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