Restaurant type

  • Bar,

Cuisine type

  • Canadian,


  • Casual,

Products and Services

  • Country Bar,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
249 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 3A1
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

Verify with Merchant


  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Meet the owner

In 2004, Shawn Creamer moved to Toronto from London, Ontario to play music. “I wasn’t able to make a living at it, so I had to get my first real job,” recalls the owner of The Dakota Tavern. “I got a gig at the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and it ate my soul.” Every morning, Shawn took public transit to this dead-end job he loathed, catching the bus in front of a dive bar called the Trin Port. One day, while waiting for the TTC, a For Rent sign on the building caught his eye.

“It was just like out of a movie,” Shawn says. “I ripped down the sign, went home, called and quit my job, and rented the building. Then I sold my house in London and rolled the dice.”

Read the story of The Dakota Tavern

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Appears in 5 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Best all-you-can-eat restaurants in Toronto

Best all-you-can-eat restaurants in Toronto

Saturday and Sunday, the Dakota Tavern hosts its famous Bluegrass Brunch. The brunch starts at 10 a.m. and is family-friendly. It wouldn’t be Dakota Tavern, one of the premiere live music venues in the city, without some entertainment - a live bluegrass band accompanies brunch each morning. The menu includes all the brunch staples: pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit salad and coffee.

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Where to quench your thirst along the Ossington strip

Where to quench your thirst along the Ossington strip

One part glorified basement and one part neighbourhood favourite, the Dakota is one of the best places to sip a pint and take in some fantastic live music. There’s always something going on, whether it’s the midday bluegrass brunch on weekends or the next up-and-comer gracing the spotlight. The Christmas light decorations are more charming than cheesy and the floor-level stage lends a living room atmosphere.

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Toronto's best live music bars

Toronto's best live music bars

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another Toronto spot with as much Wild West charm as this Dundas West bluegrass bar, unanimously considered to be one of the top live music venues in the city. The made-from-barrels bar stools, the Persian-carpeted stage and the warm hanging fairy lights create the feel-good vibes at this spot, while the programming of well-known mid-career musicians spanning folky-funk to nightingale-voiced country provide entertainment seven nights a week.

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