There are only 31 days in December, and that means you’ll need to stretch yourself pretty thin to pack it all in. Especially in Toronto. But don’t stress. The holiday season is an absolute blur. Invest your time with friends and family that nurture and support you, and forget the rest.
Frolick with the ones you love with a big night out, or a quiet night in. We have some ideas to help you make the most of December.
Here’s what’s happening in Toronto this month.
The KIND Winter Fair takes place at RendezViews on December 7th and 8th. (Don’t forget to enter our contest to win tickets!). The canna-friendly event brings enthusiasts together for a spirited day of festive and definitely not family fun. If you’re dreaming of a green Christmas then don’t miss out on this one.
Join vegan friends for a night out trying fancy wines and noshing on animal-free dishes. Centre for Social Innovation at 720 Bathurst St will bring veg-heads together for a great night out, and for a good cause. Tickets are $30 and support Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank. Get tickets for the Vegan Holiday Wine & Dine here.
SkipTheDishes is injecting some holiday fun into their deliveries this month. Orders over $45 qualify you for a free Gingerbread House Kit complete with everything you need to make a magical home for your cookie friends. While supplies last, this deal launches on December 12th through Skip Express Lane.
The hallmark of the official start of the holiday season goes to the Distillery District. A massive fir has been erected in the square, designed and dazzling with thousands of lights. Tickets are required on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 4:00 pm, and December 27-31 after 4:00 pm.
After years of ho-hum celebrations at home, we’re feeling festive this New Year’s Eve. The Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville is our top pick, with three or five-course tasting menus, and somm-approved wine pairings. Tuck in at Cafe Boulud for this special event, and toast with your sweetie at midnight at very nearby d|bar.
Here’s what’s NEW in Toronto this month.
Bar Habana is shaking things up on this stretch of Gerrard. A spinoff of the beloved La Cubana, this new eatery promises yes, awesome Cuban food, but also stunning cocktails (lead photo). Stop by for brunch, and look for our story on this hot spot soon!
Antonio Park is bouncing back after his flop-house restaurant with Drake shuttered in mere months. (RIP Pick 6ix, we hardly knew ya.) His new digs are much more refined, as is the food, which is a Japanese approach to steak and seafood restaurants. The gorgeous space crowns Eataly in Yorkville. AP is now open in the Manulife Centre.
Authentic Italian breads and pastas and Tawianese late-night snacks like Sichuan Beef Tartare comprise the clever menu over at Parkdale’s Simpl Things. Evelyn Chick is running the show, with a beautiful backdrop of vases and vessels to entice you to stick around for more than a cinq a sept.
Across from the Eaton Centre makes this bar very accessible, even if the name sounds hard to find. 43 Down is based in the Sheraton Centre hotel, look for nifty cocktails and fancy-bar plates in a completely renovated space.
Cucina Buca is now open at Yonge and St Clair. The new iteration of the (not broke) Buca family branches out with ready-to-eat and grab-and-go ‘cucina’ flair. It’s pizzas, pastas and salads, in Buca tradition, but now in a new format (that will hopefully pay suppliers).
Located in Leaside, it’s an all-female fronted team at The Daughter, a natural wine bar, bottle shop, and restaurant. Smart bites and sustainable natural wines are only the start. Curated wine pairings and somm-style selections will make you the hostess with the mostess. Christmas came early.
CAN’T WAIT- COMING SOON TO TORONTO!
Near the top of Avenue Road, Old Avenue Restaurant and Bakery is a cute find. Owner Esther is aiming to open early this month with fresh pastries, bread and other homemade goodies.
Ruby Soho is getting a little sister. Liberty Soho is inching closer to the big unveil in Liberty Village. Known for chuggable cocktails and bar bites, this casual resto-bar has been a bright spot on King Street West since it opened in 2020.
Leaside is home to soon-to-open Rumi Authentic Turkish Cuisine. The restaurant will feature brunch, lunch and dinner menus, with live music and a vibrant space acting as a perfect backdrop.
Ramona’s Kitchen is a beloved brunch spot for Thornhill diners, and now she’s branching out further south on Bayview. Look for Leaside to score another brunch hotspot when this cutie opens soon.
Maker Pizza on Bayview is coming in hot on the west side, south of Eglinton. Housed in a new condo-build, look for this pizza joint to open in the new year.
DECEMBER CLOSING TIME
A great idea doesn’t always make money. While we lapped up the grab-and-go finds and easy breezy anything-goes attitude it may have been too much too soon for GoodGood. Aggressive growth may have hampered the overall development. We hope this team comes back for a remix.
LOV vegan hearts broke when this restaurant closed suddenly at the end of November. Looks like the Montreal location is still open if you’re willing to make the trip!
TASTE OF THE MONTH
All images by Libby Roach.
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