10 Swank Lounges in Toronto for Your Next Smart Cocktail

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Whether you seek a post-meeting cocktail or a decadent evening out, the city’s range of lounges serve up sophistication and tasty drinks. This top 10 list of Toronto’s lounges includes refined Entertainment District hotel bars, an eccentric Queen East dance spot and many options in-between.

Thompson Toronto Lobby Bar

Thompson Lobby Bar

With dramatic lighting, high-pattern carpeting and dark hardwood floors, the recently refurbished lobby bar at the Thompson Hotel is one of Toronto’s most popular downtown bar destinations. Sit back and mingle at the bar or hold informal meetings in the lounge. With 2,353 square feet of space, anything is possible. (550 Wellington Street West / 416-640-7778.)

The One Eighty

This resto-lounge on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre building in Yorkville has been voted Toronto’s best view. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room offer a stellar view of downtown and uptown, and north and south patios offer stargazers a chance to camp out with a cocktail under canopy tents. The One Eighty also boasts an award-winning menu consisting of innovative tapas-style appetizers that are perfect for sharing. (55 Bloor Street West / 416-967-0000.)

Brassaii

Known to attract A-list celebrities during events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge is the lounge of choice for many socialites and local media moguls. The lively weekly programming, including dance parties and DJ sets, draws a trendy crowd that cools off on the cobblestone courtyard patio – considered one of the best in the city. (461 King Street West / 416-598-4730.)

DEQ Terrace and Lounge

The rarefied atmosphere of The Ritz Carlton extends to its cocktail lounges and DEQ is where you’ll find year-round plushness. The outdoor terrace is an oasis in the midst of downtown and inside are couches, a fireplace and plenty of pretty people. (181 Wellington Street West / 416-585-2500.)

Nikai

The second floor lounge in the famous ramen-dealing Momofuku complex boasts a serene vibe with leather sofas overlooking the noodle bar below. For the post-work crowd downtown, the selection of classic and original cocktails (incorporating ingredients like miso and kasu), Ontario beers, wine, sake and snacks has everything you need to unwind. (190 University Avenue.)

Reposado

Tequila lovers rejoice! This boite on the Ossington strip has the largest selection of premium tequila downtown. Come to Reposado for the cocktails and tapas and stick around for the live gypsy jazz and swing performances, which transform the small bar into somewhat of a gin joint on weekends. (136 Ossington Avenue / 416-532-6474.)

Hoof Cocktail Bar

Toronto’s expert purveyors of house-cured charcuterie also make a mean cocktail. In their clandestine cocktail bar across the street from the restaurant, you can choose from a curated list of classic cocktails all made with as much care as their meat plates. Hoof’s atmosphere is elegant, but the crowd is boisterous. Try the signature Hoof Manhattan, which is made with 10-year-old rye and house-made bitters. (923 Dundas Street West / 416-792-7511.)

Lula Lounge

Another west-end gem, Lula Lounge specializes in bringing world music to Toronto, offering salsa dance classes all weekend, Friday night jazz performances and a Sunday Cuban brunch. There’s never a dull moment in this colourful lounge in Little Portugal, where Toronto’s salsa community lets loose. (1585 Dundas Street West / 416-588-0307.)

D.W. ALEXANDER

This hidden gem right in the heart of the historic St. Lawrence Market is known for its plush interior amidst the setting of an 1870s warehouse. With its laid back atmosphere and prohibition speakeasy vibe, D.W. Alexander is a favourite hangout for both the after-work and late-night crowds. (19 Church Street / 416-364-8368.)

WAYLA Lounge

WAYLA, a.k.a. “What Are You Looking At,” brings a colourful crowd to the otherwise sleepy intersection at Carlaw and Queen East. The no-nonsense, casual bar lounge (think: throw pillows, exposed brick and concrete floors) is a great spot for conversation, but on weekends a raucous lineup of themed parties (think: 90’s, Diva Diva Diva and Karaoke) heats up the dance floor. (996 Queen Street East / 416-901-5570.)

Didn’t find anything that struck your nightlife fancy on this list? Toronto has many more lounges, bars and clubs to appeal to all interests.