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Drinks

3 Comments

Best Bars: Toronto’s top seven spots to commune over a pint of beer (or three)

BEER
The Ball Room

ROWDIEST BEER AND BOWLING
The Ballroom

145 John St., 416-597-2695
A Saturday night in the neon-and-flat-screen-lit Ball Room brings a barrage of retro bowling paraphernalia, inappropriate dancing, nearly naked club girls and C-list star spotting (mostly character actors from Being Erica). Although the beer selection is uninspired (Canadian, Moosehead), it’s still novel to have it delivered right to the lane. The overall mood is somewhat hallucinatory—like that gutter ball dream sequence in The Big Lebowski—especially when the servers tell you how much it costs to rent a lane for an hour (up to $65, plus shoe rental).
LOTHARIOS IN SUITS

Karlovačko
BEST OLD-WORLD BEER HALL
Hrvati Bar

690 Euclid Ave., 647-350-4227
While most new bars are busy shoring up their local microbrew cred, this Croatian beer hall, nestled on a side street in Koreatown, happily embraces the Old World with an excellent selection of European brews, like Karlovačko, a popular Pilsner from Croatia that’s a rare sight in Toronto. The small snack menu features a greasy and thoroughly enjoyable pljeskavica, a Balkan-style burger on a spongy white bun.
DEAFENINGLY LOUDHIGH HIPSTER QUOTIENT

Mr. Huff
TOP SPOT FOR DRUNKEN TABLE TENNIS
Spin Toronto

461 King St. W., 416-599-7746
Entering the lower-level space—through unmarked steel doors down a barely marked King Street alleyway—you feel like you’re infiltrating an illegal Ping Pong ring. Tables are hard to come by (members, who pay $50 a month, often book them), and drinking in a basement while half-heartedly batting the ball is eerily reminiscent of adolescent Saturday nights. But, as they say, it gets better. The bar snacks are remarkably good. Grilled cheese sandwiches are the perfect accompaniment to an Ontario craft brew list that reads like a children’s book: Lawn Chair, Mr. Huff and the Barking Squirrel (all $6.25). After a few of those, you get very good at Ping Pong.
PICKUP POTENTIALDEAFENINGLY LOUDJAM PACKEDLOTHARIOS IN SUITS
  • Zoltar

    Beer Bistro??

  • G

    BB is garbage dude.

  • B

    It’s been a long time since Smokeless Joe has had an extensive bottle OR tap list. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually VISITS these locations or just makes recommendations based on internet reviews from 2004. Anyone who has been to Smokeless Joe in the last year knows that just because there are 20 draft lines, doesn’t mean that there are 20 beer on tap, or anything in the fridge, for that matter. Skip down to BarHop if you’re thirsty.

 

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