Expansive. Engaging. Exhilarating. Extraordinary.
The new Drake Commissary in The Junction Triangle isn’t just another Toronto eatery. It’s the place to be.
It offers diners great flexibility of both dining in and taking it to go in one of the most alluring, innovative spaces.
Here are 10 reasons to get yourself there RIGHT NOW:
1. Daily bread
Phenomenal doesn’t cover it when it comes to the food. Healthy fare that manages to still be exciting is a hard balance to achieve, but corporate executive chef Ted Corrado and commissary chef Jonas Grupiljonas make it so.
Whatever you need – brekkie, lunch, dinner, baked goods, dessert – they’ve got it. And everything’s made from scratch with local ingredients – even the ketchup and ’cue sauce. From epic, still-thinking-about-it-days-later fresh sourdough and other breads, to pizza, pasta, scones and slow-cooked mains, you’ll wanna be here on the regular.
The vast selection of hot/cold grab and go and dine-in items can be overwhelming at first, but just take a moment to savour the array of baked goods, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and hearty, healthy proteins. How lucky to have this much to choose from. Will it be Almond Cherry Pie Croissant ($4), Heirloom Cucumber Ceviche Salad ($12), or Classic Drake Brisket Sandwich ($14) with sour cabbage slaw, horseradish crème, arugula and grainy mustard, today? This is going to require multiple visits. Win-win.
As much as we both like to dine out, there comes a time when you’ve got to have stuff on hand at home. The Drake’s got you covered with everything from Black Sesame Tahini ($5) and Brandy-infused Duck Liver Pate ($12) to limited edition, small batch Granola ($12), frozen Lasagna ($18), and a variety of homemade gelato/sorbet flavours (Pedro Ximenez Prune, Chili Chocolate and Sour Cherry Blaster, to name just a few – $10 ea.).
Whether you fess up that someone else made it, is up to you.
4. Raise the bar
You’re in need of a serious drink. Depending on the time of day, that will require one of these: coffee, tea, cold brew, cold-pressed juices (Village Juicery $6-$8), smoothies ($9, available until 3 pm), cocktails ($8-$35) and brews ($6-9) in bottle or on tap.
Be sure to try their brand-new Drake Art House Blonde Ale ($7) made with their neighbours Henderson Brewery. The Commissary also offers its own wine blend from the Niagara region: Rail Path Red and White.
5. Have a seat
You’ll be hard-pressed to nail down where you want to sit. The 140-dining room offers everything from a semi-private area in the back to lounge-y living room area in the front, or take a seat at the bar.
The best part? You’ll never feel crowded or squeezed in, as it’s spread across a whopping 3,000 square-feet space designed by John Tong and his team at +tongtong, so no one will overhear that shocking thing Kelly said at the office last week.
Along the far wall of the historic building and former condiment factory, you get to watch people bake and prep through a large glass wall. There’s also a glimpse into the charcuterie fridge and rest of the staggering 5,000 square-feet commissary kitchen.
Then there’s the vast array of artwork and installations to get lost in, never mind the amazing people-watching opportunities, so good luck trying to get any work done.
As with all of hotelier Jeff Stober’s Drake properties, Drake Commissary is already a social hub for community, art and culture. You can feel the electric creativity just by dining here.
The Drake’s in-house art curator Mia Nielsen “worked with local and international artists to develop temporary and permanent installations including a 35-foot digital mural of a phantasmagoric landscape by Alex McLeod.” Then there are the great pieces Drake General Store co-founder Carlo Colacci bought at the famous Brimfield Antique Market (no, they’re not for sale – I already asked).
8. Meet me outside
We’ve only got a month or two left to enjoy the outdoors, so take it out to the patio while you can.
While we’re both guilty of spending waaay too much time scrolling through our Insta feeds, there’s something still captivating about a good ol’ B+W photo. And squeezing yourself into that teeny space with your besties or BAE just adds an extra layer of fun.
10. Nothing else like it
We Torontonians can get a little too serious about dining sometimes. Drake Commissary takes the making of their food very seriously (check out our photos on FB for proof), but manages to create an atmosphere so inspiring and engaging, you’ll be booking your next visit before you’re out the door.
The dining room accommodates 140 guests, with room for 40 on the patio.
FOH: Sarah Lyons, Director of Food + Beverage
Where: 128 Sterling Rd. (in Junction Triangle)
Tuesday to Thursday – 7:30 am to 12 am
Friday and Saturday – 7:30 am to 1 am
Sunday – 7:30 am to 11 pm
And be sure to visit their other properties: The Drake Hotel (Toronto), Drake One Fifty (Toronto), Drake Devonshire Inn (Wellington, Prince Edward County), Drake General Stores (Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver), Drake Mini Bar (coming late 2017 – Toronto), and Drake Catering and Special Events Services.
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.