Colombian restaurant Mi Tierra is no more, Steak Queen is up for lease, The Big Slice is moving again. Plus: patios reopening this weekend
The moment Toronto restaurants have been waiting for is finally here. Patios are coming back, baby!
The province announced on Monday that step one of the reopening plan will begin June 11, just in time for the weekend. Some restaurant owners are rearing and ready but others are taking their time and planning to announce opening dates starting next week. In honour of this announcement, we added an extra section to this week’s round up: a list of restaurants across the city that are ready to open their patios starting day one of step one.
Meanwhile, two heavyweight mainstays in Toronto food culture, Mi Tierra and Steak Queen, were lost recently. On the other hand, some very fun and exciting collaborations have launched in the past week. The bad news always comes with some good. Read on to learn more.
Here are the Toronto restaurants that opened and closed between June 2-8.
Toronto restaurants that closed
Mi Tierra Restaurant
Hillcrest Village recently lost its go-to spot for Colombian and Latin American cuisine. After more than 23 years, the owners decided to retire and spend more time with family. They made the announcement on social media accounts, writing: “We would like to thank our staff and customers for becoming friends and family throughout the years. We grew old beside you and your families, saw your kids grow and passing [sic] on traditions that were taught to them by sharing a home cooked meal. Celebrating lots of special events like birthdays, engagements, wedding, graduations, etc.”
The Greek diner where Rob Ford was notoriously recorded swearing in Jamaican patois in 2014 is up for lease. The Rexdale restaurant had been around since 1979 and was known for being a 24/7 spot you could grab classic Greek cuisine and greasy spoon fare. According to the online listing, it looks like new tenants have already been found.
The Big Slice
The Toronto pizza institution known for enormous slices has lived quite a few lives. The original location near Yonge and Gerrard, a favourite for Ryerson University students, closed in 2014 after construction began on that strip. It moved to St Clair West, but that lease just expired. Luckily, they’re next move is only down the street, a bit further west. They plan on opening later in the summer.
New Toronto restaurants
Serving French-style dipped sandwiches out of Cold Tea on Queen West, Hot Dip does their sandwiches four ways. The signature Hot Dip comes with roast beef, horseradish mayo on a warm pretzel roll with melted sharp cheddar dipping sauce. Incredibly decadent is an understatement. They also have vegetarian-friendly options.
1186 Queen West, instagram.com/hotdiptoronto
Kekou just opened a second location at Yonge and Finch, branching out pretty far from the first Queen West location. What sets this gelato place apart is distinct flavours: Almond tofu, peanut sesame, hazelnut goji berry or durian aren’t gelato flavours you find everywhere.
5359 Yonge, kekou.ca
Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken x Come See Me
Little Italy just got another spot for spicy fried chicken goodness. Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken moved into the live event space Come See Me. The new location boasts a larger kitchen, a 60-seat patio area and ample indoor dining space (when restrictions lift). They had a soft opening last week and will be open until last call going forward.
656 College, instagram.com/tokyohotfriedchicken
Blood Brothers and Momofuku are teaming up for the summer. Momofuku launched a Noodle Bar pop-up out if the Geary brewery’s kitchen, serving all the regular faves like katsu sandos, croquettes and pork belly buns.
Street Eats Night Market delayed their opening at the Scarborough Town Centre until June 18. Once it opens, it will run until September 5 with dozens of food trucks and street food vendors.
The Source Bulk Foods, an Australian zero-waste grocery chain, just opened their first North American location on Roncesvalles.
Uplift Kitchen is resuming meal deliveries starting this week. The mutual aid organization launched last year has been helping to feed hundreds of food insecure households since the onset of the pandemic but they were on a brief hiatus during the last rounds of lockdowns.
Bymark, 66 Wellington West, mcewangroup.ca/bymark
Clockwork Terrace at the Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front West, fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto
Hemingway’s, 142 Cumberland, hemingways.to
Her Father’s, 119 Harbord, herfathers.ca
Marben, 488 Wellington West, marben.ca
O’Gradys, 518 Church, ogradyschurch.com
Stormcrow Manor, 580 Church, stormcrow.com
Queen and Beaver, 35 Elm, queenandbeaverpub.ca
Barrio, 884 Queen East, barrioonqueen.com
Betty’s, 240 King East, bettysonking.com
El Catrin Destileria, 18 Tank House, elcatrin.ca
Gare de l’Est, 1190 Dundas East, gdlbrasserie.com
House on Parliament, 454 Parliament, houseonparliament.com
Lahore Tikka House, 1365 Gerrard East, lahoretikkahouse.com
Rorschach Brewing, 1001 Eastern Avenue, rorschachbrewing.com
Ascari King, 620 King West, ascari.ca
Banu, 777 Queen West, banu.ca
Houndstooth, 818 College, instagram.com/houndstoothto
I DEAL Coffee and Wine Bar, 162 Ossington, idealcoffee.ca
Midfield Wine Bar, 1434 Dundas West, midfieldwine.com
Paradise Grapevine, 841 Bloor West, paradisegrapevine.com