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Jackpot Chicken Rice
Photo: Jackpot Chicken Rice

The 11 Hottest New Restaurants in Toronto

Where to go for brunchworthy croque-madames, Filipino lumpia, and Hainanese chicken rice

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Jackpot Chicken Rice
| Photo: Jackpot Chicken Rice

Today, Eater returns to Toronto, Canada, to discover the newest drinking and dining destinations the Ontario capital has to offer. Once again, freelance writer and food photographer Gizelle Lau offers her picks for the hottest openings of the past 12 months.

Among her selections: Hainanese chicken rice from the chef behind Toronto’s favorite pineapple-bun burger (Jackpot Chicken Rice), upscale vegan barbecue (Planta), and a new take on an old-school diner (Harry’s Charbroiled Dining Lounge).

Looking for the city's absolute standbys? Consult the Toronto Eater 38. But here now, and in geographical order, the Eater Heatmap to Toronto:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Harry's Charbroiled Dining Lounge

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Chef Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel, Bar Raval) saved this rundown diner and made it cool, adding no fuss, vinyl booths, vintage Christmas lights, and an open diner kitchen. It now offers up some of the city’s best burgers with perfectly fat, crispy fries, and attracts a new crowd that frequents the space day and night.

Burger and fries at Harry’s Charbroiled.
Photo: Harry’s Charbroiled / Instagram

Superpoint

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The super-casual pizza joint from chef Jon Poon bakes up pies with a thin, crispy crust on Toronto’s Ossington strip. Get a slice at the front or score a spot in the dining room or backroom shipping container for the full menu of comfort-fun foods, like a Caesar salad topped with hickory sticks, the Chef Boyardee-esque beef cheek ragu, or the unmissable spicy anchovy pizza.

Pizza at Superpoint.
Photo: Superpoint / Facebook

A French-inspired Korean restaurant in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood is exactly the kind of place that would be inspired by a city as diverse as Toronto. Here, chef Paul Kim takes traditional Korean dishes and modernizes them using delicate French cooking techniques. Order a la carte or opt for the $65 tasting menu.

Grilled kalbi at Doma.
Photo: Doma / Facebook

Canis Restaurant

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This sleek, understated spot can get lost on busy Queen West but should certainly not be overlooked. Chef Jeff Kang elevates local ingredients with techniques reminiscent of fun modern Scandinavian cuisine, and beautiful ingredients — like whole-roasted dry-aged duck breast — are the star of the show.

Pasta at Canis.
Photo: Canis / Toronto

Café Cancan

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Bright, pink, and open for brunch, this casual French bistro and cafe sees chef Victor Barry taking a sidestep from fine French cuisine. On the menu: croque-madames for brunch, oysters at happy hour (3 p.m. to 5p.m.), a selection of foie gras (parfait, seared, or with tenderloin), and duck confit for dinner.

French onion soup at Cafe Cancan.
Photo: Cafe Cancan / Instagram

Jackpot Chicken Rice

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From Craig Wong, the man behind Toronto’s much-loved pineapple-bun burger (Patois), comes Jackpot Chicken Rice. In the heart of Chinatown, the casual outpost serves up Hainanese chicken rice plus add-ons like foie gras and soy-sauce egg with a premium on crispy skins.

Hainanese chicken rice at Jackpot.
Photo: Jackpot Chicken Rice

The most recent, wildly delicious Thai outpost from chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff Regular (Pai Northern Thai Kitchen) brings a taste of dishes from across Thailand with creative twists. Try the beautiful Royal Thai platter: a tasting of delicate amuse-bouche bites, inspired by the menus of Thai royalty.

The Royal Thai Platter at Kiin.
Photo: Kiin / Toronto

Brothers Food and Wine

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The cozy, 30-seat restaurant on top of the Bay Street subway station in Yorkvillle is another spot that’s gone from greasy spoon to refined dining destination. Chef Jonathan Nicolaou serves simple, elegant cuisine that’s crafted to complement the restaurant’s strong wine list. The menu changes daily, but has included items like sweetbreads with chanterelle mushrooms and peas, rabbit with artichoke and fennel, and gateau basque for dessert.

A dish at Brothers Food and Wine.
Photo: Brothers Food and Wine / Instagram

From barbecue to elegant small plates, at Planta, chef David Lee stuns with vegan dishes so tasty that even the most serious of carnivores will forget that meat isn’t on the menu. Perfectly poised in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood, Planta makes vegan food hip rather than hippie. There’s even a DJ on some nights.

Carrot dogs at Planta.
Photo: Planta / Facebook

Conspiracy Pizza

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The people behind Toronto’s favorite Texas barbecue spot, Adamson Barbecue, have opened Conspiracy Pizza right next door. A sturdy but soft crust creates a foldable surface for conspiracy-themed red or white pizzas with names like the Moon Landing and the Cowspiracy. Open from 4:30 p.m. daily until sold out.

A pie at Conspiracy Pizza.
Photo: Conspiracy Pizza / Toronto

Lake Inez

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Chef Robbie Hojilla moved from the now-gone, celeb-studded Hudson Kitchen on Dundas West to Gerrard Street in the East End near Little India, bringing his Filipino- and Asian-inspired cuisine with him. At Lake Inez, dishes like mussels in a Filipino sinigang broth or Viet-style grilled pork chops pair well with craft beer from not just a few, but 24 draft lines.

Lumpia at Lake Inez.
Photo: Lake Inez / Facebook

Harry's Charbroiled Dining Lounge

Burger and fries at Harry’s Charbroiled.
Photo: Harry’s Charbroiled / Instagram

Chef Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel, Bar Raval) saved this rundown diner and made it cool, adding no fuss, vinyl booths, vintage Christmas lights, and an open diner kitchen. It now offers up some of the city’s best burgers with perfectly fat, crispy fries, and attracts a new crowd that frequents the space day and night.

Burger and fries at Harry’s Charbroiled.
Photo: Harry’s Charbroiled / Instagram

Superpoint

Pizza at Superpoint.
Photo: Superpoint / Facebook

The super-casual pizza joint from chef Jon Poon bakes up pies with a thin, crispy crust on Toronto’s Ossington strip. Get a slice at the front or score a spot in the dining room or backroom shipping container for the full menu of comfort-fun foods, like a Caesar salad topped with hickory sticks, the Chef Boyardee-esque beef cheek ragu, or the unmissable spicy anchovy pizza.

Pizza at Superpoint.
Photo: Superpoint / Facebook

Doma

Grilled kalbi at Doma.
Photo: Doma / Facebook

A French-inspired Korean restaurant in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood is exactly the kind of place that would be inspired by a city as diverse as Toronto. Here, chef Paul Kim takes traditional Korean dishes and modernizes them using delicate French cooking techniques. Order a la carte or opt for the $65 tasting menu.

Grilled kalbi at Doma.
Photo: Doma / Facebook

Canis Restaurant

Pasta at Canis.
Photo: Canis / Toronto

This sleek, understated spot can get lost on busy Queen West but should certainly not be overlooked. Chef Jeff Kang elevates local ingredients with techniques reminiscent of fun modern Scandinavian cuisine, and beautiful ingredients — like whole-roasted dry-aged duck breast — are the star of the show.

Pasta at Canis.
Photo: Canis / Toronto

Café Cancan

French onion soup at Cafe Cancan.
Photo: Cafe Cancan / Instagram

Bright, pink, and open for brunch, this casual French bistro and cafe sees chef Victor Barry taking a sidestep from fine French cuisine. On the menu: croque-madames for brunch, oysters at happy hour (3 p.m. to 5p.m.), a selection of foie gras (parfait, seared, or with tenderloin), and duck confit for dinner.

French onion soup at Cafe Cancan.
Photo: Cafe Cancan / Instagram

Jackpot Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice at Jackpot.
Photo: Jackpot Chicken Rice

From Craig Wong, the man behind Toronto’s much-loved pineapple-bun burger (Patois), comes Jackpot Chicken Rice. In the heart of Chinatown, the casual outpost serves up Hainanese chicken rice plus add-ons like foie gras and soy-sauce egg with a premium on crispy skins.

Hainanese chicken rice at Jackpot.
Photo: Jackpot Chicken Rice

Kiin

The Royal Thai Platter at Kiin.
Photo: Kiin / Toronto

The most recent, wildly delicious Thai outpost from chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff Regular (Pai Northern Thai Kitchen) brings a taste of dishes from across Thailand with creative twists. Try the beautiful Royal Thai platter: a tasting of delicate amuse-bouche bites, inspired by the menus of Thai royalty.

The Royal Thai Platter at Kiin.
Photo: Kiin / Toronto

Brothers Food and Wine

A dish at Brothers Food and Wine.
Photo: Brothers Food and Wine / Instagram

The cozy, 30-seat restaurant on top of the Bay Street subway station in Yorkvillle is another spot that’s gone from greasy spoon to refined dining destination. Chef Jonathan Nicolaou serves simple, elegant cuisine that’s crafted to complement the restaurant’s strong wine list. The menu changes daily, but has included items like sweetbreads with chanterelle mushrooms and peas, rabbit with artichoke and fennel, and gateau basque for dessert.

A dish at Brothers Food and Wine.
Photo: Brothers Food and Wine / Instagram

Planta

Carrot dogs at Planta.
Photo: Planta / Facebook

From barbecue to elegant small plates, at Planta, chef David Lee stuns with vegan dishes so tasty that even the most serious of carnivores will forget that meat isn’t on the menu. Perfectly poised in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood, Planta makes vegan food hip rather than hippie. There’s even a DJ on some nights.

Carrot dogs at Planta.
Photo: Planta / Facebook

Conspiracy Pizza

A pie at Conspiracy Pizza.
Photo: Conspiracy Pizza / Toronto

The people behind Toronto’s favorite Texas barbecue spot, Adamson Barbecue, have opened Conspiracy Pizza right next door. A sturdy but soft crust creates a foldable surface for conspiracy-themed red or white pizzas with names like the Moon Landing and the Cowspiracy. Open from 4:30 p.m. daily until sold out.

A pie at Conspiracy Pizza.
Photo: Conspiracy Pizza / Toronto

Lake Inez

Lumpia at Lake Inez.
Photo: Lake Inez / Facebook

Chef Robbie Hojilla moved from the now-gone, celeb-studded Hudson Kitchen on Dundas West to Gerrard Street in the East End near Little India, bringing his Filipino- and Asian-inspired cuisine with him. At Lake Inez, dishes like mussels in a Filipino sinigang broth or Viet-style grilled pork chops pair well with craft beer from not just a few, but 24 draft lines.

Lumpia at Lake Inez.
Photo: Lake Inez / Facebook

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