When they speak of football at The Football Factory, let's get our facts straight. This is not American football. This is soccer. And if you aren't interested in soccer, the patio may be the best place to enjoy the drinks and atmosphere. Inside, supportive Toronto FC fans come adorned in red-and-white. There are 13 high definition televisions, with four private booths to control what you watch. The menus are impressively diverse, with food that ranges from lemon butter poached white fish to a pretty spectacular brunch. This is market-fresh local food at its finest, in an unexpected location. No greasy sports bar for you.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Indoor seating holds 80 patrons, who unite over the love of football and fine food.
Courtney's expert tip: Try the mussels special on Tuesday night. Just $5 for a 1 pound plate, it will be a nice side for the plenty of beers on tap.
331 Roncesvalles has seen a lot of businesses come and go in the last ten years, but we are hoping Round the Horn stay. Roncesvalles was due for a sports bar and this bar manages to infuse sports into its personality without shoving sports down our throats. Not only are TV screens set to games of importance, but there is also a man cave with a playstation and pinball machine. Local brews are in cans or on tap, and the menu skews to the unhealthy grub you really want when you are watching the score like a hawk. Hot dogs have eight different options and nachos have five, because that is what you really want, and they know it.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Five types of nachos on the menu. Need we say more?
Courtney's expert tip: There is free candy at the bar. Free. Candy.
TVs, TVs everywhere and not a drop to drink. Scratch that not a drop to drink part. There are TVs everywhere and a ton to drink at Rally Sports Bar (we were just aiming for poetic language). Does 7000 square feet, 40 high definition TVs and 13 drafts sound like good statistics to you? Then get yourself to Rally's, where almost every sport is played every day of the year. Go on Sunday for brunch and some high quality zoning out time with your friends. Brunch offerings include a pretty magnificent pulled pork benny. The pulled pork continues to accent their regular menu. Try some on poutine or in a sandwich.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Great BBQ marries so well with sports-viewing, we are surprised there are not more places like Rally's.
Courtney's expert tip: Come hungry. The Southern-style meat is smoked for between 3 and 12 hours and so fantastic that it may take away some of the sting if your team loses.
It is one of the oldest bars in Toronto, so no, it does not have a website, thank you very much. It does have a Facebook page, and most importantly, it does have beer. Piles of nachos, the gooiest of wings and the coldest of beers are served at the Wheat Sheaf. Toronto's oldest tavern has a great patio if you aren't so interested in the game. Go inside if you want to feel like a part of the action. TVs are visible from most areas.The Wheat Sheaf knows how to celebrate all things in life, and this certainly includes sports. Your beer will be dyed green on St. Patrick's Day and there is revelry and ruckus all nights of the week.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: This watering hole has been open since 18 years before confederation (1849 to be exact). If they don't do beer well, no one does.
Courtney's expert tip: For a quieter time that may lead to more boisterous moments, try to visit for brunch on Saturday or Sunday. They have some epic eggs benny.
Right near the CN Tower and Air Canada Centre, this is a great bar to go to before the game or to watch the game itself. Craft beers and rare imports will make it hard to decide what to drink for the evening. Ask for little tastes of a wide variety to make an informed (and perhaps inebriated) decision of which beverage you would like to stick with. During games, The Loose Moose is mostly filled with cheers or boos, so don't expect to have any deep conversations. Who needs them anyway, when there are more important things to do like declaring allegiance to a team?
Recommended for Sports Bars because: The largest selection of draught beers in Toronto and giant TV screens will make the game go down nicely, no matter who wins.
Courtney's expert tip: Tucked away underneath The Loose Moose is The Antler Room, which acts as a separate space but has some bonus offerings, like the opportunity to join the Stein Club, with a personalized stein for repeat visits.
The Dock Ellis is an upscale sports bar that offers some reasonably priced libations and a great setting to watch the game. Dimly lit, we would almost call The Dock Ellis romantic were it not for the whole sports bar thing. It tends to attract a mixed crowd that is not just focused on the game. Screens sit behind the bar, encouraging those who are invested to make a barstool their home for the next few hours. Bar food is sophisticated with a sense of humour. Sandwiches come on OMG bakery bread and they fit the acronym well. Homemade chips and pickles accompany, for the discerning palate who likes their athletic entertainment a little classy.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: A fantastic selection of draught beers with inventive bar snacks makes for a delicious game.
Courtney's expert tip: Play some sports after you watch them. The Dock Ellis has a pool table, foosball table and a shuffle board.
Once only available to Western Canada, the premium sports bar experience finally made its way East in the heart of Toronto's Yonge and Dundas Square. Shark Club boasts a 90' long full colour sports ticker, a massive 15'6" big screen TV and an additional 57 LED TV's for a great view of the game from any seat. Next to the Eaton Centre and prime Toronto attractions, it is an ideal stop for a tourist who is pretending to care about Canadian history but really wants to know the score of the game. They even organize meet-ups with great sports stars from around the world. Just make sure to wipe that wing sauce off of your face before you take a Selfie.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: It's about time Shark Club invited Torontonians in on the fun. Their chosen location is unbeatable.
Courtney's expert tip: Half price glasses of wine on Thursday. Just because you yell at the top of your lungs for any sportive success doesn't mean you can't be a little classy.
If you go to Toronto, and talk badly about Wayne Gretzky, it is about on par with going to London and bad-mouthing the Queen. It may be even worse. Get on board by getting your sports fix at Wayne Gretzky's in the heart of the entertainment district. Wayne's has 32 HD televisions that play "all sports, all the time." A great selection of beers, along with Martinis that sometimes use Wayne's personal ice wine as a flavour enhancer (who better to create ice wine than a hockey player?). Food also serves as a tribute with "The Great One's Burger" with the number 99 (his jersey number) seared onto the bun. The oasis rooftop patio is quite popular in the summer months, with square couches dusted with pillows. A welcome escape from an ice hockey rink.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Wayne Gretzky's personal memorabilia collection serves as the backdrop whether you decide to dine, view sports or lounge on the patio.
Courtney's expert tip: Go on Saturday night and make a night out of it. DJ Fields will rock the bar all night long. If you are feeling awkward with your dance moves, keep your eyes glued to the screen. Multitasking at its finest.
You have to love multitasking Toronto. An ever-competitive city, it is not enough to open a restaurant any more. It must be a restaurant-slash-something. And the Ballroom certainly has a lot of slashes. It is also a bowling alley, a sports bar and an entertainment centre. It can hold up to 900 people for these varied activities, on the South East corner of John and Richmond (for those outside Toronto, that is very downtown). Fancy ping pong/pool or foosball (not a typo)? Want to play some XBox or stuff your face with nachos while watching the big game? The Ballroom is nothing but accommodating to all of your varied requests. Should you decide to keep your energy up with some fuel, the food has been called some of the best bar food in Toronto. Popcorn chicken poutine, anyone?
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Two floors, 52 television screens, a games room and a bowling alley. What more do you need?
Courtney's expert tip: Thursday nights throughout football season presents Bud Light cheerleaders and NFL gaming to make the whole spectator thing much less passive.
From press conferences to large scale versions of game night, The Real Sports Bar doesn't pull any punches. It treats you, the sports fan, and your relationship with your team with the utmost respect. Right beside the Air Canada Centre, on game nights the Real Sports Bar can have upwards of 1,000 people watching with rapt attention. The screen is larger than most apartments in Toronto. A number of games are often on at once for those who wish there were more hours in the day...for watching sports. Don't worry about going to the washroom, because there are screens there too.
Recommended for Sports Bars because: Two story high definition televisions will make it seem like you are at the game. With better service.
Courtney's expert tip: Take a cab or TTC to get to the Real Sports bar. Not only will you be able to enjoy more beer and giant chicken wings, but you will also avoid the $30 parking under the Air Canada Centre (ouch).