The time has come, Toronto! As the Toronto Raptors make their 7th trip to the playoffs in the last eight years, what better way to warm up Toronto residents than to compare our stars to some of our favourite bars and eateries in the city.

Think: a Toronto Raptor if they were a local establishment. So let’s see what we got.

Pascal Siakam: Pai

 

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A post shared by Jeff Regular (@paitoronto)

Only a few years ago, Spicy P played a pivotal Robin to Kawhi’s Batman when bringing home the city’s first ever championship. Some questioned if he was capable of slotting into the leading man role – his performance in 2022 has silenced all doubters. His rise to stardom draws many parallels to Pai’s success. Starting as the little sister to the fan favourite Khao San Road, Pai has quickly become a Toronto local staple.

Fred VanVleet: Paris Paris

 

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Once a solid role player on a discount deal, Vanvleet’s “bet on yourself” approach paid off as he secured the bag in signing the largest contract for an undrafted player in league history. Similarly, Paris Paris used to be the quiet little gem sitting atop Ossington & Dundas… Now you’ll find it firmly entrenched on one of Toronto’s most popular streets with a face-lift and more than enough seating to take care of adoring fans and hipsters alike.

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Scottie Barnes: Original Cold Tea

 

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A post shared by Cold Tea (@coldteabar)

Barnes took Toronto by storm, infecting players and fans alike with his charismatic personality. You can’t help but compare him to the OG Cold Tea, offering the best vibes whether it’s only for few Sunday afternoon drinks or turning up on a Saturday. Both Barnes and Cold Tea are down to have fun at anytime of day/night.

OG Anunoby: Maker Pizza

 

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A post shared by MAKER (@makerpizza)

While Scottie made a splash from the day he joined the team, OG has taken a much more silent leadership role. In the same vein, Maker pizza quietly dishes out some of Toronto’s best pizzas despite being nestled off the main strip of Queen street on Cameron. The quiet brilliance of both can’t be overstated when it comes to the playoff success and pizza cravings.

Gary Trent Jr.: Rol San

 

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A post shared by Rol San Restaurant (@rolsanrestaurant._toronto)

After blowing onto the scene in the 2020 bubble playoffs with the Blazers, Trent Jr. has added to his resume and found a home in Toronto. He has delivered time and time again when the raptors are in a jam and need a quick bucket. His way of showing up and delivering in the most desperate times can be likened to Rol San showing up for us all when those 2 am dim sum binges hit.

Precious Achiuwa: The Dock Ellis

 

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A post shared by The Dock Ellis (@thedockellis)

Achiuwa gained a lot of confidence in Nigeria’s Cinderella run in the 2020 Olympics; showing that his athleticism is a force to be reckoned with. It’s comforting knowing every time he touches the floor, he’s guaranteed to bring the same energy and athleticism. Just as one goes to The Dock Ellis knowing the house IPAs will have you tipsy in no time and the homemade burgers will bring a smile to your face ever time… consistency is never overrated.

BONUS – Nick Nurse: Coffee Oysters Champagne

 

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Nurse went from one of unlikeliest coaching hires to being widely regarded as one of the league’s top head coaches in just a few short years. Don’t let his buttoned down exterior fool you, his brain is filled with a wide assortment of crazy strategies & game plans – many of which the league has never seen before. Conveniently similar to the popular speak easy Coffee Oysters Champagne. On the surface it is presented as a quiet little shop on King West – pull one champagne bottle and you’ll step into a wild prohibition style party. IFYKYK.

And there we have it. Let’s go, Raptors!

Written for Curiocity by Kylan Estabrooks