Food & Drink

11 new restaurants and bars to check out in February

Where to eat ramen, ceviche, jerk chicken and macarons, right now

Assembly Chef’s Hall
111 Richmond St. W., 647-557-5993,

More on Assembly Chef's Hall

The massive Assembly Chef's Hall is finally open. Here's everything you should order
Food & Drink

The massive Assembly Chef’s Hall is finally open. Here’s everything you should order

Downtown Toronto’s new 18,000-square-foot emporium of all (well, most) things edible, is now open seven days a week, for breakfast lunch, dinner and drinks. The space houses 18 vendors from some of the city’s top restaurateurs—including DaiLo, Khao San Road, Los Colibris and Cherry Street Bar-B-Que—plus a beer hall and a wine bar. Once winter takes a hike, Assembly will even have a patio. It’s proof, at last, that we really can have nice things.


Campo Food Hall
433 King St. W., no phone,

Inspired by the all-day markets and tapas bars of Spain, Campo Food Hall is chef Rob Bragagnolo’s (Carver) early-morning-to-late-night food emporium. Here, visitors will find an ELXR beverage bar; a grab-and-go counter stocked with pastries, salads and prepared hot dishes; a retail section stocked with Spanish cheese and conservas; a full-service bar pouring Spanish wine, Spanish beer and plenty of vermouth; and Labora, a sit-down tapas restaurant.



Chubby’s Jamaican
104 Portland St., 416-792-8105,

Janet Zuccarini’s (Gusto 101, Gusto 54, Trattoria Nervosa, Felix) new King West Caribbean restaurant serves a menu rooted in Jamaican classics (oxtail stew, curry goat, jerk chicken), but a handful of dishes (like a kale-and-pomegranate salad) are more Toronto than they are traditional. To drink, there are signature takes on classic cocktails, over-the-top tropical concoctions, “fiyah quenchers” (so, beer) and a rum list.


1184 Queen St. W., 647-340-3640,

This new West Queen West bar is also a corner store—and a portal to the ‘80s. Anyone in their 30s or 40s will appreciate the walk-down-memory-lane decor (functioning party line phones, He-Man and She-Ra wallpaper) and convenience store staples (Bubble Tape, Push Pops), but everyone will be able to get behind $5 kegged cocktails and Whopper pretenders.


Craft Beer Market
1 Adelaide St. E., 437-922-2337,

Just one of the big new beer halls taking over the downtown core, this Calgary-based operation seats 400 people and pours beer (and cider and wine) from 160 taps. The 50-item food menu includes just about every North American bar-food favourite: wings, poutine, burgers, ribs, nachos and fried pickles. A few international flavours (tacos, ahi poke bowls, coconut curry shrimp, Korean lettuce wraps) round it out.


619 King St. W., 416-214-3180,


This King West club occupies the space that once house Candyland, the (unsurprisingly) short-lived burlesque bar/supper club). Gone are the tequila shots and trapeze artists, replaced by chef Romain Avril’s (Lavelle) refined snacks (duck confit wontons, B.C. rockfish ceviche), fancy cocktails and $5,900 bottles of Remy Louis XIII.


Kay Pacha
744 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-0568,

After running a successful pop-up out of a Queen West cocktail bar, chef Elias Salazar now has a Peruvian restaurant of his own. Salazar’s contemporary twists on classic dishes include staples like causita (a layered potato dish) and wok-fried beef served with fresh linguini coated in huancaína, a spicy and creamy cheese sauce. To drink: pisco and pisco cocktails, of course.



5051 Yonge St., no phone,

This Yonge and Sheppard ramen joint has some serious pedigree: it’s the only international location of Konjiki, chef Atsushi Yamamoto’s noodle house in Japan with Michelin Bib Gourmand status. Yamamoto prepares his ramen using traditional methods, but infuses each bowl with contemporary and unique flavours, like truffle and porcini mushroom oils, or clams and lobster. No reservations are taken for the 48-seat space (so, in other words, get in line).


3401 Dufferin St., 416-629-2391, @ladureecanada

Between the Cheesecake Factory and fancy French expat Ladurée, Yorkdale is basically one big lineup. The mall’s new macaron boutique sells not only the petite French cookies in a bajillion flavours, but also more substantial dishes, including their signature rose raspberry French toast and a full-on afternoon tea service.


74 Ossington Ave., 416-546-3022,

From the team behind some of the city’s best kitchens comes Tanto, an Argentine restaurant on Ossington. Here, chef Julian Iliopolus (Cava) cooks all manner of flora and fauna on a wood-fired grill. Niall McCotter (Cava, Chabrol, Atlas) is behind the list of consignment wines, most of which are from Italian, French and Spanish producers.


Tuk Tuk Canteen
397 Roncesvalles Ave., no phone, @tuktukcanteen


The Rude Boy burger joint on Roncesvalles has been replaced by Tuk Tuk Canteen, where chef Mike Tan cooks up his takes on Cambodian classics (or adding Cambodian flavours to things like siu mai or chicken wings). Bartender Meaghan Murray (Northwood, Patois) stirs up refreshing cocktails, including pitchers of rum punch.


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