July 2020 is one for the books. With Canada Day celebrations postponed, this month couldn’t look any different compared to last July. And while we’re cautiously optimistic that COVID is coming to a close, without a vaccine we’re stuck in this open/close purgatory. While patios are now officially allowed to open in Toronto, the protocols and safety checks for guests and employees are still being ironed out. Trusty takeout remains a mainstay, but it’s not all doom and gloom dear readers. Slowly but surely we’re climbing out of this black hole. Here’s a few ways to find fun this July.

A little forced cancellation isn’t enough to stop the Rosé Picnic party! Pivoting quickly, this pink posse conjured up a day of drinking and frivolity fit for a queen, with flower crown classes from Opening Night Flowers and cooking demos with Mark McEwan all on deck. Streaming on Facebook live with a DJ and more, you can order your box of fun, including full feasts and picnic inspired meals courtesy of McEwan Foods in advance, all deliciously paired and parceled up with a variety of Rosé wines! The event goes live on July 11th at 5pm, and you can order your kit for delivery or pickup through The Rosé Picnic site.

Downsview Park is being transformed into a giant drive-in movie theatre! While the July 3rd event is completely sold out, grab tickets in advance for their July 24th session and get those M&M’s ready!

Auberge du Pommier is arguably one of the most beautiful patios in the city, with European flourishes and greenery abound, the terrace-style setting of this Yonge Street cottage has been the backdrop for countless special occasions and get-togethers, so it’s totally appropriate to pop your COVID cherry at this institution. AdP is now taking reservations, and still offering their dazzling Auberge avec Canoe deluxe delivery and pickup menus for those that aren’t quite ready to mingle with the masses yet.

Getting in on the grab and go game, the King of Kensington Luke Hayes of Luke’s Underground Supper Table has been offering his flavour of full-sexy flavours in a to-go format, and it might just be the greatest thing since slice bread. Lovingly curated with detailed garnishes and thoughtful inclusions, order up Luke’s magical creations weekly, check out his offerings here.

Our friend Suzanne Barr of True True Diner may not be opening their restaurant just yet, but she’s of course not one to sit idle either. Partnering with Chef Rob Bragagnolo in support of http://blackhealthalliance.ca/ – a charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada there are feast options a plenty and all support black owned businesses and their employees. July 12th is your next opportunity, so let’s get those orders in- it’s almost sold out!

Let’s face it, your usual repertoire of recipes are losing their luster. Variety is the spice of life, and unless you’re familiar with Japanese-Peruvian eats, it’s best to trust the experts at CHOTTO MATTE. Opt in for an evening of Nikkei culinary creations, including handcrafted cocktails from the bar. Order direct and save a spicy 20%. Scope out the menu here, or snag your spot on their downtown patio.

Chotto Matte
CHOTTO MATTE

Dai Lo is back with a force and we couldn’t be more excited. Hakka Wontons and Big Mac Baos offer sustenance to Chef Nick Lui’s boozy Bubble Teas, all on offer on College Street, this Sunday from 2pm-9pm.

And it’s gut-wrenching but expected, many of our fave watering holes and corner cafes can’t cut it when it comes to COVID closures. We’re depressed to hear that Pretty Ugly cocktail bar has closed. Let’s hope we see them again, really, really, really soon.

Cancelled

And you can count Goldie and Ruby SOHO as places we wouldn’t be caught dead in, after BlogTO came out with the recent press that the overcrowded hotspots are teeming with cooties and law breakers. Gross.

Got a hot food tip? Hit me up! Libby@Auburnlane.com

All photos by Libby Roach.