Christmas parties, holiday hangouts, Hanukkah fetes, call it what you will, but you gotta do it somewhere. And take it from me, it’s better to leave the biggest celebrations to the pros. We’ve scoured Toronto, taking notes and drinking drinks to bring you the best of the best. Here’s our list for five new restaurants in Toronto to celebrate this holiday season. Whether it’s cocktailing with the book club, moms night out, or that dreaded work get together, we’ve got your back. Tina in HR, you’re welcome.
Breweries are hot this year. A plethora opened in the downtown pocket alone, which proves a) that everyone loves beer and b) you may as well go with the flow. The energetic and spacious layout of Northern Maverick make it a good spot for corporate gigs- especially the 60 person second floor private dining room. Food is thoughtful and upscale, don’t look for baskets of nachos here.
College Street scored another hot spot by way of Bangarang. This dreamy little space is brought to you by the good times crew over at Track & Field, which means, heck yes games are also on the menu. Reserve a Cornhole lane and party down, or book the whole place and lock it down for all out Sjoelen battles. With killer cocktails- on tap and mixed up by friendly barkeeps, and quite literally, no food menu (chips + pepperettes are at the bar, and you can ORDER IN whatever else you wanna) the options are endless at Bangarang.
King Claudio is never one to rest on his laurels. His new re-do of the OG Origin space is complete, with designated ‘zones’, making it prime for an allover buyout- but quite possibly very perfect for smaller gatherings too. A sectioned off semi-private PDR sits at the back, a perch to people watch, or to hide your ‘it’s-an-open-bar-I’ll-double-fist-if-I-wanna-ness‘. Food is dramatic and exciting, a great way to cap off a winning year in the black.
While not technically a brewery, it will surely impress both the beer crowds, but also a safe bet for those into popular cocktails, and easy to pronounce wines. The walnut soaked double-decker space is massive, but the banquettes dotted throughout the space could function for more intimate groups. The food is delicious, and easy to share. Double down on pizzas. For real.
Those looking to impress should head west to Ossington, where Exec Chef Brandon Olsen holds court at La Banane. Known as Toronto’s Willy Wonka, his sublime supper club layout is decadent and worthy of a champagne toast + seafood tower. Got someone on the nice list? Spoil them rotten with Brandon’s menu melange of classic French with modern touches, and don’t miss out on dessert- that would be a travesty.