Queens Cross Food Hall

Queen's Cross Food Hall

Queen's Cross Food Hall is a dynamic, bustling spot bringing a dizzying collection of global dishes to its home inside Toronto's Eaton Centre.

From hospitality powerhouse Oliver & Bonacini, the hall is a classy upgrade to more pedestrian food courts.

Sure, you'll still find burgers and fries, fried chicken, sushi and pizza, but here each item is made to O&B's, and overseeing chef Michael Robertson's, exacting standards.

Queens Cross Food HallSince opening in late April 2024, the cashless hall has welcomed throngs of diners from morning until late.

Though food options are limited until 11 a.m., the Crossbar Café begins serving steaming lattes and cortados, Bloomer's donuts ($4.50) and a number of egg- and ham-based provisions at 7 a.m., on weekdays, and 10 a.m., on weekends. 

Queens Cross Food HallFYI; It's also a hot spot come 2 p.m., when happy hour — and its drink deals — hit.

Situated on Level 1 of the mall's southern tip, near Queen Street and the subway station, the hall's 16 stalls are a boon to anyone who lives near the mall, works in the mall, traverses the mall or simply finds themselves there.

queens cross food hallTogether, the collection fills a relative food-desert with all manner of tasty meals, made in minutes.

"We want to be everything to everybody, no matter what time it is or who they are," says Robertson, explaining that, within its confines, the hall has meals suited to different times of day, for meat-eaters and vegans, those with hearty appetites and those simply looking for a snack.

queens cross food hall"The goal is to make honest, good food without charging restaurant prices," he adds. "We want people to think, 'How the hell did they do that?,'" of the team's speed and the quality of each and every dish.

Queens Cross Food HallInspired by the idea of an active transit hub, Solid Design Creative populated the new space with statement neon signs, an ever-changing split-flap board and design touches customized to the personality of each stall, like bistro-style wood panelling at Le Petit Cornichon and mosaic tiles at Lala's Cantina.

Strolling through, the sensation is more, "I want it all," than the foreboding realization of having to settle felt at most food courts.

Queens Cross Food HallAlready clogging up the aisles with its menu of saucy smashed offerings, Swanky Burger has emerged as an early favourite among the newly opened stalls.

Queens Cross Food HallA towering two-hander built from a double serving of 3-ounce beef patties, swanky sauce and requisite veg, the Swanky Smash Burger with American cheese ($14) is the naughty lunch we all want.

At Underground Sandwich, Nonna's Meatball Sub ($15) proves that grandma knows best, at least when it comes to meatballs.

Queens Cross Food HallSaucy and rich, with a healthy portion of tender pork meatballs, cheese, and basil pesto aioli, this sandwich will turn everyone — even skeptics — into Nonna's number one fans.

Queens Cross Food HallA sandwich that seems tailor-made for archetypal bros, Le Petit Cornichon’s Steak Frites Sandwich ($18) is a glorious mess of thinly sliced outside round, Swiss cheese, achingly crisp fries and peppy cornichon relish.

Queens Cross Food HallYes, you'll need to unleash your inner beast (and perhaps unhinge your jaw) to get this one down, but it's worth every meaty, tart and creamy bite.

Queens Cross Food HallAlso from the Maison-Selby spin-off, a Pressed Croissant with shaved ham and cheese ($10) is a lighter bite you'll crave no matter the time of day.

Queens Cross Food HallRooted in South American cuisine, Lala's Cantina (an offshoot of O&B's fan-favourite Leña) serves up tacos, bowls, and light meals, like a veggie-packed Cantina Salad ($9) and empanadas, supplied by Gaucho Pie Co.

Queens Cross Food HallEasy to squirrel back to the office, Gaucho Beef Empanada ($7) and Chimichurri Chicken Empanada ($7) make a satisfying lunch, best devoured with strong coffee. In fact, you'll want to save some of that cafecito for crumbly, soft, just-sweet-enough Alfajores ($5).

Queens Cross Food HallItalo-files will find sustenance at Red Sauce and the Libretto Slice Shop, one of only a couple of stalls at Queen's Cross Food Hall not created by O&B.

Queens Cross Food HallA place where you can select your noodle shape, sauce of choice and add-ons, Red Sauce is for those who like to have final say. Delivered in record time, Bucatini with Kale Pesto ($12) and burrata ($8) is fresh and hot, and enough for two.

Queens Cross Food HallDishing out chef Rocco Agostino's pitch-perfect pizzas, the slice shop is the spot to sample any one — from Hawaiian ($8) to Funghi ($8) or a square slice of Spicy Soppressata ($8) — without having to commit to the whole thing.

Queens Cross Food HallStill, with compressed pineapple, slender jalapeño slices and hot honey, most wouldn't balk at demolishing a whole Hawaiian pie.

Lighter eaters take note — it's not all fried fare and gargantuan portions at Queen's Cross. At both Garden Variety and Babel Hummus Bar, vegetables are at the forefront in dishes ranging from lofty salads to jumbled bowls.

Queens Cross Food HallWhole Grain Tabbouleh Bowl ($10) with falafel ($4) admirably straddles the line between virtuous and craveable, meaning you don't have to choose between the two.

queens cross food hallServing alcohol after 11 a.m., Crossbar is a bright spot to indulge (though the entire space is licensed, meaning diners can imbibe where they will).

Queens Cross Food HallTaking inspiration from the hall's variety of food venues meant that the team "wasn't pigeonholed into any one concept, and got to create a really playful cocktail menu," says associate director of O&B, Amy Teggart.

Queens Cross Food HallPeruse the list and find obvious links in Captain Neon's Fresh Caught Caesar ($12), a nod to fish-and-chip shop, Captain Neon, and Tia Lala's Paloma ($15).

Queens Cross Food HallCurious Bubbles ($11) and Underground Punch ($13), meanwhile, are juicy and bright riffs on classics.

Queens Cross Food HallThe beverage card also boasts a number of spirit-free treats, and beer and wine by what Teggart calls "local friends," including Lost Craft and 13th Street Winery.

A place for all cravings, with appeal for on-the-clock workers, sluggish shoppers and everyone in between, Queen's Cross Food Hall is a departure for a company accustomed to feeding us at its catalogue of high-end restaurants and event spaces.

queens cross food hall"I love a challenge," laughs Robertson, of the monumental task. As he helps O&B "break whatever mold we think we know," he's steering the company into new territory. With a focus on great food and drinks, though, it seems entirely in keeping with what the company has always done best.

Queens Cross Food HallQueen's Cross Food Hall is located in CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Level 1, at 220 Yonge Street.

Photos by

Fareen Karim 

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