Categories > Guides and Tips
There’s nothing like holding a cold cocktail in your hand while savouring the ambiance and enjoying company. Well, we’ve done the sipping and savouring ourselves—all for your benefit, of course—and created a list of the best cocktail bars in Toronto.
So, sit back, read on, maybe fix yourself a quick drink (no judgement here), and get ready to venture into Toronto’s magnificent cocktail jungle.
Address: 505 College St, Toronto, ON M6J 2J3, Canada
Contact details: SUP@THISISBARRAVAL.COM
- Monday to Sunday – 11 AM to 1 AM
Bar Raval is a place that’s quite the standout, eh? Not just talking about the drinks here, but let’s start with the fact that it’s shaped like a giant wooden sculpture.
The inside keeps the intrigue coming. It’s adorned with a curvaceous whirl of Gaudi-inspired mahogany and is full of warm Spanish energy.
Then there’s the one standing tall on their cocktail menu, the sherry cobbler. It’s a unique blend of sherry, sugar, and fruit that packs a punch but goes down smooth.
However, the real hidden gem is their pacharan spritz, which is a concoction of top-secret ingredients that’ll have you saying, “That’s a good one, eh?” after the first sip.
Now, for you early birds, they’ve got you covered too. Bar Raval serves up a delightful array of brunch-time cocktails. Yes, you heard right, brunch cocktails.
Local tip: Showing up early gives you a chance to get a spot at this no-reservation place. And ask the bartenders about the off-menu drinks; they’ve always got something interesting up their sleeves.
Address: 878 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1M5, Canada
Contact details: +1 416-546-5634
- Monday to Sunday – 6 PM to 2 AM
You know that unassuming place on your block that you walk past every day? Then, one day, you step inside, and it ends up being really cool. Well, that’s civil liberties for you.
So, there aren’t any permanent cocktail menus here. You stroll in, tell the friendly bartenders your preferences, and voila! They whip up something especially for you. Amazing, eh?
And rest assured, these drinks are not your run-of-the-mill concoctions. We’re talking drinks served in a hollowed-out pineapple or others adorned with pretty edible flowers.
A fan favourite that circulates often is their cantaloupe negroni. It’s a twist on the classic Negroni, with fresh cantaloupe bringing a surprising pop of fruity flavour.
Local tip: Just a heads up, though: this place is popular, and for good reason. It gets busy, but in a “this is where the party’s at” kind of way.
So, hit ’em up on a Tuesday when it’s less busy; you’ll get heaps of attention from the barkeeps.
Address: 472 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B2, Canada
Contact details: +1 416-868-4800
- Sunday to Friday – 5 PM to 2 AM
- Saturday – 4 PM to 2 AM
BarChef is really something else! It’s dark, cosy, and hosts one heck of an innovative cocktail program. The signature drinks here are literally served with bells and whistles.
We’re talking smoke, cocktails in bell jars, things that light up—the works. It somehow feels both like a throwback to a classic speakeasy and a sneak peek into the future of cocktail mixology.
A must-try is their smoked old fashioned; it’s like a mad scientist’s version of the classic drink, served under a smoky cloche. And the vanilla and hickory smoked manhattan?
Trust me, it’s a drink that will convert any staunch non-drinker. It’s smokey, it’s sexy, and it’s something you’ll be raving about for a long while.
Local tip: Always book ahead so you’re not left standing outside wide-eyed. Also, please, and I repeat, please, let your waiter guide you with their recommendations. Cheers, eh!
The Shameful Tiki Room
Address: 1378 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L7, Canada
Contact details: email@example.com
- Sunday to Thursday – 5 PM to 12 AM
- Friday and Saturday – 5 PM to 2 AM
As you step inside the Shameful Tiki Room, be prepared to say “Aloha!” to Toronto’s coolest tiki bar. This spot is decked out with bamboo, vibrant colours, and nautical artefacts, giving you a sweet slice of paradise smack dab in the middle of the city.
With friendly staff dressed in aloha shirts, you’ll feel like you’re on an episode of Magnum P.I., only with much better cocktails. Speaking of cocktails, The Shameful Tiki Room boasts a menu that caters to both the casual tiki lover and the die-hard tiki drink connoisseur.
A fan favourite, pineapple express, is a fruity delight that hits the spot just right. And if you’re feeling adventurous, the voodoo grog has a delicious mix of exotic tastes and a garnish that looks like it was handpicked from a remote island.
Oh, and let’s not forget the star of the show—the volcano bowl. It’s a hearty concoction served in a giant bowl, topped with flames, and designed to be shared among friends.
Local tip: Be prepared for weekend lineups, but don’t worry, they move fast! Make sure to check out the daily drink specials; they’ve always got a tasty surprise up their sleeves.
Paris Paris Bar
Address: 146 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z5, Canada
Contact details: +1 437-983-8774
- Sunday to Wednesday – 12 PM to 1 AM
- Thursday to Saturday – 12 PM to 2 AM
Next up on our boozy exploration is Paris Bar. Now, if you’re thinking this might be a romantic scenery-driven escape in the city, you’re absolutely right.
Inspired by the city of love, the décor and vibe of Paris transport guests to a chic Parisian oasis while keeping it casual and cosy. Here, the drinks are spotlighted with a menu brimming with creative takes on classic cocktails.
One absolute must-try is their twist best boire, a tantalising mix of whisky, apricot liqueur, and lemon juice. Another crowd-pleaser, borrowed & brown, is a cosy sipper perfect for winding down after a long day.
But Paris isn’t just for the cocktail enthusiast; they’ve got a fantastic wine selection too. Why not grab a glass and take a sip, pretending you’re overlooking the Seine?
Local tip: Paris Bar often hosts themed nights and events, so stay in the loop; you don’t want to miss out! And don’t forget to snag one of their charcuterie boards for the ultimate French experience.
Address: 1090 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H7, Canada
Contact details: +1 647-340-1090
- Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 2 AM
Now let’s swing by Bar Poet. If you have a soft spot for well-crafted brews and killer cocktails in a laid-back setting, this one’s for you. What sets this place apart from the rest?
Well, it’s got a fantastic indoor-outdoor feel with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up during the warmer months. Think plants everywhere, cosy seating, and a happening atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Now let’s talk about the star of the show—the cocktails. You’ll find that Bar Poet’s drink staples are innovative, colourful, and flat-out scrumptious.
One of their popular drinks, the ginger rogers, is a beautiful blend of gin, ginger, and lemongrass. It’s fresh, spicy, and utterly invigorating. Then there’s the beat generation, a smoky, smooth, and whisky-heavy concoction that leads you straight to cocktail nirvana.
Local tip: Bar Poet has an epic all-day food menu, so come hungry and pair your drinks with their amazing pizza. And trivia night on Tuesdays is a surefire way to get your brains buzzin’ while you’re boozin’.
Melrose On Adelaide
Address: 270 Adelaide St W #300, Toronto, ON M5V 2E2, Canada
Contact details: +1 437-777-3015
- Monday to Sunday – 2 PM to 2 AM
Now, the first thing that will likely strike you here at Melrose on Adelaide is the laid-back, cosy ambiance. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with a mate or two or even host unpretentious date nights.
But a bar isn’t a bar without a hefty lineup of lip-smacking potions, eh? Well, that’s where Melrose triumphs yet again. Must-haves include their signature penicillin, a cocktail that will heal any bad day with its potent mix of whiskey, honey, ginger, and lemon.
Then there’s Adelaide’s secret, a deliciously complex cocktail that mixes tequila with a secret ingredient that they’re not willing to disclose. Intrigued yet?
And, while their drink lineup is impressive, the food holds its own, too. Paired well with the cocktails, the entire experience will definitely make you want to pop back in at any given chance.
Local tip: Grab a seat by the bar during their happy hour; the deals are as good as the cocktails. Oh, and you cannot leave without trying their pizza.
Address: 923 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W3, Canada
Contact details: +1 647-346-9356
- Sunday to Thursday – 5 PM to 12 AM
- Friday and Saturday – 5 PM to 2 AM
Being original is hard these days, but Cocktail Bar on Dundas St. manages to pull it off with gusto. Doing justice to its name, this bar serves up creative cocktails that’ll knock your socks off.
Firstly, this place wins you over with its relaxed vibe and non-pretentious atmosphere. It’s not about flashing lights and loud music; it’s all about letting the cocktails take centre stage, and that they do!
The boss colada, a playful twist on the classic pina colada, is a definite crowd-pleaser. It is crafted using white rum, coconut cream, and lime, and let’s be honest, we all need a regular dose of tropical goodness, eh?
Oh, and then there’s the crop top, a bourbon-based delight that’s a blend of raspberry, aperol, vermouth, and lemon. Interesting, ain’t it? The drinks here are really a fun mix of flavours that are not only worth tasting but definitely Instagram-worthy, too.
Local tip: The place can get pretty packed on weekends, so go early to secure a seat. And don’t forget to ask the bartenders for their recommendations; they know their stuff!
Prequel & Co. Apothecary
Address: 1036 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H7, Canada
Contact details: +1 647-368-6630
- Sunday to Wednesday – 6 PM to 2 AM
- Thursday to Saturday – 5 PM to 2 AM
Next up, let’s leaf through the fascinating pages of Prequel & Co. Apothecary is a place that mesmerises you from the get-go. Stepping through the door, you’re greeted with an enticing blend of old-world charm and modern comfort—think dimly-lit rooms with comfy, worn sofa sets.
You can first check out their sage advice, a zingy combination of gin, sage, lemon, and fernet branca. It’s an unexpected mix that’ll have your taste buds dancing in delight.
If you’re into darker spirits, give their root medicine a whirl—a fully-loaded whiskey cocktail with an herbal twist. What’s more, they also host cool events every now and then—from poetry nights to music acts, there’s always a bit of magic happening here.
Local tip: They have a changing menu, so don’t be afraid to try something new each visit. Also, their inventive brunch cocktails are a must-try for any early risers!
Famous Last Words
Address: 392 Pacific Ave, Toronto, ON M6P 2R1, Canada
Contact details: +1 416-792-5200
- Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday – 5 PM to 12 AM
- Friday and Saturday – 5 PM to 1 AM
Last on our list, but certainly not least, we give you Famous Last Words. If you find joy in literature and love a good stiff drink, then this is the perfect spot.
Trivia and events are a regular feature here, perfect for a laidback night that’ll get your brain motors running. It’s easy to lose track of time in the warm, comfy ambiance while sipping on a carefully crafted cocktail.
As for the drinks, where do I even start? One such standout is the Jurassic Park, a rum-based cocktail that will take you on a tropical adventure with its bright and sunny flavours.
And for the wine lovers, pride and prejudice is a fresh and light cocktail that beautifully blends wine and peach. If you fancy yourself a bit of a mixologist, choose-your-own-adventure lets you craft your own cocktail.
Local tip: Grab a toastie for a quick bite—they’re the perfect complement to your drinks! And make sure to check out their monthly trivia nights. It’s a hoot and a half!