The Toronto Bar Guide

Robyn, second from the right

Robyn, second from the right

Robyn is a recent grad who moved from a small town up to a modern apartment high in the Toronto sky.

She is the go-to girl for knowing what is happening around the city, and always travels with a pack of friends. (Which resulted in me not being able to find a photo of her alone!)

If you’re a 20something new to the city, or just stopping by beautiful Toronto for a visit, she will tell us all about the spots we need to know about.


Say I’m looking for some patio drinks in the city this summer, what are your favourite spots?

I personally enjoy Hemmingway’s in Yorkville! I love their patio, and it has a very casual pub feel to it. The view is awesome, and it’s always a good time. It’s a hot spot for happy hour post-work drinks, and they have a good variety of pub food on their snack menu. Another fun casual place is The Ballroom. It also has a great patio, and there’s always a good crowd over the weekends, not to mention fantastic live music inside!

Citizen, Toronto

Citizen, Toronto

Any really unique places you’ve found with that very Toronto feel?

If you’re ever looking to have a fancy night out in the city, King West is definitely somewhere you want to be. Living just off King St. W I find myself at Citizen, EFS, Everleigh, and Escobar.

EFS is a personal favourite (on a Thursday as well) as it has a mature, young professional crowd. But, all of these lounges are fun and busy on the weekends, and most of them have a dress code in effect.

Escobar is attached to the Mexican restaurant Valdez. The best part about this place is that Escobar is one of the secret bars in Toronto! (And therefore has no website.) I discovered this place with a group of my friends one night when we decided to go for dinner there. The waiter gave us the password to check out the back room, and there you’ll find a bouncer waiting to let you in. The bartenders can make every drink under the sun, so I highly recommend it. You can follow Valdez on Instagram (@theValdez) for password hints, or find “the informer” at the front bar to retrieve the password. Upstairs, you’ll find people salsa dancing among other genres of music, but the secret bar has a deep house, or R&B feel to it depending on the night.

If you ever want to party poolside, Cabana Pool Bar at the Toronto Polson Pier is a great way to spend your Sunday, or another popular spot is the Muzik Pool Bar!

Any other favourite bars or restaurants you haven’t mentioned that we can’t miss?

The patios in Toronto are endless. I definitely recommend The Drake on Queen St. West, or William’s Landing, and Local in Liberty Village. Dundas St. West seems to be a popular area as well, with bars like 1602.

If anyone is missing the Guvernment, Uniun Nightclub on Adelaide St West could be just what you’re looking for.

There’s always a ton of unique events happening in the city. What are the ones you would most recommend?

A big favourite of mine is the Toronto Festival of Beer. In July, this event is held at the Exhibition Place, and there are over 300 different beers to try. Good luck attempting to try them all! Another event is made for those who love Greek food. The Taste Of The Danforth, on the Danforth, also known as “GreekTown” always lands in August of every summer. They have dozens and dozens of restaurant locations offering an array of multi-ethnic foods.

Lastly, everyone has heard of Veld Music Festival, which lands on August long weekend in Downsview Park. If you are into these kinds of music festivals, I suggest another one called Electric Island. Every long weekend in the summer these festivals are held at Toronto Island! Check out this link to see who is playing as well as ticket information.

Thanks so much Robyn! See you on the patios this summer!