Thompson Lobby Bar
With dramatic lighting, high-pattern carpeting and dark hardwood floors, the recently refurbished lobby bar at the Thompson Toronto Hotel 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.
Location: 550 Wellington Street West
Signature Cocktail: The 6ix Sidecar is captivating and fashionable.
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.
Location: 55 Bloor Street West
Signature Cocktail: In the mood for something fruity? The Grape Mojito is the perfect blend of sweet and minty.
Looking for classy and creative cocktails? BarChef is known for their drinks. Co-owners Frankie Solarik and Brent VanderVeen strive to create a visceral and emotional journey of the five senses. “Our objective is to challenge the conventional notions and boundaries of the cocktail experience,” says Solarik. The intimate atmosphere and intoxicating scents of herbs and spices make for an outstanding experience.
Location: 472 Queen Street West
Signature Cocktail: The Vanilla and Hickory Smoked Manhattan is one of the most popular drinks at BarChef. This cocktail is a made up of rye, made-in-house cherry vanilla bitters, hickory-smoked syrup and vanilla cognac.
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 amid downtown and inside are couches, a fireplace and plenty of pretty people.
Location: 181 Wellington Street West
Signature Cocktail: The 6ix is an exquisite must-try!
The second floor lounge in the famous ramen-dealing Momofuku Toronto 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.
Location: 190 University Avenue
Signature Cocktail: Kissy Suzuki is refreshing and impressive.
Tequila lovers rejoice! This hotspot 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.
Location: 136 Ossington Avenue
Signature Cocktail: The Reposado Margarita is delicious and made with 100% agave tequilas and fresh squeezed juices.
Hoof Cocktail Bar
Toronto’s expert purveyors of house-cured charcuterie also make a mean cocktail. At the clandestine Hoof Cocktail Bar, you can choose from a curated list of classic cocktails all made with as much care as their meat plates.
Location: 923 Dundas Street West
Signature Cocktail: Try the Hoof Manhattan, which is made with 10-year-old rye and house-made bitters.
Another west-end gem, 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.
Location: 1585 Dundas Street West
Signature Cocktail: Lula’s Punch Rum is a fruity concoction that will have your taste buds jumping for joy.
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.
Location: 19 Church Street
Signature Cocktail: Try the Oaxaca Old Fashioned! It’s fancy and elegant
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 is a great spot for conversation, but on weekends a raucous lineup of themed parties heats up the dance floor.
Location: 996 Queen Street East
Signature Cocktail: Tropical Buddha is fun and refreshing. A good choice for a summer night on their patio.
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.