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NEWLY Opened 2015 restaurants and food stores in Toronto, from July 1 -

Spotted two interesting places near Baldwin and McCaul.

The former Mangiacake on McCaul has coming soon signage for Sid's Deli. Googling the name turned up a co-owner's LinkedIn page. It says he has experience at Moe Pancer's.

And on Baldwin where John's Italian was, is nicely designed signage for Formocha. Says it is "an artisanal tea house serving bubble tea, desserts, rice and noodle dishes" and opening this fall.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Nohohon Tea Room has just opened. It's a Japanese-style bubble tea place. Tried a few drinks so far. I like how the default order isn't too sweet so I could actually taste tea first and foremost. For the matcha-based drink they brew and whisk the tea to order. And the owner explained that for the hojicha-based drinks, they roast the tea in-house.

It's right next door to Aji Sai on Queen just west of and Spadina. It's in soft launch until this Thursday. Currently they've only opened up the very front of the store so it's very tight. But once they are fully open it will be much bigger with seating.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Nohohon Tea Room has just opened. It's a Japanese-style bubble tea place. Tried a few drinks so far. I like how the default order isn't too sweet. For the matcha-based drink they brew and whisk the tea to order. And the owner explained that for the hojicha-based drinks, they roast the tea in-house.

It's right next door to Aji Sai on Queen just west of and Spadina. It's in soft launch until this Thursday. Currently they've only opened up the very front of the store so it's very tight. But once they are fully open it will be much bigger with seating.

Sunday lunch in Toronto

If you want a non-brunch menu, then there's Terroni. Rustic Italian fare with one menu throughout the day. They have a few locations. The one on Queen West has a great shaded patio in the back.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Stelvio has opened where BQM Diner (and before that Stem) was located on Queen near Spadina. I was curious what kind of restaurant it would be while they were renovating. i walked by as they were closing for the night. But they let me come in just to check out their menu. They're focused on northern Italian fare like risotto and polenta. Price point seems similar to Terroni. If the food tastes as good as it reads, it could be a nice addition to the Queen + Spadina area.

Sichuan Dry Pot in Toronto?

Anne's Magic Kitchen has this. On their menu in English they call it "griddle" cooked. I've had one with pork and cabbage and another with lamb. The caramelization on the food is really good as it continues to sizzle as you're eating. Also, as with most dishes at AMK, the spiciness is incendiary. AMK is on Dundas just west of Beverley. Right next to Asian Legend if you know this stretch of Chinatown.

Tian An Cuisine which is closer to Spadina also has this. Haven't had it there though.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

On a Bun just opened this week on Queen West just west of Niagara. It's an Italian-style sandwich shop. While in soft launch mode up until today all of their sandwiches including what are normally extra toppings were $5.

Tried the veal and meatball sandwiches. Pretty good. The veal was crispy and very tender. The medium sauce was a bit more spicy than expected. The amount of meat was very decent. Not crazy Mustachio's amount, but very fulfilling. Liked the Italian roll they used. Liked it more than the new San Franceso down the street. But not quite as good as the original California location.

The regular prices for their sandwiches range from around $6.50 to $7.50. With extra toppings from around 50 cents to a dollar. Extremely reasonable for this stretch of Queen West. Nice to have a new option for a moderately priced lunch spot in the area.

Help Critique and Plan My Three Days in Toronto

For a weekday breakfast or lunch there's Avenue Open Kitchen. It's an old school, greasy spoon diner. It's a tiny place. Getting a seat for breakfast is usually not a problem. But if you go for lunch try to go a bit early or late.

2015 RESTAURANT Closings in Toronto? To June 30...

Noticed BQM on Queen West has been papered over. There's a new place opening that starts with an "S". Was passing by on a streetcar so didn't get the name.

I guess with Carl's Jr. just opening there's only so many burger places that can stay open within a 5 minute walk.

Clubhouse Sandwich Shop

Thanks for the tip. The owner is really good at deep frying anything. So can't wait to try the calamari. Miss the oyster po boy that used to be a regular.

And to Kwass, if you haven't tried them yet, you have to order the fries. I've mentioned this on a few different threads. They're chunky style but he triple fries them so they're amazingly crispy yet still has a fluffy interior. Soups are also very good....

What is your current "List"? (i.e. places you want to try)

I have a sweet tooth and can't wait to try:
Duo Patisserie
Roselle Desserts
Bean & Baker Malt Shop (it's not open yet, but soon)

Road trip to Toronto, weird shirts, art, coffee, and doughnuts.

Seems like you'll be hanging around Kensington Market. In addition to KSR's suggestions, here are other nearby places:

Clubhouse Sandwich for their very thick cut, triple-fried fries. Their sandwiches are very good, but if you're already going to Caplansky's and Sanagan's, then you'll probably be sandwiched out.

Dirty Bird just opened. It's a fried chicken and waffles place. Haven't tried it yet, but the initial reviews seem promising. But don't expect traditional fried chicken. It's straight south from Sanagan's.

I usually like straight up espresso or a macchiato. But Fika has a great spiced latte that's flavoured with a house-made cardamon syrup. Also good pastries.

And for more desserts, there's Millie Creperie for crepes, parfaits and gelato with an Asian twist.

Good Egg is a great cookbook and other food-related wares store.

If you like Crywolf, you may like Model Citizen which is a few doors down from Good Egg. Very cool boutique featuring local designers.

Anne's Magic Kitchen

I posted about this in the 2015 new openings thread. Glad someone has started a separate thread. I too have become a fan. I've been making my way through the extensive menu. Some favourites:

Cumin ribs: closest I've found in Toronto to the Hunan ribs at Shanghai's Guyi. The ribs are very well spiced with whole cumin seed and chile pepper flakes. Sometimes they serve the whole rib and sometimes they chop it up. I find it more tender and juicy when left whole.

Hand pulled noodles: as Kaymbee mentioned, the noodle to soup ratio is very high. Of the different proteins, I like the fish one as much as the beef one.

Whole cooked fish: they have a few different preparations. You'll see most tables that have 4 or more people usually have a fish dish. In the preparation I had it's served in a rectangular skillet/pan. And it was covered with chile peppers. Really addictive. There's another where it's served in a basket-like thing. Have to try that next.

Griddle cooked dishes: they're served in a small, wok-like dish with a heat element. So it stays sizzling hot. A little oily, but like how the meat stays juicy yet keeps sizzling away creating a deep, caramelized like outside.

Xiao long bao, pot stickers, "mother's meat pie". I've grouped these because they all have similar ground pork filling that is so juicy and tasty. The meat pie is has the filling of a pot sticker but inside a flakey crust.

And don't forget about the bubble tea! As mentioned in my post, they have a separate, full bubble tea menu. Because their food is so spicy, I almost always get a milk tea to soothe my tingling mouth.

Flourless Cupcakes Toronto

Bunner's in Kensington Market specializes in vegan and GF baked goods. I'm very much a omnivore and have no issues with gluten but liked the things I've tried: cinnamon roll, cupcakes and cookies. They also have a location in the Junction.

Foodie take note: Great news! Michelin Star Chef backed restaurant opening up in April!!

I actually started hearing about this late last year. The location was originally only rumoured to be where Strada 241 was:

But just last week Karon Liu at Now confirmed it:

It's too bad the Rubino bros. couldn't make a go of the place after such a large renovation. Glad the space will be finally getting a second life after being dormant for a while.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Just noticed opening soon signs up in the old Quiznos space on Queen and Richmond for Kupfert and Kim. Love how Queen and Spadina is burger central, but then right nearby is now a growing veggie hub with Fresh, Freshii and Loving Hut (plus Grasslands is not too far away).

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Just read on Toronto Life about a fried chicken and waffles place opening in Kensington Market. Sounds promising:

Road trip to Toronto, weird shirts, art, coffee, and doughnuts.

Little Nicky's makes to order mini doughnuts. Nothing fancy except for a dusting of cinnamon sugar. But they're so good fresh and warm. The coffee is not bad either.

And right around the corner is the Spacing Store They sell unique Toronto-centric goods, including t-shirts. It's also in a cool building that has galleries and the very good design store Swipe.

You should also checkout the Kensington Market neighbourhood. Lots of small eateries/cafes like Seven Lives, Rasta Pasta, Jimmy's, Moonbeam, Sanagan's, etc. And for good fries, there's the newish Moo Frites. Plus there's Good Egg which is an amazing cookbook store that also carries lots of other stuff like kitchen accessories, toys and I believe t-shirts.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Tried it once and thought it was just so-so. I don't know about authenticity, but compared to not too far away Smoque n Bones, just wasn't as tasty.

But I just read on Post City that Caplansky has got a new person running Baju:

Has anyone tried Jason Rees bbq before? Is this a promising change?

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Anne's Magic Kitchen is another new place within Spadina-Dundas Chinatown serving mostly mainland Chinese food. It's right next door to Asian Legend and above Ka Chi on Dundas. The front part looks like a bubble tea place but the rest is a full sit down restaurant with an extensive menu. There are cold dishes, skewers, dumplings, hand sliced noodles, whole fish dishes, stir fried main courses, soups, some desserts and so on plus a separate bubble tea menu.

The standout from my two visits is the cumin ribs. If anyone is familiar with the legendary Hunan spareribs from Guyi in Shanghai, these are close. They are generously dusted with cumin seeds and chill pepper flakes. The spicy, savoury and just a touch of sweet combo is really addictive.

Also tried their hand sliced noodles with fish. Liked this better than the new Handmade Ramen restaurant that's around the corner which I posted about last week. Not as salty and it was a more generous portion for a few dollars less.

Initially I was worried that they were trying to do too much with the bubble tea and such a large and varied menu. But so far so good. Look forward to eating through their menu.

The Best Of The Kensington Market

Moo Frites is worth a try. Just opened a few months ago. Right next door to Sanagans.

They specialize in Belgium style frites. They have lots of different dipping sauces. But the cool thing is that you have a choice of having your frites fried in beef tallow (hence their name). For this thicker style, it's neck and neck with Clubhouse Sandwich.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...


I never stepped into Kuni so don't know how much or little the interior has changed.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Just tried a new place on Spadina called "Handmade Ramen". They actually specialize in Chinese hand-pulled noodles. The only time I have ever seen and tried this is up at Pacific Mall.

Had the pulled noodles in soup with braised pork belly. Can see the chef do his thing slapping, twisting and pulling the noodles for my order. They seem to be a bit thinner than the ones at Pacific Mall. Hit the spot especially with the frigid temperatures. Also had the fried dumplings. Didn't like these. Assumed they would be potstickers and fried on a pan/griddle. They were deep fried and the filling wasn't remarkable.

They also have hand sliced noodles plus a few other side dishes like meat skewers, cold dishes, etc. Very focused menu. The reno is a step above the usual Chinatown places. Nice to addition to the Spadina strip. Across the street from Goldstone.

Chowfind of 2014 (anywhere in Ontario)

I discovered Royal Boonsik earlier this year when I meant to go to White Brick Kitchen but it was closed. I continued walking west and noticed this place for the first time even though it's only a few doors down. I think they must have renovated or changed their sign or something in the last year or so.

I don't know a lot about Korean food beyond the popular stuff like bibimbap, bulgogi, etc. So was really pleased to learn about kimbab, Royal Boonsik's specialty. For anyone else who doesn't know, it's a Korean version of maki. But they're huge (around 8 inches long) and they have ones filled with meat, like bulgogi. Their mandu are also great.

Downtown lunch suggestions?

For a serene lunch, I like Gallery Grill at UofT's Hart House:

Schnitzel Queen ???

Karon Liu just tweeted that Schnitzel Queen needs to move due to condo development. And a link to a Kickstarter campaign to help them relocate:

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Remember the "3 Game Changers"? The place on Queen West that had the constantly changing food concepts which turned out to be one big gag by the owner of Khao San Road? Well they're doing a popup this Saturday, Oct 18 they're calling Bro Appetit.

They've invited other restos to come in and riff on one of the various food concepts they originally joked about. For example, Barque will be doing "Smoke n Mirrors" and Come and Get It will do "Sammy's Sammies". And, of course, Khao San Road will be doing "Thai Tanium".

Other than this popup, I wonder if the place will finally open.....

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

According to this Instagram post they will be opening this Wednesday (Sept 24). Looks like in addition to the retail butcher side, there will also be takeaway prepared food like the rotisserie chicken in this image:

2014 Restaurant and Food Store CHANGES and CLOSINGS

Lucky Red has closed temporarily to change up the concept to be more of a full-service sit down restaurant:

I think they didn't differentiate it enough from their Banh Mi Boys concept. When they first opened they had things like lo mein and desserts. Then very shortly they brought in the whole BMB menu. I wonder if they simply started off as another BMB it would have done any better? Or maybe a casual sit down resto is better suited to Chinatown? Hope they find the right approach.

Cotton Candy Grapes?

Queen and Portland last weekend. Maybe it was 3.99/lb not a bag.