The top 40 new restaurants in Toronto by neighbourhood
New restaurants in Toronto managed to both open in and survive 2020 in order to bring us delicious eats. Unlike previous years that saw Toronto flooded with more hot and new concepts than one could count, there were far fewer arrivals in 2020 due to the pandemic, but there are still plenty worth trying.
Here are my picks for the top new restaurants in Toronto by neighbourhood.
Aunty Lucy's is the exciting summertime arrival from Chieff Bosompra and Adrian Forte of Dirty Bird and the pop-up Yawd. A lean menu of fast food essentials include smash burgers and fried chicken combos out of the Annex Hotel.
Fitting in nicely with the Baldwin Street is Yuugi Izakaya, which offers a leaner menu than similar counterparts. A tonkatsu sando uses bread from Black Bird Baking Co. and ham from Sanagan's, giving it a more local touch.
Bombay Snack Bar has landed on Bayview Avenue with a menu that gathers inspiration from both Iran and India. Expect chaat, vada pau, keema, and cakes all together on one menu.
Cassava steps up with dishes from Nigeria and the Congo that include grilled meats like suya, plaintain, and a mandatory order of cassava bread. Head to Lansdowne Avenue to try their eba or fufu as sides.
The team behind Sugo opened up a pizzeria right next door called Conzo's. Slightly more spacious, the spot uses flour from Manitoba and draws inspo from pizzerias in New York and L.A.
Just steps from Jane station is Noodle Me, a lowkey spot for bowls of northern Chinese noodles. Pulled and cut to order, the standout style here is definitely noodles made using the knife shaving technique.
Located on Caledonia Road is the more casual sibling to Mercado Negro, Casa Portuguesa. The hot table here is complete with all the Portuguese staples from codfish to stews, chicken, potatoes and rice.
The hunt for laksa downtown is over. Chinatown finally has a spot for Indo-Malay cuisine thanks to KL Kitchen, which has an expansive menu of dishes like nasi goreng and curry chicken noodles.
The much-anticipated Italian restaurant Gusto 501 opened this year as a multi-level destination on King East. Come here for a coffee pit stop, a wood-fire pizza straight from the oven, or theatrical cocktails.
Indian and Nepalese come hot and fresh at Spice 505. Tandoori-style dishes are popular, as are their plentiful vegetarian options like aloo gobi or paneer tikka.
A number of Distillery businesses have joined forced to create the aptly named District Pizza, serving up pies with toppings like organic tomatoes and romesco sauce.
Kensington Market's spot for El Salvadorean pupusas, Casamiento, moved to its own standalone on Dupont Street, with its menu of bean and cheese fillings and tasty guac.
Completo, the Leslieville spot for decked out Chilean-style hot dogs, now has a second location on Broadview Avenue. They've come a distance from their original stall in Kensington Market.
The newest concept from the folks behind Aburi have launched a King Street West endeavour called Minami serving high end oshi, maki, sushi platters and small Japanese plates.
Revolver Pizza joins the main drag of Mimico with its pies, described as somewhere between a New York-style slice and a Neopolitan pie. There's no freezer at Revolver, meaning everything is made fresh daily.
The vegan brand Planta has expanded to include Planta Cucina. This new outpost on Temperance Street is all about plant-based, Mexican-inspired meals.
Brothers Ben and Jack Wilkinson pay homage to their grandmother with their old-style restaurant Bothams. The menu includes delicious short ribs and a rotating list of desserts.
Century Park Tavern does brunch for the weekenders, plus a comforting menu of burgers and flatbreads. Beer and cocktails make up the drink essentials.
It's all about creamy, chickpea goodness at Abu Hummus. Organic chickpeas imported from Turkey are blended to make bowls of this Middle Eastern staple, with killer pita that's best eaten piping hot.
Tut's Egyptian Street Food is the first of its kind. Bringing sandwiches styled after the street food of Cairo, these soft, handheld buns make for one of the best late night eats in the city right now.
Queen near Coxwell has a Caribbean spot by way of Jaclyn's, which is doing Caribbean fusion with roti and veggie options.
Drop Shop by Burger Drops is the newest spot for cheap eats in Liberty Village. This mobile pop-up turned brick and mortar is all about the smash burgers.
French cuisine by way of a seasonal menu is the offering at Pompette, a lovely corner reprieve on College Street. It also offers a list of almost 300 different wines.
Mung bean crepes aren't very common in Toronto, but Maizuo Noodle and Crepe does them well. They're incredibly filling, as are their convenient bowls of hand-pulled noodles.
Local ingredients make up the menu at Wild Chicory, where nearly everything is made in-house, from the pasta to the burgers.
It may be new but Katrina Canedo's recipes at Smoke n' Roti are old and tested by time. Jerk chicken dinner served with "chunkies" and their fresh roti are recommended.
Queen Street West has a stylish new destination for Hong Kong-style noodles. Maggie Chu's is brought to us in partnership with entertainment company AMPM.
People lined up to say goodbye to Gandhi Roti after 25 years, but were rewarded with its replacement: Roti Mahal. Owned by the staff who ran Gandhi's kitchen for 20 years, you'll find all the essentials intact, including their top notch roti.
Don't be fooled by its rinky dinky name, Ding-a-Wing is frying up some mean chicken. They serve wings, sandwiches, and all the usual fry joint sides.
Art of BBQ opened at the top of 2020 but it feels like it's been around forever. Otis Redding makes for the perfect vibe to chow down on Trevor David's slow-smoked brisket, with some unconventional ingredients in the recipe.
A meal at The Butcher Chef will easily be one of the bougiest you can get in the city. The same restauranter behind Michael's on Simcoe has opened this steakhouse specializing in luxurious cuts of beef.
Feast on platters of fritay and plantain cooked in a multitude of ways at Boukan, the Haitian street food spot run by Chef Marc-elie Lissade. This subtle location in the Upper Beaches belies the vibrant energy inside.
Replacing the beloved bistro Julie's Cuban is Bernhardt's, which is shaping up to be a pretty decent spot for date night. Come for the rotisserie birds, stay for the gravy boats.
French brunch spot La Societe has been replaced by Amal, a restaurant serving Lebanese cuisine from Beirut-born chef Rony Ghaleb and nightclub king Charles Khabouth.
The izakaya Naru puts a slight twist on the usual Japanese pub eats menu with a more eclectic variety including Taiwanese Fried Chicken. They also serve ramen.
As far as breakfast sandwiches go, it doesn't get much better than the shokupan egg affairs at Egg Club. Their hashbrowns are to die for, so best to get a combo.
The elegant restaurant Aburi Hana is something to look forward to when dine-in resumes, with its 15-course menus using Japanese ingredients plus local produce.
Hector Vasquez of Conzo's
Join the conversation Load comments