burdock toronto


Burdock has set up shop in what used to be Portuguese chicken resto Churrasqueira Aveirense and transformed the space into an artist-driven bar/restaurant/music hall/future-microbrewery run by a group of musicians and music lovers.

Inspired by Montreal's well-loved bar/bistro/music venue Casa del Popolo , the former churrasqueira has been split into two deep rectangular spaces: upon entering, there is the restaurant/bar/future-microbrewery, and a door on the left leads to the music hall.

burdock toronto

Charlotte Cornfield, the hall's booker, aims to program a wide variety of quality music. Since Cornfield and Underhill are musicians themselves, they understand the wants and needs of those who play here. The custom-designed, acoustically isolated hall is relatively intimate - it can hold at least 90 and has its own bar separate from the restaurant's.

burdock toronto

Back on the restaurant/bar's side, the space feels welcoming and homelike; in addition to smaller tables, there's a communal dining table by the bar, which resembles a wide kitchen counter.

For decor, there are hanging plants, what looks like the side of a staircase leading to nowhere and lovely tiles left over from the churrasqueira.

burdock toronto

In the back, gleaming brew kettles indicate the imminent arrival of a new microbrewery. Burdock plans to offer its own craft beers using Ontario yeasts and hops come summertime, with guidance from Brewery Director Matt Park and Lead Brewer David Everitt.


They're offering a rotating list of pale ales, saisons, pilsners, sours and beer-wine hybrids that are all brewed in house.

Like the venue itself, the kitchen (open 'til 11pm daily) is helmed by a hyphenate. Jeremy Dennis ( Woodlot , Chantecler ) is a chef/musician/homebrewer, making him a perfect fit for Burdock - and vice versa - as this place incorporates everything he loves.

Chef has created a multi-format menu of contemporary Canadian fare using local, seasonal ingredients when possible. A majority of it is vegetarian and can be converted to vegan if necessary.

burdock toronto

Bread and olive oil ($4) is a given, seeing as how Dennis used to work the graveyard shift at Woodlot as a breadmaker. The hand-mixed sourdough with stone-ground spelt, rye and cornmeal has a good story behind it: the starter is from Woodlot, and was brought over there by its head baker Jeff Connell from St. John's Bakery . Legend has it that it's originally from France and is over 100 years old.

burdock toronto

Dennis has come up with snacks that he would want to eat while drinking beer. His inspiration for Dufferin Doubles ($5) came from the countless times he's eaten doubles from Patty King (now known as Golden Patty) while downing beers at Ronnie's Local in Kensington.

His take on the Trini treat involves curried Saskatchewan chickpeas and onions sandwiched between pan-fried sourdough bara that uses the same starter as the bread. The two flavourful doubles come with a not-too-spicy fermented jalapeno dipping sauce.

burdock toronto

For mains, there's a charred cauliflower ($15) served with a sweet potato croquette and swiss chard. This makes for hearty comfort food, with a nice mix of salty capers, a touch of sweetness from the croquette, plus a satisfying taste of butter, oil and char.

burdock toronto

Following this hearty, home-y theme is the ale roast pork shoulder ($15), one of only two meat dishes on the menu. It's amusingly described as "a gnarly hunk of mustard and ale-slathered slow-roasted pork shoulder," and it's served with sauteed sauerkraut (yum), black kale and smashed potatoes. The "gnarly hunk" is super tender and a pleasure to eat, as everything is perfectly seasoned.

burdock toronto

Locals are starting to discover the spot, and it should become even more popular when the side patio opens up. The crowd transitions from older couples and families dining with kids in the early evening to a 20-to-30-something demographic after 10pm looking to catch a hot band or live DJ set. It seems Burdock wants to be all things to all people, and surprisingly enough, it may just succeed.

burdock toronto

Photos by

Jesse Milns


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1 Upcoming Event
About the Event
  • April 18

    The Music Gallery presents

    Nadah El Shazly + ZOE

    Part of the Departures series

    Curated by Tad Michalak

    Last year’s Land of Kush concert at the Aga Khan museum was a season highlight, and marked our introduction to Egyptian singer Nadah El Shazly. She returns to the Departures series to headline at one of our favourite venues, Burdock.

    Though El Shazly started out singing Misfits ...

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