Restaurant concepts to watch in December

By Aaron Jourden

In this edition of “concepts to watch,” we highlight three restaurant concepts that are making an impact on Canadian diners. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique:

L’Gros Luxe

Instagram: 14,700 followers | Facebook: 31,561 likes | Twitter: 677 followers
Locations: 6 (Montreal, Quebec City and Longueuil, Quebec)

Concept characteristics:

  • Scratch-made food using local produce
  • Menu focus on vegetarian dishes but with options for carnivores too
  • Emphasis on quality and affordability for brunch, lunch and dinner
  • Lush, warm and homespun decor tailored to each restaurant’s neighbourhood

Menu snapshot:

  • Tacos Vege—tempeh, jalapeno slaw, refried beans, smoked sour cream, cilantro and lime
  • Poutine Classique—potato tots, cheese curds, vegetarian poutine sauce, green onion and choice of add-on
  • L’Gros Naan-Dog—sausage with fines herbes, naan bread, caramelized onion, roasted peppers and Dijon mayonnaise (vegetarian option available)


Instagram: 2,249 followers | Facebook: 6,431 likes | Twitter: 2,263 followers
Locations: 13 (British Columbia and Alberta)

Concept characteristics:

  • Customizable street-inspired Asian dishes with bold flavours and healthy options
  • Recipes from China, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand and more
  • Accommodating to guests with dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance
  • Dedicated to sustainability and transparency

Menu snapshot:

  • Spicy Peanut Noodle Box—Indonesian peanut sauce with coconut milk, ribbon noodles, Asian greens, sprouts, peppers and cilantro, topped with roasted peanuts and choice of protein
  • Cambodian Jungle Curry Box—yellow curry with coconut broth, rice noodles, Asian greens, sprouts, onions, peppers and cilantro, topped with mango and choice of protein
  • Tom Yum Soup—spicy Thai lemon grass broth, rice noodles, ginger, garlic, onions, peppers, Asian greens, sprouts and cilantro

The Dirty Bird Chicken + Waffles

Instagram: 9,577 followers | Facebook: 2,185 likes | Twitter: 525 followers
Locations: 2 (Toronto)

Concept characteristics:

  • “Maple Dust” flavouring puts Northern twist on Southern-style fried chicken
  • Elevated take on comfort foods like chicken and waffles, poutine, sides and desserts
  • Indulgent and craveable dishes
  • Fast-casual positioning with an emphasis on to-go

Menu snapshot:

  • The ODB—boneless chicken thigh and leg, waffle, buttered maple syrup and Dirty sauce, served with slaw, macaroni salad or potato salad
  • The Dirty Bird’Ger—boneless chicken thigh, lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, Dirty sauce and maple aioli on a half waffle
  • Dirty Poutine—hand-cut fries, Dirty seasoning, Quebec cheese curds and pulled chicken gravy

About the author:

Aaron Jourden is the managing editor – global & distribution at Chicago-based Technomic Inc., a Winsight company. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. For more information visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *