Open/Closed: Toronto Restaurant News June 6-12, 2019


It’s official: Toronto’s restaurant scene is exploding. And I’ve got the proof.

I present you with – drum roll, please – 25 arrivals this week. I’ve been doing this for a very long time and this folks, is an all-time high.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to track all these places down, but I believe it’s worth it, because if I’m doing this 24/7 and can barely keep up, how are you expected to? And then visit them all before the next round?

I wish you all Happy Eid and Happy Pride. I’m gonna go lie down now.

Here’s the very latest:


Ascari King Street (620 King St. W.) at King and Portland has arrived, bigger and more modern than the cozy Leslieville haunt. See for yourself. Doors open Monday. 

The soft opening for Blackball Taiwanese Dessert (472 Yonge St.) starts today, so stop in for an authentic Taiwanese dessert, drink, or crushed ice at Yonge and College.

Fairmont Royal York’s CLOCKWORK Champagne & Cocktails (100 Front St. W.) - the first of two new food and beverage concepts - launches Tuesday. 

The Davenport (440 Christie St.) has been transformed from Bob Coffee Bar, and now offers grub by way of burgers, sandos, and ribs, in addition to coffee.

Head to Dreyfus (96 Harbord St.) for French fare made with local ingredients.

WTF is Enchanted Poutinerie (730 Wilson Ave.)? You’ll have to wait until doors open on Tuesday to find out.

Toronto’s newest rooftop oasis, the gaarden, debuts tomorrow atop Cube Nightclub (314 Queen St. W.).

Garfield-shaped pizza, lasagna, and coffee are the heart of GarfieldEATS Quick Mobile Restaurant (995 Bloor St. W.), endorsed by creator of the beloved cartoon from the ‘80s, Jim Davis. The menu also includes salad, fries, and various smoothies and juices. Despite ra report it opened in May, in fact, it launched just yesterday. All ordering is done through an app. You can then either pick it up or have it delivered.

FYI: If you sign up for the app, you may receive an alert from GarfieldEATS Canada as I did that reads: “Yay! Used G-Code FIRST_ORDER to get free pizza on your first order.” However, it’s a misnomer. I was told by someone in Customer Service that there’s a glitch in the app, and that it is applied to your second pie, not the first. And head’s up: I received seven of these same alerts after registering.

Stock up on wellness items (grass-fed collagen), health foods (bone broth) and pantry essentials (coffee beans) at Good Goddess at Yorkville Village (55 Avenue Rd.). And whatever you do, don’t forget your Kawhiconut Cloud.

New nightclub in town Her (1325 Eglinton Ave. E.) features the usual bottle service, DJs, and dancers, but takes it to another level with acrobats, contortionists, and marketing that include USD hundos rolled up in bullet casings and other NSFW images.

The omakase menu at Kaito Sushi (1211 St. Clair Ave. W.) is $55 for 11 Nigiri Sushi and one Hand Roll, featuring seasonal fish and seafood. Guests are encouraged to eat each course as soon as it’s served, use your hands instead of chopsticks, and sip on green tea or nibble on pickles between courses to cleanse your palate.

LeTAO (356 College St.) has taken over Caplansky’s old spot. The concept - Double Fromage and Chocolat Double Cheesecakes - started back in 1998 in Otaru, Japan.

Head to Mogouyan (760 Yonge St.) for authentic Langzhou noodles and other regional Chinese fare.

Mos Mos expands again with a sixth location (65 Queen St. W.)   at Queen and Bay. Doors opened Monday.

Nostalgia Grill (900 Albion Rd., Unit B20) in Etobicoke, serves an array of dishes including Beef Suya and Fish Fritters. A grand opening is set to follow on July 6th. 

Palgong Tea just launched their bubble tea shop in the Distillery District two weeks ago. You’d think they’d need more time to launch the next one. Nope. The Yonge & Steeles location (330 Steeles Ave. W. Unit A4) opened Saturday. Head to the Thornhill location this Saturday for the grand opening- the first 300 customers get a free Original Milk Tea. Doors open at noon.

Doors opened Tuesday for Yaletown’s import, The Parlour (642 King St. W., back entrance) Expect east and west coast inspired dishes at the Fashion District’s newest spot.

Portuguese Chicken Place (3327 Bathurst St.) in North York features a focused menu: traditional rotisserie and grilled chicken ($4.75-$24.95), fish ($5-$9), sides ($0.75-$10.50) and Portuguese custard tarts ($1.75 ea).

Queen Street Espresso (1398 Queen St. W.) offers Parkdale folks a new option for coffee and pastries.

REIGN, the second venue launching Tuesday at Fairmont Royal York (100 Front St W.), is their signature restaurant, bar and bakery. Both openings coincide with the hotel’s 90th anniversary. 

Get your hands on savoury and sweet Brazilian pastels (hand-held fried pastries) at Samba Brazil Eatery (1646 St. Clair Ave. W.). 

Port Credit’s new craft brewery, bottleshop and taproom, Stonehooker Brewing Company (866 Lakeshore Rd. E.), is now open.

Extreme burgers have touched down at Heartland Town Centre (5955 Latimer Dr.) thanks to Topgun Burgers.

The grand opening of uptown’s “living laboratory for creative expression,” iTransform Community Café (2025 Yonge St.) takes place Saturday. Menu items include: pizzas ($5.99-$24.99), sandwiches ($4.99-$8.50), salads ($5.99-$7.99) and desserts ($3-$4) .

Want a smoothie AND care about the planet? Bring your own mason jar to juice bar Veggie Crush Co. (186 Spadina Ave.), in Chinatown.


Venezuelan Arepa Café (490 Queen St. W.) has shuttered after a decade.

Backyard Japanese Cuisine (254 Queen St W.) is the latest closure at this address.   

Jelly Modern Doughnuts (376 College St.) stuck it out at this spot for awhile. Find their hand-dipped, hand filled, and cake confections in Brookfield Place (181 Bay St., C320).

Spice Route (499 King St. W.) closed its doors Sunday after 11 years. Arcane by Liberty Group will take its place.


Tonight is the night for Canada’s first nationwide sustainability pop-up bar, as part of Corby Spirit & Wine’s Responsib’ALL Day with Trash Tiki. Focuses on the importance of food waste, cocktails made with Corby’s spirits will be mixed with ingredients that otherwise would have been waste, but are turned into delectable syrups, garnishes and infusions. Sustainable cocktails at some of Toronto’s top bars? What are you waiting for? Get yourself to these spots posthaste: Chantecler, Civil Liberties, Death & Taxes, The Drake Hotel, Founder, Mahjong, Maple Leaf Tavern, Miss Things, Poor Romeo, and Pretty Ugly.

Speaking of drinks, you’ve got until Sunday to get your Veuve Clicquot on for Yellow Week.

Toronto Mac and Cheese Festival is happening all weekend long.

There’s great food to be had at desiFEST this Saturday.

The Scarborough Food Truck Festival takes place Saturday.

Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival takes place this Saturday in Midland Ontario. Too far? Wait for The Queensway Butter Tart Festival closer to home on June 22 (You’re going to both, aren’t you?).

Who doesn’t love a Grilled Cheese Challenge?

In this month’s installment of #AtThePassChef Angela Villalta of L’Unita.

Discover what makes gins by Desmond Payne MBE, Master Distiller of Beefeater, so distinct.


Hear of a place that’s about to open or just closed? Have an upcoming food or restaurant event? Let me know –

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