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The best new restaurants in Toronto to try this winter

Dining in might be off the table, but you can still try the best new restaurants in Toronto this winter — even if it's just for delivery or takeout.

The best new restaurants in Toronto | A dish from Enigma Fine Dining in Yorkville

While restaurants remain closed for indoor dining, it may seem like the weekend warrior ritual of discovering new favourite hotspots is off the table. Au contraire! Not even a lockdown can stop this city's restaurateurs from opening up shop (well, for takeout and delivery that is), and we've got a list of the best new restaurants in Toronto.

After you've run through all the things to do in Toronto this month, settle in with a tipple from your favourite drink delivery service or, if you're celebrating a dry(ish) January, one of these low-alcohol hard seltzers and sodas, and get ready to explore the city's latest culinary exploits.

It takes a lot of courage to open a restaurant amidst a global pandemic, and we salute these new spots. You can't dine in right now, so support these brave souls by ordering delivery or takeout.

Besides, you need to make sure you're still in the know as soon as all these spots open up fully, so make sure you're ahead of the curve.

From fine dining tasting menus at Enigma to a Filipino fried chicken chain that's sweeping the globe to world-famous croissant chain Hazukido, these are the best new restaurants in Toronto.

21 of the best new restaurants in Toronto to try right now

Matty's Patty's Burger Club

923a Queen St. W.

Fans of homegrown hero Matty Matheson now have a permanent spot where they can get their hands on the celebrity chef's beloved burgers. Directly across from Trinity Bellwoods park on Queen West, Matty's Patty's serves their hefty burgers on a sesame milk bun, topped with gooey American cheese and with a side of fries. An Impossible vegetarian burger is also on offer. Be sure to pre-order on their site ahead of pickup.

mattyspattysburgerclub.com

Azhar

96 Ossington Ave.

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Gusto 54, the restaurant group behind Kiin, Pai, Chubby's and Gusto 101, has expanded their empire with a new foray into Middle Eastern fare. Open as of January on the Ossington strip, Azhar started out as a marketplace peddling made-in-house dips, spreads, seasoned cheese and fire-baked bread, but their menu is set to also include skewered meat and seafood. At the heart of the restaurant, the custom-built wood-fire oven is where all the magic happens.

azhartoronto.com

District Pizza

32 Gristmill Lane

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With restaurants shuttered for indoor dining, the chefs and front of house staff from the Distillery District's establishments (Madrina, El Catrin, Cluny, Pure Spirits) have shifted their focus from fine-dining to fast food. Operating out of the former home of Greg's Ice Cream, District Pizza is the latest venture from the Distillery Restaurants Corp.

Their pizza dough is fermented for two days to increase its sourness and hydration for a blistered and chewy crust while their organic Bianco DiNapoli tomato sauce is slow-cooked with tamari soy to give it a rich, umami flavour. They don't allow for substitutions, but we don't blame 'em. Cleverly named with carefully curated toppings, pizzas like the 'Go Home 2020, You're Drunk' (anaka-style meatballs, chorizo, anchovies, green olives, smoked provolone and sunflower seed salsa verde) are meant to be enjoyed just as they are.

districtpizza.ca

Adobar

Online only

Launched by an enterprising brother and sister duo after they were laid off from their jobs thanks to COVID, Adobar is a home-based food service offering modern Filipino fare for delivery or takeout via Instagram direct messages. The small but mighty menu is all about adobo, a popular dish that involves slow-cooking or stewing the meat in special seasonings. Once you sink your teeth into the juicy, flavourful porc adobar, you'll understand why the menu doesn't need to feature much else.

@adobar.to

Lambo's Deli and Grocery

176 Bellwoods Ave.

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Sandwiches are already near-perfect vessels, but there's a new place in Trinity Bellwoods that has truly perfected the art of the deli sandwich. Lambo's Deli and Grocery right across from Trinity Bellwoods Park serves up fully-loaded Italian-style subs that are truly bellissimo. Meat lovers will rejoice with their Italian Trio of capocollo, mortadella and prosciutto tucked beside fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper and a Calabrian chili spread. Vegetarians can find love too with their Italian Vegetable sub or a creamy vegan Caesar salad.

lambosdeli.ca

Hazukido

595 Bay St Unit E-01

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World-renowned croissant chain Hazukido has landed at Bay and Dundas with their very first North American installment. The rotating menu of over 100 different kinds of croissants goes way beyond the typical butter or chocolate options. Honeycomb, raspberry pana cotta and hazelnut chocolate are among the sweet flavours, but the savoury snacks are the real showstoppers. Go for the fan-favourite salted egg yolk croissant with a gooey, yellow centre.

hazukido.ca

Enigma

23 St. Thomas St.

There's a new option for fine dining in Yorkville ­— and this one serves French afternoon tea. Head chef Quinton Bennett and pastry chef Calvin Wat each worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world before opening Enigma. For dinner, the modern European restaurant serves a seasonal tasting menu — pre-order for takeout while indoor dining remains in flux. They've also turned their restaurant into a boulangerie where you can find sweet and savoury pastries and snacks, wine by the bottle and beer.

enigmafinedining.com

Thindi Café

400 College st.

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What started as a husband and wife duo serving up Indian street food from a stand at the World Food Market near Dundas Square has grown to include a new brick and mortar location on College Street. Slurp up their vegetarian noodle dishes like the butter chicken style paneer makhani or the desi mac and cheese topped with toasted breadcrumbs.

thindi.ca

Prohibition Social House

696 Queen St. E.

After unending construction on the new LRT caused Prohibition Gastrohouse to close their Eglinton location earlier this year, the pandemic lockdown delivered the fatal blow to their OG spot, shutting down the Queen Street East stalwart after over a decade in business. Luckily for eastenders, the property was scooped up by Aidan Hospitality (also of Grace O'Malley's and the Wallace) and has been given a second chance at life under the new name Prohibition Social House. Like the moniker, the bar still feels relatively the same, despite a full reno to revamp the space and a new menu of creative cocktails and elevated bar staples (like the pulled brisket poutine with squeaky cheese curds and house-made gravy). While upgrades are great and all, they've managed to hold onto some of the original bar's staff, which is the real selling point.

prohibitionsocialhouse.com

PAI Northern Thai Kitchen

2335 Yonge St.

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This Entertainment District favourite finally has an uptown spot. The flagship restaurant always saw lineups out the door pre-COVID, so the new location offers 12,000 square feet of breathing room. Expect a mix of old and new dishes, and a brand new bar programme.

paitoronto.com

Parkette

487 Adelaide St. W.

With indoor dining, um, out, we're looking at ways to imbibe that don't involve frostbite. Petty Cash might be known for rowdy Saturday nights barside — but until March 31, 2021, the local fave will be winterizing its outdoor setup. Partnering with Grey Goose, the Adelaide haunt presents Parkette, a fully heated, partially covered patio, with signature menus, cocktail classes and events to warm your cockles all winter long.

pettycashtoronto.com

La Flaca

920 Queen St. W.

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Spanish tapas was supposed to be the name of the game at this quaint little spot on Queen West, until COVID got in the way, that is. Currently they're operating as a coffee shop and bodega with bottles of wine and beer available, and an online shop with delivery in the works. We'll have to wait to satiate our craving for patatas bravas, but it'll be worth it.

laflaca.ca

Cubby Smart Kitchen

106 Queen St. E.

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With a fully automated ordering and serving system, Cubby Smart Kitchen will have you feeling like a crew member on the Starship Enterprise. Place your order on UberEats, Skip the Dishes or DoorDash, then arrive at the Queen East spot to see your food magically materialize in one of the self-serve cubbies onsite.

cubbykitchen.com

Casa Portuguesa

682 Caledonia Rd.

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Located in the Castlefield Design district (northwest of Dufferin St. and Eglinton Ave.), Casa Portuguesa may have trendy, industrial décor but the authentic dishes are as comforting as a meal lovingly cooked by your Portuguese Avó (grandma). The affordable, daily-changing menu is great for lunch on-the-go or for a more leisurely sit-down dinner on the patio, newly adorned with freshly painted murals. Speaking of fresh, the selection of grilled seafood from squid to sea bream will whisk you away to a sun-soaked beach in the Algarve. There's a whole section of the menu dedicated to chicken, too — and, of course, the staple house-made, tongue-tingling hot or sweet piri piri sauces. For a real good time, grab your mates and settle in for the Portuguesa Party Platter.

casaportuguesato.com

Love Child Pizza

69 Bathurst St.

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Night clubs are so 2019, but pizza is always in. Love Child Social House had to re-imagine their successful downtown-nightclub-meets-coworking-space and re-launch as a pizza joint and indoor socially distanced beer garden. But we're not complaining, because the pizzas are not only delicious, but extremely photogenic and come with playful names like 'In My Feelings' and the sweet 'Pour Some Sugar on Me.'

lovechildsocial.com

Eat Nabati

160 Baldwin St.

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Kensington just got even cooler with this new vegan Middle Eastern restaurant, which ticks all the big-trend boxes. Eat Nabati's wallet-friendly menu (most dishes are under $10) is full of Middle Eastern favourites like stuffed falafel, pockets of pita filled with roasted eggplant, and the Mama shawarma with vegan chicken that's genuinely good. They have three types of tempting tahini sauces, too. Do you think it's socially acceptable to smother the za'atar caulilflower bowl in all three... ?

eatnabati.com

Libertad Cocina Mexicana

133 Jefferson Ave.

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Who wants to go to Mexico, anyway? Libertad Cocina Mexicana is almost as good — and a shorter trip. The tacos are all $5 and feature freshly made tortillas from sister project Maizal Tortilleria. The Baja fish taco is the most popular, but it's hard to play favourites when each taco is beyond bueno.

libertad.ca

Abu Hummus

199 Baldwin St.

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A restaurant dedicated to hummus? Where have you been our whole life? This chickpea eatery (chickpea-tery?) is making hummus more than a side thing. Chickpeas are imported from Turkey and everything is made from scratch. Each bowl is lined with hummus before being filled with garlic veggie stew, beef shawarma and more.

abuhummus.com

La Bartola

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The plant-based dishes are as colourful as the walls at this College Street oasis. Chef Ivan Castro grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother in Mexico City and has melded his foodie past with the power of plants. Find unconventional plates, like herbed guacamole and tetela bayo bean triangles (corn masa filled with refried beans). Yum.

labartola.ca

Bramble Gastropub

2956 Bloor St. W.

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Deep west end dwellers now have a new spot for elevated British pub fare and classic cocktails with the opening of Bramble Gastropub in the Kingsway Village. Scotch eggs with lamb sausage, beer-battered haddock fish and chips and seasonal sausage with mashed potatoes and maple-baked beans all make it onto the menu, and they serve a British Sunday roast every, erm, Sunday.

brambletoronto.com

Jollibee

334 Yonge St.

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Torontonian's can finally get their mitts on the mouth-wateringly crispy-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside fried chicken that Jollibee is known for. The largest fast-food chain in the Philippines recently opened a new location at Yonge and Dundas with one soon to follow at Yonge and Eglinton. While the finger-licking chicken may have all the star power, the menu also features spaghetti, burgers and palabok fiesta — a traditional Filipino noodle dish with sautéed pork, shrimp and egg in a garlic sauce.

jollibeecanada.com

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