The dumpster fire of December is here, the final month of this miserable year. Give yourself permission to lick your wounds, make promises for a future of fun, and try and embrace the final moments of chaos before the clouds finally lift.

While the list of closings are well-documented, we’re here to shine a light on the ones still in the fight. We see you, we’re here to help. Hit Libby up for a shout-out- libby@auburnlane.com.

Here’s the latest scoop for what’s happening in the Toronto food scene.

And there’s a new darling sandwich shop in Trinity Bellwoods area, welcome to town Lambo’s Deli & Grocery! Comfort food by way of stacked subs is the main draw here, with premium ingredients nestled tightly on Drake Commissary baked bread.

Byblos Uptown is now offering delivery via UberEats. While part of the experience of Byblos is the lounge-like decor, we’ll settle for second best, and save the pillow-fights for our own personal fortresses. And Ink Entertainment group is giving gift-givers an easy way to buck the grinch off your back- gift cards are getting jacked with an extra 20% when you spend more than $100 (so $120) at Amal, Sofia, Akira Back, KŌST, Mister C and French Made, but only until December 7th at 11:59pm.

Hemant Bhagwani

Nothing slows Hemant Bhagwani down, not even a city-wide lockdown. The man behind countless Indian concepts in and around the GTA is back at it with Bom-Bay Snack Bar on Bayview Avenue. The Irani-Indian eatery is proving popular for their breakfasts, Naan-style sandwiches and full on tea service.

Canoe Restaurant has unleased Canoe Wild 2020, delectable boxes of Canoe’s finest feasts for pickup and delivery on December 21-22nd and 31st. The four-course kits feature all the Canoe finery, including an apple cider kit, sommelier’s choice of red wine, holiday décor & gifts too. Fancy! If four courses is a few too many, many more comfort food finds from their fleet of eateries can be arranged, including doorstop delivery- check out the offerings at Oliver & Bonacini.

Azhar Kitchen and Bar from Janet Zuccarini’s Gusto 54 Restuarant Group and Executive Chef Stuart Cameron will launch soon on Ossington, offering Middle-Eastern eats and no doubt a killer wine list too. Look for this restaurant to open this winter.

Matty Patty’s is now open at 923 Queen St. West, directly across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Known as the Parkdale burger baron at his old space Parts & Labour, it will be Matty who brings all the boys to the yard with his insane smash burgers, decked out in all the greasy goodness with a distinct Hawaiian influence. Pre-order your grinds, each combo comes is $20, and sell out daily.

kinka izakaya

Tokyo Sando & Chicken and JapaSando & Co are the latest concepts from the Kinka Family. Known for their boisterous izakaya concepts dotted around the city (and now, world), the brand is bringing quality eats to your doorstep via delivery apps. I hope the driver yells at you, there are some things that just wouldn’t be the same.

Brandon Olsen took to Instagram amplify the distance between his La Banane, CXBO and other projects once united with the sinking Buca ship. The Italian empire tanked when it was recently disclosed that they were facing bankruptcy, owing more than $40 million to suppliers. King Street Foods, which owns Buca and the related Bar Buca, Jacobs Steakhouse, Jamies Italian et al, also faced allegations from former staff on unimaginable work conditions, including sexual harassment. Hilariously, those that subscribe to Buca’s newsletter were offered delivery/takeout options last week- word is that Rob Gentile has parted ways, so maybe there’s another chap looking to cover the growing, vast spread that is their financial debt.

nuit regular

Hot news again hits Yonge and Eglinton with the word that PAI is set to open later this year. Chef Nuit Regular is blessing this block with her flavour of regional Thai dishes that literally put Thai food in Toronto on the map. The 12,000 sq ft space will feature two storeys and a stage for live music, eventually. Takeout game will be strong too, with a dedicated door just for deliveries. SWOON! We spoke to Chef Nuit Regular before this whole pandemic happened, stay tuned for that interview for #AuburnLaneLadiesFirst soon.

chotto matte octopus

Chotto Matte has launched their Chotto at Home Kits and the Chotto Cook Along, two distinct at-home experiences to bring the Peruvian-Nikkei flavours to your front step. Home kits feed two people and feature Chotto Matte’s clever courses, like Padron Peppers or Black Cod Aji Miso, for $120. To make a real night of it, consider upgrading to the Chotto Matte Cook Along for two ($200) with pre-recorded video of CM’s chefs guiding you through each plating detail, for seven courses- a cause for a dreamy date night or holiday soiree with your finest friends.

lynn crawford- ruby watchco

Ruby Watchco has run its course on Queen Street East after 10 years. Long now a celeb-chef, Lynn Crawford is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Mod Club, The Boat, Cold Tea all closed. The bleary nights I spent frolicking will not soon be forgotten.

In lieu of mentioning a certain BBQ joint, we’re just going to say Stack is our fave spot, and you should give them a try instead.

Got a hot food tip? Hit us up! food@auburnlane.com

All photos by Libby Roach.