From a new spot for Ethiopian coffee on Queen West to a new French-Italian fusion restaurant on Mount Pleasant, the city is bursting with new openings
Good news for Toronto restaurants: Ontario enters Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan on July 16 and indoor dining will officially be permitted. Not everyone is scrambling to meet the Friday deadline, choosing instead to be measured, careful and ensure they have enough staff and supplies for a complete return to business as usual.
The return of indoor dining will be extra reassuring for all of the restaurants without patios that were not eligible for CafeTO street side patios.
Toronto restaurants have continued to open throughout the pandemic, despite all of the hindrances, and now that business is returning to a semblance of normalcy I expect that trend will continue.
Here are the spots that opened and closed between July 6 – 13.
Toronto restaurants that closed
Pinky’s Ca Phe
Luckily this Clinton Street Vietnamese mainstay isn’t closing forever, they are just moving locations across the street. They announced the move on their Instagram and although they’re excited for the move they couldn’t help reminiscing about all of the memories they shared with patrons over the years. “Everyone that has come through this place is a part of the reason Pinky’s is such a special place. There will never be another one like it. We can’t thank everyone enough for getting lost with us in this tiny house that, for a moment, unhinged us from reality.” Keep your eyes peeled to their socials for announcements about the reopening.
Sun Wah Market
The Kensington Market Business Improvement Association announced on their social media accounts that the longstanding market would be closing at the beginning of August. Sun Wah has been a go-to spot in the neighbourhood for incredibly-priced fresh fruit and vegetables.
Toronto restaurants that opened
This new spot in Mount Pleasant Village specializes in a fusion of French and Italian cuisines, specifically from the Maritime Alps and Mediterranean coast. You’ll find dishes like bavette steak with salsa verde, radiatori with sausage from Toulouse and lamb Wellington on their menu.
581 Mount Pleasant, domainemamo.com
This 24-year-old Chinese restaurant isn’t new, but their patio is. After nearly a quarter century in business, they’ve adapted to the demands of running a restaurant during the pandemic and launched their patio with a new tapas menu. They also have specials of the week, with happy hours, half-priced lobster Fridays and Saturday wing nights.
195 Dundas West, hongshing.com
The immensely popular Montreal-based gourmet salad chain announced that they’re headed to Toronto this fall. The new location will open on Ossington just north of Queen in October. Expect elevated salads beyond the typical, like the seared tuna salad with wasabi ginger dressing, mixed greens, kale, arugula, apples, avocados, edamame, cucumber, crispy onions and sesame seeds.
The third location of this Toronto-based Ethiopian coffee shop recently opened on Queen West. On top of offering coffee, tea and assorted treats to enjoy while at the shop or on-the-go they also sell their own brand of ground and whole bean coffee. Waffles, juice and smoothies will be added to the menu in the coming weeks. This is just the beginning of their expansion: they hope to open more locations across the GTA, with one coming to Yonge and Eglinton soon.
1025 Queen West, mofercoffee.com
Patio at Yonge and St. Clair
Book a reservation at Patio and get the option to order from the menus of ten different restaurants in the Yonge and St. Clair area. The cuisines range from Indian to Venezuelan to Italian. Participating restaurants include: 9 Bars, Ambiyan, Barnsteiner’s, Boccone Deli and Pizza Bar, Brownes Bistro, Capocaccia Trattoria, Cucina Buca, Mary Be Kitchen, Mermaid Fish and Grill House, Mr. Thai and Zelden’s Deli and Desserts.
1503 Yonge, patioysc.com
The west parking lot of Sherway Gardens has been transformed into a 30,000 square foot patio. After grabbing takeout from any of the 30 plus restaurants and food retailers in the mall, you can head out and get some fresh air as you enjoy your meal. It beats eating in your car, that’s for sure.
25 The West Mall, cadillacfairview.com
Kelsey Adams is an arts and culture journalist born and raised in Toronto. Before covering food, life and culture for NOW Magazine, she wrote about music, art and film for several publications, including the Globe and Mail, The FADER, Complex CA and Canadian Art.