Low-lit locales: Romantic cocktail bars in Toronto

Whether you’re looking for an intimate evening with your cocktail lover in a dark and cozy setting or breathtaking vistas of downtown Toronto, the city is full of watering holes with a truly other-worldly feel. Here are seven cocktail bars in Toronto that promise to have you feeling warm and fuzzy in no time. [Image credit: iStock.com/WanderWomen]

The Comrade

758 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4

Impress your cocktail loving date with after-dinner drinks at this lively lounge bar in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. The atmosphere is dark, cozy and intimate with plush leather seating and the vibes of an old-world study. Those with a sensitive ear for background noise: the music at The Comrade is always pitch perfect for a date. As for the drinks, a super selection of craft beers and wine are available, but we’ll suggest one of the many cocktails made with fresh squeezed organic produce.

The Hitch

1216 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1L7

Cute, cozy and minimalist, this little cocktail bar in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood makes a mean bourbon sour and specializes in double-shot drinks – a nice way to shake off the first-date nerves! Not only does the bar host trivia nights and craft beer tastings, but if you go on an empty stomach, there's also a small menu of bites and appetizers to snack on.

The Roof Lounge

4 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2E8

You don’t have to be a well-dressed guest at the Park Hyatt to sip artisan cocktails and suck back oysters 18 floors above the city. Toronto’s legendary Roof Lounge in the trendy Yorkville hotel is a both lavish and laid-back, making it the perfect place to kick off your date night. Choose from the bar’s indoor parlour-esque seating or open-air bliss on the heated rooftop patio.

Bar Begonia

252 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R 1V7

A chic lounge specializing in classic French comfort food and innovative cocktails, Bar Begonia is Dupont Avenue’s new it-spot. With candlelit tables, a great vibe and drinks like the Absinth Frappe, you’re guaranteed to fall head over heels after a night here with your Valentine’s date.

Rush Lane & Co.

563 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B6

It’s easy to spot this Queen West locale by its colourful, mural-clad exterior, and the drinks inside are just as fun. Flavour combos range from aromatic beet and gin in the Beat It cocktail to Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, black tea and cherry wood-smoked coconut in the Downtown Chester Brown. Drooling yet? Get comfy on the parlour-esque sofa at this funky little cocktail bar nestled in between Chinatown and Toronto’s Fashion District. Classic cocktails are done oh-so-right here, but we’d suggest sampling one of the invented-in-house options dreamed up the expert mixologists.

D.W. Alexander

19 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E 1M2

If you heart happy hour and have a soft spot for speakeasy settings, grab your cocktail lover in crime and head on down to this underground bar on Church Street for upscale-meets-casual fare and classic cocktails. Drop those dateless woes if you got ‘em – this bar gets live right around happy hour and is one of Toronto’s most mingle-worthy spots for meeting new people after a long day at work.

For most, the traditional diner is synonymous with greasy food, drip coffee and an overall grungy atmosphere. These old-school establishments are anything but. While these Toronto diners maintain an authentically vintage vibe, they’ve evolved to include fresh, wholesome foods and globally inspired dishes. [Image credit: iStock.com/nickfree]
Be unpredictable and change up your Friday night pizza and movie plans with an order of delicious dumplings. These tasty Cantonese treats are unexpectedly filling and come stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Whether you’re a meat lover or vegetarian, you’ll love it when a box of these steaming dumplings get delivered right to your doorstep. [Image credit: iStock.com/tad1962]
Happy Hour, False Economy Hour, Cocktail Hour, call it what you will, but one thing is for sure: there’s no shortage of daily drink specials or happy imbibers on Queen Street East. These bars, pubs, restaurants and taverns do it best, offering great drinks at reduced prices to make your first few hours after work even more enjoyable. [Image credit: iStock.com/Pekic]
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