Top 17 new Toronto restaurants of 2017

by Jennifer D’Agostino

From an eclectic wine bar to a Parisian tea room, 2017 has been a great year for new restaurants openings in Toronto. With each new eatery added to the city’s diverse restaurant scene, Torontonians have welcomed the new additions with open arms and long lines. Here are the top 17 new Toronto restaurants of 2017. [Photo of Planta Burger by Jim Bamboulis]

Top 17 new Toronto restaurants of 2017

Grey Gardens
Restaurateur Jenn Agg opened Grey Gardens in the early months of 2017 and it has been a packed house ever since. Located in Kensington Market the restaurant is an eclectic mix of wine bar and a sophisticated dining experience. There’s a massive wine selection from around the world and a top-notch food menu of small plates, snacks, noodles and medium-sized entrees.

Figures
Figures created an Instagram stir this year when it opened its doors in Yorkville this spring. Most of the buzz was aimed at the creative cocktails that are based on heroes and villains. Mixologist James Bailey takes pride in his cocktail menu that includes drinks like the Star Wars inspired Rarely on Target, made with Bacardi Maestro, Dillon’s absinthe, egg white, lime juice, pineapple cordial and coconut milk. During the week, the kitchen, led by Ron Stratton, pumps out seasonal items that showcase local ingredients.

Ricarda’s
Ricarda’s can be described as bakery meets Mediterranean bistro. The massive space is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner service (and brunch too!). The food takes inspiration from every corner of the region, from Italy to Greece and Turkey. Not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere is quite lively, especially during the Sunday Jazz Brunches!

Blue Blood
Casa Loma got a new steakhouse this year that ups the ante for Toronto’s castle. The steakhouse fits the bill of castle opulence, with upscale ambiance and top-notch steak selection of the finest cuts of beef around. There is also an extensive seafood menu and international wine list. It truly is a regal dining experience.

Planta Burger
Planta opened to much fanfare last year, so this year, Planta decided to take the plunge and open a sister location: Planta Burger. Located on Temperance, the burger shack specializes in plant-based burgers. These burgers are so good, you won’t even miss the meat. Try The California, a burger of avocado, lettuce, garlic aioli and tomato.

Northern Maverick Brewery
There was a definite surge of gastro pubs opening up in the city this year, and Northern Maverick Brewery was one of the standouts. The 11,000-square foot spot boasts freshly brewed craft beer and a menu that promises an elevated culinary experience. The selections of share plates, large plates and snacks highlight local products.

Baro
Steve Gonzalez opened the doors to Baro, his highly anticipated new restaurant after he shuttered Valdez. Located across the street from his old stomping ground, Baro serves South American cuisine like we’ve never seen it before. Elevating it and showcases the authentic flavours found throughout the continent, Baro is serving up some seriously delicious eats! Upstairs you’ll find Pablo’s Snack House, where the menu consists of Latin-inspired shareable plates.

La Banane
If you were on Instagram in the first half of the year, you definitely saw La Banane somewhere on your feed. The French restaurant showcases the classic French foods that everyone loves, with owner Brandon Olsen’s twist. The dessert menu is filled with Olsen’s chocolate creations, too.

Broadview Hotel Restaurant
The restaurant that sits on top of Toronto’s latest hotel is one of the best views in the city. The Broadview Hotel’s rooftop restaurant offers an unobstructed view of Toronto’s skyline. Chef John Sinopoli has created a casual, yet refined menu of locally sourced ingredients that not only highlights what Ontario has to offer but also celebrates it.

Drake Commissary
The Drake Hotel expanded its empire earlier this year when it opened The Drake Commissary. The best of all of Drake’s menus are showcase at The Commissary, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. There is also an awesome brunch menu on the weekends. Not only is it a great place to eat, but you can sign up for cooking classes in the massive space.

La Palma
La Palma opened mid-2017 and has become known for its delicious and authentic Italian cuisine. La Palma is owned by Craig Harding and Alexandra Hutchison of Campagnolo fame. Located in Trinity Bellwoods, the focus is on the simplicity of Italian cuisine, using fresh ingredients to create authentic and delicious dishes.

Tennessee Tavern
Grant van Gameren’s latest endeavor, Tennessee Tavern, focuses on Eastern European cuisine. Offering delicious eats from Baltics to the Balkans, including goulash, schnitzel and cabbage rolls. Some unique menu items include the smoked fish plate that comes with eel, salmon, trout and mackerel. The kitchen is led by Chef Brett Howson of Parlor Foods and Co.

Mythology
Doug McNish has gained a reputation for his amazing vegan cuisine, and in the last month of 2017, he opened a vegan diner. Mythology has veganized classic diner food with dishes like the White Widow Mac and Cheese, Doug’s Classic Burger, Veggie Loaf Platter and The Reubenator.

Cheesecake Factory
After much anticipation, the Cheesecake Factory finally opened its first location in Toronto. The American import is known for its massive menu that includes pizza, sandwiches, pastas, seafood and more. Of course, it’s best known for the delectable cheesecakes, which are all made in house. The first Toronto location is in Yorkdale Mall.

Laduree Tea Room
Yorkdale Mall is also home is another import, but this one is from France. Famous Laduree opened its first Tea Room in Toronto this December. The delicate finger sandwiches, scones and desserts are some of the best in the world. Don’t forget to grab a box of macarons to-go! Laduree first opened its doors in Paris in 1862.

Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
Gusto 101’s sister restaurant Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen opened its doors at the end of 2017. The soul food spot, offers delicious home-style Caribbean cuisine. The menu is packed with authentic dishes like pepper shrimp, curry goat, oxtail stew, coconut-herb-crusted snapper and jerk chicken!

Café Cancan
Taking up the new Harbord Room space, Café Cancan is a contemporary take on French classics. Led by Chef Victor Barry, the bistro serves menu items like steak tartare with fingerling potato chips, chilled seafood and a signature burger made from two cast iron-cooked patties, with remoulade, red onion, pickled, Ottawa Valley cheddar and a fried egg. Check out the menu dedicated to foie gras!

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