Toronto restaurants that opened and closed this week

Here are the local restaurants, bars and cafes that opened and closed between November 18-25

Toronto restaurants, bakeries, cafes and bars are open for takeout and delivery only. Again.

Many restaurant owners are concerned about the second lockdown being the final nail in the coffin that is 2020. Others are frustrated after spending money to winterize patios that cannot currently be used.

Supporting bottle shops, cafes and restaurants offering takeout and delivery is critical to their survival. Here is what opened and closed the week of November 18-25.

Toronto restaurants that closed

The Boat

The 44-year-old Kensington Market bar and club was a popular rental spot for private events. It became the latest live music venue to fall victim to the pandemic. Full story here.

Cold Tea

The Kensington Market speakeasy has closed after a decade of Sunday afternoon patio parties and post-concert hangouts. Fortunately, a second location on Queen West lives on. Full story here.

River Tai

After 27 years, this popular spot for Cantonese and Szechuan food has closed. A beloved restaurant for University of Toronto students on a budget and neighbourhood residents alike. Neil Wright, chair of the Harbord Street BIA confirmed the sad news, although it remains unclear if the closing is COVID-related or not.

Toronto restaurants that opened

Encounter Tea

The Markham tea shop that blends Chinese and Canadian flavours has soft-launched a downtown location at 439 Spadina. It’s open for takeout and delivery during lockdown.

Hong Kong Island Dim Sum House

The dim sum and bakery spot is moving around the block to take up shop in the former Furama Bakery space on Spadina.

Legal Tenders

You can now order chicken fingers to go in Parkdale four nights a week. This queer-owned chicken fingers takeout spot began operating out of the Shameful Tiki Room a few weeks ago.

Saints Island Pies

The Filipino Detroit-style pizza pop-up has taken over the Dundas West bar and restaurant formerly known as Wallflower. The deep-dish pizzas are topped with ingredients typical of the sweet-salty flavour combinations in Filipino cuisine. Full story here.

VaVa Designer Cakes

This designer cake shop opened today, just outside of Toronto in Richmond Hill. They do custom cakes of all kinds and have a range of themed cakes people can choose from. Their fluffy and light chiffon cakes are their specialty, with flavours like taro mochi and caramel sea salt.

TVX Restaurant

This vegan restaurant in Kensington Market, formerly known as The Vegan Extremist, reopened this weekend after a long hiatus. They’re offering a small menu of internationally inspired dishes. They make laksa, a popular Southeast Asian soup, and have found a clever solution to bringing out the umami flavour without using shrimp. Chole, biryani, Singaporean-style noodles and fried oyster mushrooms round out the list.

Buzzy announcements

Just in time for Lockdown 2, popular Parkdale diner Skyline has started offering delivery (including weekend brunch) in the local area. Check the restaurant’s Instagram for availability.

The Depanneur launched a Kickstarter to publish a recipe book, highlighting 100 recipes from 100 chefs that have passed through their test kitchens.

If an exciting new restaurant is opening in your hood or your local fave is saying goodbye, please send tips to food [at]


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