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new restaurants toronto

The 10 hottest new restaurants in Toronto

Newly opened restaurants in Toronto this spring continue to bask in the buzz of new press, full reservation books, and/or curious diners clamouring for a first taste. There's never been a better time to open a restaurant in Toronto, and these places are top of the heap when it comes to the buzz machine.

Here are my picks for the hottest new restaurants to open so far this year.

Bar Raval
Packed since day one, Chef Grant Van Gameren's new all day Spanish snack bar on College is serving up pintxos and cocktails in a luxe standing room-only bar.

La Carnita East
The east side has fully embraced this new taqueria, and during peak hours you'll witness patrons clamouring for a table. Never mind the hype, the menu is well worthwhile, featuring La Carnita's signature tacos topped with crispy chicken or ancho braised beef cheeks, plus exclusive daily features like the crispy oxtail taco.

The reservation books on Friday and Saturday night are all filled up during dinner hour at this modern Chinese restaurant on Spadina in the old Strada space. It must have something to do with the celebrity status of chefs Eric Chong and Alvin Leung, or it could be because of menu options like Peking duck and lobster chow mein.

The place is disproportionately small compared to the big bold flavours that the kitchen is putting out, which only makes getting a table more challenging/rewarding. Dishes like katsu pork belly buns, stuffed chicken wings, and hamachi tartare are truly delicious.

The Dirtybird
Northern style fried chicken and waffles is a delectable new attraction in Kensington Market where three piece chicken dinners boast crackling skin and come coated with maple dust or can be ordered boneless on top of buttered waffles.

Annette Food Market
The Good Neighbour has taken over the space next door and performed a miracle; turning water into wine, or more literally, acquiring a liquor license (something former tenants could never accomplish). The new menu offers pizza, beets with burrata, and ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms.

Lucky Red 2.0
Momentum continues to pick up for this newly revamped Chinatown snack bar. The newly licensed outfit serves up original 2oz cocktails and dishes out fun and affordable small plates like hambaogers, nachos Koreano, and duck gravy poutine.

Fat City Blues
Blues enthusiasts have a new reason to rejoice at this newly opened College St. bar where live music and a menu of authentic New Orleans-style grub is served until late night.

Buster Rhino's
The suburban legends are true; Buster Rhino's does truly delicious barbecue including perfect dry-rubbed ribs and wings that are smoked then deep fried. The new spot on College St. is only three weeks old, but already locals have become converts after years of allegiance to Phil's.

Local 1794
Twenty three craft draught beers and a meat-centric menu featuring goodies like charcuterie and wild boar pizza are the big draw at this Danforth East establishment.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for the hottest new restaurants in Toronto via the comments. Photo of La Carnita by Jesse Milns.

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