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Introducing: Urban Eatery, the Eaton Centre’s new, disconcertingly Danish food court

The Eaton Centre’s new food court, featuring Panton S chairs. No, really. (Image: Caroline Aksich)

The food court experience is a notoriously horrible one. The ambiance is nonexistent, the options are limited to the typical fast-food chains, and the waste produced is enormous. For years, the Eaton Centre food court has been no exception—that is, until Cadillac-Fairview embarked on creating Canada’s first “destination food court” there. It took $48 million and 14 months of renovations to transform the subterranean food court into an “urban eatery”—something that feels more like Copenhagen (mid-century modern furniture, a red, white and wood colour palette) than Toronto—until you see the A&W at least. But Cadillac-Fairview didn’t just want to give the space a facelift; they wanted to change the experience as a whole (indeed, they’ve billed it as “downtown eating, redefined”). The Styrofoam plates and next-to-useless plastic knives are out (unless of course, you order to go), and surprisingly strong crockery and decently weighted cutlery are in. They’ve also brought in a handful of Toronto restaurants and mini-chains, like Urban Herbivore, Amaya Express and Liberty Noodle. It’s not Splendido, but it’s a whole lot better than what it replaced. And it’s home to what has to be the nicest KFC we’ve ever seen.

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Urban Eatery, Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge St., torontoeatoncentre.com

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