416 Snack Bar
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. (181 Bathurst Street, 416-364-9320.)
Head to chef Grant van Gameren’s (ex-Black Hoof) latest spot, Bar Isabel, inspired by his travels and the many Spanish tapas bars encountered along the way, for some of the best cocktails in the city 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. (797 College Street, 416-532-2222.)
Get a taste of Toronto’s very popular Japanese izakaya bar scene at Kinka Izakaya 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. (559 Bloor Street West, 647-343-1101.)
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 under a few strings of Christmas lights. Also: you won’t find cold tea here. (60 Kensington Avenue, 416-546-4536.)
If it’s good enough for Drake at 4:00 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 2:00 a.m. so stock up before the bar stops serving alcohol – you’re usually welcome to stay until 3:00 a.m. Enjoy your late night in Toronto! (90 Ossington Avenue, 647-346-8151.)
About the Author
Gizellel Au is a freelance writer and photographer (travel, food, lifestyle) based in Toronto, Canada.