The top 10 restaurants to open in Toronto this summer
New restaurants have made a big splash in Toronto this summer, adding even more excitement to our already booming dining scene. Street foods in cocktail-fueled settings continue to bask in the limelight, while we're also seeing a resurgence of well-established chefs toying with new approaches.
Here are my picks for the most signiciant restaurant openings in Toronto this summer.
Otto's Berlin Donner
Berlin street foods, including the famous shaved meat sandwich and curry doused sausages, landed in Kensington Market this summer. While the food menu has proved the main draw, the German beers on tap, the sunny patio, and late night service on weekends are also big draws.
Pizzeria Libretto and Porchetta & Co. joined forces this summer to bring a taste of southern Italian street food to Toronto. The menu features an array of fritto misto, wood-fired and deep fried pizzas, and has been a welcome addition to Little Italy.
Raca Cafe and Bar
By all accounts, accomplished chef Ivana Raca has impressed the neighbourhood by presenting dishes like spicy steak tartare, and Peruvian pork meatballs with ricotta gnocchi to Parkdale.
This third floor French restaurant rides against the current tide of casual dining to offer serious cuisine served in a tasting menu format with refined service to match.
The Chase Hospitality Group took a foray into Japanese cuisine this summer when it opened this multi-level restaurant in the heart of Yorkville. The restaurant group already prides itself on sourcing top quality seafood, and they've smartly brought on chefs like Michael Parubocki (formerly Momofuku) and Daisuke Izutsu (Don Don Izakaya) to execute their vision.
Bold Polynesian flavours and fruity cocktails have really hit the spot this summer in Parkdale. Find this place packed in the evenings as crowds pile in for rum punch and Spam pintxo.
Swan by Rose and Sons
The relic of a restaurant on West Queen West has been preserved and refurbished by chef Anthony Rose, who is now serving up a fresh take on Californian cuisine. Look forward to dishes like salmon tartare and mescal steamed mussels.
It's hard not to like this concept that melds all day breakfasts, retro soda fountain desserts and slow smoked BBQ fare all into one 24-hour menu. The restaurant has taken all summer to really find its groove, but after the bars close and in a drunken state, where else can one pig out on bacon and brie hotcakes?
Kaka All You Can Eat
This AYCE sushi parlour in Markham continues to impress with thick slices of fish and even aburi options. Now open for lunch (in addition to dinner) the place can garner long lines so making advance reservations is a wise route when planning on pigging out here.
The rooftop beer garden has a lot of things going for it, staring with its laid-back backyard BBQ vibe and unmatched views of the city. The menu of scratch-made foods from Rory McGouran (ex-416 Snack Bar) is especially worthwhile, featuring delicious flame-grilled cheeseburgers and bratwurst at reasonable prices.
What did I miss? Add your summer restaurant picks to the comments.
Lead photo of Otto's Berlin Doner.
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