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5 Exciting Restaurant Openings Amid COVID

5 Exciting Restaurant Openings amid COVID

More than 10,000 restaurants and cafes across Canada have shuttered their doors since the pandemic began, too many of which resided in Toronto. Many of those that have survived are barely hanging on, so when I hear of an opening (even if it’s only for take-out for the time being) it provides a sense of hope and a reminder of the industry’s resilience. Here’s the dish on five new eateries that are welcome additions to the city’s culinary scene.


Considered one of the city’s best burger joints, Rudy has expanded to add not one but two new locations in just four months. (There’s now five in total.) The latest one, which opened Jan. 11, can be found across from Ikea in Etobicoke. The menu may be simple but everything boasts big, mouth-watering flavour. The griddle-smashed all-beef patty burgers are crispy around the edges and moist inside. Eaten alone or paired with an order of thin cut fries, everything is served up delicious.

Marvelous by Fred
The French bakery chain with more than 40 shops across Europe, known as Aux Merveilleux de Fred, has settled into its Queen Street West patisserie where you will find the sweetest of treats. Each creation is handmade to perfection from scratch, from the cramik brioche and buttery croissants to the delectable Belgium cakes and ‘incroyable’ pastries comprised of meringue and whipped cream.

Dave’s Hot Chicken
Street food parking lot pop-up sensation turned fast-casual hit, Dave’s Hot Chicken chose Parkdale for its foray into the international marketplace. Though an American chain, Toronto resident and founder of the Toronto Raptors, John Bitove, owns the craveable Nashville-style hot chicken hangout along with his daughter. Specialties include hot chicken tenders and sliders, with seven spice levels ranging from no spice to ‘reaper.’

Ottawa-based Kettlemans has finally found its way to Toronto, along with its Montreal-style bagels. (Now that’s a mouthful!) After a delayed launch of about a year, the first and only location in the city opened in November in Etobicoke’s Alderwood Plaza, where it rolls out and bakes roughly 6,000 ‘rings’ a day in its wood-fired oven.

One Night Only Pizza
What started off as a way for a couple to make some money after losing their jobs at the start of the pandemic quickly turned into a bona fide pizza business that will soon open its first brick-and-mortar location in Riverdale. Until then, One Night Only Pizza will continue to sell only around 10 pies every Saturday night made specifically for its “pizza people.” (You’ve got to send them a DM on Instagram to join a list and then wait to be contacted when pies become available for pick-up from the backyard of their home.) Customers can choose from four topping options: cheese, pepperoni, spicy pepperoni with pickled jalapenos and mushroom special. Each 16-inch pie comes with a homemade garlic and dill dipping sauce at a cost of $20.