Open/Closed: Toronto Restaurant News October 3-9, 2019

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As you may have noticed, the summer was frantic with relentless launches and shutdowns. So you’d think it would settle down a bit now that fall has arrived.

NOPE. The insanity continues. I’ve got 19 arrivals, and big closures for you this week.

So I’d better get started on next week’s now (Send noods. And Imma need more coffee. Make that whisky).

Here’s the very latest:


New collab café Barocco X Nino (974 College St. W.) offers everything from cappuccino to cannoli.

Belle's Bakery (262 Dupont St.) at Spadina and Dupont has got you covered for freshly baked goods: galettes, pound cakes, danishes, and quiche, for starters. 

Bread and Salt Afghan Cuisine has arrived at Mississauga’s Creekside Crossing Plaza (1492 Dundas St. E., Unit 2). Menu items include: Mantu Dumplings (5/$6.99, 10/$11.99), Chicken Chaplee ($12.99/$15.49), Veal Qorma ($8.99/$10.99), assorted Karahi ($17.99-$39.99), vegan fare ($12.49), and Family Platters ($64.99-$169.99). 

Dig into Crab Rangoon, Laap Salad, and Chiang Mai Khao Soi at BuaBua Thai (1677 Bayview Ave.). Bonus: two menus are available here: regular and gluten-free.

The first Bubble Lee in Canada just opened about a month ago at 469 Queen St. W. This past weekend, they commemorated the opening of the second location, this time in Markham (3621 Highway 7, Unit 117). A third is set to land at Yonge at Wellesley. 

This Saturday’s Burger Drops pop-up at Spaces Queen West (180 John St.)  is almost sold out.

Chiang Rai Thai Kitchen & Bar (7750 Kennedy Rd.) brings authentic Thai street food to Markham.

It took awhile, but Congee Queen has finally launched in Mississauga at Dundas and Hwy 427 (1855 Dundas St E, Unit 17 + 18). This marks the eighth location for the Asian chain.

Michelin Star Chef Akira Back’s latest project, Dasha (620 King St. W.), debuts in the Fashion District today (not far from his other 6ix spot, Akira Back). With modern Chinese fare (Peking duck) and cocktails in the striking two-tiered dining room, and a karaoke bar to let loose in, the sixteenth addition to Chef Back’s empire is sure to be a success. Stay tuned: an additional 12 restaurants are scheduled to open across the globe through to 2024. 

Incha Tea House (791 Queen St. W.) adds another bubble tea shop to their roster. Their Bay Street outpost launched in November.

There aren’t many Hakka spots downtown. Khao Hakka Refresh (37 Sherbourne St.) brings the umami-filled southern Chinese cuisine close to the core at King and Sherbourne.

Lineups were in full effect on Monday for Machi Machi’s (575 Yonge St.) five types of tea: Freshly pressed, milk tea/latte, cream foam, fresh fruit, and fizzy.

Motorino Citta (466 Adelaide St. E.) by Motorino Enoteca does straight up Italian (Burrata Salad $21, Alla Vodka Pizza $18, Veal Scallopini $30, Risotto Del Giorno MP) alongside mashups (Avocado Crust Bruschetta $18, Italian Spring Rolls $18, Agave Bowl $18, Vespa Burger $24). Still to come: Moto Via in North York.

LosCo Vegan by Chef Elia Herrera launched at Assembly Chef’s Hall (111 Richmond St. W.) Tuesday, joining her Colibrí stall at the downtown food hall.

Montreal’s beloved vegan eatery LOV, kicked off service yesterday at King and Portland (620 King St. W.). With its plant-based fare and Insta-ready interiors, it’s bound to be as bustling as its new neighbour, Dasha. Stay tuned.

Queen and Bathurst just got a Ramen Isshin (609 Queen St. W.). Let the lineups begin!  

Tutto Pronto (1551 Bayview Ave.) celebrated their grand opening of their new Italian prepared food shop on Tuesday.

 High Park dwellers have a new pizza/pasta destination, thanks to ever-expanding chain, Vivo Pizza+Pasta (1832 Bloor St. W.).

Whack Ass Coffee’s (800 Lansdowne Ave.) grand opening took place today at 7am. Find them at Dupont and Lansdowne.


Due to “unforeseen circumstances,” principal investors decided to abruptly close French neo-bistro Bacchanal (60 Sudbury St.). According to a statement, they have worked “diligently” to find placements for the staff. In a press release, Executive Chef Luke Donato expressed his thanks to Toronto for their patronage. “Bacchanal is a restaurant we are all very proud of,” he says. “We put together a tremendous dream team, a staff of people who really cared about food and hospitality. It is devastating to see it end so unexpectedly.”

Queen West mainstay Harlem Restaurant (745 Queen St. W.) announced yesterday they’re closing November 11th

Harry’s Charbroiled (160 Springhurst Ave.) will serve its last burgers this Saturday.

Riz on Bayview (1677 Bayview Ave.) is the latest resto to shutter on the struggling uptown strip.

Chef Anthony Rose continues to change things up. The restaurateur informed fans earlier this week the Dundas and Ossington location of Schmaltz Appetizing (224 Ossington Ave.) is closing Sunday. It will transform into Gordy Smiles, a taco spot sometime next month. And it doesn’t stop there. Rose & Sons (176 Dupont St.) is set to close in a month or so, with Big Crow (also at 176 Dupont St.) shutting down after service on Sunday. They too, will be turned into new concepts by Rose. Stay tuned.


You’ve got an entire month to get in on the Toronto Chocolate Festival

29Rooms Toronto features dining experience Stella Artois Sensorium until October 6th.

Head to the Toronto Food Film Festival this weekend.

Nuit Blanche takes over the city Saturday night.

Apple lovers, this one’s for you: Bayview Leaside BIA’s Apple Fest on Saturday.


Ruth Tal, Founder of Fresh Restaurants, has officially opened her first U.S. outpost,  Fresh on Sunset in West Hollywood.

Starting tomorrow, College hotspot Mrs Robinson is serving up fare by Wasaka Peruvian Kitchen.

Chef Matty Matheson’s YouTube show Just a Dash premiered Tuesday.

There was a major data breach at DoorDash, a food delivery company, which includes a Toronto branch.

OpenTable has added resto delivery to its services, via Uber Eats.

Earlier this morning, “65 scientists from 11 different countries, including prominent Canadian geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki, called on mayors around the world to address the climate crisis and improve urban health by reducing city meat consumption.” Their mission is called Scientists 4 Less Meat. 

Should restaurants be offering reusable plates and cutlery instead of plastic? Two Toronto councillors think so.


Discover why Eat to the Beat is this month’s not-to-missed event.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that there’s been a lot of exciting Antoni from Queer Eye news on Toronto Restaurants lately: I was one of a select few who got to share some of his recipes from his new cookbook: Cheesy Lemon-Rosemary Artichoke Dip and  Chile Maple Roasted Chicken. I attended last night’s epic event (hurry and catch some moments on TR’s Insta Stories) and meet him for a hot sec (YES, he’s as charming IRL as on QE). So naturally, I’m THRILLED to be able to giveaway a copy of bestselling Antoni in the Kitchen! Make sure you’re following Toronto Restaurants on Insta and FB. Announcement’s coming sooooooon!


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Hear of a place that’s about to open or just closed? Have an upcoming food or restaurant event? Want to partner with Toronto Restaurants? Send me an email.  

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