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Every drinker reaches a low point, but never at Hi-Lo Bar. Riverside's little British-style watering hole is a gathering spot most nights of the week for young, hardworking east-enders looking to let loose and live a little – even if they wake up the next morning without much memory of their night.

“It depends how much tequila you have,” says owner Gavin Holmes with a smile. Thankfully, in addition to beer and cocktails, you can also stuff your belly with Hi-Lo's entire snack menu (which includes crispy cauliflower and pig mack – a Big-Mac-esque burger made with pancetta) for $40.

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Appears in 3 Smart lists

Editor’s Pick
Toronto best happy hours: East end edition

Toronto best happy hours: East end edition

Every day is happy hour at this Riverside dive bar. If you get a chance, grab a seat by the garage door window and feel like the king of Queen after 5 pm. Hi-Lo is known for its $5 pints, cheap bar snacks, and general awesomeness, often hosting DJs and live music.

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Mingle-worthy Valentine’s Day fun in Toronto

Mingle-worthy Valentine’s Day fun in Toronto

Heading out on the eastside? Check out the good vibes and great selection of craft beers at the Hi-Lo. Located in Riverside on Queen East and Grant, this local watering hole is where east enders like to unwind after a long week – that is, among arcade games, great music, and a very eligible crowd of cool Toronto-ites. Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Opera House Anti-Valentines party, this is your one-stop pre-game.

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Toronto bars keeping the pinball in play

Toronto bars keeping the pinball in play

Riverside locals are passionately dedicated to this traincar-style bar on Queen East. It could be its industrial-romantic décor (complete with colourful overhanging lights, reminiscent of a backyard BBQ in the 90s), or a menu stacked with local and craft beer that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Pinball machines round off the specialty offerings of this beloved canteen, fit for a few rounds with friends or a little flirtatious banter on a first date.

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