Five of the most exciting restaurant pop-ups in Toronto right now

Are temporary outposts the new restaurant du jour?

Despite the global pandemic that threw a massive wrench in 2020, Toronto still managed to drum up some awesome new patio spaces and creative solutions to the need for socially distanced hangout spots this summer. Even with the advent of the “new normal” and all the restrictions that have come along with COVID-19, these pop-ups have garnered some serious buzz. 

Now that fall is in full swing and summer is winding down, it may be your last chance to visit some of Toronto’s coolest pop-up restaurants and bars before the season ends. Take advantage of the weather ahead of the deep freeze and visit one of these pop-ups before they close:

Taco Beach

 

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Previously the home of the holiday-themed bar Miracle, 146 Ossington is now the site of Taco Beach: a laid-back patio which has joined forces with local plant shop Dynasty to bring you the South American vacation you never got to take this year. Just a few of the don’t-miss menu items include quesadillas, corn salad, ceviche, Latin American hot dogs, gin-fuelled slushies and obviously, tacos. Visit them Wednesday from 5-10p.m. or Saturday and Sunday 3-10p.m. for a delicious meal, a relaxed vibe and maybe your newest plant baby.

 

The Caddi

 

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Located in the heart of Parkdale at 1296 Queen St. W., The Caddi is the love child of the founders of Camp 4 and Paris Paris, so you already know the vibes are going to be immaculate. Complete with magical string lights, lots of art and wooden picnic benches, the patio feels like the perfect spot for a casual yet romantic date night or evening with friends. Open from 4pm to 2am daily, The Caddi serves up drinks always and food like tacos and ceviche from Wednesday to Sunday.

 

Sky Flower

 

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Blending gorgeous city views, a relaxed rooftop patio atmosphere and the Asian fusion menu of all our dreams, Sky Flower is the perfect retreat for escaping the pandemic blues. Inspired by chef Eric Chong (he won the first season of MasterChef Canada at age 21!), the menu combines elements of Korean, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines with highlights like Vietnamese lettuce wraps, Sichuan street corn and Kalbi beef tacos with avocado and kimchi. But this dreamy pop-up won’t last long — be sure to visit the patio at 292 College St. Monday to Friday 5p.m. to 2a.m. or Saturday and Sunday 11a.m. to 2a.m. before it closes down for the fall.

 

Gerrard East Market

 

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In the east end of the city lies a real GEM of a pop-up patio: Gerrard East Market. The parking-lot-turned beer garden combines offerings from local restaurants and businesses including Vatican Gift Shop, Dive Shop, Poor Romeo and Two Cats Cannabis as part of the city’s CafeTO Program, which has made it easier for restaurants to provide outdoor seating for more socially distant patio dining. As a result, guests can sample almost any kind of food imaginable including allergy safe dishes and baked goods from Hype Food Co. Plus, the patio looks like something out of California complete with picnic benches, umbrellas and actual sand (yes, you read that right—who needs a pedicure?). Visit them Thursday and Friday 5p.m. to 10p.m., Saturday 12p.m. to 11p.m. or Sunday 12p.m. to 10p.m.

 

Miss Likklemores Kitchen & Bar

 

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If Caribbean cuisine is what you’re craving, be sure to stop by Miss Likklemores pop-up kitchen and bar at 1184 Queen St. W., where the now-closed Convenience Bar was previously located. As the menu states, all recipes have been passed down from “aunties, grannies and mums” and are made in house with love. Some of the highlights include saltfish fritters with mango and avocado dipping sauce, loaded plantain nachos and of course, the jerk chicken complete with a side of creamy slaw. The pop-up is open Wednesday to Sunday, 4p.m. to close.

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