Toronto’s most beloved diner turns 75

Plus Canada's oldest dollhouse shop moves and Yorkville gets a pizza vending machine


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Avenue Diner’s legendary owner Louis Klasios and son Blake

Avenue Diner, which got its start in 1944, is celebrating 75 years in business. Owned by Louis Klasios and his son Blake, this classic diner is a local institution that has served up delicious comfort food and breakfast to Hollywood luminaries like Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, and neighbourhood families alike. Eat hamburgers, fries, steak and eggs and all-day breakfasts while sitting in a classic diner setting that hearkens back to a different era while Louis and his sons serve you with smiles, jokes and good old-fashioned advice (222 Davenport Rd. 416-924-5191). 

The beloved Hotel Gelato recently entered its ninth year. Their frozen goodies are made with organic and locally sourced ingredients, and their recipes are tailored for people with diabetes, as well as gluten and/or lactose intolerance. They’ve also got freshly baked goods and paninis, for those craving a warmer treat (532 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-932-2663). 

After spending 43 years on Mount Pleasant and 15 years in its current spot, the largest and oldest dollhouse and miniature shop in Canada, the Little Dollhouse Company, is moving to Millwood. Dollhouses and dollhouse kits, furniture and accessories will continue to please both kids and kids at heart at the new location of this one-stop shop for everything miniature (862 Millwood Rd., 416-489-7180).

Really jonesing quality pizza but can’t bear to talk to a human to get it? So relatable. That’s why PizzaForno has you covered. It’s a pizza vending machine. Customers tap on a digital screen to choose from four types of pizza including chèvre-miel, BBQ chicken, pepperoni and mozzarella, and the pizza is ready in three minutes. Want to save it for later? Order it cold! The vending machine is open 24 hours, because robots don’t sleep. They only exist to serve. They will not harm you (1235 Bay St. No phone number as it’s a vending machine).

Chef John Arockiaraj, a 23-year food industry veteran, has opened a new roti restaurant based on the East Indian homestyle flavour of his mother’s recipes. Matha Roti offers all the hits, with a touch of homey comfort, like aloo gobi and butter chicken over rice or folded into a roti. For the dietarily restricted, there are plenty of options –– all made better by mom’s recipes (141 Harbord St., 416-966-6955). 

A new Hakka spot has opened up at Mirvish Village. Chopstick on Bloor is a quick-service sit down place offering a unique combination of Chinese and Indian styles of cooking that’s totally and distinctly their own. Think stir-fried veg with paneer, fish pakoras and Manchurian fried rice, polished off with a salted lassi. They also offer a decent range of vegetarian options (657 College St., 416-533-2822).

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