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143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
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Methods of Payment:

  • American Express
  • Interac
  • Mastercard
  • Visa


  • $26 To $60,
  • $11 To $25,
The glow of comfortable tradition warms Allen's. Opened in 1987, the restaurant has achieved near-institutional status, as its bar, featuring 340 whiskies, over 100 VQA wines and 140 beers, and dining room are considered the very best of type. Customers travel from all over Canada, the U. S. and Europe to sample the unique offerings, but a solid core of local regulars maintains a consistent atmosphere of good cheer, conversation and welcome. The menu focuses on Ontario farmed and grown produce, with an urivalled presentation of naturally-raised or organic meats from area farmers. Breed, feed and age of every animal served is included on the menu. The wine cellar, with VQA selections from all regions of Ontario and British Columbia, serves as testament to Allen's commitment to Local Fare. In fine weather, there is no better spot in which to dine al fresco than Allen's backyard, where a dedicated chef cooks to order over charcoal a daily-changing menu of local specialties. more...

Opening Hours


Cuisine type

  • Regional,
  • American,
  • Irish,


  • Seafood,
  • Comfort Food,
  • Hamburger,
  • Brunch,


  • Extensive Wine List,
  • Restaurant With Live Entertainment,


  • Trendy,
  • Casual,
  • Family,

Products and Services

  • Open Sunday,
  • Full Dinner Menu,
  • Daily Special,

Meet the owner

Named after owner John Maxwell’s mentor (Joseph C. Allen), Allen's is a restaurant, informal in style, but utterly civilized, specializing in local food and drink. The Danforth Avenue haunt has been serving local residents and visitors since 1987. “It occupies the status of an institution,” says John. “It’s institutional because of its legendary hospitality, warmth of welcome and a VQA wine list, which is one of the largest — if not the largest — in the world.” Allen’s is also renowned for its beer selection (140 strong, many microbrews) and a whisky list that numbers 300.

John has been in the restaurant business for more than 50 years. He opened his first Toronto dining establishment Joe Allen in 1980 and later opened Italian hotspot Orso in 1985. Both are now closed, but today John owns one other bar in addition to Allen’s, Dora Keogh’s on the Danforth.

Many members of John’s staff at Allen's have been with him for more than 20 years. This guarantees, he explains, that customers are not just welcomed, but recognized and feel like they are part of a family. “We know a large proportion of our customers,” John says proudly. “As with other restaurants that succeed by making guests feel welcome, we don’t 'wow’ them, but instead comfort them.”

Read the story of Allen's

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  • Food: 5/5
  • Atmosphere: 5/5
  • Service: 5/5

Easily My Favourite Toronto Restaurant!

I first visited Allen's back in the 80's, not long after it opened, and I was instantly smitten. So much so, in fact that I moved into the neighbourhood! First I was a regular, then a nuisance, and finally a piece of furniture. I finally moved back to Markham in 1998, and cannot justify going anywhere south of Steeles Avenue without stopping into Allen's for lunch. The food is imaginative, superbly prepared, and so delicious, that even when I'm full, I often look at the menu again, just to see what I'll be ordering on my next visit! And the patio? Don't get me started......

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Appears in 3 Smart lists

Bite into one of these great burgers on Toronto’s Danforth

Bite into one of these great burgers on Toronto’s Danforth

This place is among the best in the city for its (heated) backyard patio, massive beer and wine list, and – ah, yes, burgers. It’s the perfect place for a meal any time, or to hang out post-concert at the neighbouring Danforth Music Hall. Since it’s an authentic Irish saloon, you’ll mostly hear Celtic music in the background but they’ve been known to bring in the occasional live act to spice up the dinner hour.

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Enjoy a glass of wine at these spots on the Danforth

Enjoy a glass of wine at these spots on the Danforth

Times and tastes change as often as the seasons. So why would you think it odd that an Irish pub would choose VQA certified wines for its wine list? The whiskey and beer menu is just as selective. This only means that the Irish can be trusted to know great drinks, no matter the type. Along with traditional Irish fare and live music, see what a vintage New York Irish pub feels like in the 21st century.

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Premier patties: The best gourmet burgers in Toronto

Premier patties: The best gourmet burgers in Toronto

Allen’s has a hamburger that is quietly listed at the bottom of their menu, stating that many believe it to be the best in the city, and it truly is one of the best. Allen’s sources, grinds and processes the meat for each burger from a single cow, so you know you’re getting high quality meat.

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