Toronto restaurants that opened and closed this week: March 23-30

King West mainstay The Citizen is no more, Mean Bao closes three locations and a new food hall hits Cabbagetown


Many Toronto restaurants are slowly opening their patios as the weather warms.

However, others are staying closed until COVID-19 case numbers are lower. Depending on your comfort level, you can always takeout and delivery from these new restaurants.

The theme of this week seems to be collaboration. Christie Pits wine bar Paradise Grapevine is partnering with nearby restaurants to feed thirsty patrons flocking to their newly opened patio. De Mello Coffee partnered with Chocolat De Kat on a new location. And a food hall on Parliament sees five different food businesses come together.

Read on to discover the local favourites that will be sorely missed and the exciting new Toronto restaurants that opened between March 23-30.

Toronto restaurants that closed

Mean Bao

The bao chain announced they will be closing three locations (Village by the Grange, Annex Food Hall, Leslieville) by the end of March. The Grange location was the first and opened eight years ago. Their Queen and Bathurst and Leslieville pop-up locations are still open. In a social media post, the chain hinted that three new locations will open following these closures.

The Citizen 

It’s not goodbye forever but after seven years the King West watering hole is rebranding as a new concept to launch this summer.

New Toronto restaurants

Babeos Bagels

If you live between Dupont, Spadina, Queen and Lansdowne, you’re in luck. You’re in the delivery area for this new bagel shop. Place orders through Instagram only (for the time being) for homemade poppy seed, onion, salt and everything bagels.

Cafe Plenty 

This west end cafe just launched a popup on the Danforth. They’re selling pantry items like pasta, sauces and butters plus pre-made soups and salads. And, of course, hot coffee and fresh-baked pastries.

De Mello Coffee x Chocolat De Kat

De Mello’s second location is a joint venture with local chocolatier Chocolat De Kat. Coffee and chocolate? Sounds like a match made in heaven. It’s in Hillcrest Village on St. Clair West, a distance away from their original midtown location near Yonge and Eglinton, but the coffee’s still award-winning and the atmosphere is still welcoming.

Kitchen Hub

Kitchen Hub East, in Cabbagetown, is the latest expansion in the company’s mission “to offer a wide variety of fan-favourite restaurants and make them available in a broader geographic range within the city.” Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen is the anchor of this new food hall, which also includes Greenhouse Juice Co., Daan Go Macarons, the Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Ben & Jerry’s and S’More Convenience.

Pepper’s Food & Drink

A new Korean bodega just opened at Wallace and Lansdowne from the team behind Hanmoto, Pinky’s Ca Phe, and Seoul Shakers. The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that grocery is a safer bet (investment-wise) than opening a restaurant. They’re selling pre-packaged meals by Umma’s, a new upstart available exclusively at Pepper’s.

Salad King

After announcing a new location in January, Salad King’s Queen and McCaul location is officially open. 

Tianjin Auntie’s Steamed Bun

Chinatown’s newest restaurant is serving up jianbing, handmade baos and dumplings. They serve Northern Chinese cuisine, notably from Tianjin, the city co-owner Yu Huiping grew up in.

True Flavours Organic Foods

This new Leslieville-based “ghost kitchen” is serving vegan poutine, falafel, garlic and chive gnocchi, cabbage rolls and lentil and vegetable lasagna.

Buzzy news

Matty’s Patty’s is now open seven days a week. Matty Matheson and Pat Tenore first launched a Toronto location of their pop-up burger club on October 17 across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. They started with limited hours and have now expanded to every day of the week.

Meanwhile, Paradise Grapevine is pairing different bottles from the wine cellar with menu items from nearby restaurants like La Bella Managua, Vit Beo, Lalibela, Little Sito and Bajara. You can order and eat on their patio.

Ruru Baked opened their first brick-and-mortar space on Lansdowne in January. The infamous online drops for their one-of-a-kind ice cream flavours continue to sell out minutes. As of April 1, the pressure to secure your favourite flavour is off (at least a little bit) and they’re new spot will be equipped to sell scoops, pints and merch in person.

@kelseyxadams

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