Some of Spadina's finest dumplings, top-notch ceviche, vegan pizza and more things to order in this week
Welcome to NOW’s new food column, Takeout Five. While New Toronto Restaurants goes on hiatus, we’re spotlighting just a small handful of the many, many excellent Toronto restaurants offering delivery or takeout during COVID-19. Join us here every week until this whole mess is over.
To see our full list of new delivery and takeout options during the pandemic, click here.
Dumpling House – not to be confused with the one on Gerrard – offers some of Spadina’s best dumplings (and that’s saying something). The restaurant has never made its food available on delivery or takeout apps of any kind – but as you may have noticed, the rules kind of seem to be going out the window these days.
Now, the dumplings you’ve seen kitchen staff rapidly folding in their fishbowl window are available remotely for takeout and delivery, in a couple dozen varieties. (So are a slew of other dishes, including green onion pancakes, tomato-egg stir fry and mapo tofu.) There doesn’t seem to be an option to get frozen bags of dumplings to go just yet – fingers crossed that’s next.
328 Spadina, 416-596-8898
HOW TO ORDER: Delivery (UberEats and Skipthedishes)
Most know Bar Volo and Birreria Volo as the city’s two coziest beer bars, but the family who own the businesses, the Moranas, also have a successful importing business that supports both bars, as well as their Cask Days festival. They’re putting that stock to good use during the pandemic with a new pickup service.
The newly-launched Bottega Volo offers stock from both Volo locations for sale, from natural wine and beer to sourdough bread, meats, antipasti and other fancy snacks. (There’s merch and glassware for sale, too.) Offerings depend on which location you’re shopping, and in keeping with current takeout laws, products must be picked up at the shop in person and booze orders must include food. Delivery is set to be rolled out soon.
17 St. Nicholas St., 416-928-0018, barvolo.com 612 College, 416-531-7373, birreriavolo.com
HOW TO ORDER: Takeout (online ordering via Bar Volo and Birreria Volo websites)
If you haven’t heard of this vegan pizza joint, it’s because it didn’t exist until about a week ago. The team behind Avelo had plans to convert their Away cafe on Queen West into a new pizza spot called Vitalia – but the plans, already put on hold by COVID-19, were further impacted by the sudden passing of their pizza chef, Dualco.
“We have since canceled the launch, as Vitalia just wouldn’t feel right without him,” the owners wrote on Instagram. “Instead of Vitalia, we are launching Pizzeria Du in his honour.”
The vegan pies will be based on Dualco’s recipes, including the crust he spent two years perfecting. Options include a delicious-sounding pie with cremini mushrooms, almond ricotta and lemon truffle oil, as well as the all-important vegan garlic knots. During the pandemic, they’ll also be donating pizza to staff at Toronto Western, as well as West Neighbourhood House.
HOW TO ORDER: Delivery (UberEats), with more on the way.
Tom Thai’s Ossington bistro has scarcely changed in the past 13 years, something Toronto food cognoscenti have come to appreciate – but there’s no time like the present to pivot, right? To keep the business afloat during the pandemic, Thai has introduced a weekly takeout menu posted on their Instagram that features a few starters, a couple of their signature rotating ceviches (right now, there are crispy shrimp and arctic char versions) and grilled meats like marinated beef short rib. Half-price bottles of wine are also available to go.
207 Ossington, 416-534-8520, instagram.com/foxleyonossington
HOW TO ORDER: Takeout (text 647-981-3281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
You might know Brandon Olsen for his iconic splatter-painted CXBO chocolates, or the French fare at La Banane. But Olsen’s other love just so happens to be fried chicken Brando’s has made pre-COVID appearances as a pop-up around the city. But in this new age of all-takeout-everything, Olsen has made his battered birds available for UberEats delivery Tuesday through Saturday.
On the menu: KFC-style buckets, coleslaw and sandwiches – plus confit roasted potatoes, and for dessert, CXBO bars (or a whole CXBO Disco Egg, because why not).
HOW TO ORDER: Delivery (UberEats), with more options on the way.