An updated guide to Toronto’s best new takeout options this winter

An updated guide to Toronto’s best new takeout options this winter

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The winter blues are in high gear, we’re in our whatever wave of this never-ending pandemic and the city’s dining rooms have been forced to close yet again—just when we were all getting into the swing of eating inside. Which means that it’s time to break any resolutions you made to eat healthier or drink less by ordering takeout from your favourite spots. Not only do they need all the help they can get right now, but you need something to look forward to. Here, some new options to consider since the last time you thought about ordering takeout.

 

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Pasta Forever

What started as a one-woman pop-up is now a (still one-woman) brick-and-mortar shop stocked with handmade pasta and delightful addendums like marinated pecorino and truffle butter. Beware that the convenient weekly meal kit, like capunti pasta with puttanesca, sells out quickly. The week’s selection drops Tuesdays at noon, and delivery is on Thursdays between noon and 5 p.m.

Imanishi

Imanishi has long been offering its impeccable Japanese cuisine for takeout, but much to our delight, it’s now also available for local delivery via Uber Eats. Savoury-sweet gyudon and just-spicy-enough ramen are warming, deeply satisfying favourites; for a complete meal, start with an appetizer like cold agedashi eggplant in ginger dashi, or get everything in one with a bento box.

 

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Sakai Bar

Sakai Bar’s creative, contemporary Japanese cuisine—along with its killer sake menu—is now available for pickup or delivery via Ambassador, Thursday through Monday. Get ready-to-eat stunners like misozuke salmon donburi or a thick-cut tonkatsu sando, or browse the virtual Japanese pantry for sake cups and carafes, teriyaki beef jerky and even locally made candles. And check out the hot pot menu (pre-order 12 hours in advance), complete with instructions and the option to rent a butane burner.

 

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VELA

Until the Portland Street restaurant reopens its stunning, Roaring Twenties–themed dining room, a selection of the menu is available for pickup and delivery. The indulgent Seafood Thermidor—mixed scallops, salmon and halibut in a rich base of potato and cream—is perfect for our current cold spell.

 

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Edulis

Edulis’s rotating prix-fixe menu is a no-fail way to bring home a touch of their signature luxury. An upcoming menu features Dungeness crab, mixed mushroom stroganoff with celeriac noodles, stewed duck leg with semolina, and apple cake with creme anglaise, among other delights.

 

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Porta

From the team at Terroni comes Porta, a subscription-box model for restaurant-quality thin-crust pizza, handmade pasta and jarred Italian desserts, like budino and panna cotta. Choose between a small, medium or large box for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery.

 

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The Ace

This restored Roncesvalles diner, under new ownership as of last year and much-beloved for its thoughtfully executed menu, is now offering a weekend prix-fixe complete with optional wine and/or cocktail pairings. A recent menu featured country sourdough, winter citrus burrata salad, duck leg confit and tres leches cake with torched meringue. Call 416-792-7729 or email [email protected] to place an order.

Avling

Chef Eva Chin’s upcoming prix-fixe menu is available for pickup or delivery and includes house-made charcuterie, confit albacore tuna, celeriac lasagna, buttermilk panna cotta, and even a four-pack of Avling’s own beer. Be sure to check this place out on a Saturday, when they hold a weekly marketplace selling ready-made meals, hot breakfast sandwiches, and curated staples from the local community.

 

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George

If you miss the epicurean luxury of fine dining, George-To-Go is a safe bet to recreate the experience at home. Get a customizable tasting menu with items like bruléed avocado with squash and lemongrass mayo, lamb with foie gras, and pavlova with coconut cream and lime. You can add on wine, or ultra creamy gelato from the house brand Alberobello, made by someone with a university degree in gelato. Really.

 

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Poulette Bulles

This new pandemic pivot from the Paris Paris people offers the delightful combo of fried chicken and champagne. Get sandwiches and two-piece boxes with a side of fries (smiley face, crinkle) or onion rings to pair with a bottle of bubbly. Order for pickup at Paris Paris or delivery through Ambassador and Uber Eats.

 

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Fonda Balam

What started as a Matty Matheson–backed pop-up serving Toronto’s favourite pandemic-times taco trend morphed into a Mexican diner on Dundas West. Now, chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo are offering seafood cocktail, birria tacos, menudo and more to go.

 

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Ca Phe Rang

Speaking of Matty Matheson, his mentor, Rang Ngyuen—who used to be the executive chef at Le Sélect—opened his own restaurant in November. Here, Ngyuen serves a menu inspired by his culinary heritage—he grew up in Ca Na, a fishing village in southern Vietnam—and his time working at the fancy French bistro. Go for takeaway bowls of soul-warming pho and hefty banh mi.

 

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The Wood Owl

Over on the Danforth, the Wren’s brand-new sister spot is offering romantic wine-paired dinners for two. Tonight’s “Nicely Together” meal includes mussels escabeche and truffle chips to start, a persimmon and goat cheese salad, braised lamb shanks with taters and roasted peppers, creme Catalana for dessert and a bottle of rioja. Check their Instagram account for menu updates.

 

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The Haifa Room

Indoor dining was a no-no when this Israeli-Palestinian restaurant first opened, so they sold a selection of sandwiches and snacks from a convenient walk-up window—which means they were already prepared for this pivot. Our recommendation: a sabich that stuffs fried eggplant and veggies drizzled with house-made amba into a—wait for it—schnitzel-fried pita.

 

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Mira Mira Diner

At her adorable new retro-inspired diner in the Beaches, chef Amira Becarevic is cooking up comfort food classics—tempura-battered onion rings, steak and eggs, fish and chips—and full country breakfasts (even at the dinner hour) for takeout and delivery via Uber Eats.

 

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Gia

What was once Ufficio is now Gia, a new Trinity Bellwoods spot for plant-forward Italian plates cooked up by chef Matt Ravenscroft. It’s open daily for three different takeout and delivery options: dinners for two through Tock, a la carte lunch and dinner from Ambassador and select items from Uber Eats (but remember that Uber takes 20 per cent of restaurant sales, so the first two options are best).

 

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Oji Seichi

Momofuku alum Mitch Bates’s east-end ramen shop is serving up sandos and doling out steaming noodle soup to cure what ails you—be it actual sickness or just sick-of-this-ness. A friendly tip from the restaurant: the house-made noods are meant to be slurped immediately after they’re made, so choose uncooked noodles when ordering your ramen to go and boil them at home for a restaurant-adjacent experience.

 

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Good Luck Cafe

Toast doesn’t always get the credit it deserves but at this new North York restaurant serving Hong Kong-style favourites, it’s the star of the show. Here, super-thick slabs of bread are turned into French toast and dressed up with everything from peanut butter or pork floss to Ovaltine and condensed milk. For an ultimate indulgence, we suggest the cheesy curry chicken cutlet and rice baked and served inside a hollowed-out loaf of Hong Kong-style bread. Eat then commence hibernation until this blows over.

 

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La Nectarine

Late last year, celebrity chef David Adjey quietly opened this Junction Triangle bistro, turning on a dime to switch to takeout-only. Current dinner options include steak frites, duck confit, lobster croquettes and coq au vin. It’s all available for pickup with Ambassador and for delivery through Uber Eats.

 

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Beast at Blood Brothers

Right before (like literally right before) this current lockdown, chefs Scott Vivian and Nate Middleton took up residence in the kitchen at Blood Brothers Brewing, serving all kinds of beastly beer snacks like fried bologna sandwiches, mushroom melts, wings and—longtime Home of the Brave favourite—the Handshake, a fried chicken sandwich with just a little bit extra. Available for takeout at the brewery or pre-order on Ritual for an even quicker pickup.

 

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Milou

Uncle Mikey chef and owner Michael Kim expanded his brand last spring during lockdown, serving a short takeaway menu and selling various grocery goods. When patio and indoor dining resumed, his tables drew super-long lineups of people happy to wait for his takes on French favourites—many of which, like a killer croque madam and mushroom tartine—are on the current takeout menu.

 

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Pizzeria Badiali

What’s a takeout list without pizza? This new west-end pizzeria, inspired by New York’s classic by-the-slice joints, serves giant slices cut from 19-inch pies (margherita, pepperoni, plain cheese, a white mushroom pie and their take on Hawaiian). Make sure to tack on some of the house dipping sauce made with creamy garlic mayo and minced pepperoncini.