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Top 10 Toronto Restaurants That Opened During The Pandemic

Top 10 Toronto Restaurants That Opened During The Pandemic

Published Date: 1 April 2022

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, it’s time to head out and support local! If you’re a visitor to this great city or call Toronto home, now is the perfect time to show your love to these 10 Toronto restaurants that opened their doors during the pandemic. Your new favourite restaurant awaits!

Dzô Viet Eatery

Did someone say Vietnamese street food? Yes, please! Proving there’s more to Vietnamese cuisine than pho, Dzô Viet Eatery serves up some seriously tasty eats including street food classics like poutine, chicken wings, sliders, tacos, and pizza all with a Viet twist. But don’t worry, if pho is what you’re after, give the “dry pho” a try where broth is served on the side of thick pho rice noodles or try the restaurant’s modern take on the region’s fried rice dishes or noodle bowls. Hit the AGO across the street on Dundas Street West then head to this cool resto for the ultimate date night.

Little Sister

Little Sister, Midtown Toronto’s popular resto for Dutch-Indonesian eats now has a second downtown location. Bringing their tasty bites to the King Street West neighbourhood, Little Sister on Portland offers more of the same those in-the-know have come to love over the years. A perfect spot for share plates of satay, lumpia and their mouth-watering “war fries” – French fries topped with peanut sauce, mayonnaise, pickled chili, green onion - these flavours are best enjoyed with one of the Dutch-Indo snack bar’s original cocktail concoctions.

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!

Photo credit: Banquette
Said three times on the first of every month, Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! is more than just a good luck phrase for this southwestern cantina in the heart of King Street West. Born from a popular pop-up patio, the new permanent restaurant location offers Tex-Mex tastes like grilled adobo chicken, wild mushroom fajitas, and margaritas on tap, just a 20-minute walk from UP Express Union Station. Enjoy the seasonally-inspired menu under the dining room’s disco ball-laden ceiling or from the vinyl record listening nook.


Dubbed the “world’s first immersive, multi-sensory art/resto/bar experience”, Selva transports diners to a blacklight neon-jungle fantasy, only a 15-minute walk from UP Express Union Station at Richmond Street and Duncan Street. Here, bask in the floors-to-ceiling photogenic art work while dining on share- plates of tasty South America-meets-Thailand-inspired eats from award-winning chef Nuit Regular. Lime and coconut-forward dishes including scallop ceviche, corn fritters, taco platters, and freshly-grilled meat and fish are on the menu along with some seriously tasty tropical cocktails.

Eat Nabati

Plant-based food lovers will rejoice at Eat Nabati’s Middle Eastern-inspired pitas, bowls, and yes, even desserts. With a variety of flavours and gluten-free eats, vegans can indulge in the Kensington Market spot’s mouth-watering bestseller, the Mama Shawarma pita made from soy-based “chicken” and all the traditional fixings. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more deliciously filling and affordable meal at this prime takeout spot on Baldwin Street that also offers a small dine-in area.


Photo credit: Sandy Nicholson
Find a bit of Paris on College Street at Pompette. The French fine dining restaurant features updated bistro classics made from local ingredients and an impressive wine list that boasts over 350 bottles from around the world makes this charming light-filled Little Italy spot one of the city’s must-visits. But don’t take our word for it – Pompette was named the best new restaurant in Canada in 2021 by EnRoute magazine.

MIMI Chinese

One of the city’s most-Instagrammed new eateries, MIMI Chinese sits on the outskirts of Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood at Davenport Road and Avenue Road. Serving up ‘gram-worthy steaming plates of noodles, savoury dumplings, and char sui barbecue pork made with wildflower honey, MIMI Chinese’s flavours are even tastier than they look. Can’t decide what to order? Let the chef choose for you with the $100 per person Chef’s Choice menu.

Levant Pizza

Sicilian pizza gets a flavour infusion from the Middle East at Levant Pizza in Bloorcourt Village, near UP Express Bloor Station. A shawarma-inspired lamb pizza is the most-popular here, as is the pizza-fied take on a maqluba featuring roasted cauliflower, eggplant, mozzarella, provolone and a seven-spice labneh. With several pizza options that can be easily made vegan, you’ll also find hummus, salads, Middle Eastern sandwiches and delicious desserts including kunafa on the menu at this Bloor Street West takeout and dine-in spot.

Afrobeat Kitchen

We’ll let you in on a big secret – one of the city’s best African takeout spots is hidden inside a Bloor Street West café. Tucked inside Caravan Cafe & Tea House near UP Express Bloor Station, Chef Victor Ugwueke’s Afrobeat Kitchen is serving up a rotation of Nigerian dishes for delivery and takeout including West African favourites like jollof rice, kelewele (plantain) tostones, and a gluten-free vegan take on the tasty peanut-based mafe stew at this Bloor Street West café near Dufferin Street.

La Esquina Chalaca

What began as a small counter in a flea market has grown into a thriving new restaurant on Jane Street near UP Express Weston Station. Serving up tasty Peruvian treats, La Esquina Chalaca prides itself on its fresh ingredients and traditional tastes ranging from the ever-popular lomo saltado stir-fried steak to seafood platters, empanadas, and even breakfast sandwiches.