10 new no-reservation restaurants and bars perfect for last-minute Valentine’s Day dates
This one goes out to all the lovers who have left everything very last-minute, yet again. You know who you are. Here, 10 new restaurants and bars that only take walk-ins—perfect for people who didn’t plan ahead.
Assembly Chef’s Hall
111 Richmond St. W., 647-557-5993, assemblychefshall.com
Snaps from @eatassembly last night – a foodie’s dream come true! 👌 Toronto’s new Chef’s Hall – basically a chef hall of fame under 1 roof. 17 incredible chefs from TO hits like @cherrystbbq, @khaosanroadto, @dailoto & @restoboemo by @bradcsmith & @chefivanaraca. #foodiesunite #toronto #foodie #chefshall #chefshalloffame
What: The Financial District’s new 18,000-square-foot fully-licensed food emporium with 18 vendors from some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants, plus a beer hall and a wine bar.
Seating situation: You will most definitely have to share a table with people you don’t know.
Perfect for: Directly-after-work dates for Bay Streeters who can basically wheel their ergonomic chair around and fall into the food hall. Lucky last-minuters may even score a spot at Tashi’s stand-up sushi bar: the 30-minute meal is the ideal dinner for awkward Tinder dates or hard-workers who have to get back to the office.
269 Dunn Ave., no phone, superpointexpress.ca
What: The party in the back to Superpoint Express’ business in the front.
Seating situation: Four-tops and bar seats.
Perfect for: first dates, or if you’re at that point in your relationship where you’re comfortable enough with making a night out of pizza slices and cans of Labatt Crystal.
5051 Yonge St., no phone, konjikiramen.com
Beat the freezing weather and come warm up with our piping hot spicy tonkotsu ramen. Our tonkotsu pork bone soup cook in-house over hours, plus marinated pork, beans, beef and a special mixed spice chili oil. Served in our #fire red bowl! See you and we are open from 11:30am-8pm. 😍🍜☃️❄️ . . . #konjikiramen #konjikihototogisu #tokyo #michelinrecommended #bibgourmand #creativeramen #housemade #ramen #tonkotsu #spicy #warmingup #beatthecoldweather #5051yongestreet #rameninthe6ix #torontofood #foodiesto #torontoramen #saryocafe #softserve #icecream
What: The first North American location of Tokyo’s Michelin-endorsed ramen shop.
Seating situation: Be prepared to line up., but this will give you time to make a “canoodling” joke that will hopefully come off as endearing. Once you get in, there are a few tables-for-two. The rest is bar seating.
Perfect for: People willing to wait in line for noodle soup, and those who are comfortable enough in front of each other to get all slurpy. Note: Konjiki isn’t licensed, so you won’t find any liquid courage here (only clam-based broth).
60 Kensington Ave., no phone, @juanm0t0
What: Leemo Han’s (Hanmoto) new Asian–South American restaurant in Kensington’s recently renovated Cold Tea
Seating situation: Be prepared to share a communal table with strangers.
Perfect for: Anything except first dates, because leading someone down a creepy hallway to a door marked with nothing but a red light could set off some alarms.
163 Spadina Ave., 1st floor, 416-260-3444, aloetterestaurant.com
What: Alo’s more-casual (but still fancy AF) sister diner downstairs.
Seating situation: Cozy booths and bar stools.
Perfect for: People who would like to be dining at Alo but aren’t in the position to drop serious coin on a dinner for two.
Pinky’s Ca Phe
53 Clinton St., no phone, @pinkys_caphe
What: A Vietnamese-diner-meets-snack-bar from the people behind Hanmoto.
Seating situation: Four-tops and bar seating.
Perfect for: The moody room is equally conducive to romance or bacchanalian behaviour. Or both.
1265 Queen St. W., no phone, mythologydiner.com
Too much 👏🏼🙌🏼 #vegansofig #vegan #veganfitness #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganbodybuilding #veganism #vegano #veganfit #veganfitfam #veganpower #veganfoodie #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #veganlunch #plantbaseddiet #plantbased #plantpowered #plantpower #plantpoweredliving #plantpoweredathlete #rawfooddiet #rawfood
What: Parkdale’s new vegan diner from chef Doug McNish.
Seating situation: Lots of two-tops and bar stools.
Perfect for: Vegans. Or people who want to treat their vegan dates to meat- and dairy-free nachos. No matter what their dietary restrictions, everyone should have access to good nachos.
1029 Gerrard St. E., no phone, @poor_romeo_bar
Porchetta achievement unlocked. Grainy mustard goals + chimichurri dreams + soon to be famous buns + fancy greens . From the 24 hour cure to the 5 hr slow roast to your happy belly. Playing these new jams all week budzzz. #porchetta #pork #sandwiches #smash #foodie #toeats #inmybelly #feelings #yum #housemade #toronto #416 #yyz #chefsofinstagram #gerrones #divebars
What: Pinkerton’s slightly divier beer-and-burger joint across the street.
Seating situation: Split between four-tops and bar seating.
Perfect for: Getting crunked on boozy slushies and throwing back some smash burgers with a bunch of your best single friends for Palentine’s extravaganza.
1279 Bloor St. W., 416-535-1717, sugotoronto.com
What: The Emerson’s sister red-sauce joint.
Seating situation: Four-tops decked out in checkered tablecloths, and a few bar stools.
Perfect for: Pulling off that spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.
The Cheesecake Factory
3401 Dufferin St., 416-781-4477, cheesecakefactory.com
What: You know what.
Seating situation: Table of all kinds. So many tables. And chairs made of the most-comfortable chair-making material: wicker.
Perfect for: Those in rock-solid relationships. Relationships that can withstand a potential three-hour lineup in the middle of a crowded mall. Yes, those kind of relationships. Also good for people who like cheesecake.