Dine on 3 (Yorkdale Mall)
Dine on 3 is Yorkdale's new food court which the mall is selling as a new dining experience. Part of a major expansion to the mall, the $35 million project brings with it added space, new restaurants and even the chance to reserve seating, a first for food courts in the city.
Similar to the Eaton Centre's Urban Eatery , Dine on 3 serves up an enhanced eating experience compared to the old food court, which was a bit outdated for a mall that's been heralded for its upper class elegance.
This food court boasts many firsts including Chipotle's first food court location as well as brand new dining concepts from the Spring Rolls Group (with their new Japanese-inspired restaurant, SU & SHI Noodle Bar) and Glow (with their gourmet grilled cheese joint, Glow Press).
Upon heading up the first of two flights of escalators, we're greeted with the world's largest Illy Espressamente Café. The Italian gelateria and café is sleek and spacious, with patio seating overlooking mall-goers, perfect for people-watching. The dining area is complete with a unique custom-made chandelier made up of 96 painted espresso cups, a defining piece that'll surely grab people's attention immediately. The separate floor almost makes you forget that you're in a bustling mall and creates a relaxed atmosphere away from the other 18 restaurants upstairs.
The 45,000 square feet of space on the third floor is a combination of regular chains like Subway, KFC and A&W and sectioned-off restaurant spaces for Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria and Amaya which, unlike its Eaton Centre location, is offering an upgraded menu featuring wraps and stuffed naan bread. The latter two restaurants are also licensed (along with SU & SHI and Illy) so people looking to grab a glass of wine between shopping stops can find solace in those spots.
And, as previously mentioned, you can now reserve seats within the food court ahead of time by either downloading the Dine on 3 app or going to customer service. No more aimlessly wandering around, looking for seats with a food tray in your hands!
Although most of the space still resembles a food court — except shinier — you'll also find an almost lounge-like section complete with fireplaces and an outdoor patio overlooking a not-so-inspiring view of grey buildings and parking lots. Still, the added seats and tables outside make for a novel touch to a food court.
Highlights include Glow Press' gourmet spin on grilled cheese, giving customers healthy fresh products and a rotating menu that works with what's in season as well as Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria which promises the "true taste of Naples," complete with a wood burning oven imported right from Italy. "It's not really part of the food court so it feels like you're in an actual restaurant," Famoso owner Kelly Farraj says.
Dine on 3 is pretty reflective of Yorkdale's high-end vs. chains aesthetic and only time will tell if the reservation service proves successful or not but, just as the Urban Eatery did, Dine on 3 looks like it has transformed its dining space into a welcoming, new space that offers old and new options.
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Editor's Note: Want to try the food court out for yourself? Enter our contest to win a Yorkdale VIP shopping and dining experience .
Writing and photos by Melody Lau