Ascari King East
New to the King West restaurant scene is this east-end stalwart, which provides their signature fresh pastas and veggie-forward apps plus a new slate of grilled meats and heartier mains, all within a stunning industrial setting. Read more about Ascari King East here.
620 King West, at Portland, 416-366-3673, ascari.ca
Grand Cru Deli
It’s a wine bar! It’s a deli! No, it’s this low-key joint on Richmond, where you can get a spectacular glass of Beaujolais and a muffuletta the size of your head. The vibe is homey and the staff are seriously knowledgeable about wine, and eager to help you discover your new fave bottle – all the better for processing that TIFF screening with pals. Read more about Grand Cru Deli here.
304 Richmond West, at John, 416-551-9221, grandcrudeli.com
If a relatively speedy restaurant near the Lightbox is what you’re after, check out this pizza joint hidden away on Adelaide. They don’t do slices, just full pies to order (so be warned), but the pizzas here are a cut above your usual quick-service spot. Read more about General Assembly here.
331 Adelaide West, at Peter, gapizza.com
Warp yourself to Spain post-TIFF viewing at Rob Bragagnolo’s King West restaurant, decked out to mimic a Spanish open-air market with soaring ceilings and gorgeous tilework. Grab classic tapas like iberico croquettes and lemon-cured boquerones, go all-out with paella for two, kick back with a fizzy vermut, or stop by for brunch on weekends. Read more about Labora – formerly known as Campo Food Hall – here.
433 King West, at Spadina, 416-260-9993, labora.to
Khao San Road
Always a Toronto staple, KSR does some of the best classic Thai dishes in town, and the cool modern setting, swathed in custom-designed tiles, makes for a killer backdrop. Upstairs, crush a post-movie pint or cocktail at sister bar Bang Sue. Read more about Khao San Road here.
11 Charlotte, at King, 647-352-5773, khaosanroad.ca
Frings, we hardly knew ye. Open in what was once Drake’s first restaurant, this Vancouver steakhouse turned King West hot spot makes good on its name with splashy decor and plenty of steaks, plus other elegantly-plated dishes.
This cool subterranean hangout, nestled underneath the Templar Hotel, is sleek and sceney but still has a soul on its own. The food is largely pan-Asian, with plenty of Filipino flavours laced throughout, while the creative cocktails keep you constantly guessing. Bonus: Brunch! Read more about Mother Tongue here.
348 Adelaide West, at Peter, 647-243-5858, mothertongue.ca
A slightly more eccentric alternative to the usually ultra-glossy King West bar scene, this recent entry to the neighbourhood offers a 20s-inspired atmosphere as well as a brunch menu and plenty of nightly drink deals.
668 King West, at Bathurst, 416-900-4668, regularsbar.ca
If you’ve got a high-end Italian craving, but not the schedule (or budget) for a two-hour leisurely lunch, this takeout pasta shop has what you need. The Sos makes a few shapes of fresh pasta daily, ready to be tossed in your choice of classic sauces (complete with GF and vegan options). Just watch out for that carb coma. Read more about The Sos here.
118 John, at Adelaide, 416-551-8115, sospasta.ca
No, this beer hall isn’t new, but do you see any other King West restaurants doing game sausages and duck fat fries? Bonus: A craft beer menu and seating that’s great for big groups.
609 King West, at Portland, 416-703-7775, wvrst.com