March heralds many good things; the beginning of spring, the start of maple season and of course, the all important cultural festivities that is like my unofficial birthday party: St Patrick’s Day. This month, Toronto is booming with 31 days to tease you out of your snuggie, end that Netflix marathon and come out of hiding- your bartenders have missed you.
Kicking off the month is the third annual Toronto Winter Brewfest. Held downtown at the Enercare centre, this two day beer soaked party boasts all your fave breweries, dotted with DJ’s and of course, some of Toronto’s fave food stalls too. An indoor beerfest in winter is your guaranteed ticket to good times! This event runs from March 2-3rd, starting at 6pm.
We’re crushing hard over this event, curated by the brilliant women behind Ufficio– restaurateurs Stacey Patterson and Jennifer Coburn, and Chef Ivana Raca. They have organized Open Kitchen Toronto, a dining series event that will feature Toronto’s top female chefs to create a dining experience truly like no other. Ticket sales will go to benefit the “Open Kitchen Toronto Female Culinary Scholarship” at George Brown College, allowing women to follow their culinary dreams, supported by woman who have conquered the culinary world. The first event is this Monday, March 5th. Get tickets for this series now- it will be sure to sell out.
Pack your pancakes and settle in for syrup season! My second favourite March tradition means I’m tapping trees and conjuring all the ways in which to coat and cover things in my favourite condiment- maple syrup. Sugar Beach will see sappy suckers such as myself ambush the beach for everything maple- Sugar Shack style. This sweet event is taking place March 10-11th and is totally free!
Matt Basile is everyone’s fave Toronto food truck genius turned chef, and now, he can add amateur boxer to that CV too. Matt is going to float like a butterfly and sting like bee all in benefit of Second Harvest. Grab tickets to this charity event, held March 12 at Daniels Spectrum.
Rounding out our favourite things is the spring session of OOAK! The craft show to end all craft shows will be back at the Enercare Centre from March 28-April 1st. We’ll be picking some of our fave finds from the show- stay tuned later this month for more!
Yonge and Lawrence hit a sweet spot when La Diperie opened last month, just in time to work out the cobwebs before what surely will be a busy spring season. Taking over from a vacant Davids Tea, La Diperie is known for their sweet and salty cone climbing confections.
Hot chocolate lovers will pounce like Count Chocula on kid with the grand opening of Cacao 70– one just opened last month in Scarborough Town Centre, while Richmond Hill snaps up a second location, with a grand opening March 3rd.
Shopping can work up an appetite, but when you’re shopping haute, a food court doesn’t quite do the trick. Step into Colette Grand Café at Holt Renfrew, and bask in Chase Hospitality Group’s latest luxe eatery. The brand has plans for expansion into more Holts this year, with Yorkdale’s location being the very first. Stay tuned for a full profile on this new jewel next week.
Wellington West is home to Executive Chef Stuart Cameron (Byblos, Patria) newest restaurant Mira, a Peruvian restaurant designed by Navigate. The concept has been in the works for ages between Chef & Hanif Harji (ICONINK), so you can expect pretty plates for even prettier people.
The poke trend continues to bowl over the city with the expansion of Calii Love this time on the east side on King Street.
Also kicking it on the east side is the super anticipated Kid Chocolate on Gerrard, from Suzanne Barr of Saturday Dinette. This concept is described as lunch counter meets bar, a winning combo no matter the mood.
Nearby is another dreamy spot, Wynona is incoming to the east of Gerrard and Logan, right by Kid Chocolate. The menu here reads mostly pastas and wines, the east side is getting stronger by the month!
If Comic Book Man and Moe from The Simpsons opened a bar together, it would surely look something like Storm Crow Manor, the BC bar that boasts a gamer edge. They’ve taken over the House/Maison project that never really took off in the Village, right on Church Street.
Jollibee, the Filipino fast food juggernaut is set to launch two locations this spring, one in Mississauga, and another set in nearby Scarborough. Expect Cheesecake worthy lineups when the doors open on this popular chain!
Yorkville is getting more glamorous by the minute, especially with the announcement of Sofia opening later this spring. Backed by INK Entertainment, the menu reads all Italian, made by Executive Chef Christine Mast.
Everyone’s favourite coff-ice at Yonge and Sheppard is getting a little sister. Yonge and Lawrence will soon be the grab and go, or sit and work lounge of choice, with Oliva opening soon, just north of Lawrence. Known for deluxe sandwiches, salads, and of course coffee, look for Oliva’s opening this spring.
Another Basil Box is set to open, this one up at Yonge and Finch, right on the corner.
Everyone’s favourite Silver Fox is back at it again with the announcement of Fabbrica downtown, this location buried in the PATH like a pearl in an oyster, this second location promises to serve slow-cooked food served quickly.
Word on the mean streets of Willowdale is that Parcheggio is inching closer to opening, possibly this spring/summer at Bayview Village. We’ll have more news on this Italian themed ‘Beauty BBQ’ next month!
A big renovation, right down to the studs will reveal a new restaurant, soon to come is Zebu Steak + Bar, taking over the old Milestone’s at John & Richmond. Executive Chef Lilian Cardoso is helming the churrascaria-esque project, with more Zebu’s aimed to roll out in the future.
Yonge and Bloor is scoring a Naan & Kabob. The Afghan restaurant is known for tantalizing tandoor specialties and of course, naaaaan!
Yonge and Eg lost a special spot with Spacco closing. The pool hall had been there for decades, tucked in an alley right off Yonge Street. You’ll be missed.
And what started as a Kickstarter project, LOKA has closed. The project by Dave Mottershall closed last month.
And Thai lovers will miss Linda Modern Thai at Shops on Don Mills, another restaurant casualty for the outdoor mall.
Stay tuned next month for more juicy food news!