A delicious mixed drink can warm up the chilliest of winter evenings. These outstanding cocktail bars in downtown Toronto have you covered!
This popular Little Italy locale is a top destination for Torontonians and tourists alike, along with its sister restaurant Bar Isabel. Whimsically titled cocktails like Dressed to Suppress, Help, I’m Alive! and Rocket Surgery make for entertaining wordplay with every round. The always-evolving tapas menu provides new and unexpected delights with every visit (try the cold-smoked mussels and amazing charcuterie plates). And the beautiful wooden bar and heated, covered patio make Bar Raval a great choice for a winter evening. Don’t miss the wildly popular Ms. Primo with Tio Pepe, Chartreuse, Cava, melon and mint.
The low lighting and intimate atmosphere of this Queen West cocktail lounge have made it into a popular hangout for locals, but the sheer artistry of the cocktail menu is where it really shines. Behind the bar you’ll see a variety of bitters, from rosemary to lavender, all made in-house and aged for a minimum of three months. The homemade trend doesn’t stop there: the infusions and syrups are also the handiwork of Raval’s skilled bartenders. Fresh herbs and spices line the bar, adding another layer of authenticity to the experience, and large-format cocktails designed to share make it a good spot to bring a crowd. Don’t miss the signature Vanilla and Hickory Smoked Manhattan.
Rhum Corner opened in 2013 to much fanfare, as one of the few places in downtown Toronto where you can experience traditional Haitian cuisine. The menu, created by famed Toronto restauranteur Jen Agg, features strong, well-balanced rum cocktails and sumptuous shared plates; it’s proven to be a winning combination for this Dundas West hotspot (a short streetcar ride from the Bond Hotel). Dim lighting and colourful wall murals make for a festive yet intimate ambiance, and the island vibe make it a great place to warm up on a chilly winter day. Start off ordering the classic Fresco cocktail (rum and in-house syrup poured over shaved ice), and end on sweet fried plantains with coconut ice cream.
If you’re looking for fun bars in Toronto, this Korean-inspired cocktail and snack bar in Bloordale is a winner. A nostalgic interior featuring a vintage jukebox, banquette seating and beaded curtains provides a quirky compliment to the menu’s Korean-fusion flavour profiles. Shared plates like tempura salt cod in a deliciously light and crispy batter with hints of lime, mint and cilantro and kimchi pear salad satisfy any savoury cravings (the kitchen stays open ‘til 2AM) while the extensive cocktail list gives enough options that you can settle in for the whole evening. Try the Mak Shake – a bourbon sour with a twist, topped with Korean rice wine, or the Fino Berry with gin, Tio Pepe, blackberry and cucumber bitters.
With so many options on the table, you can try a new Toronto cocktail bar every night of the week. Cheers!