The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021 | TasteToronto

Guides / Spots

The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021

The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021

The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021

This year has been another rollercoaster for bars and restaurants in Toronto. Despite navigating ever-changing restrictions, closures and what feels like never-ending waves of COVID-19, tons of drool-worthy spots managed to open and thrive. From upscale Chinese dinners to Moroccan-Parisian fusion brunches and everything in between -- 2021 was the year that brought tons of new spots sure to become culinary classics for years to come.

Here is our list of some of the best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2021. Which ones have you tried?

26 Market St.

Bar St. Lo

Bar St. Lo

St. Lawrence Market welcomed a new restaurant in its historic neighbourhood. Locally sourced ingredients are the show’s contemporary menu star, featuring an upscale yet unpretentious dining experience. The menu is concise, featuring cocktails for every taste and an ever-changing menu marked by freshness like steak tartare and pan-seared, brown butter gnocchi.

156 Cumberland St

156 Cumberland

156 Cumberland

Former French restaurant, Chabrol, located at 156 Cumberland in upscale Yorkville neighbourhood, has transformed into a Euro-Korean dinner spot. Going by the name of its street address, the new spot offers a succinct yet refined three-course menu comprised of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

89 Harbord St

Piccolo Piano Pizzeria

Piccolo Piano Pizzeria

Harbord Village welcomed a new pizzeria from the owners of beloved Italian spot, Piano Piano. Taking over what was formerly Café Cancan, Piccolo Piano Pizzeria swapped French brunch for wood-fired Neopolitan pizzas, cocktails and a revolving wine list that pair perfectly with small plates and snacks.

265 Davenport Rd

MIMI Chinese

MIMI Chinese

The much-anticipated MIMI Chinese finally opened this year, making its home close to lavish Yorkville neighbourhood in what was formerly celebrity chef Massimo Capra’s Mistura restaurant. MIMI is the new, upscale Chinese food spot offering Southern Chinese cuisine, dominantly from Guangdong Province. Traditional Chinese flavours and ingredients inspire all the drinks on the cocktail menu and the vibe is ultra-trendy and exclusive, with reservations having been entirely booked for months since opening.

480 King St W

Pink Sky

Pink Sky

Trendy King Street West has welcomed the latest spot for top-quality seafood in the heart of the city. Pink Sky opened in early fall 2021 and features a rotating menu of seafood depending on the fresh product they receive. Still, diners can always expect staple menu items like the seafood tower and platters. All fresh fish is cooked over charcoal and with options ranging from salmon to clams to a tried-and-true order of Fish & Chips, there’s something for everyone here.

90 Portland Street

VELA

VELA

VELA opened up on Portland Street after several COVID-related postponements. Patrons visiting the much-anticipated spot can be dazzled by champagne, caviar, steak and cocktails in a hotel lobby-bar-inspired space. The food is made to be approachable and fun, fitting in seamlessly among the other effortlessly cool, upscale spots on the King West block.

134 Avenue Rd

Osteria Giulia

Osteria Giulia

The bold and rich flavours of Northern Italy moved into Yorkville this year with the opening of Osteria Giulia, following the success of Chef Rob Rossi’s other spot, Giulietta. The coastal vibe is echoed throughout the space, from menu items to the minimalist interiors. Diners can find all the typical Italian menu haunts like pasta, seafood, risotto and veggies and subtle Italian twists to classic cocktails like the Osteria Giulia, an extra citrusy Negroni.

1380 Danforth Ave

The Wood Owl

The Wood Owl

Owners of The Wren, a ranch-style pub on the Danforth, made a splash in 2021, opening up The Wood Owl, its cozy sister spot. This new restaurant and bar features a comprehensive wine list, cocktails, and seasonal food menu, drawing influences from various cultures, including Italian, French, and Spanish.

1214 Dundas St W

Gia

Gia

Dundas West welcomes a new plant-forward restaurant that has an expansive menu sure to please everyone in your group. The menu focuses on environmental sustainability and will focus on beautifully handmade, fresh pasta in a space decorated to create an airy, Palm Springs-esque vibe. Even meat-eaters will love the Panko-crusted Meatballs made with Impossible Meat, plant protein on a bed of Pomodoro sauce.

593 College St

Zitto Zitto Taverna

Zitto Zitto Taverna

This new Italian spot isn’t serving up the quintessential pizza and pasta you might expect. Focusing on grilling meat to perfection, this new College Street restaurant keeps the menu fresh and clean, serving traditional Sicilian food, Berkshire pork chop and Fiorentina steak and an exceptional selection of seafood.

181 Dovercourt Rd

Pizzeria Badiali

Pizzeria Badiali

Just off of West Queen West on Dovercourt Avenue is a brand new pizza spot, leading the way in the world of no-frills pizzas that don’t sacrifice flavour for simplicity. Inspired by New York City’s slice of pizza obsession, Badiali isn’t available for online ordering, encouraging community members to come in for their perfect slice of pie. The new spot serves up all the classics like cheese and pepperoni and Margherita and more gourmet options like the veg-friendly Mushroom Bianco or the Burrata Marinara.

171 E Liberty St Unit 127A

Aloette Liberty

Aloette Liberty

Alo Food Group, the company behind ultra-fancy tasting menu restaurant Alo, has reimagined their Queen and Spadina bistro location, Aloette once again, opening a new spot in Liberty Village dedicated almost exclusively to takeout and delivery. Fans of the Queen Street spot can score the cult fave Fried Chicken as well as other upscale diner-style foods like cakes, fries and burgers.

522 King St W

Myth

Myth

What was formerly The Citizen nightclub has transformed itself into a little slice of beachy Mykonos in the heart of King West. From décor to the food, the experience is akin to an ultra-luxe, Greek getaway with tons of authentic Aegean flavours made modern like the Xtapodi Sti Skara, a grilled octopus tentacle on top of puréed fava beans from Santorini, complemented by capers, red onions and a grilled lemon, dressed in extra virgin olive oil.

21 Grenville St

Tomyum Restaurant and Wine Bar

Tomyum Restaurant and Wine Bar

This new wine bar takes popular Euro-centric dishes and adds a Southeast Asian spin, incorporating spices, garnishes, and sides popular in the region. Patrons can dine on small plates full of flavours like Spanish garlic shrimp made unique with Thai basil, green curry, tom yum, and rice. As the name aptly suggests, Tomyum also offers tons of wines difficult to find in Canada in addition to creative, picture-worthy cocktails. Dine in style against a gorgeous backdrop of floral painted murals and dim lights.

3047 Dundas St W

Atai Bistro

Atai Bistro

The latest Junction outpost, Atai Bistro, fuses Moroccan cuisine with French flair to create an expansive menu boasting bold North African flavour and French cooking techniques.

Backed by the team that brought King West the fine-dining Peruvian restaurant MIRA, this new venture promises something for everyone with a selection of creative cocktails, small plates and shareables, and a brunch and dinner menu.

14 Dupont St

Neon Tiger

Neon Tiger

What used to be the sprawling Mexican taco spot, Playa Cabana has transformed into OddSeoul’s sister restaurant, Neon Tiger. Serving up Pan-Asian small plates and hand-crafted cocktails, this new spot at the corner of Avenue and Dupont is the perfect spot for good vibes and even better food.

The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021

Guides / Spots

11 months ago

The Best New Toronto Restaurants of 2021

Raquel Farrington

Raquel Farrington

This year has been another rollercoaster for bars and restaurants in Toronto. Despite navigating ever-changing restrictions, closures and what feels like never-ending waves of COVID-19, tons of drool-worthy spots managed to open and thrive. From upscale Chinese dinners to Moroccan-Parisian fusion brunches and everything in between -- 2021 was the year that brought tons of new spots sure to become culinary classics for years to come.

Here is our list of some of the best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2021. Which ones have you tried?

26 Market St.

Bar St. Lo

Bar St. Lo

St. Lawrence Market welcomed a new restaurant in its historic neighbourhood. Locally sourced ingredients are the show’s contemporary menu star, featuring an upscale yet unpretentious dining experience. The menu is concise, featuring cocktails for every taste and an ever-changing menu marked by freshness like steak tartare and pan-seared, brown butter gnocchi.

265 Davenport Rd

MIMI Chinese

MIMI Chinese

The much-anticipated MIMI Chinese finally opened this year, making its home close to lavish Yorkville neighbourhood in what was formerly celebrity chef Massimo Capra’s Mistura restaurant. MIMI is the new, upscale Chinese food spot offering Southern Chinese cuisine, dominantly from Guangdong Province. Traditional Chinese flavours and ingredients inspire all the drinks on the cocktail menu and the vibe is ultra-trendy and exclusive, with reservations having been entirely booked for months since opening.

480 King St W

Pink Sky

Pink Sky

Trendy King Street West has welcomed the latest spot for top-quality seafood in the heart of the city. Pink Sky opened in early fall 2021 and features a rotating menu of seafood depending on the fresh product they receive. Still, diners can always expect staple menu items like the seafood tower and platters. All fresh fish is cooked over charcoal and with options ranging from salmon to clams to a tried-and-true order of Fish & Chips, there’s something for everyone here.

90 Portland Street

VELA

VELA

VELA opened up on Portland Street after several COVID-related postponements. Patrons visiting the much-anticipated spot can be dazzled by champagne, caviar, steak and cocktails in a hotel lobby-bar-inspired space. The food is made to be approachable and fun, fitting in seamlessly among the other effortlessly cool, upscale spots on the King West block.

134 Avenue Rd

Osteria Giulia

Osteria Giulia

The bold and rich flavours of Northern Italy moved into Yorkville this year with the opening of Osteria Giulia, following the success of Chef Rob Rossi’s other spot, Giulietta. The coastal vibe is echoed throughout the space, from menu items to the minimalist interiors. Diners can find all the typical Italian menu haunts like pasta, seafood, risotto and veggies and subtle Italian twists to classic cocktails like the Osteria Giulia, an extra citrusy Negroni.

1214 Dundas St W

Gia

Gia

Dundas West welcomes a new plant-forward restaurant that has an expansive menu sure to please everyone in your group. The menu focuses on environmental sustainability and will focus on beautifully handmade, fresh pasta in a space decorated to create an airy, Palm Springs-esque vibe. Even meat-eaters will love the Panko-crusted Meatballs made with Impossible Meat, plant protein on a bed of Pomodoro sauce.

593 College St

Zitto Zitto Taverna

Zitto Zitto Taverna

This new Italian spot isn’t serving up the quintessential pizza and pasta you might expect. Focusing on grilling meat to perfection, this new College Street restaurant keeps the menu fresh and clean, serving traditional Sicilian food, Berkshire pork chop and Fiorentina steak and an exceptional selection of seafood.

181 Dovercourt Rd

Pizzeria Badiali

Pizzeria Badiali

Just off of West Queen West on Dovercourt Avenue is a brand new pizza spot, leading the way in the world of no-frills pizzas that don’t sacrifice flavour for simplicity. Inspired by New York City’s slice of pizza obsession, Badiali isn’t available for online ordering, encouraging community members to come in for their perfect slice of pie. The new spot serves up all the classics like cheese and pepperoni and Margherita and more gourmet options like the veg-friendly Mushroom Bianco or the Burrata Marinara.

171 E Liberty St Unit 127A

Aloette Liberty

Aloette Liberty

Alo Food Group, the company behind ultra-fancy tasting menu restaurant Alo, has reimagined their Queen and Spadina bistro location, Aloette once again, opening a new spot in Liberty Village dedicated almost exclusively to takeout and delivery. Fans of the Queen Street spot can score the cult fave Fried Chicken as well as other upscale diner-style foods like cakes, fries and burgers.

522 King St W

Myth

Myth

What was formerly The Citizen nightclub has transformed itself into a little slice of beachy Mykonos in the heart of King West. From décor to the food, the experience is akin to an ultra-luxe, Greek getaway with tons of authentic Aegean flavours made modern like the Xtapodi Sti Skara, a grilled octopus tentacle on top of puréed fava beans from Santorini, complemented by capers, red onions and a grilled lemon, dressed in extra virgin olive oil.

21 Grenville St

Tomyum Restaurant and Wine Bar

Tomyum Restaurant and Wine Bar

This new wine bar takes popular Euro-centric dishes and adds a Southeast Asian spin, incorporating spices, garnishes, and sides popular in the region. Patrons can dine on small plates full of flavours like Spanish garlic shrimp made unique with Thai basil, green curry, tom yum, and rice. As the name aptly suggests, Tomyum also offers tons of wines difficult to find in Canada in addition to creative, picture-worthy cocktails. Dine in style against a gorgeous backdrop of floral painted murals and dim lights.

3047 Dundas St W

Atai Bistro

Atai Bistro

The latest Junction outpost, Atai Bistro, fuses Moroccan cuisine with French flair to create an expansive menu boasting bold North African flavour and French cooking techniques.

Backed by the team that brought King West the fine-dining Peruvian restaurant MIRA, this new venture promises something for everyone with a selection of creative cocktails, small plates and shareables, and a brunch and dinner menu.

14 Dupont St

Neon Tiger

Neon Tiger

What used to be the sprawling Mexican taco spot, Playa Cabana has transformed into OddSeoul’s sister restaurant, Neon Tiger. Serving up Pan-Asian small plates and hand-crafted cocktails, this new spot at the corner of Avenue and Dupont is the perfect spot for good vibes and even better food.