Feb 04, 2015

Smaller is Better Too.


In Toronto, size matters.  In the last few years, Torontonians have watched new hot spot  after new hot spot pop up in every corner of the city … and we couldn’t be happier!  From ethnically specialized restos to sandwich shops to wing and pizza joints, we’ve noticed one trend that spans the gamut.

When it comes to downtown dining, small restaurants rule the roost.  All you have to do is take a walk along Queen West or the uber-trendy Ossington strip and you’ll pass a million and one fresh-faced 30 seater(ish) spaces.  Here are some of our fave places to warm up and dig into delicious eats this winter.

When the freezing temperatures put you in the mood for a hot burger, there are tons of options regardless of the area you’re in. In every neighbourhood, you can have your choice between fast food chains like Hero Burger, sit-down options like Utopia or the fanciest of all burgers, the gastro pub version (check out Bymark’s $35 offering).  These will all satisfy your cravings, but it’s the new guys in town like Gangster Burger and P&L Burger that are truly buzzworthy.  Brimming with people waiting to snag one of their 20 in-house seats,  these tiny Queen Street shops are proving that quality trumps quantity every time.

If it’s soup you crave, head in to one of the many teeny, tiny top Ramen or Pho restaurants taking over Toronto.  There’s no doubt that when it comes to Ramen, Kinton Ramen is king.  With four locations throughout the downtown core, you’re never far from a “Kinton Bowler.”  If Pho is more your speed, then travel west to Ossington Street  and check out Pho Tien Thanh  … but be prepared to stand in line for a spot at one of their few family-style tables.  Trust us, it’s worth the wait!

For those of you who prefer a food and beverage combo to warm you up, head on over to Rock Lobster (which now has 3 locations) for one of Chef Matt Petit’s signature lobster Bloody Caesars.  Our favourite way to eat lunch – in a cocktail!

No matter what your go-to comfort is this season, there’s one thing we can be sure of.  Good eats come in small restos!