Toronto restaurants that opened and closed this week: November 17-23

NU Bügel heads to midtown, Matty Matheson and Chef Rang open shop on Spadina and Boxcar Social arrives in Little Italy


Banh mi from Cà Phê Rang
Cà Phê Rang / Instagram

Chef Rang and Matty Matheson have opened a Vietnamese spot on Spadina called Cà Phê Rang.

Yonge and Eglinton is a popular destination for buzzy downtown restaurants making moves uptown. This week brings news of Aloette and a Kensington Market bagel shop planning future locations in midtown.

Downtown, winter pop-ups are getting into gear. Matty Matheson and Chef Rang have a new venture on Spadina, Rebel teams with a Chintatown staple Bear Steak Sandwiches is making a comeback.

Meanwhile, a spot billed as Canada’s first Shiba Inu-themed cafe has touched down in the west end and an Italian cafe from Vancouver has moved into the lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel.

Here are the Toronto restaurants that announced openings and closings for the week of November 17-23.

Toronto restaurants that closed

Amber European Restaurant

The Polish and Eastern European restaurant on Bloor West closed at the end of October, according to its website. Signs in the windows indicate it will be replaced by an Italian place called La Capricciosa Restaurant & Pizzeria.

Pho King Fabulous

The Vietnamese restaurant at Yonge and Eglinton announced on Instagram that it is closing after seven years. “Another restaurant is taking over our space and will open soon,” the message reads. “Please give them the same love and support you’ve given us. We wish everyone all the best.”

Toronto restaurants that opened

Cà Phê Rang

Former Le Select Bistro colleagues Chef Rang and Matty Matheson have opened a banh mi and pho spot in the Spadina space that previously housed Birria Balam. That pop-up later became permanent as Fonda Balam on Dundas West.

147 Spadina, instagram.com/capherangrules

Boxcar Laneway

Coffee chain Boxcar Social is soft-opening a new spot in Little Italy on November 29 called Boxcar Laneway. It’s Boxcar’s first employee-run store, co-owner Alex Castellani tells NOW, and staff will receive a profit share of the location’s revenue. It will also serve as an incubator hub and business model for training and attracting new talent.

298 Markham, instagram.com/boxcar_social

Bear Steak Sandwiches

After running a pop-up in Little Italy, Bear Steak Sandwiches is coming back for a month-long pop-up at Chef’s Assembly Hall. It’ll be up and running on November 26 and operate on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of December.

111 Richmond West, instagram.com/bearsteaksandwiches

Dear Grain

Sourdough-centric bakery Dear Grain has been making moves in the past year, opening a space with Dark Horse on Geary and a production centre in Hamilton. Now it’s got a proper street presence in Toronto with a new storefront on Ossington that officially opened on November 18.

48 Ossington, instagram.com/deargrainbakery

Hong Shing x Rebel

You don’t have to high-tail it to Chinatown when you leave the club – if you’re at Rebel. Dundas West staple Hong Shing has launched a menu at the Polson Street entertainment complex that’s available on Saturdays, according to the restaurant’s Instagram stories.

11 Polson, instagram.com/hongshingto

Giovane Cafe

Vancouver-based Italian cafe Giovane has made a move in Toronto with a new location in the lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel.

188 University, instagram.com/giovanecaffe

The Hungry Moon

The husband-and-wife team behind the space-themed Filipino fusion food truck Hungry Moon are laying down roots in Scarborough. On November 27, the business is bringing the intergalactic vibes to a brick-and-mortar outpost on Kingston Road.

4190 Kingston, thehungrymoon.ca

NU Bügel

The Kensington Market shop specializing in wood-fired bagels has signs in the window for a new location in midtown at Yonge and Keewatin. The launch date hasn’t been announced yet.

2515 Yonge, nubagel.com

Shiba Inu Poke

Do you love Shiba Inus? Do you love poke? Then you are most definitely in the target demo for Shiba Inu Poke. The Bloor West spot is billed as the country’s first Shiba Inu-themed cafe. The rice is shaped like the Japanese hunting dog, and the bubble tea is also Shiba themed.

245A Kennedy, instagram.com/shibainupoke

RC Coffee Robo Cafe

The self-serve robo-cafe chain’s expansion continues with a location serving those coming and going at the Toronto General Hospital food court.

200 Elizabeth, instagram.com/rccoffeebarista

Hazukido

Hazukaido’s decadent croissant creations will soon be available in Vaughan when a new location opens on November 26. The first 30 customers get a box with three free croissants.

3175 Rutherford, instagram.com/hazukidocanada

Gourmet meals for a cause

With the pandemic causing a staggering rise in food insecurity and food banks usage, Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF) is hosting an annual Take-Home Dinner Fundraiser. The dinner is in collaboration with and in support of local BIPOC chefs, who have especially been impacted by the pandemic, says Fatin Chowdhury, BCCF’s development and communication manager.

Adrienne Panis, Evis Chirowamhangu and Candace Esquimaux are just some of the chefs that you can order a gourmet meal from. BCCF also encourages sponsoring a gourmet meal for Jane and Finch community members, which is also where BCCF is located. Chowdhury says this community in particular has a higher BIPOC population than most neighbourhoods in Toronto. It’s also Black, Indigenous and racialized communities who are more prone to facing food insecurity, he says. Currently, more than 50 per cent of tickets have been sold. The deadline to purchase a meal is Friday, November 26 at 11:59 p.m

More Buzzy news

Good news for customers of Church Street cocktail spot Boutique Bar. The bar was slated to close to make way for a mixed-use condo development, but now the owners say the developer-landlord has extended the lease to “potentially July 2022.”

After opening a smaller-than-usual location at College and Spadina, popular Loblaw-owned Asian grocer T&T Supermarket has announced a plan to take over 36,000 square feet in the former Sears space at Fairview Mall. The new location is due to open sometime in winter 2022.

Speaking of 2022 openings, French diner Aloette will open a midtown takeout counter next spring “or later.” Coming soon signage is already up in the window at 2362 Yonge, a block north of Eglinton.

Pai’s Nuit Regular is bringing her Northern Thai dishes to Hamilton diners with a one-night pop-up at Odds Bar on December 6 from 4-9 pm.

@nowtoronto

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