Mix it up at these unique cocktail bars in Toronto

Toronto bartenders are causing quite a stir thanks to their innovative approach to mixology. Shake up your usual routine and pay a visit to these unique cocktail-focused bars where the expertly crafted drinks are anything but ordinary.


472 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B2

Toronto’s serious cocktail connoisseurs praise the innovative creations on the menu at this trendy dimly lit Queen West lounge. Expertly trained mixologists are scientific in their approach when it comes to the experimental drinks, and the bar stocks 5,000 ounces of bitters and syrups that are all made in house. The signature molecular cocktail is a Vanilla and Hickory Smoked Manhattan made with Crown Royal special reserve, vanilla infused brandy, and smoked hickory and vanilla.

Rush Lane & Co.

563 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B6

For the cocktail connoisseur, this is one of the most important checkpoints in your tour of TO’s finest mixologists. Not only is this Queen West spot easy on the eyes, with luxe touches and overall comfy and casual vibe, its bartenders are also some of the city’s best in concocting everything from smoking cocktails to a vodka martini done right. Our pick? The Beat It, a gin-based spin on the Moscow Mule and the Sex Panther (with a name like that, do you even need to know the ingredients?).

Apt 200

1034 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H7

This second-storey spot is unique in a few ways: one, it’s a charming bar with a pool table, a rare sight in TO. But with pinball machines on one side, chic minimalist couches on the other, and a bar serving up craft cocktails in between, Apt. 200 decidely hovers between a few different kinds of late-night hangouts (it’s also considerable in square footage, leaving lots of space for mingling and dance parties). While it gets live on weekends, the weekdays are more tame, making it an ideal Queen West stop for a cocktail with a pal.


765 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1T9

Montauk owner Dustin Keating is making plenty of friends on Dundas West thanks to his rotating selection of well-priced craft cocktails. Daily specials with fun names (glass of Unicorn Blood, anyone?) are scrawled in chalk on the wall, and Manhattans and Negronis are available on tap. The bestselling tea-based Tame Impala features a zesty mix of tequila, lime, fresh cucumber and chai tea syrup topped with ginger beer.

Communist's Daughter

1149 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X3

It may well be one of Toronto’s tiniest watering holes, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in pure good vibes. The Communist’s Daughter was one of first spots to appear on the Dundas West strip, now saturated with cocktail bars and brewpubs, and it continues to draw locals with it’s mom-and-pop atmosphere and finely rendered craft cocktails. If you’re lucky, you might stop in on vinyl night, when the bartender spins the A-side of an album supplied by someone in the bar, and everyone votes on whether to hear the B-side.

Toronto’s frigid winter months were made for curling up with a warm mug of hot cocoa. Escape the chilly air inside these local cafés where the hot chocolate is sweet, spicy and sinfully delicious.
Grabbing lunch or dinner around the TIFF Bell Lightbox? If you've a craving for thin crust, wood-fired pizza in an upscale atmosphere, stop in at one of these trendy King West trattorias where humble pizza pie gets the gourmet treatment.
With plenty of cinematic delights to take in, you’ll need to make sure your hungry brood is properly fuelled during TIFF. Forget the typical movie-theatre popcorn and indulge in a meal at one of these family-friendly downtown dining destinations around the TIFF Bell Lightbox. [Image credit: iStock.com/Nastia11]
Close menu