Where to grab a cocktail around the ACC in Toronto

Date night at the ACC? If you find yourself more ready for a quiet cocktail than for a rubbing of elbows with sloshy sports fans, know that the stadium-district and downtown core are flush with sexy spots that fit the bill. On those post-game nights when you’re looking for an antidote to the crowd, these hotel bars and long-loved canteens will set you up with anything from a Manhattan to a craft beer to a late-night dinner.

Drake One Fifty

1
150 York St, Toronto, ON M5H 3S5

In hot pursuit of a martini after an evening at the ACC? The Drake Hotel’s outpost at York and Adelaide is the spot to find one, alongside other made-so-right traditional cocktails and conceived-in-house innovations. The circular wraparound bar commands the attention as soon as you walk in, while vintage parlour lighting, green and leather tufted seating, and geometric tile floors cast a distinct Mad Men glow about the place. Hot tip: Drake One Fifty is nice mix of upscale and casual; it’ll suit your fanciest clothes and high heels just as well as your dressed-down Leafs game look.

Luckee Restaurant

2
328 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3T4

No better way to follow a concert at the ACC than by drinking down a few cocktails in a saucy hotel bar – and the Soho Metropolitan Hotel’s Luckee is one of our fave spots to make it happen. Toronto legend Susur Lee serves up a sexy, Asian-inspired experience at this resto-bar dealing in Chinois Nouvelle cuisine. Crimson velvet couches, racy murals, and neon signage commingle in this unique space, a rare mix of upscale, intimate, and non-pretentious.

The Bar Hop Inc

3
391 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K1

This compact cocktail house and brew pub is perched at King and Spadina, and has long been a mainstay of those looking for a lively atmosphere, sans drunk teenagers. The good vibes spot has been heralded as one of Toronto’s go-to pub spots, with a no-fuss atmosphere, plenty of craft beer, and a melange of interesting city folk hanging out. If the King and Spadina spot is a wee bit crowded, check out the sprawling second location at Queen and John (it’s just as great).

The Fairmont Royal York

4
100 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

You won’t find too many young’uns at Toronto’s most infamous hotel bar, but it’s worth a visit for anyone looking to be whisked from downtown’s bustling streets and into a 1940s film. Old souls of all ages love the Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York, furnished with leather couches and armchairs, wood panelling, and bookshelves of Canadian classics (hardcover and leather-bound, naturally). Located across the street from Union Station (aka a stone’s throw from the ACC), the lobby-level bar is the ideal spot to enjoy a whiskey neat and a boost of class to your evening.

East Thirty Six

5
36 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C7

Stroll up to King Street East after the game and grab a seat at the bar of this heralded cocktail house (it’s a less-than-10-minute walk from the ACC). If we’re talking low-lit and charming, this place is the definition, although it’s liable to get live on weekend nights particularly. They’ll have all the likely suspects in the way of spirits, wine and beer, and if you find yourself peckish, have a look at the seafood-centric menu of small and large plates.

The Ritz-Carlton

6
181, Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3G7

Live jazz several nights a week and a sommelier-selected list of wines make the Ritz Bar at The Ritz Carleton Hotel a tempting option for a post-game pick-me-up, or antidote to the crowds of an ACC concert. The high-ceilinged space is lit by an eye-catching red chandelier overhead, while modern furniture creates yet another upscale touch. And, in the warmer months, the hotel’s upper-level patio bar, Deq, presents a welcome outdoor alternative.

Victor Restaurant

7
30 Mercer St, Toronto, ON M5V 1H3

If you’re looking to accent your cocktail with candlelight, a plush couch to rest your tush and a wall-of-windows view to Mercer Street, Bar Victor at Le Germain Hotel should be your first stop. You’ll find classy Canadian-French and other fusion fare at this airy eatery, making it a perfect spot for dinner before your event at the ACC. Stop by after the spectacle and treat your date to a classic cocktail made right.

Our talented brewmasters are among the most beloved makers in the city, having carved out Toronto’s status as a destination for award-winning craft beer. Although the culture is home-grown and goes way back, post 2011, a slew of new spots have popped up across the city. Here are the stories behind both our famed microbreweries and innovative newcomers on the scene. [Photo credit: Celine Kim]
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