What does Toronto have the most of: cranes in the sky, new restaurants or construction? Trick question. The limit does not exist for all of the above. But what we can tell you is that we've rounded up our favourite recently opened restaurants for you to try this fall. From a snack bar in midtown to new financial district hotspots, there's something for everyone on this list.
729 Queen St. E
Executive chef Sean Macdonald (Hexagon) and chef de cuisine Reece MacIsaac are bringing some of the city's most beautifully plated, home-grown dishes to Riverdale. For an extremely reasonable $90, guests can enjoy a tasting menu, in which every dish has a story – or upgrade to a thoughtful wine pairing with each course. The intimate space seats only 30 people at a time and features a range of dishes from elevated prawn hotdogs all the way up to dry-aged duck breast.
Favorites Thai BBQ
141 Ossington Ave.
If fermented meat and Thai BBQ sound like a match made in heaven, this new collab from the people behind Khao San Road and Paris Paris should definitely be on your foodie bucket list. Head to Ossington for dishes like P.E.I. scallop curry, beef short rib soup and red curry duck sausage, with top wines from beverage manager Krysta Oben to match.
77 Portland St.
King West now has a source for fresh, flavourful Israeli cuisine – and it’s all vegetarian. Almost everything is cooked in a wood-burning, hearth oven or charcoal grill in the restaurant’s open kitchen, bringing a lovely, smoky element to the food (as well as the interior of the 78-seat space). There’s a full menu and takeout counter, but we’ll be going back for the herby cocktails, paired with snackable dips and fluffy pitas.
After a small fire, Shook temporarily closed but the restaurant is slated to reopen soon.
1090 Queen St. W
The bright, twinkly lights of this foliage filled indoor patio might be the biggest draw at Bar Poet, but there are plenty more reasons to visit the Queen and Dovercourt spot. The bar – located in an old Slavic church which previously housed Church Aperitivo Bar – has traded religious vibes for a menu of $10 pizzas, red and white wine on tap and Skee-Ball machines for good measure.
620 King St. W
On the ground floor of the brand-new King and Portland Centre comes the second spot from chef Akira Back, who brought his blend of Korean and Japanese food to his eponymous restaurant inside the Bisha Hotel last year. The 9,000-square-foot modern Chinese eatery features a spiral staircase, a private dining room and karaoke rooms, all decorated with Chinese architecture to match the cuisine.
41 Elm St.
In connection with the new downtown location of Konjiki Ramen, award-winning Japanese restaurant Akimitsu has opened in Toronto. Crispy vegetable and shrimp tempura takes centre stage at this specialty spot, whether on its own or in a bowl of donburi, dressed with their house-made sauce and topped with a soft-poached egg.
161 Bay St.
Over a year after announcing its arrival, the long-anticipated Toronto outpost of Chotto Matte finally opened its doors on Bay this summer. With already established locations in London and Miami, the chain specializes in Nikkei cuisine – a combination of Japanese and Peruvian fare. The fusion menu is laden with familiar sounding dishes that have an unexpected twist, like tuna sashimi tostaditas and gyoza stuffed with pork, shrimp, sweet potato puree and red pepper ponzu.
The Fourth Man in the Fire
832 Dundas St. W
Not content with making some of the city’s most popular patties, Shant Mardirosian, the man behind Burger’s Priest, has seen the light and pivoted towards one of our other favourite fast foods – pizza. The Fourth Man in the Fire pizzeria opened in the former Campagnolo eatery and will be a cashless operation, so be sure to bring your Margherita money.
150 Eglinton Ave. E
Yonge and Eglinton might not be known for anything but construction right now, but underneath the dust and debris, new restaurants are popping up. At the end of the summer, Eglinton East spot Cass Avenue opened its double garage-style doors for business. Named after the street where Jack White’s record label lives, the snack bar is all about Detroit Rock City vibes. The menu from Vittorio Colacitti (the Good Son), is all snackable bites and share plates, divided up into $5, $10 and “baller” sections. Kick things off with shishito peppers in tajin and lime, Caesar bites and Korean fried cauliflower. The pièce de résistance is their 30-day dry aged 16oz ribeye steak, cooked to perfection and sliced for sharing (but we won’t judge if you tackle it on your own).
Beaches Brewing Co.
1953 Queen St. E
You might recognize Beaches Brewing Co. from their A-Bay pale ale on LCBO shelves, but now there’s a permanent spot to imbibe their brews. Open this fall, the new location includes both a bottle shop and restaurant. The beachy menu combines California fusion with brewpub classics.
1084 Queen St. W
From three Bar Isabel alumni (Ellen Shrybman, Nathan Morrell and Grant van Gameren) comes a new wine bar that highlights vino from small international producers. Offering shareable plates to divide among friends, the casual venue at Queen West and Dovercourt will be open every day for lunch, dinner and late evening snacking on a walk-in-only basis.
366 Church St.
Straight from Japan, this cutesy shop at Church and Gerrard serves a mega menu of crepes, from fruity to chocolatey and even savoury. Popular as a street food in Japan, these crepes are rolled up (think ice cream cone shape) for easy eating on the go. If you’re feeling adventurous go for Crazy Crepes’ cheesy volcano – it’s stuffed with cream cheese, a whole slice of cheesecake and spicy Cheetos, then topped with Cheeto powder and grated cheese.
At Origin Coffee
687 Mt Pleasant Rd.
This fair-trade coffee chain, with shops in Istanbul and Frankfurt, is opening their first ever location in North America. Known for sourcing African, unblended coffee beans, this premium roaster’s new café will bring At Origin’s single-origin brew to caffeine enthusiasts in Toronto’s Midtown. The menu covers cold brew, finely ground Turkish coffee and three choices of pour-over methods.