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14 new restaurants, bars and food shops to check out this fall

Where to eat tater tots, brisket, yakitori and macarons right now

Alma
1194 Bloor St. W., 647-346-1881, almatoronto.com

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What's on the menu at Alma, Anna Chen's Bloordale Village home for French, Italian and Hakka Chinese flavours
Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Alma, Anna Chen’s Bloordale Village home for French, Italian and Hakka Chinese flavours

At her new Bloordale restaurant, Anna Chen (formerly of Figo) makes dishes influenced by her Hakka Chinese upbringing in India and her experience cooking in French and Italian kitchens. The menu is seasonal but has included things like pan-fried gnocchi with ricotta and tomatoes, and steamed rice wrapped up in a lotus leaf with chicken, shiitake mushrooms and house-made soy sauce.  


 
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Alobar Yorkville
162 Cumberland St., 416-961-1222, alobaryorkville.com

The Alo group’s third outpost, Alobar, is a standalone lounge in the middle of Yorkville. Patrick Kriss’s à la carte menu features crudos, seasonal sides and classic pasta, fish and meat dishes, like pork chops prepared on a Spanish-made and charcoal-powered Josper oven and grill. Pat Groves (Aloette) is responsible for elegant cocktails, and the wine list is curated by Christopher Sealy (Alo, Aloette, George, Midfield Wine Bar).  


 
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The Aviary
484 Front St. E., 647-748-2739, aviarybrewpub.com

The Canary District, Toronto’s newest neighbourhood, has itself a new local. The Aviary, from the people behind The Dock Ellis and Longslice Brewing, is equal parts sports bar and brewery—but you can still get brunch on weekends. During the week, the menu is made up of everything you’d expect from a beer-brewing sports bar: burgers, wings, chili, tater tots, fried chicken sandwiches, house-made sausages—a bunch of salty, cheesy, greasy grub (but made with local ingredients).  


 
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Beauty Barbecue & Smokehouse
Bayview Village, South Parking Lot, 2901 Bayview Ave., 647-943-6782, beautybbq.com

O&B branches out into the world of barbecue with their latest Bayview Village venture. Barbecue and smoked meat is available by the pound or stacked on a bun, and sides include cornbread, pickles, chili and even a kale salad. There’s booze, too, in the form of bottled beer, canned wine and coolers.  


 
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The Commoner
2067 Dundas St. W., 647-351-2067, thecommonerrestaurant.com

Roncesvalles’ new place to grab a pint serves pub-style comfort food including Buffalo cauliflower, a caesar wedge, short-rib sliders and dry-aged steaks. There’s a whole bunch of beer (32 taps to be exact) and a solid whisky selection. The space is pretty nice, too—you’d never guess it used to be a Wild Wing.  


 
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Daan Go
202 Baldwin St., 647-951-6335, daango.com

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Some of the city’s most adorable desserts can be found at Kensington Market’s new “pastry lab”. Here, Christopher Siu crafts cartoon character macarons, chocolate ducks swimming in twee tubs and show-stopping cakes. His sweet treats are more technical than they look, though: they incorporate classic French-style components like crémeux, but come in flavours like Ovaltine, matcha and Vietnamese coffee.  


 
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FK Restaurant
770 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-551-9731, fkrestauranttoronto.com

Chef Frank Parhizgar (Frank’s Kitchen) is at it again, but this time on St. Clair West. At his new restaurant, he makes intricate takes on refined contemporary European dishes, but with lots of Canadian influence. The changing menu might feature dishes like a warm white asparagus salad dressed in Manchego foam and a sherry-hazelnut vinaigrette, but also classic staples like steak and oysters Rockefeller. And at the end of the night, an after-dinner cart chock-full of cheese and house-made petit fours is wheeled around to each table.  


 
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Fresh on Front
47 Front St. E., 416-599-4442, freshrestaurants.ca

At its new St. Lawrence outpost, the plant-based restaurant chain offers a vegan menu of the superfood-packed, plant-based dishes that its known for, including burgers, tacos and even weekend brunch. In addition to the rainbow of organic cold-pressed juices, there’s a new line of boozy cocktails, including cold-pressed margaritas and kombucha spritzers.  


 
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Koi Koi
170 Baldwin St., 647-343-4618, koikoibar.com

From the space that previously housed longtime Kensington bar Graffiti’s, Koi Koi serves a menu of Japanese bar snacks (yakitori skewers curry croquettes, potato salad) to go along with Japanese beer, wine and lots and lots of sake. The sake is numbered on the menu (for easy ordering), and each one comes with detailed tasting notes. There’s even a fridge where customers can store their unfinished large-format bottles, to be finished on a second visit.  


 
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Market and Co.
17600 Yonge St., Newmarket, shopmarketandco.com

Toronto isn’t the only city to be blessed with fancy new food halls: Upper Canada Mall is giving food lovers a reason to visit Newmarket. Market & Co. is 40,000 square feet devoted to all things culinary. There are fast-casual and full-service restaurants (including Union Chicken and Amano) artisanal food shops and an event space with a demo kitchen.

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Mother Tongue
348 Adelaide St. W., 647-243-5858, mothertongue.ca

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The new restaurant and cocktail bar inside the Templar Hotel specializes in modern Asian dishes with Spanish, Filipino and North American twists, like a longanisa sausage sandwich topped with manchego, and dumplings stuffed with confit duck and foie gras. Two cocktail bars (main floor, lower level) deliver two very different experiences and each has their own drink menu.  


 
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Petty Cash
487 Adelaide St. W., 647-748-2274, pettycashtoronto.com

Steve Gonzalez’s new 150-seat hangout on King West is a place to grab a beer (or a fruity cocktail served in a big brass pineapple), a burger, maybe shoot some pool and, because King West, listen to some music courtesy of a DJ.  


 
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Quetzal
419 College St., 647-347-3663, quetzaltoronto.com

At Grant van Gameren’s new Mexican restaurant on College, chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo (who are also part-owners) prepare dishes using traditional Mexican techniques and flavours (but Ontario-grown ingredients whenever possible), cooking most everything (fish, Cornish hen, sweet potatoes, sausages) over the kitchen’s 24-foot-long open flame.  


 
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Sapori
1588 Dundas St. W., 647-388-9667, saporitoronto.com

From a couple of Archive alumni comes Sapori, another adorable, laid-back Italian wine bar on Dundas West. To eat, there are $5 snacks (edamame, chips and dip, fried chickpeas), as well as a menu of larger shareable plates of things like chicken wings, Welsh rarebit, and elaborate charcuterie boards. And to drink, there’s local craft beer, a few house cocktails and a whole lotta wine, including plenty of interesting by-the-glass options thanks to a Coravin system.

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