Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants, those opening in March 2017 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots. Here’s what’s opening and closing this month:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
The second Toronto location for American sandwich shop Pot Belly has opened just kitty corner to ROM on Bloor Street West. Known for their toasted sandwiches that don’t suck, they also offer hearty soups and salads.
Cafe de Paris
Yonge and Sheppard is hopping with new food concepts, this one located just north of Sheppard dubbed Café de Paris. The second location of this dessert bar boasts perfect-parfaits, with fresh fruit and sweet stuff layered to the brim.
Also in the Yonge and Sheppard ‘hood, retail concepts abound the Green Hulk towers (okay, Emerald Park). Yes, Tim Hortons has confounded us all and opened another coffee shop (third within a block) but more notably, Allwyn’s Bakery, known more for their jerk chicken than their buns, has opened a tidy takeaway spot on the west side of the building.
Whale Juice and Blends
Facing Yonge Street in the same neighbourhood, Whale Juice and Blends has opened, serving smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, and bubbly fruit blends.
And, not to be left out of passing food trends, Poke Eats has opened on the south side of the building that Whale Juice and Blends is in.
Kensington Market goes upmarket with Grey Gardens by Jen Agg. Offering upscale eats and an impressive wine list, GG notably also accepts reservations, bucking the Black Hoof & Rhum Corner trend.
Waffle fiends will celebrate with Starving Artist shifting north, with a new location on Mount Pleasant, just north of Davisville. Known for boozy brunches and fluffy waffles, this marks the third location for the breakfast joint.
El Local Loco
Not so subtly named The Wine Bar has vacated to make room for El Local Loco. Festooned in fiesta gear, the Mexican restaurant on Church Street also serves boozy brunches for those looking for a proper pre-St Lawrence Market pick up.
Bloor West is home to the new Black Briik, a new restaurant channeling everything that was good about the greatest decade of all time, the 90s. Grunge, hip-hop, and hopefully some glow sticks are thrown in for good measure, with beats to go with eats, like Belgian Waffles stuffed with bacon.
Khao San Road is getting into the snack game too, opting in on the second floor of their Charlotte Street restaurant, dubbedBang Sue. Cocktails and small plates are the main event but don’t expect the menu to stay static for long.
Reverie at Weldon Park
Eccentric eatery Reverie at Weldon Park has officially launched on College Street. The offspring of Chef Greg Couillard, Chris Showalter and Teddy Peris, the revamped supper club offers avant-garde eats like Quails Nest, roasted and showcased with precision plating.
ONO Poke Bar
Getting in on the poke action next is Liberty Village. ONO Poke Bar will be opening up at 100 Western Battery Road in the old Perfect Scoop location.
West end snags another eatery with Dundas General transforming 1243 Dundas West in the Junction. Opening date is slotted for April for this grab and go and eat in concept.
Chick magnet Cory Vitiello is expanding his coop with another Flock, this one opening at College and University. Look for the fifth Flock to open this spring.
Pacific Park Social
Pacific Park Social is opening on Dundas West near Pacific Avenue later this spring. With a rustic interior and robust coffee to match, PPS will also offer grab and go paninis and ready-made food items.
First Nations owned and operated NishDish Marketeria is set to open on Bloor Street West later this month. Specializing in Anishnawbe cuisine, Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette’s menu boasts traditional proteins like Roasted Caribou and Buffalo Indian Chili.
Avenue Road will welcome a new vegan-friendly eatery and gluten free restaurant when Rosie’s Eatery opens in April. Baked goods and decadent Reese style peanut butter cups are some of the standouts.
Eastbound Brewing Company
Crossing over the bridge on Queen Street East givesEastbound Brewing Company a sudsy nod to their name, with an onsite kitchen and brewery set to launch in the next few weeks.
The recently closed County General Riverside has found a new tenant. Chez Nous will be opening in the next few weeks, reimagined as a wine bar specializing in Ontario only vintages.
Gare de l’Est
Inside the new Streetcar Crowsnest theatre, Gare de l’Est has been under wraps, inching closer to their grand opening. Playing homage to the classic Parisian bistro experience, the new brasserie will be open 7 days a week with patio plans come les beau temps.
First Canadian Place just got a bit frothier with the announcement of King Taps opening at 100 King Street West. With an impressive fifty beers on tap, this bi-level bar will feature live music, two patios, and yes, beer.
What to Look for this Spring
Pre-gaming just got a timeout. Casey’s quietly closed months ago to make way for Kelly’s Landing, taking over the corner of Front and York. Look for this concept to open this spring.
Holy Oak is getting plowed down in Bloordale. High rents are the culprit, but owners say they may move on to greener pastures.
And April Fool’s jokes just came early by way of J&J Bar-B-Que folding and turning into a raw vegan restaurant. The announcement made on their Instagram implies the space is definitely closed, though, so that’s no laughing matter unless you’re a vegan.
Did we miss any restaurant openings and closings? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.