Toronto’s izakaya invasion continues with Hapa, set to open in Little Italy this summer
By Anna Silman
Drinks 'n' tapas (Image: Hapa Izakaya)
From Guu to Don Don Izakaya to the upcoming locations of Nejibee and Kingyo, it’s safe to say that izakayas are well on their way to overtaking sushi joints as Toronto’s favourite Japanese culinary transplant. And soon there will soon be a new contender competing for izakaya supremacy in Toronto, with beloved Vancouver chain Hapa Izakaya set to touch down in Little Italy this August.
An Izakaya, for those not well-versed in Japanese dining lingo, refers to a casual drinking and eating establishment where smaller plates for sharing (think Japanese tapas) are served alongside a robust booze menu. And while Guu may have led the izakaya’s surge to popularity in the West Coast and Toronto, Hapa Izakaya has a bold presence as well, with four popular Van-city outposts.
Torontonians can expect a similar menu and concept with the upcoming Hapa: marketing manager Jade Pover says it will offer all the classic menu items beloved by Hapa fans, as well as a unique Chef’s page showcasing location-specific favourites from month to month.
While Toronto’s izakaya bar (no pun intended) has already been set pretty high, here’s to hoping that Hapa manages to make a name for itself within Toronto’s favourite new Asian food scene.
Let the singing, yelling and table-thumping begin!
Hapa Izakaya, 602 College Street