21 diverse places to grab a drink (or five) in Toronto

Sep 7 2018, 1:58 am

Fuel your stay in Toronto by sampling the city’s excellent local brews and cocktail-fueled nightlife.

Whether searching for a serene destination to unwind with a Caesar or a chance to try the local craft beer scene, these brewpubs, wine bars, and cocktail lounges have got you covered.

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Crafted cocktails: BarChef

BarChef cocktails

Leanne Neufeld/BarChef

Cocktails composed like works of art are what to expect from this lab-like cocktail bar. A house favourite is this smoky concoction infused with burnt hickory flavour à la minute.

Address: 472 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: Queen Street West
Phone: +1-416-868-4800

Bottoms up: Bangarang

bangarang bar



Obscure table-top games and weekend dance parties fueled by fun cocktails make this Little Italy bar feel like a full-service rec room.

Address: 552 College Street
Neighbourhood: Little Italy

Beer heaven: Bar Hop

bar hop bar


Three dozen craft brews on tap, a rotating selection of cask-conditioned ales, and beer-friendly eats are on the menu at the three locations of Bar Hop in Toronto. This place takes pride in offering one-off brews, collaborations, and seasonal selections, not to mention local craft ciders and nearly 100 bottled beers “including a number of rare and private order items.”

Multiple locations
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Fully fortified: Bar Raval

bar raval


This stunning all-day tapas bar transitions from coffee to cocktails as the day progresses. Go here for fortified wines, cocktails and an array of Spanish-style small plates (think pintxos, croquetas, and conservas).

Address: 505 College Street
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Phone: +1-647-344-8001
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Wish you were beer: Bellwoods Brewery

Bellwoods Brewery craft brewery

Bellwoods Brewery/Facebook

With one location on Ossington and a second newly opened on Hafis Road, this premier craft brewery is doubling up on its rotating selection of house beers ranging from light hoppy styles to barrel-aged special releases.

Address: 124 Ossington Avenue / 20 Hafis Road
Neighbourhood: Ossington Village / North York
Phone: +1-416-535-4586 / +1-416-535-4586
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Ever changing taps: Birreria Volo

Birreria Volo craft beer bar

Birreria Volo/Facebook

Inspired by Italian beer halls, this Little Italy beer bar is the successor to the legendary (but sadly shuttered) Bar Volo. This spot deals in rare and rustic wild ales, natural, wines, ciders, and snacks. More than two dozen beers rotate on draught while the expansive selection of bottles also changes frequently.

Address: 612 College Street
Phone: +1-416-498-5786

From strip club to supper club: Broadview Hotel

Broadview Hotel

Daily Hive

Formerly Jilly’s Strip Club, this Toronto landmark has a new lease on life as an upscale hotel complete with a rooftop patio, cafe and bar, and an in-house restaurant.

Address: 106 Broadview Avenue
Neighbourhood: Riverside
Phone: +1-416-588-1641
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A sophisticated speakeasy: Civil Liberties

civil liberties cocktail paper plane


There’s no go-to cocktail at this cocktail bar. With expertly distilled spirits, handcrafted tinctures and fresh ingredients all behind the bar, the best bet is to just let the expert staff fix you a drink.

Address: 878 Bloor Street West
Neighbourhood: Bloorcourt
Phone: +1-416-546-5634
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Hidden gems: Cold Tea

cold tea bar


Cold Tea takes its name from an illicit tradition in Toronto. Ordering “cold tea” in Chinatown restaurants once summoned a teapot full of beer after legal serving hours. Now, tucked inside the Kensington Mall, this hidden gem is home to top-notch cocktails and bar snacks.

Address: 60 Kensington Avenue
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Phone: +1-416-546-4536

A Toronto institution: The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel/Flickr

A restaurant, cafe, underground music venue at rooftop “skyyard” patio are all housed in this hotbed on West Queen West. Good drinks and good times are constants, though the menu, decor, and artworks are always changing.

Address: 1150 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: West Queen West
Phone: +1-416-531-5042

An adult arcade: The Get Well

get well bar


On tap at this Dundas West watering hole: arcade games, craft beers, hot cheesy pizzas, and good times! Between the ever-changing draught list and expansive selection of beers in bottles and cans, this place has something for everyone.

Address: 1181 Dundas Street West
Neighbourhood: Dundas West
Phone: +1-647-351-2337
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Rosé all day: Grey Gardens

grey gardens


The elegant wine bar offers a long list of labels by the glass and by the bottle. Feeling snackish after a few sips? There’s oysters, foie gras and duck terrine, and ravioli on offer as well.

Address: 99 Augusta Avenue
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Phone: +1-647-351-1552
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All that glitters: Goldie

goldie toronto


This swanky late-night cocktail club and lounge channels the ’70s and delivers retro vibes with a modern twist. On the menu, fun cocktails and bottle service to get the party started.

Address: 619 King Street West
Neighbourhood: King West
Phone: +1-416-214-3180

Fruit-forward brews: Her Father’s Cider Bar

her fathers cider


The cider house in Harbord Village is one-of-a-kind in Toronto. Here the bar deals exclusively in craft ciders including many rare and interesting finds.

Address: 119 Harbord Street
Neighbourhood: Harbord Village
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HP magic in the air: The Lockhart

the lockhart butter beer


The Harry Potter themed bar on Dundas West does drinks that are pure magic. From butterbeer to glittering cocktails, this plans will impress even the most skeptical muggles.

Address: 1479 Dundas Street West
Neighbourhood: Dundas West
Phone: +1-647-748-4434

For those in-the-know: Mahjong Bar

mahjong bar


Fronted by a bodega, this hidden destination for dinner and drinks is a favourite for its menu featuring Chinese bar snacks alongside a “sophisticated but approachable cocktail list.”

Address: 1276 Dundas Street West
Neighbourhood: Dundas West
Phone: +1-647-980-5664
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Dreamy cocktails: Montauk

montauk bar


Craft cocktails and craft brews are the main draws at this Dundas West bar. Here you’ll find the menu feature classic libations along with a few spirited innovations.

Address: 675 Dundas Street West
Neighbourhood: Dundas West
Phone: +1-647-823-6910
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Due north: Northwood

northwood cocktail


This licensed cafe near Christie Pits Park double majors is coffee and cocktails. Sample both at once with cold-brew based bevvies like one spiked with Fernet, house vanilla liqueur, Triple Sec, and a pinch of salt.

Address: 815 Bloor Street West
Neighbourhood: Bloorcourt
Northwood | Instagram

Wine not?: Paris Paris

paris paris wine bar


Nibble on cheese, charcuterie, and freshly shucked oyster at this Dundas West wine bar where the drinks list majors in bottles and by the glass selections spanning the gamut of sparkling, white, red, and rose offerings.

Address: 1161 Dundas West
Neighbourhood: Dundas West
Phone: +1-416-535-5656
Facebook | Instagram

Pretty awesome: Pretty Ugly

pretty ugly bar


A lively venue for libations and sushi! The specialties behind the bar are the cocktails and mezcal.

Address: 1237 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Phone: +1-416-203-9436
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Dive in: Sneaky Dee’s

sneaky dees


This divey Tex Mex bar and concert venue is a Toronto institution where graffiti-covered tables, massive nacho platters, and cheap drinks attract a raucous crowd.

Address: 431 College Street
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Phone: +1-416-603-3090
Facebook | Instagram

Winning cocktails: Track & Field

Track & Field Bar

Track & Field Bar

Bocce ball, beers, and fine cocktails! Find this bar bumping with backyard vibes no matter if it’s sunny or snowing outside.

Address: 860 College Street West
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
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