Alcohol delivery in Toronto has become an increasingly viable option during the coronavirus pandemic – just one of the many ways COVID-19 has changed our day-to-day lives here in the city.
The AGCO’s recent allowance of alcohol delivery through bars, restaurants, and delivery apps with any food order has helped Toronto’s residents get their much-needed drink on while staying at home.
But while alcohol delivery has definitely opened up the city’s drinking landscape, the urgency of the legislation made the process a little rushed – so it can be a bit difficult to figuring out exactly which drinks can be sent to your door and when.
To help you navigate the new landscape, we’ve put together a handy guide to alcohol delivery in Toronto – plus a list of 68 options you can check out at home.
Do the LCBO and Beer Store deliver?
The LCBO does offer alcohol delivery – and on paper it can be a better option than risking your health by going to a physical store. But the service isn’t without its problems.
Firstly, Canada Post suspended all deliveries requiring proof of age back in March – so instead, they’ll be dropped off at your nearest post office.
Secondly, the LCBO itself cannot confirm delivery dates. (I’ve heard from folks who have gotten their orders within a few days and others who had to wait a couple of weeks).
And aside from a few online exclusives, you’re mainly dealing with the LCBO’s everyday stock list, which means missing out on some more unique offerings you just can’t get at the store.
The Beer Store’s Beer XPress platform is good for basics, with flat delivery rates (starting at around $10) within Toronto and a to-your-door delivery time as low as two hours.
However, if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, taking advantage of the unique products available outside of those stores – often at a discount – is what’s making Toronto alcohol delivery particularly interesting right now.
Are there alcohol delivery apps?
Yes! There are actually lots of the dang things popping up, but even some of the most popular apps have their limitations:
- Runner, which began delivering alcohol to the GTA in 2019, mainly carries LCBO stock and gives a slight markup on products in addition to the $9.99 delivery fee.
- Inabuggy carries LCBO products, but they seem to offer the occasional markup on some items – and the delivery fee is higher at $19.99.
- Arguably the best app for local producers, Boozer, is a great bet in terms of getting the craft options, offering up prices fairly consistent with what the producers are selling them for. Their delivery rate is $10 plus a 15 per cent surcharge.
How do I find Toronto bars doing alcohol delivery?
This is where things get a little tricky. Now that they’ve rolled out support for alcohol delivery, DoorDash and UberEats are usually a pretty safe bet to see what booze a restaurant has – but sometimes, the bar might have to-go alcohol offerings not available on the app.
To get a current idea of what’s available, checking the web sites and social media feeds of your bar or restaurant of choice is the best way. (Yeah, it’s a little annoying – but these are weird times, and not everyone was exactly able to put up an online ordering system right away.)
Pro tip: You’ll find menus located on the platform where the business has the biggest following. Project Gigglewater posts updates on Instagram, for instance, while Cabbagetown’s House on Parliament puts their ever-changing menus up on Facebook. Hell, there’s probably even a bar advertising on TikTok.
How about delivery from Toronto breweries/wineries/distilleries?
Ordering right from producers themselves is another option. While apps like Boozer can be really helpful in terms of hunting down unusual offerings, getting the skinny on some unlisted options will require research.
Fortunately for people who hate putting in work, there are a few resources out there.
The Ontario craft beer community in particular has really come together to promote local breweries offering Toronto and Ontario-wide beer delivery. The most definitive at the moment is the Ontario Beer Delivery Index, which allows you to search for breweries who ship right to your area. Alternatively if you’re at a loss for what to order, the Beer Finder site allows for you to search through thousands of beers by style, brewery, and region.
As for distilleries and wineries, some importers like the Grape Witches or Nicholas Pearse Wines have online shops selling wine by the case. The latter has even paired with Mercatto to create a curated online wholesale shop that even includes a pack of spirits from Prince Edward County.
How long will I have to wait?
That depends on where your delivery is coming from. Food delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash could take under an hour; Boozer, Runner and BeerXPress can be as low as two hours.
Breweries and producers with their own delivery channels may offer local delivery the same day, next-day or within a few days, while some are still shipping by Canada Post or another service, which could take several days.
When ordering alcohol delivery, keep an eye out for shipping times, minimum order requirements, and how you may qualify for free shipping. (For instance, Supernova Ballroom’s Dolly Trolly requires a minimum order of $40, and only delivers Monday, Thursday & Saturday between 6 pm and 10 pm.)
Alcohol delivery options in Toronto
Alcohol delivery apps and general options
- LCBO: All alcohol types, prices vary, delivered by Canada Post
- DoorDash: Sealed beer, wine and cocktails from restaurants with delivery fee, under an hour.
- Uber Eats: Sealed beer, wine and cocktails from restaurants with delivery fee, under an hour.
- Runner: Mainly LCBO stock, $9.99 fee, delivery within 1-2 hours.
- Boozer: Local brewery and distillery selections, $10 fee plus 15 per cent surcharge, delivery usually within 1 hour.
- Grocery Gateway: Wine, beer and spirits, $7.99 and up fee (must reserve delivery slot).
- Inabuggy: Grocery/LCBO delivery, $19.99 fee, delivery minimum 1 hour.
Beer delivery in Toronto
- Beer XPress (The Beer Store): Delivery around $10 within 2 hours of ordering
- Ontario Beer Delivery Index: Directory for all breweries delivering in Ontario.
- Beerfinder: Directory for all breweries delivering in Ontario.
- Craft Brand Co. Bodega: Single and mixed pack beers, same or next day delivery.
- Avling: $10 delivery Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, or free for orders over $50.
- Bandit Brewery: Free same-day delivery for orders over $50.
- Bellwoods: Next business day delivery for a flat $10.
- Black Dog: Free GTA delivery.
- Blood Brothers: Same-day or next-day local delivery, free over $50.
- Burdock: Same-day or next-day delivery, $9.99 (free if you order a case or more).
- Collective Arts Brewing: Same-day or next-day delivery.
- Eastbound: Free next-day delivery with $30 minimum order.
- Folly: Free local delivery on Thursdays and Fridays with $30 minimum order.
- Great Lakes: Next-day delivery with minimum $30 order.
- Godspeed: Free same-day local delivery on $50 orders.
- Granite: Same-day or next-day delivery, free over $50.
- Halo: Free local delivery Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Henderson: Free next-day delivery for orders over $50.
- Indie Ale House: Free delivery over 12 units Monday-Friday.
Wine delivery in Toronto
Cocktail delivery in Toronto
Liquor delivery in Toronto
- Copperhead: Free shipping on orders over $60.
- Dairy: Delivery via Canada Post.
- Dillon’s: Free shipping on $150 orders via Canada Post.
- Junction 56: $20 shipping.
- Kinsip: Free courier shipping on orders over $50.
- Reid’s Distillery: Free within 3 hours, no minimum.
- Storyteller: $10 same-day or next-day delivery, free for orders over $75
- Wolfhead: $20 shipping per case (4 bottles).
Sake delivery in Toronto
– Compiled by Natalia Manzocco and Robin LeBlanc