Sip in secret at Toronto's cool speakeasy-style bars

Toronto might not have as many secret underground bars as New York or London, but the 416 is home to a few hidden spots where you’ll find handcrafted cocktails and a Prohibition-era vibe. We’ll let you in on these not-so-secret speakeasies in the city.

The Libertine

1
1307 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X8

Follow the glowing neon sign advertising tarot cards and palm reading services to uncover this subterranean speakeasy-style bar on Dundas Street West. Once you descend down the hidden staircase, the bar reveals itself as part Prohibition-era lounge, part carnivalesque attraction — there is, in fact, a visiting fortune teller from time to time. The menu specializes in strong cocktails and an ever-changing roster of small plates made with seasonal ingredients. Call for reservations if you want to guarantee a seat.

The Trovador Event Centre

2
821 Runnymede Rd, 2nd floor, Toronto, ON M6N 3V8

Meandering down an empty corridor through the unassuming Kensington Mall might seem like a fool’s mission, but there’s plenty of boozy fun to be had beyond the unmarked door illuminated by a glowing red light. The location isn’t the only mystery here; without printed menus you’ll have to know what you want to drink (or be willing to ask for advice from the experimental bartenders). If you want our advice, you can’t go wrong with the Cognac Manhattan and Bourbon sour with honey chamomile syrup. During the summer months, the hidden outdoor patio is perhaps the city’s worst-kept secret.

The Comrade

3
758 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4

This spot might be bit more under-the-radar thanks to its east end location, but the crowds still pack inside this Leslieville local nightly to enjoy classic cocktails and savoury snacks. The dark interior creates a moody ambiance in the lounge and the staff members behind the bar are experts when it comes to well-crafted cocktails. The extensive drink list boasts perennial classics as well as specialty cocktails; the Elderflower Fizz and the Dark and Stormy are both easy-drinking faves.

Sidecar

4
577 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2

Mixologists like to show off at this private club located above Sidecar on College Street. You’ll uncover an unmarked black door hidden within the restaurant but only members (and their lucky guests) are allowed to pass through. In-the-know patrons love the inventive and nuanced drink list and exclusive vibe. If you do find your way in, make sure to pay attention to the house rules: no cell phones, no smooching and absolutely no cosmopolitans.

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
Subscribe to YP Newsletter