First Look: Appetite, a new east-end destination for sandwiches, salads and take-home dinners


A roast beef sandwich with purple kale salad (Images: Ray Lontoc)

As residents of Riverdale for some 18-odd years, Simon Holder and Athena Kalkanis felt there was a culinary gap waiting to be filled in the neighbourhood. In Holder’s words: “Most Riverdale eateries are either fast-food or strictly sit-down restaurants. We wanted to give residents the option of having restaurant-quality food to take home with them, although they can sit down for a quick bite if they want.”

So earlier this month, the husband-and-wife team opened Appetite, an 1,100-square-foot space that seats 12 people, offering salads, homemade sandwiches, baked goods, hot meals and more.

Ingredients are sourced locally — from the Ontario Food Terminal and from local farmers when possible — while nearly all of the cuisine is made in-house (aside from the bread, which is sourced from Ace Bakery, Canada Bread and St. John’s Bakery).

Among Appetite’s selections is a salad and sandwich combo ($11), which could include a roast beef sandwich with Thunder Oak gouda, wasabi mayo and arugula on a ciabatta bun, paired with a salad of purple flowering kale with cranberries, almonds, oven-dried tomatoes and red peppers.

A main course of salmon comes with a choice of side salad for $12.75 or two side salads for $16.25. Salads could include orange-cured beets with orange zest and crispy capers, or a French lentil salad with artichokes, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and an apple cider vinaigrette. When we were there, the Atlantic salmon was seared, and was accompanied with a tomatillo-cilantro salsa.

In addition to the hot meal offerings, Appetite also offers up frozen foods that are made in-house and are prepackaged to take home. Current selections range from chicken pot pies ($8 for a small, which feeds one to two people, or $14 for a large, which feeds three to four), to quiches ($12, feeds four to six) to beef stock and chicken stock ($7 for a litre).

Appetite also offers goods from other vendors, such as pickled ingredients from Bumpercrop or red pepper jelly from Madonna’s Fine Foods. Another product line available at the shop, La Natura, uses Appetite’s kitchen to create its products. 

The interior was designed by Jeffrey Fisher (along with some help from Kalkanis), who reworked the space from its previous occupant, Loïc Gourmet. The decor has tangerine accents, while covers of some of Holder’s favourite albums adorn the walls.

Appetite is currently in its soft-opening phase, but a grand opening will likely take place in early March. Keep an eye out for the separate brunch menu on Saturdays, as well as rotisserie chicken dinners ($11-$15) on Thursdays and Fridays.

Appetite, 722 Queen St. East, 416-850-8835

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