Great bars in the Beaches for a beer

Beer and the Beaches are meant for each other. Both are easy-going and unpretentious, providing fun and variety any time of year. Try these locals bars or pubs and you'll see what we mean.

Castro's Lounge

1
2116 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E2

This local hangout captures the Beaches vibe better than most. There’s frequent live music, a gay-friendly environment, a 100 per cent vegetarian menu and a steadfast commitment to the best in local craft brews. At any given time they’re pouring fresh cask ale and select draughts from Ontario, Quebec and overseas. Their updates on social media will keep you posted as to what’s on tap.

Gull And Firkin

2
1943 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1H7

Having a Firkin good time is all but a done deal, whether you hang out on their patio or take a booth inside. It’s got a stereotypical decor modeled on the idea of what North Americans think British pubs should look like, and the effect mostly succeeds. There’s a late night menu for odd-hour cravings, but you’ll want to arrive earlier to enjoy their happy hours from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

The Fill Station

3
2282 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1G6

Down to your last handful of loonies and toonies? Come here and quench your thirst with one of the cheap pint or bottle specials, available every day except Friday. The huge, widescreen TV is a magnet for sports fans so this should definitely be your favourite haunt during the World Cup, NHL playoffs, World Juniors or Sunday football. Food prices are reasonable so you can have your snack and a drink to go with it.

The Feathers Pub

4
962 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 1S7

If visiting a truly authentic British pub is on your list of things to do but a flight to England is out of reach, this place offers a reasonable facsimile. The Feathers, on Kingston Road, is all glossy wood and fine beers. Along with the extensive list of domestic and imported draughts, they have one of the best selections of Scottish single malt whiskey anywhere. Pull up a seat and sip away.

Captain Jack

5
2 Wheeler Ave, Toronto, ON M4L 3V2

It’s a dive bar in a neighbourhood not known for the rough-and-tumble. But the gritty vibe strips away all pretentions so you can really focus on how easily that beer is sliding down. It has tight quarters, frequented by regulars and definitely adults-only, so be forewarned ̶ this isn’t a place to park the stroller. Since you won’t find families with kids, feel free to drink and swear like a sailor on shore leave.

Outrigger

6
2232 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E9

Located right on Queen Street, this is a prime location for the annual Beaches Jazz Festival when the place really swings. They keep the groove going for the other 51 weeks with live music every Saturday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite dovetail with “Beach Hour” (Sunday to Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.) when drinks are $5. Beer, spirits and cocktails are complemented by a vast food menu.

Never mind pearls, Victorians know the real treasure to be found in oyster shells is the fresh, briny taste of the ocean. Whether you chew or swallow them whole, enjoy garnished or baked, once you get a taste for fresh BC oysters, you’ll be hooked. The next time the craving hits, here’s where to go for your shellfish fix.
Caesars are a staple in Canadian cuisine; they're right up there with poutine, Nanaimo bars, maple syrup and Kraft Dinner. The unlikely combination of vodka, Clamato and Worcestershire sauce with some celery, asparagus or even bacon thrown in for the grand finale, doesn't sound like it should work. But it does. Here's where to go in Victoria to enjoy some of the best Caesars in town.
Charcuterie, a French method of cold meat preparation, has taken off in Victoria and the results are delicious. The intense flavour created by the curing of pork and other cuts of meat, pairs wonderfully with artisanal cheeses, pickles and condiments for an elegant and social snacking experience. If you're looking to get in on the culinary fun, head to one of these charcuterie hotspots.
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