Ahhh, August. The last lingering days of summer before TIFF rolls into town and everyone is toast for two weeks. I for one, am delighted for fall, back to school, my beloved Maple Leafs and a season of skiing on the horizon, ahhh, but that tends to be an unpopular opinion for some who actually like this ghastly above 0° temperature blanket. I got hot problems. Tuned me out yet? Yeah, so has everyone else. Let’s bring it back with what you came for, your August guide to gallivanting. Caribana is the kick off to this month, with a jam packed weekend soaked in parades, parties and prolly not a lot of clothing. OVO Fest takes over the amphitheatre, where hometown hero (yeah, I said it) is going to unleash the Scorpion, and a few special guests over the star studded weekend. Taste of the Danforth is always good reason to visit the Danforth, but now, seems almost obligatory this year. Programming and festivities are running like clockwork. #DanforthStrong.
The legendary Tapas Journey is back, taking over Toronto from August 10-19th. Look for snack size menus to pair with Estrella Damm at restaurants and bars dotted around the city.
And if you’re a funky white chick who thinks she can rap (like me) then HHK is calling. On hiatus, then back again, sometimes, Hip Hop Karaoke will take over Revival on College on August 24th.
Kung Fu Tea is open on Yonge Street just a pinch north of Sheppard. With outlets in Asia and beyond, this tea giant from Taiwan combines cheese milk foams with their bounty of oolong, black and green teas.
Boaters will be happy to see Vista Eatery at Ontario Place opening. Chef Daniel Janeto is in charge of the menu, with many vegan and vegetarian finds, and a fully licenced bar to boot.
Linda Dang, who runs North Poke in Kensington Market has just unveiled Koi Koi Sake Bar, a sake and Japanese influenced cocktail bar nearby on Baldwin Street.
The lead photo is from Tractor Foods, a BC restaurant that was pulled east, along with Chef Christian Ibacache along for the ride. This Yonge and Richmond grab and go (or coffice and work) is my new favourite fast casual, stay tuned for the full pork report on this beauty.
The downtown sibling to North York’s Oliva has opened, situated on Front Street for your 9-5 grind.
Two is always better than one, and here, both properties are housed in one nifty spot that has brought life back to the parking lot of Bayview Village. Beauty BBQ and Parcheggio are both O&B outposts, but offer very different menus, and experiences. Exec Chefs Anthony Walsh & Andrew Piccinin adapted the menus, one a BBQ theme with all the fixin’s, and the other, a love letter to pasta and all it’s possibilities.
There’s noodles, and then there’s Omni Palace noodles. The noodle juggernaut is slipping into the city with it’s first GTA outpost, by the DVP and 401. With a legacy for hand pulled noodles, you can expect the lineups to be just as legendary. Look for this space to open August 7th.
Quetzal has set a firm date, August 8th, for the launch of the Mexican restaurant created by Kate Chomyshyn, Julio Guajardo, Owen Walker and Grant van Gameren. A 26 foot open flame anchors the kitchen on College Street near Bathurst.
Rustic Social is aiming to open this month in the Lakeshore and Parklawn area. This gastropub will bring beers and burgers, and lots more to this thirsty part of town.
The Halal Guys are opening in Mississauga in early August at the Heartland Town Centre. The New York franchise has become worldwide famous since starting out as a food cart for cabbies and have continued their domination of Halal minded street food since their cart days.
King and Portland will soon welcome Sara, from The Food Dudes. Going after a bit fancier feel than their than their other projects, Sara will feature Japanese plates and influences, we’re excited to see Chef Adrian Niman’s take on this cuisine.
Sticky Rice has *just* opened on Gerrard St. East. The Thai restaurant is serving up authentic eats in a modern setting.
We can’t wait for Rally to open soon in North York. The sports bar, with stuff to do, is overhauling the old Moxie’s at the Madison Centre. Fingers crossed they are ready for puck drop!
Nearby, our fave rooster in any hen house, Cory Vitiello is opening Flock at Sheppard Centre! The mall has been gutted and is still in the process of being renovated, but this signals a distinct coolness factor for this North York pocket.
Also in the same renovated mall, IQ Food has plastered their signage announcing their imminent opening, and ditto for cone kings Sweet Jesus.
Dinner Time Stories is launching in Toronto next month, with an immersive six courses set to a journey through the eyes of legendary explorer Marco Polo. Storytelling and visual arts will anchor the event, taking place at Katana on Bay Street. Tickets are on sale now.
It’s coming! Buca at Yonge & Eglinton, or as our fave Chef impesario Grant Soto proclaims, Vancouver without the mountains.
We’re still stalking you, Storm Crown Manor, and can only imagine the awesomeness that will be unleashed to the village when you *finally* open.
(Le) Swan from Jen Agg should aim to sooth your broken heart (from Hoof’s closing). The French diner is taking over the Swan space on Queen West which was a Toronto institution until it shuttered a few years back. We know Jen will kick ass and take names, making this swan take flight, when it opens in September.
Paradise Theatre is inching closer to opening, with their restaurant roots in the form of Osteria Rialto.
Hy’s Steakhouse has announced they’ll be closing their doors at the end of this year. Fear not meat lovers, their new digs are already in the works, for 2019.
Mark McEwan is a man on the move, and with the condo-ization of Yonge Street, it probably makes sense to shutter long time restaurant North 44.
Jen Agg, from aforementioned Le Swan, set social media on fire when she announced the closure of The Black Hoof, but she had long insisted that the restaurant, which hit peak fame for launching many careers, and hosting Anthony Bourdain would only be a decade long project.
All images shot by Libby Roach. Lead image from Tractor Foods.