Toronto’s Riverside Chefs ‘Hot in the Act’

It may be cold where you are but it’s hot in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood! Talented east end chefs – like Eastbound Brewing Co’s Tara Lee, Rony Goraichy of Tabule, and John Sinopoli at The Broadview Hotel’s The Civic restaurant – are cranking the heat in their kitchens and turning January into a much warmer month for Riverside with some sizzling and savoury dishes.

Whether you’re feeling like a fiery full course meal or something small and spicy, here’s how some Riverside chefs are bringing a winter warm-front to for local diners.

At Eastbound Brewing Co. (700 Queen Street East near Broadview Avenue), the hottest dish is the fork and knife fried chicken sandwich tossed in a sweet and spicy buffalo sauce made in-house with the brew pub’s own fermented hot sauce.

“This year I’d like to explore more international spice blends and flavour combinations and play with how they pair with our beers,” says Chef Tara Lee, noting Eastbound’s Fresh Start APA Simcoe and their Let’s Go Exploring IPA pair well with the fork and knife sandwich which is served on a maple bacon pancake bun with smoked cheddar and a 2-egg omelet.

On the other side of Riverside, Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine (810 Queen East near De Grassi Street) chef and partner Rony Goraichy is raising temperatures with his sweet, rich, and warm tomato garlic sauce. This thickly textured mosaic of special seasonings and spices is served with two juicy skewers of Ontario ground mixed lamb and beef with veggies and Lebanese vermicelli rice topped with onions.

In 2018 you can expect more of the same savoury dishes from Tabule’s award-winning menu.

“Fresh, made from scratch, Lebanese dishes, with more healthy vegan and gluten-free options for our guests,” says Rony.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any hotter at The Broadview Hotel, chef John Sinopoli has The Civic restaurant on fire with his Duck Confit and ‘when life gives you lemons make burnt lemon dressing’ special which also features coco bean and braised leek ragout, and pearl onions.

“It’s a classic rendition of a classic,” he says.

Here are some of the other hot dishes and where to try them this winter in Riverside:

Urban House: Thai curry sauce and chili served with pan-fried roti and flatbread are a perfect if you’re looking for a snack with a kick.

Caribbean Sunset: The jerk chicken baked in the restaurant’s homemade pepper sauce will set your mouth on fire.

Prohibition Gastro House: These smoked chicken lollipops featuring Naga Bhut Jolokia pepper, the hottest pepper in the world also known as ghost dust, may cause second-degree burns.

Lan Restaurant: Any one of the vegan, seafood, or meat lovers Vietnamese hot pots full of spicy broth and wholesome ingredients will warm your belly.

The Peasant Table: Crispy sea smelts with a side of spicy bomba are perfect for nibbling.

White Lily Diner: Take the heat home with a bottle of this restaurant’s house-made hot sauce.


Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series giving you the inside scoop on Riverside, Toronto. Read other blogs in the series: Riverside PatiosPlaces to Stay in RiversideBrunch Spots, Health & Wellness in Riverside,  Kid-Friendly Riverside, and Event & Catering Spots

Welcome to Riverside: Diamond Muay Thai and Fitness

Toronto’s Riverside has gained a new spot to help you kick some workout butt! Diamond Muay Thai and Fitness is a new gym located at 740 Queen Street East, just a few blocks from Queen and Broadview.

It’s a training studio that strives to bring art, sport, hobby, lifestyle and fitness into a collaborated movement that can align with individual needs. They offer beginner to advanced lessons in traditional Muay Thai, Boxing, Strength, Conditioning and Movement classes. Open to men and women of all ages and skill level, Diamond Muay Thai allows students to practice in a private, semi-private or group environment.

Co-founder Ashli Bain of Diamond Muay Thai shared “[we] started off as a group of friends that were passionate about the sport – Muay Thai. Varying from different experiences of training, competing and collaborating around the world within the Sport, we now look to share it on a bigger scope with a home base in the Riverside community.”

So why did Diamond Muay Thai choose to set up shop in Riverside? “Aside from already spending a lot of personal time in Riverside, it has always been that one place in the city that felt like a Community, and Community has always been our #1 vision behind Diamond Muay Thai. We couldn’t be more excited about finally bringing our passion of Muay Thai, Health and Fitness to the Riverside community. We hope everyone gets a chance to experience it for themselves,” said Ashli

Check out their unique programs:

Muay Thai

Known as the national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai mixes various techniques of using eight points of contact–fists, elbows, knees and shins. While it runs deep in the culture of Thailand, Muay Thai is expanding its roots through its recognition as an Olympic Sport.

For children, Diamond Muay Thai offers a Little Gems Program. With a focus on determination, Little Gems seeks to develop physical skills such as balance and self-defense, as well as life skills such as self-confidence + discipline, conflict resolution and team work. Children are also exposed to the cultural history of Thailand, increasing their awareness of foreign traditions. With this program, every little gem will be prepared for the real world!


Noted as an organized sport since ancient Greece, Boxing utilizes various techniques with hands, stance, movement, coordination and defense. Exciting both to watch and perform, Boxing is a sport of engagement.


MovCon is the studio’s Movement Conditioning program. Stemming from various theories of Natural Movement, Self-Care Movement, Yoga and Gymnastics, MovCon promotes strength, challenge and function in all movement-based practices, further inspiring its students to be active and feel better. Diamond Muay Thai’s goal is to build the foundation for a natural body and movement education that transfers outside the four walls of the gym.

Don’t forget to visit their website to receive a free one week trial and class schedule, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

Help Dave Make Riverside’s 711 Queen St East Awesome

Dave is the new owner of 711 Queen St East, just steps east of the iconic Queen East and Broadview intersection in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. He’s inviting ideas on creating something special for this location.

It’s a unique building, which was the long-time home to Riverside’s BMO bank branch from 1913 to 2016 and has since been used for various short-lived ventures. Dave, the new building owner, is looking to gather the community’s thoughts and business proposals for how to make this building shine.

Here’s a message from Dave:

Check out the website Dave’s put together to help share his quest and gather great ideas:

Announcing Results of the 6th Annual Riverside Antler Breakfast +Thanks & Photos!

The 6th Annual Riverside Antler Breakfast was an amazing success!! Riverside’s annual fundraiser took place on Dec 15, 2017, at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre (765 Queen St E, 2nd Fl).

We are proud to announce that the 2017 effort raised around $7000 to support the year-round operation of the local Rivertowne Breakfast Program.

As always, the Antler Breakfast was an enjoyable community event to hang out with friends and neighbours whilst enjoying a hearty, hot breakfast, with live music and more fun. Enjoy some of the amazing memories below courtesy of Snap’d Beaches!

This amazing event is organized and presented annually thanks to an innovative partnership of local organizations including Toronto Food Tours, the Riverside BIA, the Ralph Thornton Community Centre,  and Rivertowne Safety 1st (who run the Rivertowne Breakfast Program).

BIG THANKS to the many generous 2017 sponsors and supporters:

  • Santa Level Sponsor: Jason Friesen Mortgage
  • Reindeer Sponsors:  UNIFOR, Oma Chiropractic & Wellness Centre, Quince Flowers, Team Sheppard RE/MAX, MPP Peter Tabuns, BMO Queen/Saulter Branch, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Brokerage, BMO Queen/Woodbine Branch, Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward, XDesign and Leea Muir.
  • Elf Sponsors: Councillor Paula Fletcher, MP Julie Dabrusin, Eastroom, Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery, Tim Hortons (King & River), The Broadview Hotel, Alexis Hur Consulting Ltd, and Saulter St Brewery.
  • Supporters: Queen Garden Centre, Tabule, and La Carnita Eastside.

Above: Serving up the goods! MP Julie Dabrusin with Officer Steve of 55 Div, Bradley from Riverside BIA and Chef Scott of Toronto Food Tours. Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: One of two BMO branches supporting the Rivertowne Breakfast Program – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: Antler Breakfast Organizers: Riverside BIA, Rivertowne Safety 1st, Toronto Food Tours and the Ralph Thornton Community Centre – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: Having fun with the team of Oma Chiropractic & Wellness – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: Jennifer Lay of the Riverside BIA with Santa level sponsor Jason Friesen in front of the sponsor recognition wall -Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: Santa holds court at the kid’s table – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Above: Chef Scott, event organizer from Toronto Food Tours poses in front of a small part of the buffet – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches

Members of the Riverside BIA Office and Board – left to right: Jennifer Lay, Dave Watson, Rose Little, Councillor Paula Fletcher, and Mitch Korman – Photo by Brian Hagan, Snap’d Beaches


Check out all the fabulous shots of the 2017 Antler Breakfast here on Snap’d Beaches!

Proceeds raised enable the year-round operation of the local Rivertowne Breakfast Program, providing a hot breakfast to youth, families and anyone in need every Friday:

The Rivertowne Breakfast Program is championed by Rivertowne Safety 1st, a resident collective comprised of Toronto Community Housing leaders dedicated to making a positive impact in their community. The Breakfast Program runs every Friday, year-round to provide children, youth and families in the neighbourhood with a free, warm breakfast. It also brings people in the community together regardless of their age, income or background and builds a sense of community.  This program is supported by a variety of community partners. The program runs in Rivertowne on Friday mornings, 7am-11am, at 50 Matilda Street, Toronto. Donations can be made to support this program anytime online via: (Select ‘Rivertowne Breakfast Program’ under the FUND)

Thank you everyone and we looking forward to the next Riverside Antler Breakfast on December 14, 2018!!