Yard Sale Bar

Retro is the very essence of this cool and kooky bar, from the decor and furnishings, right down to the playlist and cocktail menu. Its chilled, old-school vibe makes Yard Sale Bar an ideal spot to kick back, while friendly bar staff make you feel most welcome. A mouthwatering small plate is served – complimentary – with every drink ordered, and is made using fresh, “as available” ingredients to reduce food waste.

Melrose on Adelaide

If cocktails are your, err, cup of tea, don’t pass up a tipple in Melrose on Adelaide. If you aren’t tempted by any of the creations on the menu, ask one of the mixologists to whip you up something special (they’re particularly skilled at making moreish non-alcoholic cocktails). The location is lively and intimate. It can get quite loud between the music and hubbub, so it’s better suited to social chatter than long-awaited catch-ups. Order one of the – seriously outstanding – charcuterie platters to accompany your cocktails.

The Broadview Hotel

The rooftop of The Broadview Hotel is both a fine place to take in the Toronto skyline with a glass – or bottle – of wine, and a fun place to get merry with friends. There is indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate all seasons, and snacks – including poutine, a Canadian staple – are served late. There’s no dancing, but there’s usually a DJ blasting tunes in the evenings to get you head-bopping in your seat. Don’t leave without checking out the bathroom wallpaper, which is a homage to the building’s past life as Jilly’s Strip Club.

Paris Paris

Paris Paris prides itself on its extensive wine list, and with a wide enough variety of vino to tickle every buff and hobbyist’s fancy, it comes highly recommended for a glass of the good stuff. Long opening hours make it a great spot for leisurely day drinking and, if you’re hungry enough for a bite, beautiful house-baked sourdough served with salty whipped butter will help mop up some of the grape juice.

Bar Raval

Locals rate Bar Raval for its fun factor. A Barcelona-inspired space based in Little Italy and serving cocktails, beer, wine and tapas, Bar Raval looks and feels every bit the Spanish establishment, with its Gaudí-esque interior and house-baked bites. It’s open from 11am on weekdays and 10am on weekends, and doors don’t close until 2am, making it an any-time-of-day destination.

The Vatican Gift Shop

At first glance, it appears nothing more than a hole-in-the-wall shop selling religious memorabilia. But then, that’s the point. Concealed behind the door that’s to the left of the crucifixes and Virgin Mary portraits, however, is a dim, bustling bar. The Roman Catholic theme is carried throughout the venue, with authentic church lamps and a pew on the stage. There’s dancing and live music every Thursday, with a side order of hand-tossed pizzas if you get peckish. Have something to get off your chest? Spill all in the confessional booth.

Tequila Bookworm

Queen Street West is your one-stop shop for late-night drinking and dancing in Toronto. On this stretch you’ll find Tequila Bookworm, one of the joints for a brew. They serve the eponymous Mexican spirit of course, but also a natty range of craft beers. Lively and loud, they have basketball on the TV upstairs while downstairs the air is all cultural conversations.

Cluny

Classy Cluny is the place to bring a date for a cocktail. Handsome fin-de-siècle interiors draped in gold and iron bring the Frenchness of the place to the fore; you could believe you were in Francophone Quebec rather than Anglophone Ontario. Order their “le bulldog francais” which mixes raspberry pomegranate juice, lemonade, tonic and bulldog gin.

Mill Street Brewery

The site of the old Gooderham and Worts distillery, where half of Canada’s whiskey was distilled, is now home to a different kind of alcoholic enterprise. Microbrewer Mill Street hand makes its own beer, a refreshing pilsner and even a wheat beer with chamomile and blood orange. You can tour the brew floor or just marvel at the tanks as you sup on suds in this historic district of town.

Bar Chef

Get your goggles out because chemistry has never been more fun – you weren’t allowed to get squiffy on the results of an experiment at school the way you are at Bar Chef. Say “amen” to science and marvel at modern mixology in the form of black-truffle snow, smoked salt, coconut foam, lime zest, gin, coconut liqueur, dill and elderflower liqueur.

Tequila Bookworm

Cluny

Mill Street Brewery

Bar Chef

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