June is here and it is the kick off season to summer (we think). The city is bursting with pride, whether that’s for our LGBTQ+ friends, or our Raptors squad in the NBA Finals. I feel like the Grinch after his heart grew three sizes <3. There's no better time to be in Toronto, and with so many reasons to celebrate, I’ve curated my monthly list with you in mind- your guide to gallivanting, your field notes for frolicking. Our first stop? FNLROM, when our beloved ROM transforms into an evening of enrichment, this week’s celebration focusing on Indigenous arts and culture, with DJ Wolf Saga and Classic Beats on the decks. Drinks and food will showcase the spirit, with Preserve Indulgence, ChotiPLATE and Mnandi Pies selected to sate the crowd. Get your tickets early, this one always sells out!
June 9th will see foodie fans swarm over all the sights and sounds of Evergreen Brickworks in support of Toronto Taste. A live auction is sure to get the crowd buzzing, and the star studded lineup of Celeb Chefs doesn’t hurt either.
We’re hoping for good hot weather for the annual Cabana Pool Pride Party. Damn you climate change! But we know Cabana will be hot as heck with all the pretty pretty people, no matter the weather. Grab tickets for this event, headlined by none other than RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star Winner Monét X Change.
June 14th-16th will see taco lovers of all types hitting up Ontario Place for a weekend of regrettable eating choices. Or maybe it’s just me that gets heartburn after two tacos? Tickets for Taco Fest are up now, with vendors like Fonda Lola, Fidel Gastros and Buster’s Sea Cove getting in on the action.
Looking to tip a few of the finer pints? Toronto Craft Beer Festival is coming to Ontario Place June 21-23rd. Beaus, Side Launch and Lake of Bays are just some of the beers that our very own Heather Lang approves of.
Union Summer Market is back and better than ever, with new restaurants and tons of programming to court you out of your cubicle. The open air market features some of Toronto’s finest chefs in pop-up mode, with live music and movies adding to that camp feel. Restaurants like El Catrin, Union Chicken and The Carbon Bar (just to name drop a few) have set up shop to offer a little something different for commuters and Jurassic Park dwellers.
Worlds have collided now that CLOCKWORK Lounge at Fairmont Royal York has opened. The elegant lounge boasts more champagne poppin’ opportunities than a Kardashian baby shower, injecting a much needed touch of class to the Union Station area.
Flock at Yonge and Sheppard has just opened, much to the delight of literally everyone in the ‘hood. Do we need anymore bubble tea or Korean BBQ places? Yes, but we’re also beyond excited to have Cory’s famous chicken and beautiful salads available for grab and go meals. He’s also stretching his beak a further, with a seventh location just listed, coming to Yonge and Eglinton.
Hemant Bhagwani is ushering in a new era at Yorkdale’s food court dubbed Good Karma. Hemant’s new spot is set to launch at the end of the month. Good Karma practices clean eating with gluten free and vegan finds, but still classic Hemant, think big flavour profiles and robust proteins. His Queen East outpost and Fairview Mall locations are in full swing!
Tongues are wagging with the announcement of Faim de Loup opening at College and Dovercourt later this month. The fine dining restaurant will feature tasting-menus, yes!
Luckee is long gone, but Moretti is set to steal your hearts with their pizzas and pastas, set in the SoHo Met Hotel.
Sugar Kane is coming to Danforth and Pape, adding a spicy note to all that souvlaki-ness. Fusing Caribbean and Cajun cuisine, Sugar Kane is looking to launch in late June.
Leslieville darling Ascari’s is set to open their second restaurant, this time on King West, with a 120-seat concept set to steal hearts and sway King Street eaters away from the Kit Kat, I mean, obviously.
Udon Kitanoya is currently in soft open mode, a new Kansai-style Japanese eatery boasting unique udon dishes with authentic influences.
The long awaited CHOTTO MATTE is getting closer to the big unveil. The massive 10,000 sq ft space is looking to put Toronto on the map, with luxury Bento Boxes, super stylish sushi and so much more, all crafted by Executive Chef Jordan Sclare, who worked under Gordon Ramsey and all his Michelin-ness in the UK. Nikkei cuisine is the focus, and they’re dubbing it ‘an evolution of Japanese-Peruvian fare, where each dish and pairing will play on a multitude of colours and flavours that merge into one of the world’s most intriguing cuisines’. Read our exclusive interview with Kurt Zdesar here.
Queue De Cheval setting up shop in theatre district, look for this beast to open in the coming months right in the base of a glitzy condo building. The Quebecois steakhouse will put STK and The Keg on high alert, but Jacob’s could care less, since, well, it’s Jacob’s.
Xango from Claudio Aprile was *just* announced with a huge teaser of the Chef wielding a paint brush, instead of a knife. His new project sees him team up with Liberty Entertainment Group, so expect HUGE things from this new concept.
Mascot Brewery is opening a new space downtown at King and Simcoe this summer. The trash panda themed brewery is known for their stellar line up of locally brewed beers, we are delighted they’ll be making many more of them for years to come!
Jen Agg’s Bar Vendetta has been documented on it’s opening by Toronto Star, so if you’re looking to know what it takes to open a restaurant in the city, bust beyond that paywall and read up. We’ll wait for the pasta and drink menus, which will no doubt be a summer highlight for anyone with a palate and a pulse.
Babel at Yonge and York Mills is the latest Toronto project for O&B, who are expanding into Saskatchewan in a Risk-style invasion/domination across Canada. Babel is now occupying the space that was once a Movenpick, this time, no passport will be required for the Middle Eastern eatery, no word on if they removed the swing bench in the back.
After some speculation and rumors from Aurora, it was confirmed that Adamson BBQ, will open this summer in 905-land. Smack dab on Yonge street.
Manulife Centre is still getting glammed, and anchor tenant Eataly attached to the project. If you haven’t been to one of the other locations, in Chicago, Italy or NYC, it’s a sprawling space of pasta, pizzas and grab and go Italian style, now Batali free.
Our friends at Track & Field announced earlier last month they will be closing for a condo development to take it’s place. *sigh* We wish them the best and hope they find a new spot for their unique venue! In the meantime, we can always hangout at Bangarang.
The Keg across the street was likely the final straw, or red stick, for Baton Rouge which just closed it’s North York location after a decade in the business.
The longtime tenant on Dufferin, Katz’s deli is set to close this month after almost half a century (!) in the business. Damn.
It looks like lights out for Los Colibris on King West. The Mexican eatery and its downstairs sibling El Caballito both are now closed.
And Spice Route, another King West institution announced it will be closing it’s doors as well, but the Liberty Entertainment Group will be reinventing the space in the coming months.
Got a food tip? Want a shout out for your new spot? Drop me a note- Libby@auburnlane.com