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Best of Toronto

The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2011

Posted by Frank / January 12, 2012

Best Restaurants Toronto 2011The best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2011 are a varied lot to be sure with
everything from tacos to Thai, 'cue to Guu making an appearance. Since timing is everything in these kinds of end-of-year things, some places made it in by the skin of their teeth to qualify for this year's list (I'm lookin' at you Grand Electric & Yours Truly).

Low-key appears to still be the flavour of the moment as diners flock en masse to neighbourhood joints offering up tasty grub at a reasonable price-point in relaxed digs. Jen Agg's ears must be burning with the constant mention several of these restaurants as the next Black Hoof. Time will tell, but for now we've got some eating to do.

Here are the best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2011.

See also:

Grand Electric

Grand Electric

The second coming of the Black Hoof? Unlikely and irrelevant despite the pata negra pedigree. Ex-hoofers Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan offer up mouth-watering tacos, ceviche, pozole and menudo in an unpretentious space which will more than double in size with the opening of the patio this summer. Throw in a sick bourbon collection and some Enter the Wu-Tang and you've got a most welcome addition to Parkdale. More »

Khao San Road

Khao San Road

Jeff and Nuit Regular’s west-end temple to Thai was slammed from day one thanks to word-of-mouth-and-tweet buzz from folks who braved the trek east to Regent Park and sampled their cuisine at Sukhothai. Much of the card made the trip west and along with outstanding additions like squash fritters and a liquor license, Khao San Road offers an authentic taste of Thailand in a room about as west-end Toronto as it gets. More »

Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse

Ten years ago folks bemoaned the lack of serious barbecue in this town but with the opening of the Stockyards and now Barque, the city is swimming in smoke and sauce and Barque in Roncesvalles is the latest welcome addition pit stop on the quickly coalescing barbecue trail. With excellent offerings such as brisket poutine, succulent smoked chicken, and a variety of beef and pork on offer it’s best to get a sampler platter and spare yourself the agony of deciding which menu items to give the axe. More »

Guu Sakabar

Guu Sakabar

Transforming an annex-area Burger King took longer than expected but it appears to have been worth the wait with the second outpost of the popular Vancouver izakaya chain receiving rave reviews for it’s inventive take on Japanese inspired tapas. Classics like takoyaki and ramen share space with Kimchi Udon and Fried Brie on the pub’s extensive and extremely tasty menu. More »

Goods & Provisions

Goods & Provisions

From the people who brought you the Comrade, Leslieville’s Goods & Provisions offers a short card of comfort food in some seriously charming digs. Perfectly grilled steak, duck-fat frites and Korean-inspired tacos share center stage in a lovely speak easy inspired space. Considering their other place is renowned for its extensive list of Belgian brews, the compact wine list at G & P offers an excellent selection of local and imported vino at a decent price. More »

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

New kid on the Ossington block, this dinner and cocktail spot is home to emerging Chef Jeff Claudio whose pedigree is certainly impressive, having deputized at Noma in Copenhagen and Per Se in NYC among others. A nightly meat/veg prix fixe gives way at 10 pm to snacks and bevies for the late-night crowd looking to line their bellies before heading out for some shenanigans in the area. More »

County General

County General

No Splendido-lite. Co-owners Carlo Catallo and Victor Barry transformed the former Oddfellows space, mashing up southern snack bar with lumber yard for a tasty addition to West Queen West. Fried chicken thigh and Cajun catfish sandwiches, frites served in a low-ball glass and an impressive selection of bourbon go a long way to justifying the line-ups for yet another “next-black-hoof” at the hipper end of Queen St. More »

Ortolan

Ortolan

Though the tiny song bird isn’t actually on the menu, this tiny, 26 seater no-reservations resto in Bloordale does offer up some un-fussy, locally sourced, French and Italian influenced cuisine. Chef-owners Damon Clements and Daniel Usher cut their teeth on Lower Ossington (Delux and Pizzeria Libretto respectively) and offer a seasonally rotating card that has people flocking to this formerly unfashionable stretch of Bloor. More »

Discussion

32 Comments

andrew / January 12, 2012 at 10:42 am
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Love Khao San Road and Guu Sakabar.

Acadia, Barque, County General on my to do list!
Amer / January 12, 2012 at 10:46 am
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Love Khao San Road! Guu is great but I wish they'd change up their Bloor St. menu more often.
What / January 12, 2012 at 11:16 am
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How did The Gabardine not make this list?! Easily one of the best new restaurants in this city in 2011.
Margaret / January 12, 2012 at 11:23 am
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Visited Ortolan over the holidays and was delighted with my experience. It had an intimate cosy atmosphere... with wonderful food & wine. Ordered the gnocchi gorgonzola, which was delicious; the only criticism I have is that there were small portions, so don't go starving!!
JoeParez / January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am
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+1 for Barque!

But man do I ever have to get out to new restaurants!
freddie / January 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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To each their own, but in my experience, Ortolan was terrible. I can't believe it made the list.
Robbed / January 12, 2012 at 02:20 pm
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I was really hoping Cardinal Rule was going to make this list. It's a great new addition to the Roncy area with excellent food.
Adam / January 12, 2012 at 03:00 pm
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Are you kidding me? Anyone who thinks Grand Electric is #1 has never had a taco outside Toronto. The meat was good, but the tacos were totally one-dimensional. And for 12 bucks could they have poured me a smaller shot of bourbon?

Barque was mediocre and will never measure up to the Stockyards.

Blah. Toronto restaurants are so boring these days. I love cheap food and pork, but make them well please.
Jaime aka The Tomato Snob / January 12, 2012 at 03:19 pm
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I've heard great things about Ko San Rd. curious to know if it's authentic. Barque did not impress me although people do love it. Will definitely be checking out some of the other spots.
Linas replying to a comment from Adam / January 12, 2012 at 05:14 pm
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Barque was trying to be too fancy. OK, but not amazing. Might go back for the chicken fingers and the cesar salad, they were delicious.

Stockyards food was pretty good, got treated like crap though and not going back. Paul and Sandy's Real Southern BBQ is my favourite.
M / January 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm
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This list is missing Keriwa Cafe!
Rena / January 15, 2012 at 09:21 am
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As a vegetarian who often gets dragged to meat-heavy restaurants with my family, I had an amazing experience at Barque. My brothers and mom loved all the meat-y goodness, and the server was very nice to me and got the chef to make me something special. Definitely recommend it! :)
Dalia replying to a comment from M / January 17, 2012 at 09:12 pm
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Damn right! I logged in to say the exact same thing!
Tee / January 30, 2012 at 01:58 pm
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Also missing: Bannock!
denverrifiume / February 23, 2012 at 01:39 am
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I'm newbie and a new user in this forum, but I hope to help and be helped by others. :)
yash / March 11, 2012 at 08:56 pm
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Ya chicken finger is really really some thing must have kind of thing at barque
Erick / March 11, 2012 at 08:58 pm
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I guess I I'll try Barque smokies
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biasedhipstera / April 11, 2012 at 02:16 pm
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Leave it to blogto to again only choose restaurants based on how west and trendy they are. Thanks again for no real information being passed along.
mb / May 1, 2012 at 04:09 pm
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why would they include ortolan as one of the best new restaurants when they gave it a scathing review? blog to, get it together
oe / September 2, 2012 at 06:13 am
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Grand electric? its all about hype!

Barque? fuck that shit! small portions and they need to learn how to bbq. I only enjoyed the spatzel. Crappy service. Those fucking hipsters with their masters in visual arts need to learn how to waiter!
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