It’s here. Yes, TIFF has finally arrived… and so have the stars. In true film fest fashion, Toronto has rolled out the red carpets, dusted off its sidewalks, and veiled its underbelly with gems and stones. We clean up nicely, don’t we? For those who missed the ticket call – or those who are more enamoured with the stars of cinema than cinema itself – there are places to be seen (and scene) where you might just chance upon a glimpse of a real member of the glitterati without having to elbow through crowds at the premieres…
Everyone’s eyes are on Brassaii, as per usual, as it’s likely the most easily-penetrated central spot for TIFF star-sighting. It’ll also be the locale for several cast dinners and parties, so you can nosh while the celebs pretend to nosh.
Weslodge is a newly opened spot and has mass appeal thanks to its proximity to Festival Tower and its cooler than cool, neater than neat vibe.
Harbord Room has the draw of Cory Vitiello – he’s pretty in case you didn’t know – and is a hidden gem, off the ports from the sea of TIFF.
Mideastro Yorkville has a prime location (right in the heart of Yorkville but away from pedestrian alley) and some of the best fusion cuisine stars have likely tried outside of the States.
La Societe Bistro saw Kelly Clarkson having some French Onion Soup earlier this week, so its star appeal is year-long. During TIFF, it’s amped up, so make a reservation… if you still can.
Victor Restaurant at Hotel Le Germain lends both a casual VIP atmosphere and late-night walkability up to the posh hotel rooms.
LA’s Italian + Bar is just far enough away from the heart of TIFF but close enough to prime hotels like Trump Tower and One King West for convenience and conviviality.
Speaking of Trump Tower, $tock Restaurant should be pretty pumping throughout the duration of TIFF.
LUMA is in Festival Tower. Enough said.
Canteen is in Festival Tower. Enough said.
Bloke & 4th is hosting quite a few cast dinners and after parties this year, and thanks to its Food Dudes pedigree its reputation rightfully precedes itself.
One Restaurant is always a popular choice during TIFF, thanks to its long-time standing in the heart of opulence.
The Oxley is across from the Hazelton Hotel and One Restaurant and has a patio… so it might be smart to just pony up in there.
DEQ at the Ritz-Carlton is a bar at the Ritz-Carlton. Again, enough said.
The Shore Club is beside the Ritz-Carlton and boasts a members-only atmosphere that isn’t necessarily members-only.
Anthony Bourdain loved The Black Hoof… so any celebs who follow is culinary adventures might be tempted to try it out.
Abode Public Residence is a New York try-hard and is in and around the area with The Templar Hotel (if you haven’t heard of it there’s a reason).
Grace O’Malley’s on Duncan Street is kiddy corner to the Storys building, which for five days during TIFF will be home to AMC Storys, the site of many a private cast dinner and party. It’ll be great for watching the foot traffic in and out of the historic site.
Sweaty Betty’s has seen some celebrity pull during TIFF before. It’s a favourite hangout of Drew Barrymore when she’s in town, and some of her friends have apparently caught on…
Scarpetta in the Thompson Hotel was home to some pretty swank TIFF dinners last year. More than likely another will come to pass. (It doesn’t hurt that Bungalow 8 will have a pop-up club on the roof-top during TIFF.)
The Drake Hotel is a hotspot during TIFF to be sure. It’s more indie than blockbuster, but the cool kids of the celebrity cool often head over to the Sky Yard.