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The 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings for summer 2014

Posted by Liora Ipsum / June 18, 2014

summer restaurant openings torontoThe Toronto restaurant scene is on fire as the summer forecast promises the arrival of a slew of gastronomic hot spots. Historic areas like the Distillery and Market Street will be further fleshed out with new culinary delights, and a few familiar faces in the Toronto food scene will expand to new digs.

Here are the 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings on our radar this summer.

This large-scale neo-Parisian bistro is slated to open in the Distillery District before the end of June. Details have been closely guarded, but since it's created by the same team behind the theatrical El Catrin, we expect an all-out feast for the senses, and have heard rumours of sultry live music being part of the experience.

The long awaited completion of the Market St. revitalization rests on this last restaurant situated at the southwest tip of St. Lawrence Market. Once open, the Italian eatery from Paolo Paolini (Splendido, Mistura) will seamlessly complete the glorious stretch of boulevard patios and offer classic Italian food like light crisp pizza and 12-layer lasagnas.

Nick Lui's two-floor restaurant on College St. is aiming for a mid-July opening. Expect the menu to feature so-called new Asian cuisine snack plates like a Big Mac-inspired bao, as well as shared plates and large family-style main courses, like whole fried trout or a 90-day dry-aged ribeye.

Opening this July in Etobicoke, this brick-and-mortar establishment at 126 Sixth St. will be home base for the Brit-themed Feisty Jack food truck. More mod cafe than public house, the menu will cover a range of comfort foods from the commonwealth, including full-on English breakfasts.

Opening at 304 Richmond St. West, this new three-storey venue from Ariel Coplan (Nyood), Jason Fox and Aaron Zack (Snakes & Lattes) is racing towards an opening date in mid-July. The upcoming menu will feature some nostalgic dishes, so along with foie gras pop tarts (as recently seen at TUM) you can expect fun, sophisticated dishes that'll play at your heart strings.

Wilbur Mexicana
Scheduled for a summer opening at 522 King St. West, this sleek modern taqueria plans to meld the energy of a tequila bar with the quick service style of a fast food joint. Order at the counter and snag one of 50 seats inside, or better still, outside on a 30-seat patio to mow down on a menu of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and salads.

Little Fin
Expect a July christening for this grab-and-go seafood market from the Chase Hospitality Group. Situated on Temperance St. at the same locale as the flagship restaurant and oyster house, the new take-away focused spot will be known for seafood sandwiches, wraps, salads, and rolls.

Also from the Chase Hospitality Group, this 100-seat dining room and outdoor pavilion that will share its location in the Thompson Hotel (550 Wellington St.) with a complimentary retail cafe. The upmarket restaurant will offer a modern approach to traditional French cuisine, while the more casual grab-and-go counter will specialize in an array of pastries.

A fast food joint dedicated to locally sourced, whole ingredients is opening in late August at 100 Front St. near St. Lawrence Market. Look forward to fresh-cut, oven-finished fries, house-ground burgers, milkshakes, vibrant salads, and kale-quinoa bowls from the first Canadian outpost of this chain from Boston. Prior to launch, expect to see a b.good food truck hit Toronto streets to show off the goods.

The new 12,000-square-foot, 280-seat restaurant from director Ivan Reitman and world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman is set to debut at 299 Adelaide St. sometime this summer. Once open, expect a menu that changes more frequently than the seasons and marries California cuisine with Canadian sensibilities and Ontario-sourced ingredients.

Honourable mentions:

What restaurants are you excited for this summer? Let us know in the comments!

pure leafThanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.

Lead photo from Colette's facebook page.



tess / June 18, 2014 at 03:57 pm
Wow, naming your restaurant Gwailo?! Really? Really?! Racist garbage
:) replying to a comment from tess / June 18, 2014 at 04:03 pm
skp / June 18, 2014 at 04:07 pm
What about Patois? Huge miss y'all.
Cat / June 18, 2014 at 04:11 pm
SO excited about Colette. Their bikes and food look really cute!
seanm replying to a comment from tess / June 18, 2014 at 04:37 pm
What isn't racist/sexist/homophobic/offensive nowadays? I can't wait to try GwaiLo just because of how pissed off it makes people like you.

p.s. I'm technically a Gwai Lo, so don't even bother calling me racist.
Cynthia / June 18, 2014 at 05:02 pm
How did they get away with a name like GwaiLo, anyway?
Grampa / June 18, 2014 at 05:34 pm
Gweilo is a derogatory term typically used by locals to refer to whites living in Hong Kong. Everyone knows it is a deprecatory racial term. If it would be unacceptable to call a restaurant "FOB" or "Chink" (which we all know it would be) it shouldn't be acceptable to call a restaurant "Gwailo".
marcia lue / June 18, 2014 at 06:03 pm
The team behind the Mercatto group of restaurants are opening a restaurant on Bremner Blvd (the new SouthCore Financial Center) this fall.
lol / June 18, 2014 at 06:09 pm
I know right? Imagine someone opened a soul food place called "N**ger's" I'm sure that would go over reeeeeaaaaaal well.

On the other hand, people should just relax. But still, I get it if it's off-putting. I think sometimes people try to be controversial to get attention but they don't realize when they go too far.
Sam Ching / June 18, 2014 at 06:10 pm
lol at gwailo being a derogatory word, it's damn near common language.

Let the boy cook
Sean / June 18, 2014 at 06:13 pm
Thanks BlogTO for the honourable mention from the staff at El Furniture Warehouse!
Rob / June 18, 2014 at 07:09 pm
Maybe they need to take a page out of the Washington Redskins playbook
Fallerboy / June 18, 2014 at 09:11 pm
Sea Witch Fish and Chips at Bathurst at St. Clair! A longtime Penrose employee is going out on his own. Should be amazing. Bring it on.
Brian W. / June 18, 2014 at 11:52 pm
One of the ones left out of the list just opened. Mata, a South American tapas resto. Looks like a great addition to parkdale!
JC / June 19, 2014 at 07:59 am
No need to get outraged at a resto name - just don't give them money if it bugs you. Vote with your wallet. Some of these look great, although how about a moratorium on Italian restaurants? Maybe it's because I'm in North Toronto and overrun with them, but holy smoke there's only so many ways to sauce a pasta or cook a pie!
MEME / June 19, 2014 at 08:58 am
If a white person opens up a chinese resto, why not call your own resto GwaiLo? What's the big deal? He's poking fun at himself. Kind of like Gourmet Gringos, no? Were people up in arms when they named themselves that? No!

Get a grip people!
Richard S / June 19, 2014 at 11:26 am
Uproar over GwaiLo, yet uncaring about a restaurant like Hooters or Twisted Kilt.
got it.
John / June 19, 2014 at 01:37 pm
I think I'm pretty excited about Linwood Essentials on Queen West. Looking forward to their opening.

Also, if you're upset about the name GwaiLo, just don't eat there. You'll be making it that much easier for me to get a table. Have you tasted Nick's food? Because I have, and if you do, you won't care about the name at all.
Rik Ocvirk / June 19, 2014 at 02:16 pm
CLUNY - Bistro & Boulangerie is NOW OPEN at 35 Tank House Lane in the Distillery District - also we will be opening a Patisserie in the near future serving amazing fresh made breads and pastries. Come check us out! or 416.203.2632
natural cures for varicose veins / June 19, 2014 at 02:44 pm
Lots of people feel tired and pain after wearing
shoes whole day or after exercise and walk for a long period of time.
Of course, it would be best for you not to leave spider veins untreated and
seek advice from a reputable skin centre as early as you can.
You may notice some bleeding and experience pain
but this is just natural.
Lyn / June 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Re Spitfire. I live in Etobicoke and the streets stop at 42nd. Is this a typo and you actually meant 26th street? Just curious.
Lyn / June 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm
Spitfire. Never mind just re-read. It's 126, 6th street. Brain cramp. I will definitely be checking this one out though. Good luck.
D.B. replying to a comment from Rik Ocvirk / June 21, 2014 at 02:32 pm
website doesn't work bruh
FishFan replying to a comment from Fallerboy / June 22, 2014 at 04:22 pm
i heard he has no idea what he's doing and it's doomed from the get go.. should be interesting to see how long he lasts! Penrose fo lyfe.
Pie / June 23, 2014 at 06:34 am
I love how they found reason to be offended, enough to submit real derogatory terms they would otherwise be scared to say in my face.

No white boy ever grew up with... mad someone called them gwailo
Trying to be Clear / June 26, 2014 at 01:24 am
Lol Gwailo is changing their name. People who uses this word and think it's okay to use it because it's common or they hear it too often from their parents or friends as 'jokes' need to open a history book.

My grandparents worked for British colonists in Hong Kong. Their masters were nice thankfully, but there's a whole history in slavery and oppression which fuel the word gwailo. The slaves building is still standing in Hong Kong, not in use, but as a reminder to this history. Honestly, people who uses this word freely never studied history or even bother to care. Using the excuse as 'people I know have been using it playfully' means you're ignorant. The hate in this word was still strong in the 80s, that's later than ww2. When people make Holocost jokes, people frown upon it. Why? becuase education. We know the bads of ww2, yet no one knows anything about chinese history. Immigration do jade a lot of meanings, but it doesn't erase history.

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