398 Church, at McGill, 416-977-0999, guu-izakaya.com. Since it launched late last December, this Vancouver-based - and very loud - Japanese tapas joint has been the hottest table in town. Why, most nights folks queue patiently outside this windowless marble-clad box for up to two hours just to join the party. The wait just got a little shorter: a new 20-seat cedar deck has just made Guu that much more accessible. Coming soon: Guu 2!
2. 3 Speed
1163 Bloor W, at St Clarens, 647-430-3834. It's official! Bloordale is the new Ossington, and this new resto-bar from the Communist's Daughter crew proves it: funky bar up front, pot pies du jour from ex-Swan chef Jane Ferriss in the kitchen, and jalapeño-infused margaritas on a 50-seat pergola-covered backyard cedar deck.
3. My Place
2448 Bloor W, at Jane, 647-348-4702, myplacepub.ca. Restaurant Makeover chef Brad Long transforms Swansea's one-time Billy Bob's into a multi-level gastro pub. Count on retro comfort food mains - pierogis, poutine, shepherd's pie - live music Wednesdays through Saturdays, and Sunday brunch on a 75-seat rooftop corral.
4. Kensington Cornerstone
2A Kensington, at Dundas W, 647-343-1597, kensingtoncornerstone.com. Surrounded by vintage clothing shops, this Market newbie takes over the old Saigon Pearl dim sum joint. Sunny curbside patio and a completely gluten-free card - turkey avocado clubs, yucca croquettes, crab cakes - guarantees a full house.
5. Ceili Cottage
1301 Queen E, at Laing, 416-406-1301, ceilicottage.com. Starfish oyster shucker Patrick McMurray converts a Leslieville garage into a Celtic pub complete with step-dancers, fiddlers and all-day weekend Irish breakfasts. Sunday roast dinners and matchmaking services, too.