Why Go to Any Bar When You Can Drink at Toronto's Best?

It's hard work for a writer, getting a "best bar" assignment. Even though it has been a struggle, we did manage to scope out everything from watering holes to high end establishments that require the right shoes (and no, Toms don't make the cut). Drink by drink, we established what makes a bar unforgettable in Toronto. Then we promptly forgot what we were writing about.

Bar-goers can have it all in cosmopolitan Toronto. Whether it is a drink that puts hair on your chest, or the right people who make you forget about your 9 to 5, the bar can be a personal hub of community and transformation. Plus, most bars have booze, which, we have learned, most Canadians tend to enjoy.

If you like feeling like a spy, go to Toronto Temperance Society and be transported to the roaring 20s, where cocktails and gentlemen are equally classy. If you like to save your class for the workweek, get your kicks at Boots 'N' Bourbon, where a bucking mechanical bull will do everything possible to put you in your place. Nurse your bruises with some Hillbilly Champagne and it won't be long before you get back on the horse (or bull, as it were).

There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all people, so why shouldn't our bars be as unique as we are? Whether you love a laid-back lounge or a dive bar, we don't judge.

Take a swig of what the city has to offer.

Drake Hotel Lounge
Photo courtesy of Connie Tsang

The Drake is not right in the centre of Toronto, but it sure feels like it is when you arrive. A hub for the fabulous, this revamped space manages to be edgy yet elegant. It offers everything from brunch to late night entertainment with world...  Read More

Church & Wellesley
Bar Volo
Photo courtesy of Bar Volo Facebook page

In the last decade or so, it has become an event in Toronto to order a glass of beer. Rather than sliding up to the barstool and generically declaring, "Pour me a cold one!" beer drinkers have become more selective. BarVolo brews a lot of its...  Read More

If you like hearing the word "exclusive," have we got the cocktail bar for you. The Toronto Temperance Society is a members-only cocktail lounge, so delightfully old fashioned you half expect Humphrey Bogart to saunter in. If you don't want to...  Read More

Boots 'n' Bourbon Saloon
Photo courtesy of Abbey Fitzpatrick

Boots N'Bourbon is a country Western bar in downtown Toronto that surprisingly works. Dust off your cowboy boots and get ready to hear some good music played by musicians in flannel shirts. Entertainment doesn't end there, with a mechanical bull...  Read More

High Park/Roncesvalles

Like a fine wine, the area of Roncesvalles just keeps getting better with age. Enter The Ace, which used to be a Chinese restaurant and has become a chic and cozy bar which is just the ticket on a cold weather day. Dinner and lunch items take...  Read More

Midfield Wine Bar fits the first (and most important) characteristic of a wine bar: it is a great place to drink wine. With a rustic coziness and wines that slant on shelves behind the bar, you want to stay awhile. Imprisoned wine sits behind...  Read More

Plush black leather couches, reclaimed wooden tables and a sleek entrance may make you think you have stepped into Pretension District when you go to Spirit House. Don't be fooled. The ambience is just a sidenote, and the focus is first and...  Read More


You may be able to have too many shoes, but you can never have too many brew pubs (too much beer is another thing, but we don't want to be downers). Toronto's Barhop doesn't require that you engage in a tour of the city. There is more than...  Read More


The newish Delta hotel in Toronto made a splash, defying the high expectations of locals. Their hotel bar, Char No. 5 continues the trend, tucked away so that it is free from the florescent lights of stereotypical hotel lobby. Dark and musky,...  Read More

Little Italy

An opinionated cocktail bar that can be hard to find from the street, Hoof Cocktail bar is the drinking extension of the popular restaurant The Black Hoof. You will find classic and clever drinks with bourbon, rye, cognac and more for the base....  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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