The Food Trend Power Ranking is our semi-regular checkup on Toronto’s most pervasive food and restaurant trends. See the last ranking here.
1. Tacos (up from No. 3)
Tacos are hitting every nook of Toronto: Leslieville fishmonger Hooked announced that it will serve fish tacos at farmers’ markets until October, Nota Bene’s David Lee shared his recipe for lobster tacos in The Globe, Annex’s Guu Sakabar is now making tongue tacos, and even The Garrison is doing a taco special.
2. Food trucks (no change)
After a successful debut at this year’s CNE, food trucks will be coming to the TIFF festival.
3. Creative cocktails (up from No. 4)
The Susur family arrives on Dundas West with their latest venture, Bent. The small cocktail menu ($14–$16) uses such ingredients as elderflower liqueur and homemade ginger beer. Eastward, the upcoming Paintbox Bistro will have smoked whiskey with a spiced caramel-popcorn garnish and a vodka-soda float with a Red Bull and lime sorbet.
4. Bacon (down from No. 1)
Tacos took the top spot from bacon this week (oddly, no one has made a bacon taco yet). Worry not, patrons of pork: At the newly opened Glory Hole Doughnuts in Parkdale, you can add bacon to your donut for a buck.
5. Pizza (up from No. 6)
No local pizza news since the opening of North of Brooklyn, but we moved it up a spot because of this WTF headline from Florida: 346-Pound Man Punches Domino’s Pizza Guy for Forgetting His Garlic Knots, Cops Say.
6. Vegetables (up from No. 10)
Veggies move up four whole places this week. Toronto’s vegan restaurant Rawlicious has opened a New York City offshoot, upmarket dim-sum restaurant Lai Wah Heen unveiled a new vegetarian menu (eg: pan-fried tofu mousse cakes with lotus root), Chantecler will make a vegetarian Chinese dinner with guest chef Jason Carter later this month, and the 28th annual Vegetarian Food Festival begins at Harbourfront Centre this weekend.
7. Pop-ups (up from No. 9)
The Depanneur shuttered its daytime café operations to focus on the more popular pop-up dinners hosted by guest cooks, Yours Truly is hosting a Thai dinner on Sept. 12, and Lai Wah Heen is doing a three-night dim-sum pop-up at Senses beginning tonight.
8. Burgers (down from No. 5)
Holy Chuck got a kick in the pants for naming a burger “The Dirty Drunken Half-Breed” (the owner says he didn’t know it’s a racial slur and took it off the menu). Some happier news: Five Guys Burgers and Fries is opening just north of Yonge-Dundas Square in part of the HMV space.
9. Donuts vs. cupcakes (down from No. 7)
The rivalry continues. Trinity Bellwood’s Dlish Cupcakes is opening a second location in Yorkville while Le Dolci cupcake studio is holding a TIFF Festival-themed intro cupcake-decorating class. But the end of the CNE means no more Tiny Tom donuts, dropping this sweet category down two spots.
10. Sushi-free Japanese (new)
Construction looks almost complete at the B.C.-based Hapa Izakaya in Little Italy, and noodle house Sansotei Ramen just opened near St. Patrick subway station. Here’s a freshly pressed Yelp! review of it.
Honourable mentions: Q Water, reclaimed wood, new Korean, no reservations.
Fallen off the power ranking: charcuterie (No. 8 last week).
(Photograph by Lamantin.)