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14 hot new restaurants in Toronto that opened spring 2021

From beach-side smash burgers to decadent tasting menus, these are the hottest new restaurants in Toronto that opened this spring.

The best new restaurants in Toronto | Betty's chicken wings from the newly opened CoMMO Kitchen

After the longest, darkest winter in Toronto's history, spring has brought in a much-needed breath of fresh air — and fresh fare from Toronto's newest restaurants.

Feel like you've already ordered takeout and delivery from every spot in the city? Well, lucky for you, new restaurants in Toronto are always cropping up and we've got a list of hot spots that opened up as recently as this spring.

Pick up some rare vino from one of the bottle shops that have been taking over establishments all over the city, or grab some pre-bottled cocktails from your favourite bar and get ready to tuck into the best new bites in the city. We've got everything from a pizza joint that started out in a couple's backyard to fully-loaded fries that could give the poutine a run for its money.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to open up a new restaurant in Toronto in the middle (tail end?) of a pandemic and we salute these spots going out on a limb to bring excitement back to ordering in.

What's more, patios have finally reopened, offering even more reason to check out these hot new restaurants in Toronto.

14 new restaurants in Toronto that opened spring 2021

GG’S Burgers

1681 Lake Shore Blvd E.

While it definitely ranks among Toronto’s most popular beaches, Woodbine Beach’s food options have always been lacking, to say the least. The first in a series of hospitality projects intended to revitalize the area and transform the boardwalk, GG’s Burgers is now slinging smash burgers beach-side. Inspired by the “psychedelic era of peace and love,” the retro burger joint comes to us from restaurateur Hanif Harji (Shook, Lapinou, Byblos).

Beach-goers can sink their teeth into GG’s menu of hand-held favourites like fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers (they’ve got a veggie burger, too), alongside crispy onion rings or fries. On the bevvy side, milkshakes round out the old school vibe, but they’ve also got beer and canned cocktails on offer.

ggsburgers.com

Camp Smokehouse

300 College St.

After stealing the show at the CNE, Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken gained a cult following for its Nashville-hot-meets-Japanese-street-food fried chicken. Now, founder and owner Harasinski Gillis is back with a new pop-up concept: Camp Smokehouse.

Seasoned with pink peppercorn for a slightly fruity flavour, the AAA-marinated beef is smoked for a minimum of 12 hours over Canadian oak or cherry wood (chopped by their very own team), before being rested for two hours and served. Go for The Mess Hall: brisket topped with creamy house-made coleslaw and zesty apple barbecue sauce on a brioche bun, and be sure to add on some of their smoked fries.

campsmokehouse.com

CoMMO Kitchen

1301 Queen St. E.

Following the success of CoMMO Kitchen, a one-stop takeout spot that has been operating out of Betty’s on King since February, comes a second location. CoMMO (which stands for Community of Menus and Meals Online) has launched an east end outpost next to The Burren Pub (formerly The Céilí Cottage), serving vegetable lasagna, chicken curry, Betty’s pub fare, unique wine, beer, batched cocktails and more.

commo.ca

One Night Only Pizza

581 Pape Ave.

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When COVID stopped a husband and wife from being able to host their Friday night pizza parties with friends, the duo started boxing up their homemade pies for contactless pickup. Word spread and the backyard pizza pop-up grew into a full restaurant, now with its own brick- and-mortar shop on Pape just south of the Danforth.

ono.pizza

Dave’s Hot Chicken

1582 Queen St. W.

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John Bitove, co-founder of the Toronto Raptors, and his daughter Blair have opened the first Dave’s Hot Chicken location outside California in Parkdale. The hot chicken franchise specializes in tenders and sliders, with seven levels of spice, from no heat all the way up to the darkly named 'reaper.' Heat fiends beware — that last one requires you to sign a waiver first. Sides like kale slaw and creamy mac ‘n’ cheese are available to help you keep your cool.

daveshotchicken.com

CB Bottega

29 Ripley Ave.

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If we had to choose our favourite food groups, it might just be cheese and gelato (sssh, they definitely count). Lucky for us then that The Cheese Boutique is expanding their 45 Ripley Avenue landmark with CB Bottega — a gelateria, bakery, coffee and cookware space a few doors down from the main shop. Summer plans: sipping caffè and pretending we’re in Milano.

@cb_bottega

Crosley’s

214 Ossington Ave.

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Crosley’s began as a pop-up dinner series out of Queen West's Bar Piquette, but now has its own home on the Ossington strip. Every weekend, they serve a four-course takeaway dinner made with sustainably-sourced, local ingredients. The rotating menu might include items like a ham hock and foie gras terrine, grilled monk fish and rice pudding with stewed cherries.

crosleys.ca

Midori Ramen

412 Queen St. W. 

A recent arrival to Queen Street West, Midori was born out of a dream to share traditional Japanese cuisine with Torontonians. Executive chefs Masaru Ogasawara and Natsuhiko Sugimoto hail from Japan, bringing with them decades of experience in the kitchen. Their signature tori paitan ramen is made with a creamy, umami-packed chicken broth — and a healthier option than pork-based ramen. They also have kale or gluten-free noodle options, so all preferences and requirements are well catered to.

midoriramen.com

A1 Submarines

1265 Dundas St. W.

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From the team behind Extra Burger comes A1 Submarines, a sandwich shop right next door at the corner of Dundas and Dovercourt. Lunches will never be lacklustre again, thanks to a rotating menu of all-killer-no-filler subs like the Eggplant Supreme, Turkey Bacon BLT and the Mortadella Pickle. Currently, they’re open Tuesday to Sunday afternoons and orders can only be placed in person or via Uber Eats.

@a1submarines

Moon Palace

40 Dundas St. W.

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New to the Atrium on Dundas, Moon Palace has taken over the former home of Thai chain Spring Rolls. The Cantonese restaurant is here to make our dim sum dreams come true with a wide selection of dumplings. Other specialties include stir-fry and seafood, so expect entrées like whole lobster on a bed of fried crispy egg noodles.

moon-palace.ca

Harry and Heels California Donuts

832 Dundas St. W.

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Newly opened inside The Fourth Man in the Fire Pizzeria, Harry and Heels offers donuts covered in glistening glazes or bursting with creamy fillings. Choose from a variety of flavours, from Hawaiian and chocolate glaze to maple bacon and cinnamon toast crunch.

harryandheelsdonuts.com

Ambassador Pizza Co.

946 Bloor St. W.

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Pizza comes in all different styles depending on the city — there’s New York, Naples, Detroit and… Windsor. If you didn’t know Windsor had its own style of pizza, boy do we have tasty news for you. New arrival Ambassador Pizza Co. specializes in Windsor-style 'za, with an easy menu of options like The Big Three, with pepperoni, sausage and bacon.

ambassadorpizzaco.ca

German Doner Kebab

246 Queen St. W.

International fast-casual chain German Doner Kebab has landed in Toronto, taking over the space that formerly housed Café Crepe on Queen West. Founded in Berlin way back in 1989, the restaurant specializes in traditional kebabs. Along with their namesake German doner kebab, they also serve wraps, burgers and, erm, quesadillas. The brand plans to continue its Canada-wide takeover with two more restaurants slated to open later this year.

germandonerkebab.com

Man vs Fries

Multiple Locations

Shhhh, don’t tell the poutine, but there’s a new loaded fry dish in town. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area and expanding across the U.S., Man vs Fries has finally landed in Canada with nine new locations, four of which are in Toronto. Aiming to “elevate and evolve the french fry into its maximum self,” the restaurant lets you choose between curly or straight fries, then load them up with toppings like carne asada or the CBR fries with chicken, bacon, ranch, cheese and guacamole.

manvsfries.com

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