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Toronto

FIND A BAR
WHERE
WHAT
WHO
WHEN

Toronto

Things we love:

Poutine. Cheesy chips and gravy glorified into a national delicacy.

Craft beers. They’re crazy about them here. They even have nano
breweries. That’s basically a man with a home-brew kit.

There is an awesome music scene. Did you know this is the home town of everyone from Neil Young and Nelly Furtado to Crystal Castles and Holy F*ck?

Ice wine. Try it. We didn’t know what it was either.

Things we wish we’d known:

You can only pick up booze in government-run LCBO shops and they all shut by 9pm. Wanna party? Be prepared.

Avoid King West – it’s like hen party hell (or just a bit commercial) and head for Queen West, the cooler street around three blocks away.

Unlike most European cities, the further west you go the more hipsters there are.

They’re not big on daytime drinking or all-nighters so make the most of the allocated 5pm to 2am drinking hours.

Best bars in Toronto
Best bars in Toronto
Just a sec...
1602 Dundas St West
1602 Dundas St West

Without a sign, it took a bit of time to find this place, but when we did, we were in it for the long haul. 1602, named after its address, is one of those bars with no phone number, email, Read More

Bar Volo
Bar Volo

Craft beers are massive in Ontario. They’ve done the whole micro-brewery thing to the point that there’s now a trend for nano-breweries – basically a man with a pot and a penchant for beer. Volo would qualify under the nano Read More

Barchef
Barchef

It’s impossible to talk about cocktails in Toronto without talking about Barchef. Like it says on the tin, they’ve turned cocktails into haute cuisine. At times, it’s as much about theatrics as fine drinking. They’re famous for two things: the molecular Read More

Churchill
Churchill

This is a place for nice people to do their drinking without any of the other bullsh*t that comes with some cocktail bars. One of the first places to break out of the Ossington strip onto Dundas West, they’ve still Read More

Cold Tea
Cold Tea

It feels like you’ve stumbled into a secret Tokyo dive bar. The grimy yellow passageway hidden between the shops of Toronto’s Chinatown, suggests illicit goings-on, as does the red light above the door – the only sign that you’ve come Read More

dbar at the Four Seasons
dbar at the Four Seasons

After a recent move from the other end of Yorkville (Toronto’s answer to Chelsea), the Four Seasons’ dbar is exactly the kind of lobby-level joint you’d expect to find in this part of town. The bar is brand spanking new Read More

Drake One Fifty
Drake One Fifty

You might’ve spotted the fluorescent orange garden gnomes as you walked past. West Queen West’s hipsterfication is spreading into the city’s financial district, which may irk some folks, but let’s face it, this area was screaming out for a destination Read More

Get Well
Get Well

We’re not sure what they’re claiming to cure, but the prescription is 1980’s arcade games, cheap beers and good tunes. Sure, we’ll take our medicine. They have a nice selection of 12 constantly rotating local Ontario ales and IPAs including their Read More

Grand Electric
Grand Electric

Loud hip-hop, hot sauce and bourbon. Bring. It. On. We want all those things in our face, and now. Which is how we ended up down on this cool little corner of Parkdale aka party-dale at the Grand Electric. It’s Read More

Hair of the Dog
Hair of the Dog

This is one of the few bars in TO that have that old, English pub-feel. This Church-Wellesley haunt in TO’s Gay Village is cosy, warm and mega friendly, making it prime local material. Like it says on the tin, they’ve got Read More

Northwood
Northwood

Sitting on the fringes of Christie Pits/Koreatown, Northwood is that anytime-of-day-or-night establishment that this area was lacking for ages. This tiny, friendly, neighbourhood bar has got that Ossington strip vibe going for it, while being low-key and cosy. Open from Read More

Oddseoul
Oddseoul

There’s something kinda 90’s B-movie about this place. We don’t know if it’s the boomboxes on the walls, the Korean Terminator movie posters or the neon flashing signs. Or the fact someone whispered into our ear at the bar that Read More

Reposado Bar
Reposado Bar

You had us at “the biggest tequila selection in Toronto”. Sacrifice your liver to the tequila gods at this temple to Mexican spirits. The back bar looks like an illuminated stained glass window, except in the place of holy virgin Read More

Ronnie's Local 069
Ronnie's Local 069

‘Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.’ Damn straight Ronnie. That’s the sign above the bar in here, and we’re pretty much sold already. This is a Kensington Market stalwart, and stallholders, bartenders and local hipsters prop up Read More

Salt
Salt

Ossington Avenue used to be Toronto’s Portuguese area, though you wouldn’t guess it by the army of hipsters who hang here now. But harking back to the roots of the hood, this grown-up wine bar is all over Portuguese wine Read More

Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill
Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill

This is like the oyster lovers’ mecca of Canada. They’ve got oysters that most of you will have never heard of, and they talk about them like a French sommelier in a vineyard. “Hints of freshly cut grass and sweet Read More

Sweaty Betty's
Sweaty Betty's

There was a time before Ossington Avenue was the go-to bar strip; before there was anything here but automotive repairs and mental health clinics. And then Sweaty Betty’s opened up, the hottest dive bar in Toronto, and so many people Read More

Swirl
Swirl

This is a sommelier after our soul. ‘With wine and hope anything is possible,’ Sean tells us. Go with it. He’s made it his mission to bring interesting bottles of wine to our lips at affordable prices. They start at Read More

The Communist's Daughter
The Communist's Daughter

We walked in on a Sunday afternoon to find a dude in the corner playing percussion with a cheese grater and a happy looking chap sat at the bar handed us a shot of Jim Bean. Next up, the man Read More

The County General
The County General

We like this bar’s southern style and badass attitude almost as much as we like its booze. It’s all about the strong spirits, good vibes and rockin’ music. And they call their spirits ‘grog & hooch’. Get out the bloody Read More

The Dakota Tavern
The Dakota Tavern

We didn’t know if the plaid shirts and Country Western kitsch was ironic or not, but they sure get into the spirit of things here. It feels like an old world saloon, with an antique till, lights hanging from the Read More

The Drake Hotel
The Drake Hotel

We’re not sure which happened first. The Drake reopened and we all wanted to drink in West Queen West, or the other way round. Yes it’s a bit smug and trendy, but sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor orders. If you’re Read More

The Harbord Room
The Harbord Room

Harbord Street is known for its fancy bars, but The Harbord Room totally trumps its neighbours in the cocktail stakes. At the helm is Mr Dave Mitton, a President of the Canadian Bartender’s Association, who’s scooped a whole bunch of Read More

The Library Bar at The Fairmont
The Library Bar at The Fairmont

This is a classic library bar. With lots of burgundy and deep green, there are ornate woodwork details, comfy leather chairs and heavy curtains. There are books on the shelves and the occasional lick of leopard print. The cocktail menu is Read More

Toronto Temperance Society
Toronto Temperance Society

Temperance isn’t our strong point to be fair, but we are willing to get civilised for a tipple in this classy joint. It’s members and friends only, but they’re not going to break your legs if they find you’ve politely Read More

Unloveable
Unloveable

This dive was set up by the same people behind Sweaty Betty’s so they know a thing or two about a loveable bar. It’s about as hipster as it gets but somehow it doesn’t matter because it’s fun and the Read More