Posted By on 01/23/2018 in Food and Drink

Crawling Toronto's Best Bars

Crawling Toronto's Best Bars

Ah Toronto, home of the Maple Leafs, the CN Tower and Carousel Bakery’s peameal bacon sandwich. As the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest in North America by population, Toronto has plenty of places for those seeking a creative cocktail or a craft beer that suits their palette. The best way to experience it all is through a neighborhood bar crawl.


This neighborhood is on the east side of Toronto, spanning from the historic Queen Street East to the iconic Degrassi Street featured in the Degrassi television shows. The area has a mix of local haunts as well as up-and-coming restaurants.

Start this neighborhood crawl at Hi-Lo. This bar opened in 2013, and it has a rock-n-roll theme. There are posters from popular 70’s bands on the wall, and Led Zeppelin and The Strokes are the music of choice. The bar even has pinball machines. There is an extensive beer menu, as well as cocktails with names like The Head Hunter, Rangoon and a Spiced Sazerac.

Next on the list is Aft Kitchen and BarThis place is great for a mid-bar crawl snack, as it serves sweet BBQ ribs and Texas-style brisket from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Aft has a casual atmosphere with custom lighting and raw-edged wood decor. As for drinks, they have a decent selection of whiskey and bourbon, as well as draft beers.

Finish the night at Prohibition Gastrohouse. As the name implies, this area has a cozy speakeasy theme. It’s great for larger groups looking to dance, and it has an extensive late night menu that includes smoked chicken lollipops and haute poutine. 

Prohibition bucks the trend with a premium bar rail that offers higher quality liquor at $5.09 during their “hooch hour.” There are several vintage wines available, as well as draughts. Current beer on tap includes the Kona Big Wave Golden Ale from Hawaii and Beau’s Lug-Tread from Vankleek Hill, Ontario.

Queen Street West

This area has been nicknamed Toronto’s “coolest neighborhood” for its influx of artists and fashion enthusiasts. It has a busy shopping district, and stores range from vintage shops to exclusive designer brands. There is a mix of activities at night. People can choose to enjoy some live music or dance the night away.

Relax after a day of shopping and start the night with billiards at Rivoli Pool Hall. Their 11 vintage pool tables are $10 an hour, and the lounge area is great for large groups. Upcoming performances in the bar’s back room include Zaki Ibrahim and Flor. The food menu has classic burgers and a roast beef sandwich, as well as pad Thai and chicken roti. As for drinks, this bar has wine and beer on tap, but their highlight is the Toronto cocktail menu. Selections include the Old York Fashioned, Champagne Papi and Bellwoods Sangria.

Next on the list is Squirly's Bar and Grill in between Manning Avenue and Claremont Street. The bar is lined with plush velvet seats among its other funky decor. It also has an outdoor patio area for the warmer months. Their menu features Ontario craft beers, and it rotates regularly. Some current options are the Stratford Pilsner, Wellington Special Pale Ale and Great Lakes Canuck.

For late night dancing, head to Beaver Cafe. This place has dance nights every day of the week with music ranging from the hottest hits to disco to post-punk. The bar serves both beers and cocktails such as their Beaver Sour and El Diablo. Head back the next day once the headache fades for their popular morning brunch. They have several tasty options including huevos rancheros and baked French toast.

Church-Wellesley Village

Also known as, “The Village” this area is home to Toronto’s LGBT community. There are several art galleries and musical theatres in the area. The nightlife is lively as well with popular Halloween and Pride Month events.

Start the night with a little trivia at Pegasus. This place has several events during the week including bingo and “Will and Grace” viewing parties. As for the weekend, expect colorful martinis and other cocktails. The bar serves beer, and it has multiple pool tables.

Just a few steps away is Boutique Bar. While Pegasus has more of a relaxed vibe, Boutique holds up to its name with a high-end experience. The bar has an open patio for people watching along Church Street, and has several cocktail options. Popular choices include the bourbon Manhattan, the stiletto and the raspberry mojito. Head to this bar during the holidays. It has hosted Halloween and Canada Day parties, as well as their annual white party.

Woody’s is a lively place to finish a fun night. This dance club has five bars, nightly DJs and contests. It’s currently celebrating more than 25 years of serving the Toronto community. The bar also has its claim to fame for being featured in the television series “Queer as Folk.”

King Street West

King Street West is where partygoers head for the VIP experience. Several clubs in the area offer bottle service, loud music and strict entry policies. This neighborhood also supports a healthy electronic music scene by bringing in international DJs such as Ryze and CODA.

Baro is great to start with, as this bar and restaurant mixes Latin food with creative cocktails. There are three floors in Baro. First is the dining room, second is Pablo’s snack house and third is the Loft, which serves as an event space. The menu is full of tasty offerings such as a duck chaufa and beef empanadas. Drink options include a white sangria, Baro sour and classic margarita.

Visitors can get their heart pumping with a stop as SPiN. This bar is a play place for adults. It has 12 ping-pong tables, ping-pong tournaments and DJs playing the latest hits. Their food is a step above the standard bar fare, with rosti and lettuce wraps both as options. As for drinks, this place has two full bars serving draft beers and mixed drinks.

End the King Street tour with beautiful views of the city at the Lavelle rooftop. This place has 360-degree views of the city as well as a pool, a lounge and private cabanas available. Chef Romain Avril prepares food at Lavelle, and guests can choose from a 7, 10 or 15-course tasting menu. Their cocktails are great, but Lavelle stands out with their own sommelier that hand picks the wine menu. The bar has both whites and reds from Spain, France and Argentina.

Loudmouth Z Sandals

Loudmouth Z Sandals