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The best new restaurants in Toronto for summer 2021

These are the best new restaurants in Toronto to hit up for the return to in-person dining, from beachside vibes to Mediterranean and fusion fare.

Summer in the 6ix is always an exciting time, and even more so this year after indoor dining's eight-month hiatus. With the return of going out again comes a whole slew of events, activities and new restaurants in Toronto.

Now that our meals no longer have to arrive at our doors in a takeout box, and we can head out in search of food and fun, there's an abundance of things to do in TorontoFood markets are waiting to fill the void that the city's food festivals left in our hearts. Gelato shops are seeing lineups down the block. And rooftop patios are ready to transport us to sunnier climes.

If you're having trouble deciding which restaurant patio to hit up first, look no further than these new restaurants in Toronto.

The best new restaurants in Toronto

Gia

1214 Dundas St. W.

This summer we said a bittersweet farewell to Italian pescatarian spot Ufficio on Dundas West. The restaurant we know is no more, but the same owners have transitioned to a new concept in the same space. Gia, meaning ‘God is gracious,’ sees the same delicious Italian fare, served in a more responsible manner. The plant-forward menu of fresh, handmade pasta is rooted in environmental sustainability, with produce coming from local suppliers like 100km Foods and Clearwater Farms.

Slurp up new dishes like creamy tortelli with wild mushrooms, Tuscan kale and truffle butter, alongside old Ufficio faves like the porcini agnolotti. Don’t worry, the fluffy house-made focaccia is still on the menu too. Organic and sustainable wines are prominent on the drinks list, but be sure to start with one of their craft cocktails, like the Crowd Pleaser with vodka, watermelon, basil and prosecco.

giarestaurant.ca

Vela

90 Portland St.

Inspired by a constellation of stars, this beautiful space was designed by award-winning architecture studio PARTISANS. Dine in an intimate booth, at a table in the lounge area or at the L-shaped bar that backs onto the open kitchen for a chef’s table experience. There’s also a champagne bar and a sprawling 2,000-square-foot patio.

More than a few big names are behind this new opening — VELA is a collaboration between Amanda Bradley (Alo and George) and Robin Goodfellow (Bar Raval), with a menu of seasonal new American cuisine by executive chef Jeffrey Lapointe (Soho House, Piano Piano). Start off with fresh seafood from the raw bar before tucking into mains like grilled Cornish hen and dry aged ribeye. Then wash it all down with Goodfellow’s craft cocktails.

velatoronto.com

Skyflower

292 College St.

Fans of MasterChef Canada winner Eric Chong will be pleased to hear that his Skyflower pop-up from last fall is back as a permanent fixture on College Street, just west of Spadina. Bask in the beauty of their lush, flower-laden heated rooftop patio, with spectacular views of the CN Tower and the city skyline. The club beats are bumping and the twinkle lights are glowing, while you sip on Instagram-worthy cocktails like the Skyflower and snack on share plates like lamb spiducci and fried popcorn chicken.

Toronto Beach Club

1681 Lake Shore Blvd. E.

Toronto Beach Club is the latest addition to Woodbine Beach's sprawling sandy waterfront. The massive patio, with views of the water and nearby volleyball courts, is lined by mature trees and strings of twinkly lights that will make you forget you're still in Toronto and not on a seaside European vacay. Even dining inside offers breezy beach villa vibes with pastel hues and stunning coastal-inspired decor. Dive into a menu of beautiful Mediterranean-style dishes and drinks.

thetorontobeachclub.com

Brasa Peruvian Kitchen

297 Campbell Ave.

After opening Baro and Petty Cash, restaurant entrepreneur Michel Falcon wanted to create a concept closer to his own heritage. Enter: Brasa Peruvian Kitchen. The fast-casual spot in the Junction Triangle doesn’t serve traditional Peruvian food, rather, it serves simple salads and bowls that will be familiar to Torontonians, with a focus on Peruvian flavours. Marinated proteins, dressings and toppings are where the Peruvian flare comes in.

brasaperuvian.com

Bar Le Germain

75 Bremner Blvd.

Located at the entrance of Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square, Bar Le Germain is a lush hideaway in the heart of downtown. Feast your eyes on the city's lights and art by infamous Montreal street artist Stikki Peaches while tucking into a bold summer menu. Chef Johnson Wu's Asian-fusion or "Wusian Fusian" fare is a must-try, especially those "Sammiches" — delectable chicken sandwiches stuffed with fried rice.

germainhotels.com

Myth

522 King St. W.

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Since The Citizen closed earlier this year, we’ve been waiting to see what UNIQ Hospitality had in store for the massive, 5,000 square-foot space. Enter: Myth restaurant, a Greek dining concept that'll take you to the seaside in Mykonos. Its menu of mezze (small plates) and mains like salt baked fish evoke traditional Aegean flavours.

mythrestaurant.com

d|azur

60 Yorkville Ave.

Longing to be in the south of France this summer? The Four Seasons’ new Côte d'Azur-inspired patio destination is the next best thing. The menu of light fare centres around seafood and seasonality with Mediterranean touches. Think oysters, caviar, ceviche and grilled octopus. An installation by Toronto artist Jason Zante sets the atmosphere, depicting the French Riviera’s azure waters.

fourseasons.com

Mattachioni East

1501 Gerrard St. E.

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This beloved Junction Italian grocery store has opened its second location at Gerrard and Coxwell. Eastenders can find the Italian grub and groceries that Mattachioni is known for — naturally-leavened pizzas and sourdough bread, quality pastas, coffee and baked goods galore. Pick up dinner supplies or take a seat on their bright-blue patio.

mattachioni.com

Island Oysters

3 Bartlett Ave.

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Known for their pop-ups, Island Oysters is putting down roots in Bloordale with their first brick-and-mortar shop. Fresh oysters from either coast, smoked fish platters and an assortment of mignonettes and hot sauces are available at their takeout window. A sustainable seafood shop is coming soon.

islandoysters.ca

Chadon Beni

936 Queen St. W.

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Chadon beni is a herb used in Caribbean cuisine, and now the name is also synonymous with a new restaurant and bar at Queen and Shaw. They serve (you guessed it) Caribbean-infused cuisine in the form of small plates like duck sliders topped with pear chutney and brie, and clam fritters with tamarind and mango chutney. A menu of tropical cocktails rounds things out.

@chadonbeni.to

Oji Seichi

354 Broadview Ave.

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The long-awaited ramen restaurant Oji Seichi has finally opened its doors in East Chinatown. Prior to this, executive chef Mitch Bates helmed the kitchen at Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko in New York, followed by stints at Toronto’s Momofuku Noodle Bar and Grey Gardens. Inspired by the owners’ Japanese Canadian roots, the ramen here is made with local, Canadian ingredients while their noodle machine was shipped from Japan.

ojiseichi.com

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