewery, Bandit Brewery on October 1st, Toronto’s first-ever Vegan Oktoberfest on October 22nd and Airship 37 hosting their 4th annual OktoberFEAST Party on October 14th.
Good deeds wash down well with a fine meal, so consider Restaurants for Change a happy meal combo like no other. Coast to coast, Canadian restaurants will be offering a special menu for October 19th, with a portion of funds going to support healthy eating programs for low-income families.
The second annual Eatable Film Fest takes place October 22-25th, bringing a collection of movies together with a focus on food, and actual food too, with Chefs like Rocco Agostino and Scott Vivian curating meals that match the mood.
Cue the sexy Squirtle costumes, Halloween is upon us. While most of us will be hunkering down handing out candy, fright night will see club goers and gawkers out on the prowl, consider yourself warned.
Yorkville continues its designation as a meat market with STK finally opening late last month. With outposts in the US and Europe, Toronto scores the first Canadian location which boasts beef, booze and beautiful people bringing it to you.
Nearby, but comically opposite, Planta has opened to serve green goodness to vegans and veg heads, with an elevated menu that bucks the meat right off the menu. Brought to you by The Chase Hospitality Group, the new Pangea space has been brought back to life with green-thumbed Chef David Lee helming the kitchen.
The Canary District is coming to life, with the dust settling around the new development. Providing coffee and healthy takeaway, FUEL+ has just opened, with Tori’s Bakeshop, Tabule, Dark Horse Coffee and SukhoThai set to open in the coming months.
College Street has another bar to boast about with Birreria Volo opening near Clinton. Beer drinkers will rejoice in their ever expanding catalogue, with hard to find beers imported to round out their impressive menu.
Healthy eats have made their way to King and Blue Jays way. Calii Love serves up Good Vibes Only and is set to be Toronto’s new go-to for clean eats. On the menu are healthy, yet delicious options like smoothies, acai bowls, coffee and poke bowls.
Fans of Matt Baslie scored at the ACC this season, without a team setting foot in the building. His new spot Fidel Gastro’s will see Pad Thai Fries and meat-stuffed sandwiches giving supporters something to cheer about.
Replacing Concession Road on St. Clair, owners Harsh Chawla and Derek Valleau are converting the space into Ji, an Indian restaurant that will be a sister restaurant to the original Pukka.
Step over sushi, a poke invasion is upon us. Aloha rich poke is looking like the next big thing to line up for with North Poke primed to open in Kensington Market next week.
Meanwhile, in Parkdale, all eyes are on Grant Van Gameren’s diner project, Harry’s. The original Harry closed up shop after 48 years in the business; let’s hope GvG can keep the doors open for another 48. Look for this restaurant to open in early October.
Laylow Beer Bar & Eatery
We’ve been waiting years for Aidan J. A. Ferreira to open his first restaurant. And after drooling over his Instagram, we can finally drool in person when Laylow Beer Bar & Eatery opens this month on College near Landsdowne. Expect meaty portions of comfort food and elevated poutines with craft beers and cocktails to wash it down with.
If there’s one thing missing in Liberty Village, it’s a beer bar. Okay, maybe not, but you’re getting one anyway when 3 Brewers opens later this month. With other locations around Toronto, 3 Brewers is getting a reputation for their fresh beers and Flammekueches – a flat pizza-ish bread that pairs well with their beer flights.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
US import Potbelly Sandwich Shop opens across from the ROM this month. If you haven’t had one of these subs in the US, picture a Quizno’s that actually tastes good. We’re excited.
Holt Renfrew Yorkdale
While Jamie’s Italian is still doing brisk business in Yorkdale, they’ll have some competition when magenta clad Holt Renfrew opens their restaurant concept later this month.
Baro baron Steve Gonzalez is inching closer to moving into his new home on his new King Street West, a multi-level restaurant that will be an Entertainment District destination when the doors burst open later this fall.
Jack and Lil’s
South African eats are hard to come by in Toronto, and Jack and Lil’s aims to fix just that when they open their DuWest eatery later this month.
Skwish Craft. Bar. Kitchen
Skwish is celebrating their second Queen Street East location, with October 17th listed as a soft opening date for the team. Known for pretty plates and craft beers on tap, Skwish also features live music and a laid back atmosphere, we’re sure the second location will replicate the good time vibes.
Little Italy scores another win with DOMA opening in the second week of October. Offering a dinner service only, this tidy restaurant features French food with Korean flavours, a winning concept if there ever was one.
Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns
College Street hits the sweet spot with Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns bringing everyone with a pulse and a palate to food journo Amy Rosen’s bakery- set to open later this month.
Junction foodies will be flocking to Leela when it opens later this month near Keele and Dundas. Hemant Bhagwani’s new spot will bring wafts of everything Indian to this pocket; fans of the Indian Street Food movement will appreciate the no-tipping policy almost as much as they will the creative curries.
Drake’s Commissary is edging closer to becoming a reality. A standalone shop is set to open in the west end according to our sources. Look for Drake’s edibles, breads, and cured meats to open this fall.
Other Food News
We’re still mourning the loss of Origin North, left pondering what will replace the Bayview Village parking lot darling.
RIP Recess. The short-lived concept from Brad Moore was poorly executed with staff showing up to closed doors and missing pay cheques.
Shala-Mar on Roncy also closed, with papered up windows promising a Cider House concept to open soon.
The big foodie news that we’ll all be waiting years for is the announcement that Eataly will be taking over the Manulife Centre in at Bay and Bloor, in about 3 years. Terroni will be helping with operations on their first Canadian outpost.
Did we miss any restaurants opening this month? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.