Souk Tabule

The top 10 new restaurant openings in Toronto for September

September brings different temperatures, changing fall colours, and of course, a cornucopia of exciting new restaurants to try in Toronto. We got new spots to pick up our favourite standards, like brunch and fried chicken, as well as novel additions to the food scene like Zimbabwean meat pies.

Here are my picks for the top restaurant openings in Toronto this September.

PG Cluck's
This new fried chicken squeezes into a tiny little nook right next to the Royal Cinema. Line-ups for this place are already stretching past the doors of the theatre, and for good reason: though the shop may be small, the flavour is big, with all deboned leg meat in a variety of sandwiches as well as scrumptious honey crullers and even kombucha slushies.

This brunch spot has been revitalizing the corner of Bloor and Lansdowne right next to the subway entrance ever since it opening, infusing the spot with hip Aussie coffee shop flair in an area that is tending ever more away from convenience stores and dive bars and towards vegan donuts. Full-service brunches like chia pudding or brekkie rolls are available every day - except Sunday.

Mnandi Pies
Not so much a restaurant as a food stall in a shipping container, this is a new place that's just opened up in the Market 707 strip. Chunks of stewed meat in combos like beef and kale or chicken and mushroom encased in flaky pastry are a sure-fire way to get yourself out of a beef patty rut.

New to Queen West is Canis, a fine dining establishment named for the canis lupus, or grey wolf. The beastly name is at odds with the delicate fare you'll find here, such as whole duck, poached sablefish, and house-cured trout.

It's not like King and Portland was in desperate need of more elevated lunch spots, but this place earns its keep with a chef who worked with Mark McEwan and "black pizza:" not the opposite of white pizza in some way, but rather made with dough infused with charcoal, which doesn't affect the taste but does mean you can now eat a pizza as black as your goth heart.

Pray Tell
Pray Tell is a new snack bar at College and Ossington you might have noticed from its quirky signage, a combined P and upside-down T, despite the construction fencing that ran up and down College all summer. They're fighting against it and drawing people in though, with pretty cocktails and cheap snacks like dumplings, cold rolls, and pizza pockets.

Souk Tabule
Part of the Tabule family of restaurants that serves high-end Middle Eastern, this new Souk location in the Canary District may be a little off the beaten track but is definitely worth a visit for their exotic full souk fava bean dip platter, to pick up a couple exotic ingredients from their market ("souk" in Arabic), or grab a turmeric latte. They also promise harissa caesars soon.

Kitson and Co
One of the latest openings this month, Kitson and Co serves a variety of wonders sandwiched between bread. From BLTs to muffuletta to roti, sandwich lovers can satisfy all their cravings at this new spot in Parkdale. They're only open 'til 8 now, but are planning on slinging sammies 'til 3 or 4 a.m. in the coming months.

The Belsize is a new comfy neighbourhood pub that should be thought of as more than that. Owned by John Oakes, proprietor of craft beer bar Harbord House, a variety of exclusive drafts and casks can be found here, complemented by classic pub dishes made right like pork terrine, deep-fried pickles, sausage, and calamari.

Sausage, BLTs, meat pies, fried chicken...though some of the above new restaurants have a few veggie options on the menu, none are 100% plant-based like Yorkville's new Planta. Chef David Lee of Nota Bene runs the kitchen, and has designed a menu of carrot dogs, coconut ceviche, and watermelon poke.

Did I miss an exciting new restaurant opening? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Souk Tabule by Hector Vasquez.

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