We’ve Got Bars in Downtown Toronto To Keep Everyone Happy!
So, you’re in Toronto and looking for a drink, some food, and maybe a place to let loose or watch the game? We have you covered. Having lived and worked in downtown Toronto for a number of years, we developed a few favourite places to check out.
That said, the question “what are the best bars in Toronto” is really had to answer since there are SO many AND people have completely different ideas of what is “best”. So this list is a fun mix of places that we like to go, have taken friends, or have had a good experience at!
There are certainly even more unique bars in Toronto, better ones for just cocktails, and ones with great food, great for students, etc. – but those are posts for another time. This post is for our favourite bars in Downtown Toronto.
Just so you know, many (most) of them are in the Entertainment District. Some might be classics, while others may be new to you to check out. If you are looking to explore more Toronto, we have that covered, too:
- 11 Must-Knows for Visiting Toronto
- How to Spend One Perfect Day in Toronto
- 27 Top Attractions in Toronto to Explore
- Great Day Trips from Toronto
- Where to Stay in Toronto – Great Hotels & Apartments
- Our Favourite Coffee Shops in Toronto
- Some of the Best Ice Cream Spots
Known as “a Great Canadian Bar”, the Fifth Pubhouse is a favourite of Eric’s. This is mainly because of the theme – very Canadian! Located at the corner of Richmond Street and Duncan Street, this bar is great for classic pub eats and a laid back atmosphere. The place has quite a few screen for watching whatever game is on – and plenty of seating for different group sizes.
The Pubhouse has board games, trivia nights, and happy hour/deals each night of the week. We’ve even seen Mario Kart played on a big screen at the front! Basically, it’s a good place to meet a friend for a pint after work or to watch the game.
There are numerous beers on tap so there’s a good chance you’ll find what you are looking for. The staff were always friendly and the food was always what you’d expect: pub food, plus a few pasta or vegetarian dishes. Eric had a classic burger one time and it was pretty good.
Funny enough, that street corner/building is actually home to a bunch of other places to go out. The Fifth Social Club is more of a classy club while The Fifth & Terrace is an upscale rooftop restaurant. There’s also Cabin Five which is more of a fun, cottage-themed watering hole but we’ve never been. In any case, the entrance for the Pubhouse is off Richmond – just down the stairs from the sidewalk.
Here is the official website for the Fifth Pubhouse for the menus and more.
Address: 221 Richmond St West, Suite 100, Toronto
Of course, being a blog about a Canadian and German exploring Ontario, we had to include a classic German-style pub in Toronto! If you want a little taste of Europe, then head to the Town Crier.
This place is actually very close by to another one or two pubs/bars on this list – but for good reason. There’s a whole patio area just north of Adelaide on John Street that is made up of like 3 pubs so it’s a popular place to stop in for a summer drink. Town crier is one of them – the other is Office Pub (see further down).
Town Crier is known for having German and Belgian beers on hand – and they have a pretty extensive selection. Those countries love their beers and so there are plenty of styles and types by region available for you to try!
The place is a classic pubby feel but that’s what you expect from it. The food is also European themed – serving up classics from the region like schnitzel and Spätzle (a really good German/Austrian cheese pasta dish).
Needless to say, we had a great time there – and not just because Lisa is German! You can check out the official website here.
Address: 115 John St, Toronto
If you want to mix your bar experience with a little physical activity, why not try Ballroom? Located at the corner of Richmond Street and John Street Ballroom is … a complicated place, to say the least. This is only because there is basically something for everyone!
In the door and up the stairs, you’ll find a huge open bar area with booths, TVs, a massive central bar, an outdoor patio, a dance floor, and even a stage. Eric has gone out there with friends, watched hockey there, listened to live music there – and even just gone for drinks with Lisa and the family on a weekend evening. Talk about functional, eh?
Downstairs, you will find a few full 10-pin bowling alley lanes, TVs, pool tables, and more. It’s a busy spot and definitely a fun atmosphere. It’s also more of a student bar on weekends – especially during the university breaks when everyone from Toronto is back from their respective schools but – as we said – it’s frequented by loads of different groups.
The nice thing about The Ballroom is that there is no cover. So if you are planning to go “out” later you don’t have to pay to get in OR grab a lane later on the weekends. Once time Eric walked in with friends just past 12:00 am and got a lane for 4 people with a very short wait.
Here is their official website to check out lane reservations and more!
Address: 145 John St, Toronto
One of the places we were the least familiar with in Toronto was Batch. This was until a friend invited us out for drinks and told us to meet him there. Inside, Batch is this
As we said, we met a friend there for a few pints and we really liked it. We forgot which
Address: 75 Victoria St, Toronto
Bar Hop x 2
Oh, Bar Hop. How you have treated us so well over the years. Honestly, Bar Hop (both locations) are arguably the favourite places on this list. The overall experience each time is just great.
So, basically Bar Hop is a classic, trendy place for good beer (many, many to choose from) and upscale, super delicious pub food. Eric has been with friends many times and we even met one of Lisa’s friends there when we were all living in Canada.
Bar Hop has two locations which are slightly different. Bar Hop on King Street is a bit small with one floor but they have a little front facing patio area. It’s always great.
Bar Hop Brewco is on Peter Street. This is the same place, slightly different menu, and three floors making it a better bet to find a table if it’s already time for evening dinner or drinks. Three floors? Yes, they have a rooftop patio which gets pretty busy in the summer. It’s a great place for a drink!
Overall, the beer is tasty, the vibes are super lively and fun, and food is great (we’ve had garlic fries and a bunch of other items – all good). Check out either Bar Hop and have a blast. Here is their official website.
Address: 391 King Street West, Toronto or 137 Peter St, Toronto
The Black Bull
The Black Bull is another classic watering hole in Toronto. Located up on Queen Street West at the corner with Peter Street (close to Barhop Brewco, see above), The Black Bull is a classic British-style pub which makes for a standard Toronto patio and pub experience. The beers on tap are as expected, the food is hearty and pub-style – that’s exactly what you go for.
Inside it is pretty big but what they are probably known for is their outdoor patio area. It’s such a good location (shopping up on Queen) that
Although (funny story), once in February of 2017, the weather was so warm (for Canada it was like +4 degrees Celsius) that they actually opened the patio and it was packed. We (Eric and coworkers) went and the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory actually made a visit to greet people and have a pint to “enjoy the warm weather”. Oh, Canada…
In any case, check out the Black Bull for a classic Toronto patio experience. Here’s the official page.
Address: 298 Queen St W, Toronto
The Loose Moose
Ah yes, the Loose Moose. Located on Front Street, the Loose Moose is a pretty established place to head to for food, drinks, watching the game, whatever. In fact, it’s basically across from Union Station downtown so it’s been used a place to take new visitors/friends to the city as a “welcome to Toronto, let’s have a pint here” kind of place.
The Loose Moose is actually two places – up the stairs is more of the normal restaurant and bar with lots of seating. Downstairs is also seating and a bar and you can order food – but it’s also used as a venue for live music, for example.
It’s nothing crazy fancy or anything – just a good solid choice for lots of beer on tap and good pub food. Given the location it’s also popular to grab a drink before or after a game at the Scotiabank Arena (the home of hockey and basketball in Toronto) so it can be pretty busy on game nights and weekends!
Eric has had lots of great memories at the Loose Moose with friends – so check out the official website here to see if it’s for you!
Address: 146 Front St W, Toronto
The Office Pub
This is another one of those great patio places located in a stretch of bars on John. Along with the Town Crier (mentioned above), The Office Pub is a great little watering hole that serves a variety of purposes.
In the summer, the patio is usually packed (it’s smaller than Town Crier but still holds a few people) after the work day is done. Inside, the old house has been converted into a no-frills with loads of different floors with bars and tables.
They actually boast a number of screen for watching whatever big game is on – and you can see the screens bright from the street if you walk by at night. They also do food but we haven’t eaten there.
Eric HAS, however, been there for their karaoke nights on the weekends. It happens upstairs and it was a TON of fun going with friends, suggesting songs, and singing along foolishly to oldies. The entire floor was packed with a younger crowd having a good time – so if this is what you want then check out The Office Pub!
They actually have two location so here’s the official website of the John Street Location.
Address: 117 John St, Toronto
Cactus Club Cafe
If you are looking for a more stylish or fancier place with a slight cocktail feel, then Cactus Club might be for you. Located right in the
The location in Toronto is a good place to meet for drinks – cocktails or otherwise. The food menu also looks pretty nice but we haven’t eaten there – only drinks. Eric met a friend there for drinks one weekend evening and we were lucky to be two people because there was quite the wait going.
Given the location and the popularity on weekends/weeknights, it’s a wise idea to reserve a table if you know you want to go. Oh, and they also have a patio for patio season! Here’s the official website.
Address: 77 Adelaide St W, Toronto
And there you have it – some of the best bars downtown that we love! This obviously isn’t all of them – just some of the ones that we have been to and had a nice time at. We think we covered a pretty good spread of themes and styles here so
As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
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