The 24 best new Toronto restaurants and bars that opened this spring

This season has seen an astonishing number of amazing new Toronto restaurants pop up across town. Here are the bars and bites you need to try this spring.

Best new restaurants Toronto | Small plates at Azura

We're calling it: 2024 is the year of new Toronto restaurants. The colder months are usually a slow time for the industry, but tons of new Toronto restaurants opened this winter and now spring is seeing an even bigger boom.

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The best restaurants in Toronto are being shaken up by newcomers with something to prove to the city's discerning diners. Wine and beer used to cut it, but these days it seems like every spot doubles as one of the city's excellent cocktail bars. Tasting menus are everywhere and Toronto brunch is taking over. New Toronto restaurants have big shoes to fill, but with the wide range of openings all over the city, we're eager to see which ones can make the cut and last in this city.

We've narrowed this list down to the 24 new Toronto restaurants and bars opened this spring that we're most excited about. A sequel to Frankie Solarik's Prequel and Co. Apothecary is stirring up the cocktail game on Dundas West. A massive arcade bar with bottle service has taken over a historic building on King West. The Civil Liberties is running a new Aussie-themed bar steps away from its OG spot. Hospitality giant, O&B is behind a number of new restaurants on this list and the grungy Ballroom Bowl gets a glow-up with a sparkling new location in Yorkville. Spring has sprung and the streets are alive with new Toronto restaurant openings.  

The 24 best new Toronto restaurants that opened this spring

1. Compton Ave.

1282 Dundas St. W.

An ode to a city with one of the best cocktail scenes in the world, Compton Ave. emulates a London, U.K. address. Everything from the immaculate exterior (completely transformed from its previous occupant, Founder) to the antique art (including an original 1855 Heinrich Hollpein piece, ‘Portrait of a Lady in Black’) will transport you to Europe. Compton Ave. is the latest joint cooked up by Netflix-famous mixologist Frankie Solarik, and naturally, the cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint. There are four excellent twists on the martini, plus classics like the London Fog and Mayfair Sour, balanced booze-free drinks and a rotating selection of signature draught tipples. Small bites are all English-inspired, too; Yorkshire beef tartare is served with smoked crème fraîche, and tender beef cheek gets mixed into cottage pie croquettes.

comptonave.com

2. Blue Bovine

65 Front St. W.

Remember when you sprinted through Union Station to catch your train? Now, it’s a culinary concourse. Blue Bovine is the fanciest addition, taking up 1,600-square-feet of the main floor with its steak and sushi wonderland. Kevin O’Leary and Mitch Marner are the big names attached to this BlueBlood Steakhouse sister spot, but the first-rate program from sushi master Yi-Joo Na and cocktail menu from veteran Bryan Laylo (BarChef, Mother) should not be overlooked.

bluebovine.com

3. Azura

162 Danforth Ave.

We need a little more bang for our tasting menu buck in this economy. Azura on Danforth offers diners a 10-course Gourmet Chef’s Tasting Menu for a very reasonable $127, filled with beautifully presented dishes and a mix of Mediterranean ingredients and flavours. The chef’s tasting experience lasts approximately 2.5 hours, but if time and money are of the essence, there’s a condensed version (4-7 courses) for $78.

restaurantazura.com

4. Lisbon Hotel

19 Lawren Harris Square

Though its name is a non sequitur, Lisbon Hotel — actually a wine bar in the Corktown neighbourhood — is a hit. Located on the ground floor of a condo complex, top design firm Saucier + Perrotte has turned a potentially soulless lobby into a vibey space with romantic nooks, Persian rugs and a gorgeous bar. Sally Gillespie (Bar Raval, Pretty Ugly) is shaking tasty tipples for under $20, while Adam Hijazi’s tapas menu fills bellies at cocktail hour.

lisbonhotel.ca

5. Leslie's Sandwich Room

969 Queen St. E.

The pillowy focaccia at Leslie’s Sandwich Room, with its pockets of air bubbles and generous olive oil and salt sprinkling, is worth crossing the DVP alone. Once you’re there, you might as well pull up a stool and get both mitts around one of their sammies stuffed to the brim with Italian deli meats, house-cured tuna or roasted beef.

lesliessandwichrooms.com

6. Muay Thai Restaurant and Bar

325 Queen St. W.

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If you’re looking for a Thai restaurant that punches above its weight, this downtown eatery is just the thing. The family behind several Thai joints in the GTA is launching Muay Thai Restaurant and Bar, which blends Thai culture with food and martial arts. Menu highlights include a street-food-inspired pad Thai and a whole crab on fried rice, plus some spicy, signature sips.

muaythairesto.com

7. The Ballroom Bowl Yorkville

1 Bloor St. E.

John Street’s iconic bowling alley-bar has just gotten the Yorkville treatment, and it’s a strike. Just beneath Yonge and Bloor, Ballroom Bowl Yorkville is swanky enough to impress a first date. There are eight gorgeous lanes (plus two reserved for VIPs) to let the good times roll, plus a long bar and dining room to enjoy the elevated food and drink menu.

theballroombowl.ca

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8. Electric Bill

866 Bloor St. W. 

Best new Toronto restaurants | Good Egg cocktail at Electric Bill Bar
Best new Toronto restaurants | A snack at Electric Bill Bar

We jumped at the chance to check out Electric Bill, a new drinking den by Toronto-Australian bartender Casey Ryan and the Civil Liberties team. The two bars are mere steps away from each other and both pour exceptional cocktails, but that’s where the similarities end. Electric Bill is inspired by the land down under, and we couldn’t help but chuckle at the green wallpaper emblazoned with cockatoos and koalas, and the cheeky Aussie-slang tipple titles, all listed in an actual Oxford dictionary-turned-menu. We’d return just for the oat milk-clarified Sticky Beak – it’s one of the best drinks we’ve had the pleasure of knocking back.

electricbillbar.ca

9. Bar Ardo

169 King St. E.

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King East just got a new spot for Sicilian small plates and cocktails just minutes away from its predecessor, Ardo. For their next trick, wife-and-husband team Jacqueline Nicosia and chef Roberto Marotta have created Bar Ardo, a dreamy spot for after-work drinks and bites. Expect the same delicious culinary inspiration from their beloved Italy, but this time in technicolour, with splashes of colour seen everywhere from plate to glass and even in the restaurant's textured design. 

barardo.ca

10. Mossop’s Social House

56 Yonge St.

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There is no bad time to visit Mossop’s Social House, an all-day hangout spot attached to the newly renovated Hotel Victoria. WestGrove Design has created a space with so many cozy nooks and crannies, complete with velvet couches, flowery wallpaper and kitschy lamps and adornments that you might find you grow roots. Head here for locally roasted coffee from Detour Coffee, Levantine breakfast spreads, and bourekas pastries first thing in the morning. Grab hummus, za'atar fries, and  Israeli chopped salad for lunch with coworkers, or snag a table for two and enjoy date night dinner and specialty cocktails and drinks. 

mossops.ca

11. Greta Bar YYZ

590 King St. W.

Best new restaurants in Toronto | Inside Great Bar on King West

Old meets new at Greta Bar, a 12,500-square-foot arcade bar that has moved into a heritage building at King and Portland. The massive space houses over 50 arcade games from vintage classics to state-of-the-art experiences, along with a sit-down dining area and space for a dance floor for weekend DJs. Cocktails and local craft beer are on the menu.

gretabar.com

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11. Wok Boyz

171 E Liberty St. Unit No. 121

This popular Dubai-based street food chain has opened its first Canadian location, tucked away in Liberty Village’s Liberty Market Building. With its dazzlingly bright storefront sign, you can’t miss it. Pan-Asian classics are on the menu, like hakka noodles with paneer, chicken or shrimp; sweet and tangy pad Thai; and spicy Korean wings. There’s even ramen, curry laksa and kung pao chicken. Consider our cravings cured.

wokboyz.com

13. Frenchy Bar et Brasserie

145 Richmond St. W.

The Hilton Toronto may be a transient place, but you’ll want to linger a while at Frenchy, its new Parisian-inspired lobby bar and brasserie. Chef Aaron Chen’s French favourites are served for breakfast all the way to late-night snacks and cocktails. For dinner, pair more than steak with fries on the “with frites” menu (proteins range from crispy haddock to mussels and an omelette). The truffle-baked brie with an ice wine and sour cherry gastrique is a divine vegetarian option. Then, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, escargots are stuffed with rich butter and aromatic garlic. The eight-page wine list sails from the coast of South Africa to Bordeaux, New Zealand and Napa, with a few pit stops in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Don't miss the small but mighty cocktail list, which transforms top-shelf spirits into lip-smacking libations.

frenchytoronto.com

14. Piggy’s Island

5 Glen Cameron Rd.

Moving forward, when we say we’re going to the beach, we mean Piggy’s Island in Thornhill. Despite the spot’s nautical-themed decor, a napkin is the only towel you’ll need at this Korean BBQ spot near Yonge and Steeles. After losing the original decade-old location to a devastating fire, Joeun Kim and Torry Chun have finally reopened their beloved family restaurant. Authenticity is the name of the game here; charcoal, sea salt and sweet potato starch (for the cold noodle menu) are imported directly from Korea. AAA cuts fill out the beef menu, and both wet aged and marinated pork are other succulent meat options. Dip your fresh BBQ in ssamjang, and pair it with a side of kimchi and chilli sauce lettuce.

piggysisland.ca

15. Blue Claw Lobster Shack

25 Charles St. W.

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What’s better than fresh seafood? Fresh seafood, fast. That’s the premise behind the new grab-and-go restaurant near Bloor and Yonge, Blue Claw Lobster Shack. Vying to be crowned the best lobster roll in Toronto, Blue Claw imports their seafood from Canada’s east coast. Chowder, fish and chips, mac and cheese, lobster tots, three hearty sandwiches and a beef burger are ready in a flash.

blueclaw.ca

16. Tai Er

1571 Sandhurst Cir. Unit #105B

Chinese chain Tai Er has finally arrived in Ontario with locations in Markham and Scarborough, slinging its signature, spicy, sour Sichuan sauerkraut fish. It’s the restaurant’s claim to fame; the fish plate is fermented and packed with mouth-tingling peppercorns. Other classic Sichuan dishes are here too, like spicy chicken with chili pepper and boiled beef in spicy sauce, and are just as big on flavour.

canada.taier.net

17. Maverick’s Donuts

1618 Queen St. W.

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A gourmet donut chain has rolled south from Ottawa into a small shop in Parkdale. Maverick’s Donuts specializes in cake donuts, and slings the little wheels of joy in classic and “signature” flavours: Think indulgent dulce cinnamon swirl, cherry blossom, caramel crunch and “PB” and chocolate. Can’t make the trek out to Queen West to get them fresh in-store? You can order Maverick’s Donuts online. If you buy 12 donuts or more, they’ll knock 10 per cent off the total order price.

mavericks-donuts.square.site

18. Louis BonBon Pâtisserie

200 Bay St.

A “magnifique” Parisian-inspired patisserie and salon de thé just opened in The Path, and it's every bit as glamorous as it sounds. Whether you’re popping in for a fresh sandwich, smoothie or pizza on your lunch break, or seeking an indulgent French-style treat to carry you through the 2 p.m. slump, Louis Bon Bon’s tasty delights are sure to satisfy. It doesn’t hurt that the space is gorgeous, either. There are marble counters, and even a feature wall with designs from Versace and Dolce and Gabbana. Oh, and did we mention they have gelato?

louisbonbon.com

19. The Dorset

457 Wellington St. W.

The U.K. doesn’t scream beach vacation, but O&B’s newest opening at The Well hopes to change that. The Dorset, inspired by the southwest English coast and countryside, has a menu packed with nostalgic comfort classics, like Scotch Egg, Full English Breakfast and Sticky Toffee Pudding, all of which have been given a chef-driven twist by O&B Executive Chef Ryan Lister. The proud Southerner, hailing from the eponymous Dorset, serves his contemporary classics in a stunning dining room filled with chandeliers, royal blue accents and a reimagined fox-hunting mural.

thedorsetwellington.com

20. La Plume

453 Wellington St. W.

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O&B’s romantic new multi-level brasserie in The Well is a love letter to the south of France. The space is stunning; designed by Solid Design Creative, there are magnificent chandeliers that dangle from 14-foot ceilings and Bordeaux checkerboard flooring. Executive chef John Horne’s seasonal menu is packed with coastal flavours and showstoppers like the Giannone rotisserie chicken, which is brined for eight hours, rubbed with a spice blend and dry-aged for two days; portobello tartare with truffle cream; and three types of steak frites, served with béarnaise sauce or shallot jus. After your meal, venture upstairs to find the sultry, boudoir-inspired speakeasy, Bonne Nuit, tucked out of sight behind a bathroom stall.

laplumebrasserie.com

21. EDNA + VITA

77 Adelaide St. W.

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EDNA + VITA is the Financial District's newest spot for Italian dishes with fresh ingredients, fun cocktails and multiple dining experiences offered across the 6,500 square feet and two levels. Head to Edna upstairs for sophisticated vibes. Vita (meaning 'life'), found a flight of stairs below, offers diners a more casual spot to scoff calamari and cannoli. Chef Gord Mackie's resume is stacked with a philosophy that relies heavily on using the best and most authentic ingredients. Order the bone-in veal parmesan and check out the 'bubble bar' on your next visit.

ednavita.com

22. Queen’s Cross Foodhall

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Level 1, 220 Yonge St.

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The second food court at the Eaton Centre has been closed for so long, we can’t even remember what the old one looked like. But the new Queen’s Cross Food Hall was well worth the wait. Unveiled early this spring, the polished space is too sleek to be dubbed a food court; it’s worth visiting even if you’re not shopping in the mall. The 19,000-square-feet of dining options and seating is home to 13 food stalls and two rotating pop-ups. Find French bistro bites, fried chicken, tacos, burgers and more. Best of all, Crossbar is a café in the morning and a full bar in the afternoon and evening — because lunching isn’t complete without cocktail and mocktail options.

queenscrossfoodhall.com

23. Hero Tea

670 Yonge St.

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There may only be subtle differences between Hero Tea’s fresh milk tea and bubble tea, but they make a world of difference. For starters, milk tea uses real tea leaves, not tea “dust,” and all-natural ingredients for fresher flavour. The Chinese chain’s new Toronto location opened at Yonge and Wellesley in late March. Their Snow-Topped Kungfu Tea is the ultimate treat; a tea base is brewed and mixed with milk, then crowned with a mound of whipped cream, plus pistachios, Biscoff cookies and other garnishes.

herotea.ca

24. Mandy’s Salads at The Well

437 Wellington St. W. UG-05

Best new restaurants Toronto | Mandy's at The Well

Toronto’s favourite salad joint has new digs on the Upper Ground at The Well, and it’s a floral paradise bathed in white from floor-to-ceiling. An adorable tree, arch of globe lights and working fountain (cheekily named “The Wishing Well”) complete the chic oasis. The tried-and-true bowls you know and love are here, along with the option to customize your own, plus smoothies, soups and their iconic chocolate chip cookies.

mandys.ca

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