Where to sip tropical cocktails in Toronto

It’s official: Toronto has been hit with a massive wave of tiki culture. Restaurants and bars are celebrating the tropics with sweet cocktails in hollowed-out coconuts and melons garnished with tiny pink umbrellas. Tiki revival demands the real deal, so slip into your favorite Hawaiian shirt and recline in a wicker chair: these restaurants and bars are your next tropical destination. [Image credit: iStock.com/ivanmateev]

Miss Thing's

1
1279 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L6

With a decor that pays homage to 1950s lobby bars with plush booth seating, a marble bar, and the right hints of tiki, Miss Thing’s is no doubt one of Parkdale’s most glamorous spots. Barman Robin Wynne’s lively tropical cocktails will satisfy your sweet tooth (bonus: they pair perfectly with Miss Thing’s classic Pan Asian and Polynesian dishes). Try the Fuzzy Wawa, a daiquiri served in a coconut with Havana Club 3 year rum, coconut lemongrass sake, kaffir lime syrup and coconut bitters. You’ll be dreaming of sandy beaches, rolling waves and the tropics in no time.

The Shameful Tiki Room

2
1378 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L7

Decking out its West Queen West location with red lights, bamboo, wicker, totems and vintage fixtures, Shameful Tiki Room serves exotic cocktails to thirsty Torontonians in need of a tropical fix. This dark haunt is an accurate recreation of the original 1950s tiki experience, and cocktail and history buffs will love its playful commitment to the real thing. With Hurricanes, Mai Tais and Singapore Slings, Shameful Tiki Room one-ups history with new cocktails like the Chi-chi vodka Pina Colada with coconut cream and fresh pineapple juice. Late night snacks are deliciously on theme with tacos and pork patty sliders topped with pineapple and BBQ sauce.

The Shore Leave Tiki Bar

3
1775 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C 1J1

The Shore Leave is a local tiki bar that’s made its home on the east Danforth. The interior features palm trees, wooden barrel tables, a jungle mural and fake plants Staff clad in Hawaiian shirts serve up handcrafted cocktails like the Maiden Slayer, a gin-based fizzy cocktail with strawberry hibiscus, honey water and Cherriosity cider. If you’re out on the town with a group, split the Jungle Juice punch bowl, its bound to be a hit. The local favorite is the Kon Tiki; it comes served in a frozen pineapple and goes down sweet, creamy and boozy.

The Bovine Club

4
542 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B5

Bovine Sex Club is one of Toronto’s oldest clubs and music venues, opening its doors in 1991. In 2012 this arty, alternative watering hole revamped its patio tiki-style, with torches, a straw roof bar and a tropical cocktail list. The Mai Tai is sweet, strong and coconutty, garnished with pineapple leaves and a mini umbrella. The patio seats about 30 with picnic tables, benches and plenty of lush greenery and is a welcome oasis from the busy Queen West scene below. It’s the perfect summer hangout.

Salt Wine Bar

5
225 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8

Don’t let the name confuse you; Ossington’s Salt Wine Bar has a cocktail list that channels the tropics with rum, coconut, fresh juice and spices. Salt is a cozy, twinkling space with warm wood accents and candlelit tables. The menu is Iberian-Canadian tapas with seasonal rotations and local options. Mix it up with a selection of cheese and the charcuterie board paired with a tropical cocktail. Try the Painkiller with Brugal Anejo rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, orange juice and nutmeg. Or the refreshing Passion Fruit Basil Caipirinha with leblon cachaça, muddled lime, sugar, passion fruit pulp and basil.

BarChef

6
472 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B2

It’s hard to talk about Toronto’s cocktail scene without mentioning the venerable BarChef. Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the attention to detail that goes into every pour and cocktail amateurs will love the celebration of fancy drinking. BarChef is an intimate space with dim lighting, black drapery and candlelight for cozy chats, offering a selection of cocktails inspired by the tropics. The basil daiquiri, for instance, is a fusion of coconut rum, fresh basil lime, pineapple, honey and black pepper syrup, while the coconut mojito adds a dash of vanilla and coconut milk to the Caribbean classic.

Blowfish Restaurant & Sake Bar

7
668 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M7

Barfish is the sexy, cocktail bar sidekick to Blowfish, a modern Japanese fusion restaurant located at King and Bathurst. Barfish caters to the King West crowd, with upscale tropical cocktails in a flashy lounge space complete with exposed brick, leather seating, metallic accents, a towering ceiling and neon lights. The Tikki Ginger with Belvedere vodka, canton ginger liqueur, and tikki bitters is sweet and citrusy with hints of spice. Try the one of a kind mango passion lychee Saketini, made with sake, Belvedere vodka, rum, passion fruit and lychee juices.

Rhum Corner

8
926 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W3

For flaming limes, slushie mojitos, and Caribbean-inspired fare, head to Jenn Agg’s rum-centric resto-bar on Dundas West. It’s Havana retro in the best way at this classy-meets-casual watering hole, with exposed brick, neon lights, a sexy mural, and one of Toronto’s most selfie-worthy bathrooms. As for the drinks, may we suggest the Zombie Pour Deux, a $23 truly impressive rum-fiilled tropical creation. The Rumhattan, on the other hand, is a rhum-based spin on the cocktail classic. For pina colada aficionados, this is one of TO’s must-tries, garnished with a maraschino cherry and all.

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