Despite the pervasiveness of the festive season, not everybody gives a damn about turkey and stuffing and sitting around with the family listening to some pop singer butcher the holiday favourites, for a whole variety of reasons. Some folks might want a more low-key celebration (one in which they don’t have to do the washing up) and for others, it’s just, well, Tuesday.
I’ve been putting together a “Christmas Day dining for heathens” list since the first year we ran TasteTO, and it was very popular last year when I was writing for Toronto.com. So here it is again, modified and updated and fact-checked for your dining pleasure. (Parkdalers – the Beaver is closed on Christmas Day this year, so check the list below before heading out!)
As usual, I’ve not included a lot of Chinese restaurants because they are usually open on Christmas Day as a default. However, because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, and many Chinese-owned businesses are closed on Tuesdays, do yourself a favour and call ahead if you’ve got a favourite spot in mind.
Also, reservations are required for all of the options offered at hotels.
Leaside gets a new French bistro in the form of L’Avenue (1568 Bayview Avenue), run by Otto Zapotocky, formerly of Nota Bene and Malena/L’Unita.
Are you tired of the foot-dragging from city council regarding food trucks in the city? Think your councillor should prioritize your right to stand in line for tacos over subways, pending strikes and library closures? Then send them some whiny spam encouragement. The Toronto Street Food Project shows you how.
Swallow has revealed that Matt DeMille will be leaving Enoteca Sociale (1288 Dundas Street West) at the end of April. No word yet on who will replace him.
Queen Margherita Pizza has more expansion plans. NOW reports that they’ll be opening a location in the Junction by early autumn.
How’s this for under the radar – The Beaver alumni open a restaurant called Camp in the Junction at 244 Jane Street. They’re serving breakfast/brunch/lunch.
The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) has revived their annual sugar shack with a maple-infused menu of snacks and cocktails.
1192 Queen Street West
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee and juice: $34
Beaver Loves You.
The sentiment may be genuine, pre-emptive or merely provocative; (“Dude, I love beaver too!!”) but there’s no denying that the note on the bill at this funky restaurant on the edge of Parkdale will put a smile on every face.
Known more for its clubby atmosphere of an evening (the owners are Toronto’s favourite party promoters, Lynn McNeil and Will Munro), Beaver serves up a pretty mean brunch, especially considering the limited kitchen behind the small bar.