18 hot new restaurants in Toronto that opened this spring

Be among the first to try these brand new bars and restaurants in Toronto, from a stock exchange themed bar with live tickers to a late 1800s Parisian apothecary. 

New restaurants in Toronto for spring 2023 | Steak tartare at Bar Prequel

Ever since the constant fear of looming lockdowns lifted, it seems like there's been a new restaurant opening in Toronto every day. For the first time in a long time, it's all blue skies and warmer days ahead, and it looks like everyone got the memo that Toronto needs a fresh new face for spring.

Classic spots have gotten makeovers like the iconic Lakeview Restaurant and others have moved to new homes like Rol San's new location further up Spadina. Cuisines that have previously been underrepresented in Toronto are stepping into the spotlight, like Laotian food at the new Lao Lao Bar. The city is blossoming, and with it comes a whole slew of new restaurants in Toronto. 

It's a good thing too, because Torontonians love anything novel, especially new restaurants — almost as much as we love posting up on the city's best patios as soon as warm weather arrives (which is very soon). Not to mention all of the food festivals, activities and things to do in Toronto that get people out of their houses and swarming the city streets. It's a promising time full of excitement for things to come. The best restaurants in the city are changing with the addition of all these new openings in Toronto and the culinary scene is too.

From Spanish flavours at Casa Paco and Israeli eats at Miznon to an 1800s Parisian apothecary and a stock exchange themed cocktail lounge with live ticker boards, these are the most alluring and exciting new restaurants in Toronto to add to your list this spring. 

1. Prequel and Co. Apothecary

1036 Queen St. W.

Prequel and Co. Apothecary may have a secret entrance, a back-door exit and a pervasive mystique, but owner Frankie Solarik firmly rejects describing it as a speakeasy. He isn’t setting out to hide the bar, or the cocktail program; instead, the secrecy is simply a step in the immersive environment he’s created.

The carefully curated experience begins as soon as you enter Prequel’s faux “storefront”; dried herbs, spices and botanicals line deep-brown oak walls in dusty jars, classic French music drifts down from invisible overhead speakers, and an immaculately restored antique rotary telephone glistens behind a receptionist’s desk. After a short wait, one party at a time is ushered through a secret entrance to Prequel’s spacious back room bar.

As you gawk at the mysterious and detailed environment, it’s almost a pleasant surprise when you remember you’ll be enjoying delicious drinks here, too. Fans of BarChef’s experiential Modernist series won’t find the same over-the-top tipples here — instead, drinks are approachable, shining through details like spices ground à la minute (to order), and many are generously spirit-forward.

Designed by Tim Luke, who also worked on Solarik’s Netflix hit Drink Masters, Prequel and Co. Apothecary is an ode to late 1800s Parisian apothecaries — establishments that once laid the foundation of today’s modernist cocktail scene. It’s also, to be frank, so cool. It’s already a must-visit bar in the city.


2. Casa Paco

50c Clinton St.

Strolling along Clinton Street, you might mistake Casa Paco for another red brick Little Italy rowhouse. But tucked behind the cream casement windows and charming french doors is a homey restaurant that'll fool you into thinking it's been in the neighbourhood for years.

The concise menu is a mix of chef Rob Bragagnolo's Italian upbringing with much-adored Spanish flavours: charcoal grilled fish glistening with olive oil, salty boquerones, incomprehensibly perfect handmade bread, and the rich, slightly nutty taste of 100 per cent jamon iberico — and that's just the starters. Mains like hand-rolled gnocchi and Bragagnolo's family's prized pasticcio di funghi (like a lasagna, but with thin Venetian crepe layers) are as comforting and flawless as Stanley Tucci on my TV screen.


3. Short Turn

576 Queen St. W.

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We love 416 Snack Bar so much, we wished there was another one to handle the high demand of folks always lined up for a table. In March, our dreams came true and the immensely popular spot at Bathurst and Queen opened a second location right around the corner on Queen Street West.

Short Turn serves all our favourite snacks from 416 — the eggplant double down, Korean fried chicken, steak tartare — but set in a shiny new atmosphere that’s reminiscent of a streetcar ride (in an idyllic, utopian Toronto). Just like the streetcars with the same moniker, a digital sign out front reads "416 Snack Bar Short Turn." Cute and clever. While the bartenders can still whip up anything, Short Turn has an actual cocktail menu of their riffs on the classics like the cellophane plane, a more boozy take on a paper plane.


4. Taverne Tamblyn

1426 Danforth Ave.

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Chef Ben Gundy has been running a Summerhill butcher shop for 10 years, and recently decided to move from behind the counter to behind the pass at Taverne Tamblyn, a warm, neighbourhood French-style bistro on the Danforth. We’d make reservations here just to enjoy a piece of his fluffy, freshly baked French country loaves, but everything here wows, from the beef bourguignon to the creme caramel paired with Grand Marnier.


5. CKTL & Co.

330 Bay St.

The Financial District has a new spot for luxe cocktails and internationally-inspired bites. The stock exchange themed cocktail lounge promises a drink list as diverse as the market itself set in a sleek space known as the “Trading Floor.” The theme isn’t just for show though — CKTL & Co. features live ticker boards and menu prices that actually fluctuate with popularity.


6. Lao Lao Bar

5 Joseph St.

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Jason Jiang and Seng Luong have a predilection for two things: naming restaurants twice and creating totally delicious food concepts. The owners behind one of Toronto’s most beloved Thai eateries, Sabai Sabai (which closed after a decade), recently launched Lao Lao Bar in the Yonge and Wellesley hood, which showcases the couple’s Laotian heritage.

In a city proud of its multiculturalism, and one that’s brimming with South East Asian cuisine, there’s something of a Lao-shaped hole. The pair hope to bring Lao’s tangy traditional flavours to the masses via dishes like laap (a meat-based salad with fish oil and lime juice), tapioca dumplings and skewered barbecue meats dipped in Laotian chili sauce. Order one of their refreshing and unusual cocktails (hello, celery!), and soak up the ambience in Lao Lao’s French colonial-inspired dining room.


7. Crafty Ramen

217 Ossington Ave.

Two locations, one heat-and-eat ramen kit side hustle, and one successful appearance on Dragon’s Den later, and Crafty Ramen is finally putting down roots in Toronto. Jared and Miki Ferrall saved up to open their Crafty Ramen restaurants in Guelph and Waterloo before the pandemic threw a curveball. Ossington is the latest recipient of their egg-less, chewy vegan noodles made with Canadian wheat flour. Munch on spicy chicken tan tan ramen and crispy brussels sprouts slathered in house-made chili jam at the counter.


8. Miznon

1235 Bay St.

Israeli chef Eyal Shani was the architect of the cauliflower's transformation from flimsy floret to the regal, roasted head it appears as in many restaurants today. Now, you'll have the opportunity to try the recipe that started it all at Miznon, Shani's Mediterranean street food restaurant. It touched down in Yorkville in early February 2023 with a menu chock-full of delicious dishes like pitas topped with AAA rib-eye slices, and creamy lima bean mesabaha.


9. Liberty Soho

139 East Liberty St.

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It's not uncommon to see a crowd of people spilling out of Ruby Soho and onto King West — especially once the weather gets nice. The popular bar has now expanded into Liberty Village with a brand new location, and, psst, their happy hour is Monday to Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stop by for brunch (weekends only) at 11 a.m. or stay until way past our bedtime for cocktails and those garlic parm fries.


10. Bar Sugo

1279 Bloor St. W.

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If you've been missing the sweet joys of Conzo's pizza (IYKYK), don't fret. Bar Sugo has you covered on the 'za front and then some. Right next door to sister spot Sugo, this Bloordale neighbourhood joint feels intentionally old-school Italian with its wood-burning pizza oven, checkered tablecloths and framed Jesus painting. It's certainly been blessed by the pizza gods with a menu of perfect pies topped with buffalo mozzarella and Sugo's famous sauces. Must try pies: Gigi, their classic pepperoni topped with grated grana padano; spicy Vesuvio's with Calabrese salumi and jalapeño; and Little Italy with whipped ricotta.


11. Dia

387 Bloor St. E.

There's something glamorous about dining at a hotel restaurant in your own city — and Dia, inside the newly opened Canopy Hilton, does not disappoint. It's hard to miss Yorkville's latest addition, towering multiple stories above Bloor Street East, but you'll find this isn't your average high-rise. Gorgeous curves and local artwork greet you en route to the second floor, where Dia shines in all her posh glory. Stay for signature cocktails and seasonal dishes as comforting as the plush surroundings.


12. Dotty’s

1588 Dupont St.

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A visit to Dotty’s always feels like stumbling upon a hidden gem. The new restaurant and wine bar in the Junction Triangle has perfected an air of casual comfort, but peer closer at your plate and real care and creativity appears. Menu names skew towards tongue-and-cheek simplicity (e.g. cheese burger, fries, steak) but chef Jay Carter’s flavours and attention to detail are anything but boring.


13. Bad Attitude Bread

816 Dundas St. W.

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When Bad Attitude Bread opened its full-fledged brick-and-mortar location on Dundas West, a massive “BIKE SHOP” sign still hung outside from the previous business. The baked goods displayed inside were titled with names hastily scribbled on pieces of painter’s tape. Despite Bad Attitude’s storefront bedhead, on their opening day they sold out of everything — not a crumb of inventory spared — in just over two and a half hours. It was a remarkable success for the business that started, two years ago, as an Instagram account and a dream.

Bunner’s Bake Shop alum, Logan Dunn doesn’t want his treats to be delicious even though they’re vegan — rather, because of it. He’s all about buttery, sweet European style desserts like cheesecake braids, galettes and pecan tarts, but no visit to Bad Attitude Bread is complete without filling up on one of Dunn’s famous cheesy everything bagel buns.


14. Burdock Brewery

6 Denison Square

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If Burdock Brewery in Bloordale Village is too far for you to travel for fermented and wine-barrel-aged brews, we have good news for you. The brewery has taken up residence in Kensington Market, now occupying the former Sasmart space (check out the nod to the iconic department store with the same style signage now spelling out Burdock). While you can’t sit down for a bevvy and a bite at this brewing facility, fans can grab beer, merch and local provisions (Scout Canning, Propeller Coffee) from the retail shop.


15. Kismet Turkish Restaurant

782 Queen St. E.

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If you've found yourself in the Riverside neighbourhood recently, you may have noticed the newly opened Kismet. In case it's not clear from the very large "Chicken, Kebab, Doner" signage on the front, they're really good at those three specialties. The whole roast chicken is perfectly moist (sorry, but that word just works) and beyond satisfying. They have five-types of mouthwatering kebabs, each served on a platter with rice, blistered vegetables and bread.


16. Bar Habana

92 Ossington Ave.

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Retro Cuban diner on Ossington, La Cubana’s lively younger brother Bar Habana recently moved from Leslieville to the west end restaurant’s secret back room. Duck under a neon Havana Club sign, then follow the hazy red lights to discover the intoxicating late-night Cuban lounge and rum bar.

With a green foliage ceiling, palm trees sprouting out of every corner and an intimate dance floor, Habana feels like you’ve pulled up to the best Friday night party in Havana. A DJ bumps Latin pop mashups, and in such a small room, it gets loud — but after a few freshly shaken rum cocktails, we definitely didn’t mind.

Both Cubana and Habana are owned by chef Corinna Mozo, and her mouth-watering recipes shine on both menus. There are only a few tables in Bar Habana, so if you don’t manage to score one, head back out to La Cubana to snag a seat and gorge on delicious Cuban fare.


17. Trinity Market

768A Queen St. W.

We could see Matt Dean Pettit and Javier Castillo’s new spot becoming a Trinity Bellwoods supply shop this summer. Whether you’re looking to pick up a unique vino for a picnic… ahem… not in the park, some food from other familiar Toronto restaurants (Bad Attitude Bread biscuits, Noce pizza, Blackbird Baking Co. baguettes) or a cup of fresh coffee from The Roasted Nut, Trinity Market has got you covered.

True to its name, Trinity Market is, in essence, a market — a small business collaboration hub where you can find some of your favourite local products and an endless stream of pop-ups. On weekend afternoons, get a casual introduction to pairing wine and snacks with their Sip School program.


18. Black + Blue 

130 King St. W.

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This Vancouver export has finally touched down in Toronto, taking up residence in the old Toronto Stock Exchange space. As you might expect, Black + Blue has plenty of steak (its Himalayan salt aging room is full of rare meat), but you'll also find seafood towers, pasta dishes and a sushi selection. The three-storey space — with a stunning dining room and rooftop terrace — is really something to see, but it's the ground-level heated patio where you'll find us sipping on martinis all summer long.