The very first NBA Courtside Restaurant is getting ready to make its mark in Toronto’s restaurant scene this spring and we have a first look at what you can expect once it opens to the public.
What’s described as a “premium, sports-inspired dining experience,” the NBA Courtside Restaurant plans to officially open its doors in early April.
Operated by Toronto-based Urban Dining Group, the new restaurant occupies 10,000-square-foot of space and features artwork and decor that celebrate the NBA.
Including a modern food and beverage program led by Toronto-based chef Erica Karbelnik, there’s an exclusive retail space, private dining area, and outdoor dining space that’s expected to come in the summer.
According to a job listing for the new restaurant, the “premium casual” spot will seat up to 250 people indoors and 200 outdoors.
Now let’s go ahead and take a look at the world’s first NBA Courtside Restaurant before it opens to the public:
In whatever direction you’re coming from, you definitely won’t miss the large signage that reads “Courtside Restaurant” in blue and red. For guests driving to the restaurant, there’s parking to the right that offers about 200 spaces and an underground public parking space that offers 400 spots, operated by Target parking.
And it’s also a short distance away from the next TTC station entrance, the Queens Quay/Ferry Docks Station.
As you step inside, you’re immediately immersed in the world of basketball.
From the most subtle “easter eggs” via decor, lighting fixtures that replicate the “nets” that were used when the sport was invented, and overall ambiance is engaging and fun.
The restaurant highlights the stages of an NBA player through artwork, historic pieces, and dining spaces.
The dining rooms feature artwork by artists KWEST, Victor Solomon, and others.
And as you make your way through the restaurant, you’ll be able to see a series of NBA Top Shot moments featuring some of the top plays from the NBA season on display and some historic pieces from the sports intial beginnings.
You’ll even find a display case of legendary sneakers from players throughout the years – including OG 1985 Chicago Reds, deadstock. IYKYK.
The restaurant has three dining spaces that take guests through the life of a basketball player, starting on the “streets”. This dining space is a more laid-back environment with two TVs and wall art with images from back in the day – old-school basketball pictures.
Now that a player has gained some recognition and skill, they’re onto the big leagues which is what the next dining space represents. With a large bar, multiple TV screens, and high-top tables, this space caters to serious sports fans that are there for some grub and a refreshing drink.
Fun fact: each tabletop in this area is made using court pieces from massive game moments throughout the years like the 2021 NBA All-Star game when Team Lebron beat Team Durant, for example.
When you reach this part of the restaurant, then you know you’ve made it. The Champions section replicates the end goal for all NBA players – becoming an NBA Champ. Compared to the other dining spaces, this section emits luxury and elegance.
From blue velour seating to gold accents and a stunning fireplace, you’ll find yourself in this area of the restaurant for date night or for a more upscale evening.
As for food offerings, you can expect a twist on classic game-time eats like Spiced Cauliflower Tacos, Garlic Truffle Parm Fries, and a Courtside Brisket Burger.
Other options include the San Antonio Chicken Salad which is composed of roasted chicken, black bean salsa, black rice, avocado, roasted corn, garlic ranch dressing, and tortilla strips.
And you can’t forget about the wings. These Hennessy BBQ wings are chef’s kiss so we definitely recommend but there are other flavours like Medium, Hot Ghost Chili, Dry Cajun, Honey Hot Honey Garlic and African Berber Spice.
Whatever suits your fancy.
And don’t forget about the drinks. Their cocktail menu is inspired by the many teams in the NBA like Jurassic Juice, Laker Maker, and the Maverick Margarita which is pictured below.
It’s made of Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, Blue Curacao, Fresh Lime Juice, Agave, Coconut Cream, and a Sweet & Salty Rim.
We don’t want to spoil the entire experience for you so be sure to make a reservation to see the restaurant in all its glory.
The NBA Courtside Restaurant officially opens to the public on Monday, April 3rd. Reservations are now open.
Where: 15 Queens Quay East, Toronto ON – M5E 0C5
When: Opening April 3