Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in August 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
August is a great time to be stuck in the city. While cottage dwellers may argue otherwise, those hunkering down in the 6ix this month are treated to a month-long extravaganza of food, concerts, festivals and frolicking.
The inaugural Feast of St. Lawrence is taking over the market area from August 12-14th. There will be a gala style banquet dinner on the 12th featuring a five-course meal brought to you by the surrounding neighbourhood restaurants (think Barsa Taberna and Woods). Tickets run $200 for that event, with wine pairings, naturally. All proceeds go to support a very worthy cause, FoodShare Toronto.
Spotlight City is back with another batch of Pintxos, a celebration of Spanish style eats taking over the Liberty Market Building on August 14th. Expect top notch noshings and tipples to toast the occasion. Now in its 3rd year, this one is not to be missed.
If you’re klutzy then pack a Tide-to-Go stick for one of the most elegant dining events in Toronto, Diner en Blanc is setting up secret location(s) for their August 18th event, a festivity now feting their 5th year.
This year’s CNE, a spectacle in its own right will see carnie clad Conklin-ites manning the temporary rides from August 19th to September 5th. Dining options this year will no doubt be deep fried but the on-site Craft Beer Fest running from August 26-28th should help to wash away any lingering shame spirals. Keep an eye out for our round-up of the best eats to expect at the CNE.
July (Now Open)
This popular Afro-Portuguese chicken spot recently opened their doors on Queen Street West, taking over the old Destingo location. Expect their famed flame-grilled chicken in spicy peri-peri sauce plus plenty of patio seating to soak in the last days of summer.
OMG Baked Goodness
Owner and baker, Lesley Mattina, has opened her second shop – this one right by Lisgar Park near Queen West. OMG on the Park boasts more than just coffees and sweets, this latest venture has picnic friendly finds and a great selection of grab-and-go sammies for lunch time noshings.
Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza
Crispy pizza lovers rejoice! There’s no sog in sight at the new Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza, just opened on Front Street East by St. Lawrence Market. Cooked on coal, the crunchy pies bake up fast resulting in a pie that has a slight blistery and black crust.
If you missed mass this morning then check into Sweet Jesus’ latest location. This one, hallelujah, is uptown on Eglinton just east of Yonge. With a built in confessional (Snapchat) booth, Andrew Richmond has made sinners feel safe and dieters distressed by the hugely over the top cones doused in a sugary smattering of toppings. La Carnita, attached to Sweet Jesus should be open by mid-August.
The gala like grand opening took place just a week ago, with their doors officially open to the public July 31st. Ricarda’s features coffees, stunning desserts and savoury Mediterranean eats.
East side eats scored another one when our friend Cory Vitiello opened his latest Flock Rotisserie + Greens on Bloor Street, by Church. Known for his pretty proteins and gourmet greens, this is his fourth Flock location. Fingers crossed for more!
The OG Guu is back, this time in Parkdale, after Kinka and GUU parted ways. While the split was no doubt amicable, there was still likely some shouting involved. The new Guu is located on Queen West just west of Dufferin.
Yonge and Sheppard scores another eatery, this one Thai, located just south of Sheppard on Yonge. Specializing in spicy and authentic Thai cuisine, Eat in Bangkok, (or BKK for short) has curious and creative twists on the classics, like Green Curry spaghetti or Yum Hot Dog.
Now open on Richmond near Spadina, Watson’s is brought to you by the same down to earth owners as Roxy’s Bar. With nostalgic board and arcade games, Watson’s hits all the right buttons, especially with their also seemingly nostalgic pricing- drinks go down just as easy as they are to pay for.
The Captain’s Boil
Get ready, downtowners! The Captain’s Boil is opening in Little Italy on August 11th, meaning you’ll soon have your fix of by-the-pound seafood in a bag. The official opening date has yet to be released but word on the street is, the resto will be open by mid-August. To make reservations (you’re probably gonna want one!), you can reach them at 416-538-8838 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Yonge and Sheppard eatery (this one SoSh or south of Sheppard to you downtowners) is set to open soon in the former home of Alegno. Sushi rolls and bento boxes will likely be mainstays of their menu.
The food boom continues in North York with the announcement that everyone’s favourite Jerk Chicken shop is opening in the Emerald Park towers just south of Yonge and Sheppard. Look for Allwyn’s Bakery to open late this month, or early September.
Pizza Thick and The Ice Cream Bake Shop
Opening a second location at Queen and Bathurst, Pizza Thick (and The Ice Cream Shop) create mouth-watering prairie inspired pies, mixing Chicago style pizza dough with a biscuit base for a super thick crust. Inspired ice creams are on point too – some vegan flavours make the cut as well.
From TUM (Toronto Underground Market) to College Street, B’saha is setting up shop in Little Italy with their Moroccan street food menu. House-made merguez sausages, a popular pick from the TUM Alum will no doubt be a hallmark of their menu, as is their order ahead tagines.
Edward Furlani is the man in whites at this new King West café/restaurant. Designed by Commute Home, this new concept will keep diners streaming in for their Italian eats, or just a quick coffee and a bite on the way into work.
If you’ve been to one of their US locations you know that the opening of STK will steer many diners away from the Morton’s Steakhouse that’s been sitting across the street for decades. No matter, Yorkville has plenty of room for both, with meat eaters making Avenue and Bloor the unofficial cow carving corner of the city. STK will eat up 8,000+ sq ft of prime restaurant turf, and I promise to stop making cow puns as soon as they open.
King West loves Italian eats and scores another notable addition with Masseria opening at the end of August. Executive Chef Rob Leclair (previously of McEwan’s Fabbrica) helms the kitchen, so expect upscale eats and old world wines to dominate their menu.
Taking over the now defunct One of a Kind Pasta, Canis is set to launch on Queen West this summer. Jeff Kang and Tosh Agassiz are heading up the kitchen team, with GM Adam Ashukian overseeing the space.
The Original San Francesco
The signs just went up on this Yonge north of Lawrence veal sammie institution, a welcome addition to the ‘hood. Second Cup shuttered just a few months ago, so here’s hoping this 50+ year-old franchise can breathe new life into the building when they open late August/September.
More Food News…
The Saint Tavern
Say goodbye to the Saint Tavern – they’ve closed their doors on Ossington but promise to be back at a new location. Replacing them? La Banane. Presented by King Street Food Company, La Banane will bring modernized French food to the popular strip this fall, with chef and chocolatier Brandon Olsen at helm.
Stay tuned for next month when we’ll have more news about the Chase Group taking plant life to new heights as they rethink the Pangaea space into Planta, an all veggie eatery with Chef David Lee in the kitchen.
On the heels of many a TIFF announcement, US retail giant Nordstrom is now seeking staff for their restaurant concept, at both the yet to open Eaton Centre and Yorkdale locations.
And we’re breaking bread with Silverstein’s for the last time this week. It was just announced that the bakery has suddenly closed after almost 100 years in business.
Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns
Food journalist and avid bun eater Amy Rosen will debut her first bakery shop, devoted to the sweet stuff when Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns opens in September at College and Ossington.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.