Rock out with the guys in West Queen West in Toronto

West Queen West is just plain cool, but established hot spots like the Drake and Gladstone hotels have lost a bit of their former edge and gone mainstream. When you and the boys are rolling out, try some places that seem a little less predictable.

Stephen Bulger Gallery

1
1356 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1Y2

It’s a combination art gallery, lounge and cinema and the best part is you can book it in advance. The lounge is located inside the Stephen Bulger Gallery, making it one of the most unique and versatile venues in the city. The screening room has seating for 50 people so it’s ideal for larger groups and special events like birthday or bachelor parties. The hip décor, fireplace and artsy flavour will give your gathering a touch of class.

The Kitchen

2
1186 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6

There’s beer and more beer on the menu here but be forewarned of the quirky hours. They’re closed Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays but for the other four nights, drinks are reasonably priced and fast-flowing. There are dart boards so you can challenge the boys for a round of pints, and nostalgic rock tunes that just might have you dancing instead. It’s also a popular hangout for local music and TV celebrities.

Oyster Boy

3
872 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3

This place is open late every night of the week, giving you and the guys all the time you need to see who can scarf down the most oysters. If bivalves aren’t your thing, the menu includes other mouth-watering options. Everything here goes down well with beer – they pour draft into tankard-like vessels and prices are reasonable enough to help satisfy any thirst.

Raq N Waq

4
739 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

If every bar in Toronto had a decent pool table, it’d be a lot harder to decide where your next guys’ night out should be. Luckily, The Raq has that angle covered with multiple tables to keep your group occupied and thirsty. It also excels as a place to meet and mingle with a big dance floor, club chairs and banquette seating in a chillin’ man cave-type atmosphere. Once you’re in, you won’t want to leave.

Sweaty Betty's

5
13 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Y8

Make sure you bring lots of change to feed the jukebox so you can gain control of the music selection. There’s an awesome patio for warmer weather, complete with wooden benches and a high privacy fence. But if you want to keep it indoors, they’ve got couches and other comfortable chairs for lounging. It’s also the kind of place where it’s easy to chat up new faces, with a diverse clientele of all ages and social groups.

The Done Right Inn

6
861 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G4

It’s the kind of dive bar that, regrettably, seems to be disappearing, but remains an ideal place to hang out with the boys. They have an AC/DC pinball machine, craft beers on tap, vintage light fixtures from a ‘70s wood-paneled rec room, and a back patio that looks likes the work of a couple of college kids who’ve had a few too many. Or, in other words, the perfect place for a beer.

With its cobblestone streets, beautiful stone buildings and appreciation for fine cuisine, Quebec City is a refined place. What better setting to treat yourself to a glass of champagne? Whether you want a cozy vibe or the grand rooms of an old hotel, Quebec City is just the place for you.
Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood may sometimes seem intimidating, but you'll find there are plenty of welcoming places where you can relax with a fine beer. The area's robust patio offerings make post-work pints a must. Don’t forget that it's also a prime hood for a little casual TIFF-ing – people-watching here might result in a few celebrity sightings.
Hitting the TIFF morning events and in search of a pre- or post-show breakfast? These classy-meets-casual brunch joints are steps away from the Bell Lightbox, on bustling King West. Whether you’re a Bay Street local or a film buff in search of some morning grub and daytime cocktail, these spots will keep you fuelled during the festival. [Image credit: iStock.com/golero]
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