Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



The City’s Best Bars: The ultimate handbook for Toronto’s discerning drinkers

The City's Best Bars | 2012

Drinking in Toronto has become a dignified pursuit. Over the past year, we visited the city’s newest and greatest bars, and we noticed a conspicuous dearth of appletinis and Jägermeister shots. Instead, we discovered premium cocktails crafted by inventive bartenders obsessed with Prohibition-era recipes, house-made bitters and obscure Italian aperitivi. We also found Ontario microbrews galore (and beer geeks who debate them hotly while playing Ping Pong), and wine lists flush with offbeat bottles never seen at the LCBO. Here, the fruits of our not entirely sober research—40 outstanding places to warm up this winter.

By Denise Balkissoon, Ariel Brewster, Andrew D’Cruz, Matthew Hague, Malcolm Johnston, Emily Landau, Jason McBride, Alexandra Molotkow, Mark Pupo, Peter Saltsman, Courtney Shea and Eric Vellend