TIFF 2015 Hotspots: Where to see the stars

When the A-list invades Toronto for the film festival, they also take over the city’s coolest restaurants and bars. Here’s our list of the places you’re likely to spot a star… or two.


11 Duncan Street 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Byblos

This Mediterranean mecca is housed inside the STORYS building right off the King Street strip in the heart of the festival.  Last year the venue hosted a slew of stars including Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Kate Beckinsale, Tom Hardy, Justin Long, Amanda Seyfried, and Richard Gere.  With multiple parties planned for the space this year expect even more star power like Emma Watson, Ellen Page, and Julianne Moore enjoying the restaurant’s colourful sweet jeweled basmati rice and delicious roasted vegetables. 

The new Café Boulud inside the Four Seasons Hotel

60 Yorkville Avenue 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Cafe Boulud

Stars like Jen Aniston, Denzel Washington and the Hemsworth bros all love the Four Seasons and come TIFF 2015 the newly revamped and renovated restaurant inside the hotel, Café Boulud, will be ready to feed them! The new feel of the restaurant will be that of a French brasserie and the refreshed look is courtesy of Martin Brudnizki who’s created celeb favourite spots like The Ivy and Cecconi’s Miami Beach. As for the food, think French, French and more French. Plus, there will be a stunning rotisserie that’ll slowly cook meat, chicken, fish and veggies simultaneously over open flames.

The Chase

10 Temperance Street 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: The Chase
(Photo courtesy Arnaud Marthouret/KM images)
During TIFF 2013 Jake Gyllenhaal took in the stunning views overlooking downtown Toronto from The Chase’s sprawling rooftop patio. It’s the perfect place to grab a cocktail or a bite after a film premiere. Almost just as perfect: snagging a table inside. The upscale dining room serves standout dishes including a whole roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras, apples and chestnuts. For dessert their lime curd-layered angel food cake with coconut cream and toasted marshmallow icing is not to be missed. 

Soho House Toronto

192 Adelaide Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Soho House Toronto

Although Soho House Toronto is a private members club, even the members can’t get into the ultra-exclusive parties inside.  Every star that rolls into town seems to end up at the house, who partners with Grey Goose each year.  Last year saw the likes of Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Jon Stewart, Cara Delevingne and many more. It’s also where, in 2013, Taylor Swift and Julia Roberts had a very meet cute moment, and it was magical.   

Colette Grand Café

550 Wellington Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Colette Grand Café
(Photo courtesy Arnaud Marthouret/KM images)

New to the TIFF scene last year, the French eatery welcomed British actors Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth for the GQ/Hugo Boss party celebrating their film The Riot Club. Located on the ground floor of the Thompson Toronto the elegant space has a stunning bar, bakery and al fresco dining – perfect for star spotting.


299 Adelaide Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Montecito

Ivan Reitman’s Californian-inspired restaurant is steps away from the TIFF Bell Lightbox, making it easy for stars to head over after a premiere or press conference. Last year Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan, along with Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Jason Reitman celebrated TIFF 2014’s opening night film “The Judge.” And they may have tried a piece of chef Jonathan Waxman’s famous chicken or the Ghostbusters themed Stay Puft Marshmallow man baked Alaska. Yes, you heard that right and yes, you should try it.   

Thompson Toronto

550 Wellington Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Thompson Toronto

It’s all about that view at the Thompson Toronto. The wraparound rooftop is one of the best places to take in the city’s soaring skyline like Brad Pitt did in 2013. Over the last few years it’s also where The Hollywood Reporter has held their annual Breakthrough Awards bash. In 2014 Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were honoured  for their performances in “The Theory of Everything.”


480 King Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Weslodge

Described as a “casually refined saloon” Weslodge’s bartenders sling modern cocktails with a focus on bourbon and scotch. For the food, executive chef Stuart Cameron uses traditional techniques like salt curing, brining and smoking. During the festival last year both Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick dropped by after the premiere of their film “The Voices.”  This year the Sutherlands (Donald and Kiefer) will party the night away at Weslodge, where food is served until 2 a.m.

America inside the Trump Hotel

325 Bay Street – 31st Floor 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: America inside the Trump Hotel

The “99 Homes” after party took over this space during TIFF 2014 with Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern, Eddie Redmayne and Lil Jon milling about. Just like the name on the building’s exterior (Trump), the restaurant is all kinds of drama, with its high ceilings, colourful artwork and stunning views of Toronto.  

Kasa Moto

115 Yorkville Avenue 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Kasa Moto
(Photos courtesy Arnaud Marthouret/KM images)

Kasa Moto is the TIFF 2015 new kid on the block and trust us, this is the place to be to bump into a famous person. The team behind Colette and The Chase took over the former Remy’s space in Yorkville (including the massive rooftop patio) and the results are impressive. Asian influences are woven through the restaurant’s design and menu, which offers everything from sushi to seafood and robata (meat and vegetables slow grilled over hot charcoal).


461 King Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spots: Brassai

Brassaii has been a festival favourite for years with the likes of Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Zac Efron, Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicole Kidman all stopping by. It’s also been the home of The Hollywood Reporter for the duration of TIFF so if you book a lunch, brunch or dinner you’re bound to get a few sightings in.

Spoke Club

600 King Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Spoke Club

For the past decade this private members club has partnered with etalk on the eve of TIFF for The Canadian Filmmakers’ party. Each year the event is co-hosted by one of our etalk hosts and well-known Canadians. Last year “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany and David Alpay did the honours. Once the festival kicks off Nikki Beach sets up shop blanketing the place in white (giving major Miami vibes) and bringing in celebs like Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, Penelope Cruz, Bradley Cooper and Christina Hendricks

NAO Steakhouse

90 Avenue Road 

TIFF Hot Spot: NAO Steakhouse

The newly opened NAO is sure to wow steak-loving stars. And although huge cuts of red meat take centre stage here, they also serve salads, seafood and lots of delectable vegetable sides in the intimate dining room setting. Word is Christopher Plummer will stop in for some festival fun this year.     

The Ritz Carlton

181 Wellington Street 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Ritz Carlton

With it’s prime location to the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall stars who stay at The Ritz Carlton don’t have to go far. They can also enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Toca or relax in DEQ lounge towards the back of the lobby.  The large outdoor terrace, which has seen the likes of George Clooney, is an urban oasis complete with an open air fire pit and views of the CN Tower.

During the day you can find our etalk ice cream truck parked out front of the hotel doling out free cones and prizes! 


478 King Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Patria

One of the wildest parties during TIFF last year happened inside this tucked away Spanish spot. At the after party for “St. Vincent,” Bill Murray led a full-fledged conga line with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in tow. Adam Levine and Keira Knightley hit up the resto in 2013 to fete their movie musical “Begin Again.”  This year you could spot Aaron Paul or Susan Sarandon feasting on Patria’s perfect paella. 


190 University Avenue

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Momofuku

The Momofuku complex has three levels for stars to explore. On the first is noodle bar where the mouthwatering pork buns are a must.  The second level houses Nikai for drinks and Milk Bar for sweets. And the third has Daisho for large meat platters and Shoto for fancy tasting menus. Past sightings include Robert Downey Jr., Al Pacino, Tina Fey, Justin Theroux, Lupita Nyong’o, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. The restaurant is also connected to the Shangri-La hotel which will be hosting some of the biggest stars in town. 

Cibo Wine Bar

522 King Street West 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: Cibo Wine Bar

Last year this rustic Italian eatery hosted Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Jason Reitman for the after party for “The Drop.” Viggo Mortensen and John Travolta both had cast dinners there where they sampled Cibo’s delicious homemade pizzas and pastas.  

The Addisons

456 Wellington Street 

TIFF 2015 Hot Spot: The Addisons

This new concept club is inspired by a retro Beverly Hills home and allows guests to explore different rooms like the kitchen, living room, rec room and opening just in time for TIFF a 5,000 square-foot ‘backyard’ patio. Different types of cocktails are offered in each space while dishes like fried chicken and jerk roasted fish are made by The Food Dudes.     

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