May is positively bursting with good vibes, a full 31 days of patio possibilities, events and openings- the city has finally thawed and come alive. There’s cause to celebrate in royal fashion, with both the upcoming nuptials of a certain ginger and raven haired couple, but more relevant for most, Queen Victoria’s birthday, or in hoser talk, May 2-4 weekend, the long weekend to kick off the official start of summer.

This Saturday, May 5th is the Mexican celebrations known as Cinco de Mayo, but also my nephew’s birthday, so for me, it’s a double celebration! Macho Radio Bar, just kitty korner to SkyDome is hosting a fiesta for Mexican food fans, with drink deals, tex-mex inspired plates and a heated patio in case there’s clouds. If your tipple is less tequila and more whisky, consider the posh surroundings of Roy Thompson Hall for the 14th annual Whisky Gala, a spirited event with live jazz, master classes to make you sound like a pro, and whisky by the barrel, isn’t that what you came for? Best to attend on a full stomach, so maybe tucking in to nearby Copetin for Chef Claudio’s tasteful tribute to Sen5es 20th anniversary would be wise, the 5th is the last day to try these sensational features.

Our very own Beer Baroness Heather Lang is busting out the cheese knives for her one-night-only Beer and Cheese Tasting at Little Beasts Brewing Company in Whitby on May 17th. Five beers pair with five cheeses, or do they? You be the judge!
Also on the 14th, Open Kitchen Toronto is hosting it’s third charity dinner, all in support of sending culinary minded women to George Brown College for formal training. This month’s dinner is being held at the venerable Ruby Watchco with Chefs Lora Kirk + Lynn Crawford, prepare to be dazzled!
Intrepid diners will dig the very first ever Gastronomy Congress brought to you by Estrella Damm. Grab tickets early for this event, being held at Crow’s Theatre on Tuesday, May 15th. This ​exclusive will bring ​​internationally-acclaimed Spanish Chef Joan Roca to town for a cooking demo and chat with our very own Chef Grant van Gameren about curating modern plates.
If you’re into walking around and eating samples, but you’ve outgrown Costco, consider grabbing tickets for Tastemaker, holding court over at Evergreen Brickworks on May 18-19th. Canada’s best and brightest are part of the weekend lineup, including the chesty Antler Chef Michael Hunter, recently embroiled in a vegan protest of epic ridiculousness. Comfort him!
Fairmont Royal York is the perfect perch for fans of the royals to congregate and witness the wedding of Harry & Meghan, and the site of their first public outing, so it’s a prime spot to toast with a Bristol Cream, but perhaps noting the opulent surroundings, high tea and crumpets may also be appropriate.
Underground supper clubs are always a hot ticket, and Cindy Fung, from Preserve Indulgence is holding court for another secret rendezvous, on May 24th. The seven course event is being dubbed ‘The Comeback’, with an exploration into umami, with curious creations and optional four flight drink add-on, for $110 (add $45 for drink flight).
Gluten intolerant, or just pretending, it’s all safe here, with the one day Gluten Free Garage at Wychwood Barns. With guest speakers, including my fave gal The Spicy Olive on hand to talk recipes and more, it’s a fun, and food filled day out and bring Celiac awareness mainstream. Get tickets through their site for this May 27th event.
May Openings
N2 Ice Cream Lab in North York on Yonge Street is ready to launch their corner ice cream shop early this month. Liquid Nitrogen is the secret ingredient to instant cones, with an imaginative menu that boasts curious creations, including flavour syringes that conjure something slightly more risque.
Nearby Aburi Room near Empress Walk has just opened, and looks like a solid sushi contender, taking over from a former tailor & men’s suit shop.
The Anndore House has quickly become TO’s hottest address since opening last month, which of course means Craig Harding & Alexandra Hutchison (Campagnolo) and Jack and Domenic Scarangella and Steve Christian (Mercatto) are on point with their Italian-Middle Eastern palate. Constantine a destination already.
Los Guaca-Moles features authentic Mexican eats, courtesy their owner, who hails from Puebla, Mexico. Lizbeth Orea promises authentic meals with this Bloor West eatery. Also a solid contender for Cinco de Mayo.
Yorkville scores another with Sofia, set to launch May 7th, right on Yorkville Avenue. Executive Chef Christine Mast is in charge of the kitchen, with a menu that reads Italian, and a wood burning oven is never a bad thing. INK Entertainment is taking care to make a grand entry with this one.
Inspired by travels to his homeland India, Hemant Bhagwani has brought a new concept home with him, by way of Kolkata Club which will bring the British-Indian influences, a proven winner in the UK and beyond to Canada. Not just a restaurant, but a posh bar as well, we’re excited to see what this Amaya Executive Chef has in store. Hemant, bring the baltis!
A second location of the popular Yonge and Sheppard Thai takeout (and modest dine in) Eat BKK has opened, just a pinch north of the OG, on Yonge near Steeles, next to my favourite Greek restaurant, Laterna. Just a sidenote.
Coming Soon
Cafe Landwer, an import cafe chain from Israel is quietly expanding in Canada, the first opened in 905-land, it’s second location, is landing downtown on University Avenue.
Waffle aficionados flock to Starving Artist for their no nonsense waffle menu- for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so it’s no surprise to see more locations popup, look for one in the east and one for the west (they’re being mum on specifics) to open this summer.
Yonge and Finch will see a new Basil Box taking over an old bank building, construction is still in the works, so this project won’t launch for at least a few more weeks.
Ditto for the boarded up Storm Crow Manor, who’s fixing up the Maison spot on Church in the village. This place brings gamers and geeks together in one clubhouse, or haunted-house, like atmosphere.
Judge worthy Mark McEwan is making his indelible mark on the city with Fabbrica opening soon on the PATH and his eponymous grocery boutique, McEwan popping up at Yonge and Bloor.
Mark McEwan
We love what she’s been doing with a truck, so we can’t wait to see what she does with an actual kitchen when Zebu Steakhouse + Bar opens this summer. Executive Chef Lilian Cardoso has been working on the menu since the hammers came out to demolish the former home of Milestone’s. Yes, there will be a lava rock bar!
Not a close exactly but more of a shift, Shanee has moved up to Midtown and rebranded to Dee Thai, on Yonge Street.
Shanee- Foreign Affair
Ossington has lost Hawker Bar after they announced they’d be closing recently.
Longtime tenant Cadillac Lounge has shut ‘er down after almost two decades on Queen West.
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