Toronto Bar Bites
By Gizelle Lau
So you’re looking for a fun night on the town? Here are some great spots for some of the best cocktails, drinks and bar bites in Toronto:
If you’re looking for one of the best late night experiences in the city, head to 416 Snack Bar. Enjoy cheap drinks and way-better-than-average snacks like perogies, Yorkshire pudding or Trini doubles – snacks that totally hit the spot when you’ve had a few too many drinks. It’s unpretentious, it’s awesome, don’t forget to wear your plaid and skinny jeans.
Head to chef Grant van Gameren’s (ex-Black Hoof) new spot, inspired by his travels and the many Spanish tapas bars encountered along the way. With some of the best cocktails in the city (get the “old flame”!) and casual, highly shareable food, there’s the full menu complete with Mediterranean-inspired cuisine if you’re looking to dig deep or a bar snack menu – and of course, an epic charcuterie plate.
Get a taste of Toronto’s very popular Japanese izakaya bar scene at Guu Sakabar in the city’s Annex neighbourhood. Sit at the front zashiki room with recessed seating or at the more lively communal tables in the back. Enjoy copious pints of Sapporo, a large variety of sake and Japanese-style cocktails like chu-high vodka sodas. Of course, to balance it all out, there’s izakaya sized dishes like deep-fried chicken karaage, tuna tataki, pork belly pie bibimbap and udon which are great for sharing.
60 Kensington Ave., Toronto, 416-546-4536, @coldteabar
Take a deep breath – although the entrance and hallway of Kensington Mall may seem a little unsavoury at first – once you enter Cold Tea, you’ll see why people love it. You’ll be greeted by a lovely lady selling dim sum snacks to compliment the Pabst Blue Ribbons, cheap drinks and delicious cocktails at the bar. On a nice day, head to the back door and enjoy the backyard patio: two long rows of picnic tables with red, checkered covers, sitting out under the night sky and a few strings of Christmas lights. Also: you won’t find cold tea here.
If it’s good enough for Drake at 4 a.m., it’s good enough for me! Here on Ossington, you’ll find dozens of late-night bars vying to get you inside but Oddseoul is one that has soul. Run by two Korean brothers who grew up in Philly, the drinks range from awesome cocktails to cheap beer while the menu offers awesome, shareable Korean and Philly-inspired dishes like spicy Korean chicken wings or acorn squash poutine.
Be sure to note that most bars, by law, have last call just before 2 a.m. so stock up before the bar stops serving alcohol – you’re usually welcome to stay until 3 a.m. Enjoy your late night in Toronto!
Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer and photographer (travel, food, lifestyle) based in Toronto, Canada.