15 new restaurants to check out right now

15 new restaurants to check out right now

Where to eat house-made sausages, stuffed chicken wings, gnocchi poutine, vegan pizza and more

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Bar Buca
#5-101 Eglinton Ave. E., 416-599-2822, buca.ca/bareglinton

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The lucky folks of midtown now have a Buca restaurant to call their own. The second of its kind, this Bar Buca is also an all-day operation, serving coffee and pastries in the morning, grab-and-go grub at lunch and small plates and cocktails after the sun goes down.

Blondie’s Pizza
1555 Dundas St. E., 437-341-1555, blondiespizza.ca

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The east-end’s newest pizza joint is courtesy of the Food Dudes (Omaw, Rasa, Sara, Pantry). The takeout-focused spot serves up a short menu of pies (both red and white) with interesting toppings like truffle butter, chorizo meatballs and Peruvian chili peppers.

Cantina Mercatto
20 Wellington St. E., 416-304-0781, cantinamercatto.ca

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The newest member of the Mercatto family serves some of the brand’s favourite items (pizza, pasta carbonara) but also a whole bunch of vegetable-forward dishes and a cinq-a-sept snack menu. Also: an Italian-inspired weekend brunch.

Coffee Oysters Champagne
214 King St. W., no phone, sipshucksip.com

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There’s more to Coffee Oysters and Champagne than just coffee, oysters and champagne. The splashy King West lounge is all about bubbles and bivalves in the main bar, but the secret speakeasy entered through the champagne room serves larger dishes, like mushroom salad, grilled octopus and steak tartare.

827 Lansdowne Ave., no phone, donnas.ca

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This adorable all-day spot from ex-Momofuku members starts mornings off with pastries and cookies, sizeable sausage rolls, Spanish tortilla and quiche (all of which is gone once it’s gone, so get there early). For lunch, there are sandwiches (shrimp salad, pork belly, fried mushroom), a few (vegan) salads, a ham plate and short rib soup. And dinner service is now in full swing, with plates like marinated mussels, baked kohlrabi with rarebit sauce, and rice with shrimp and mustard greens.

Garrison Creek
760A College St., 647-748-8500, garrisoncreekto.com

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Named for one of the city’s lost rivers, Garrison Creek serves Italian fare with contemporary twist here and there: a caprese salad with deep-fried mozzarella, ravioli filled with osso bucco, gnocchi poutine and (for the little ones) cotton candy–topped gelato.

Grand Electric Taqueria
923 Queen St. W., 647-344-8226, grandelectrictoronto.com/trinity-bellwoods

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Parkdale’s most-popular taqueria recently opened up shop further east on Queen, right across the road from Trinity Bellwoods. The menu is shorter and it’s geared towards takeout (though there are a few seats inside, and they do serve beer and margaritas). You know what this means, right? Next summer is all about taco picnics in the park.

Lady Marmalade
265 Broadview Ave., 647-351-7645, ladymarmalade.ca

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Leslieville’s favourite brunch spot with notoriously long lineups has moved. Lady Marmalade can now be found in its new location on Broadview, and while the menu is pretty much the same (huevos migas, breakfast poutine, build-your-own Bennies) boy, does it look different.

Louix Louis
St. Regis Hotel, 325 Bay St., 31st Fl., no phone, louixlouis.com

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From the 31st floor of the new St. Regis Hotel, Louix Louis serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. While the food isn’t over-complicated, there are moments of indulgence, especially at dinner, where Italian black truffles, Ostera caviar, Nova Scotian lobster and foie gras punctuate the menu.

455 King St. W., 416-979-2660, marbltoronto.com

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Now open in what was once the clubby restaurant with a loose Drake affiliation is MARBL, serving cocktails and a menu of American bistro classics, like steak tartare, cheeseburgers and Flintstone-approved chops. You won’t be surprised to know the place is decked out in a lot of marble.

98 Portland St., no phone, sara.restaurant

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The second restaurant in this roundup brought to you by the Food Dudes is Sara, a sleek sister spot to Rasa serving globally inspired small plates like truffle crullers, yellowtail sashimi; a selection of dumplings, including stuffed chicken wings; and mains (black cod, pork belly, rib eye) cooked over a Japanese robata grill.

Seoul Shakers
1241 Bloor St. W., no phone, @seoulshakersclub

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At his newest snack bar, Leemo Han serves a menu of menu of Korean mash-ups with some South American influence, including things like kalbi empanadas, tempura salt cod and parrilla-grilled beef ribs served with potatoes and shishito peppers in a gochujang-tomato sauce. Also: house makgeolli.

Virtuous Pie
611 College St., 647-729-9943, virtuouspie.com

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Vancouver’s popular plant-based pizzeria now has a location on College, serving meat- and dairy-free pies built on hand-stretched, three-day fermented dough, and topped with a variety of nut- and tofu-based cheeses. The Stranger Wings pie—a “chicken” wing and pizza mash-up—sounds pretty fun.

1727 Dundas St. W., 416-519-8165, viaggiorestaurant.ca

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Branca’s old space is now home to Viaggio, an Italian restaurant from the team behind The Commodore, Parkdale’s now-closed seafood spot. Here, they focus on Italian dishes from all over the boot, with some added signature flair: venison carpaccio with gorgonzola, snow crab tagliatelle, Peking duck agrodolce and—a holdover from The Commodore’s days—tiramisu pancakes.

Union Station, 65 Front St. W., 416-283-3251, wvrst.com

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After an almost year-long wait, Union Station has its very own beer hall. The second location of WVRST, located in the York Concourse, is all about sausages, duck-fat fries and beer, much like its predecessor on King West, but also serves charcuterie platters, house-made pretzels in new flavours and something called the CinnaWVRST bun. Coming soon: breakfast.