All stories by Caroline Aksich

Mattachioni, an Italian bodega from a Terroni alum, is now open in the Junction ... Mattachioni, an Italian bodega from a Terroni alum, is now open in the Junction Triangle

Earlier this summer, a Portuguese bakery at the western edge of the Junction Triangle was quietly replaced by Mattachioni, an Italian bodega. The sign out front still reads Lieira Bakery, but a red “M” in the corner of the window signifies the change. Terroni alum David Mattachioni sells salads, sandwiches (porchetta, prosciutto, salmon, caprese) made on house-made bread and sweets including brioche… Read more »

Grey Tiger, a vegan bar and café, is now open in Bloordale Grey Tiger, a vegan bar and café, is now open in Bloordale

Vegans now have a second reason to visit Bloordale: the recently opened Grey Tiger (which the owners named after their rescued tabby cat). During the daytime, plugged-in freelancers can snack on house-baked cinnamon toast, black sesame buns or scallion twists while sipping precisely brewed cuppas. (Co-owner Becky Ip is fastidious when it comes to tea, which she weighs before steeping at just… Read more »

Little Portugal loses Essen Little Portugal loses Essen

Toronto’s only purveyor of Jewish ramen, Essen, has closed. Owner and chef Leor Zimerman first opened Quinta, the French-Portuguese bistro, in 2012, but changed things up when sales started to sag. Last September, he debuted Essen at the same address, where he served traditional(ish) Jewish dishes, like the aforementioned matzoh-ball noodle bowl, a chopped chicken liver banh mi and a manischewitz cocktail named… Read more »

Leslieville gets Toronto’s first taste of Detroit-style pizza Leslieville gets Toronto’s first taste of Detroit-style pizza

No need to cross the border to get your hands on authentic deep-dish pizza from the Rust Belt: Descendant, a new 20-seat spot in Leslieville, cranks out cheese-heavy Detroit pies from brick-lined Montague Hearthbake gas ovens. Like Chicago-style pies, these pizzas are fodder for nutritionists’ nightmares. A thick layer of dough is pressed into a well-oiled square… Read more »

Five refreshingly boozy cold-brew cocktails Five refreshingly boozy cold-brew cocktails

Across the city, Toronto baristas are pouring thirst-quenching cold brew, the hyper-trendy coffee drink that’s steeped for up to 24 hours (which makes it less acidic than regular iced coffee). Better yet, now bartenders are combining it with booze—and it’s our new favourite way to battle the upwardly creeping humidex. Here are five of the best… Read more »

Otto’s brings Berlin’s favourite late-night snacks to Kensington Market Otto’s brings Berlin’s favourite late-night snacks to Kensington Market

“Hallo,” reads the neon sign that greets patrons at Otto’s Berlin Döner in Kensington Market. The new 33-seat spot serves up the kind of late-night snacks that fuel German techno-heads, namely döners (not totally unlike our own donair) and currywurst, a poutine-like dish (with its own museum) where fries are topped with sausage and spiced ketchup. Collectively, co-owners Nancy Chen, Konrad Droeske, Matt Eckensweiler and… Read more »

Introducing: WindUp Restaurant, a Caribbean spot on College from Barque alumni Introducing: WindUp Restaurant, a Caribbean spot on College from Barque alumni

Name: WindUp Restaurant Neighbourhood: University Contact: 382 College St., 647-349-6373, winduprestaurant.ca, @eatdrinkwindup Previously: Wind Up Bird Owner: Whitney Knowles and Bryan Birch (both Barque alumni) Chefs: Bryan Birch (Barque, North 44) and Ryan Graham (Tutti Matti) The Food: “This is a Toronto version of a Caribbean restaurant,” explains Birch, who has taken Jamaican and Trinidadian favourites and… Read more »

Anice Jewellery has opened an Ossington outpost Anice Jewellery has opened an Ossington outpost

Anice, Kensington Market’s bijou jewellery shop, has opened a second (much larger) location on Ossington. Like the original store, the new Anice is an Etsy addict’s paradise: semi-precious stones, antique beads and sundry baubles wait to be transformed into custom necklaces, bracelets and festival-ready headbands. For those who aren’t so creatively inclined, the shop’s brick walls are adorned… Read more »

Dac Biet brings Asian-American burgers to the downtown core Dac Biet brings Asian-American burgers to the downtown core

Toronto’s love affair with Asian-American fusion isn’t fading: joining the ranks of DaiLo, Patois and R&D is Dac Biet, a pan-Asian burger joint with a Vietnamese name. Dac Biet means “special,” or in this case, “combo with everything.” The burgers at the small spot (previously home to Sam’s Philly Cheesesteak) are loaded with Asian toppings like kimchi, char siu… Read more »

This End Up (sort of) returns to Dundas West This End Up (sort of) returns to Dundas West

Little Portugal’s popular sandwich and cocktail spot didn’t stay closed for long: This End Up will reopen on July 17…sort of. Shortly after the Dundas West favourite left the scene last March, it was announced that chef Deron Engbers and the Monarch Tavern’s Michael Dorbyk would take over the space to open something called This and That…. Read more »

The Pie Commission celebrates the opening of its new Trinity Bellwoods location ... The Pie Commission celebrates the opening of its new Trinity Bellwoods location with free pies

Fans of The Pie Commission’s stuffed pastry pockets no longer need to trek to Etobicoke to curb their cravings for butter-chicken pot pie: the ex-Happy Hooker digs on Dundas West have been revamped into a 15-seat pie shack. Over at the west-end factory outlet—where up to 500 pies fly out the door daily—the braised beef rib number reigns supreme,… Read more »

Street Style: Queen’s Plate–goers flaunt flapper looks and floppy hats a... Street Style: Queen’s Plate–goers flaunt flapper looks and floppy hats at Woodbine Racetrack

Are horses really the main attraction at the Queen’s Plate? We’re not so sure. In its 156th year, the equine event held last Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack was equal parts gambling, Eliza Doolittle–worthy outfits and a dash of royal pomp, which came in the form of a visit from Ontario’s lieutenant governor. And then there… Read more »

Le Ti Colibri leaves Kensington Market Le Ti Colibri leaves Kensington Market

With rents rising and condos encroaching, Kensington Market’s patchwork of international shops, bodegas and restaurants is ailing. This month’s casualty is Le Ti Colibri, a teeny spot that served up home-style French Caribbean sandwiches in its backyard tiki hut. “We had been looking for a new location since it was too difficult to obtain an alcohol… Read more »

Fifteen of the city’s most insane caesars Fifteen of the city’s most insane caesars

Every good Canadian worth his or her celery salt knows that the sodium-packed caesar is our national cocktail, and this year the Bloody Mary’s clammy cousin turns 46. While it may have been born in Calgary, the drink is being perfected right here in Hogtown: Tabasco is swapped out for homemade hot sauces, and crushed tortillas, powdered seaweed… Read more »

The Chase: how four city-dwelling families found fuss-free condos in cottage cou... The Chase: how four city-dwelling families found fuss-free condos in cottage country

Toronto’s building boom is creeping into cottage country, turning prime lakefront properties into condo compounds with distinctly urban amenities, like heated pools, spas and helpful staff to handle the headaches By Caroline Aksich | Portraits by Erin Leydon