restaurant chains toronto

25 restaurant and retail chains that came to Toronto in 2017

The restaurant and retail chains that came to Toronto in 2017 are all about the way we bring the world to this city. Japanese ramen, Parisian macarons, giant fried chicken, Greek coffee, luxe workout gear, perfume and eyewear now need not come at the extra cost of purchasing a plane ticket.

Here are some notable restaurant and retail chains that came to Toronto this year.

Cheesecake Factory

The lineups to get into the only Canadian outpost of the U.S. chain in Yorkdale mall are so long they've inspired memes. The only thing that might be longer is the menu, which boasts page after page of fusion comforts of epic proportions. If you’re going to spend all that time waiting to get in, make sure you save room for the amazing cheesecake.


This cafe feels like it was transplanted directly from the streets of Paris right into Yorkdale. Shades of teal and pink, dainty tea sets, macaron towers and servers outfitted in cutesy uniforms are something out of a little girl’s fantasy, but with origins going all the way back to 1862, there’s real French technique to back it up.


Ramen fans in Toronto have been salivating to get a taste of the elevated noodle soup at this chain from Japan.

laduree toronto

There were long lineups at Laduree when it opened its first Toronto location at Yorkdale. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Pablo Cheese Tart

Ooey gooey molten cheese tarts in three flavours (original, matcha and chocolate) imprinted with an eye-popping logo to rival Uncle Tetsu are the specialty at this chain from Japan with a location near Bay and Dundas.

Kiss the Tiramisu

This Korean chain has a small stand in Kensington Market where they sell their tiramisu soft serve creations of mascarpone, cheese sauce, coffee sauce, ice cream, cookies and cocoa powder.


The Austrian cheese buns from this chain have become wildly popular in Asia, and now Toronto has our very shop right near Bloor and Yonge. The squishy stuffed buns that barely fit in your mouth come in flavours like mango, ube, chocolate and strawberry.

Cheers Cut

Speaking of food that can hardly fit in your mouth, Toronto has a new spot for huge fried chicken in a food hall on Yonge near Gerrard. Get XXL chicken spicy or stuffed with cheese, and don’t forget the sauce and plastic gloves.

james cheese back ribs

Toronto was introduced to James Cheese Back Ribs when they opened their first Canadian location in Chinatown. Photo by Hector Vasquez.


This Japanese dessert chain now has a North York location where they offer their picture-perfect soft serve, cakes and specialties like matcha ice cream topped with burnt marshmallow.

James Cheese Back Ribs

So wrong but oh so right, spicy ribs are wrapped in molten stretchy cheese at this Chinatown location of the Korean chain. Fill up on other fried snacks, pints and cocktails too.


Gigantic fried chicken is topped with spicy powder and seaweed at this Chinese import at Bloor and Yonge. Crispy on the outside, with steamy and juicy breast meat on the inside, it’s handheld chicken at its finest.

QJD Peking Duck

Peking duck is even artfully arranged into the shape of a rose at this upscale Chinese chain that has a Toronto location in Markham. It took them long enough: the place has been open in Beijing since 1864.

dagu rice noodle

It's all about the noodle bowls at Dagu Rice Noodle. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Dagu Rice Noodle

This Chinese chain specializing in, you guessed it, rice noodle soup opened up a Bay and Dundas location this year. Their pork bone broth is expertly prepared, and you can get their soups in a range of styles.

Craft Beer Market

This locally focused chain started out west, but we now have our very own megapub with over a hundred taps right here in the Financial District.

Dazzling Cafe

North York now has a location of this twee Taiwanese chain where the chairs have bunny ears and they serve pretty toasts, desserts and drinks.

Coffee Island

Greek coffee is specially prepared in an ibriq heated with sand at this new haven for coffee nerds with a location in the Yonge and Wellesley area. They sell a ton of specialty coffee equipment, and you can even design your own blend.

halal guys toronto

Toronto couldn't wait to get a taste of the Halal Guys when they opened their first Toronto restaurant on Yonge St. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Latea Era

Teas “crowned” with a thick fluffy cheese foam topping can be found in Scarborough at this cafe with origins in Foshan, China.

Halal Guys

Lines form quickly at the Yonge and Wellesley location of this chain that started out as a humble food cart in New York. The smell of shawarma alone is enough to draw customers into this place, but beware their fiery hot sauce!

Cafe Landwer

This Israeli chain opened up a spot in Richmond Hill this year, where they serve brunch, lunch and dinner that combines North American and Israeli influences with items like shakshuka, rugalach and cheesecake.

Green Tea Restaurants

There are over 50 of these in China, so we are definitely in for a treat with the opening of a Markham location of this Chinese chain that does Hangzhou-style dishes inspired by traditional market eats.

ryu toronto

RYU arrived in Toronto via the west coast and specializes in practical and stylish athletic wear. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Retail Stores

High-end athletic equipment comes to us from the west at the Queen West location of this shop. Some of the most practical and stylish duffels and backpacks can be found here along with apparel that transitions from the gym to the streets effortlessly.


Weather changes at a moment's notice in Toronto, so thank goodness we now have Hunter in Yorkdale mall to provide us with premium wellies and brollies to jump puddles in style.

Le Labo

The West Queen West outpost of the high end NYC perfumer is the first in Canada. All the most coveted unisex scents are available in perfumes, lotions, soaps, candles and other industrial-chic products made by hand.

le labo toronto

Toronto now smells even better thanks to Le Labo's first solo storefront in the city. Photo by Hector Vasquez.


The first Toronto location of this Seattle outerwear store is on West Queen West. They have men’s and women’s apparel, luggage and bags, as well as hunting, fishing and camping gear.


The West Queen West flagship represents this eyewear brand designed in NYC and manufactured in Italy. It's a must visit if you're changing up your optical frames or balling out on a new pair of sunnies for a getaway.


Ossington now has a flagship location of this high end snowboarding store where they host product knowledge sessions with wine and cheese socials afterwards.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Cheers Cut

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