Toronto patios are (finally) open. Here are 16 of our favourites that you can sit on right now
At long last, and after many false starts, patio season has returned. Bars and restaurants across the city are cracking kegs and setting up camp in street-side setups, backyard patios, parking spots and any other space that can hold eager drinkers and diners. While it’s still a far cry from normalcy, we all deserve a drink poured by someone else for a change. So move your happy hour en plein air to one of the city’s new patios. (Reservations may be required, so plan accordingly before you go.) And stay tuned for patio updates, because there’s a new one opening every hour.
Flanked with a wood-ringed dining pen to protect drinkers from street traffic, Archive has set up a perfect cinq-a-sept spot, complete with charcuterie boards and an impressive selection of small-producer wines. It’s just a stone’s throw from Trinity Bellwoods, so take a stroll but don’t bother packing a picnic and go have some wine in a real glass.
Cabana has been hosting al fresco parties since long before anyone had ever uttered the words “CafeTO.” Their unique brand of poolside programming is back, along with a full menu of cocktails, roses and other sunny day nosh.
Victor Barry’s pizza stronghold is reopening patios across all locations—two petite patios on a quiet stretch of Harbord, plus newer locations on Mount Pleasant and in Oakville (though their line of freezer-staple pizzas will live on for those keeping happy hour at home).
In the pandemic-induced spirit of “making things work,” Bathurst Local has conjured up a tiny patio on a hectic strip of Bathurst, offering some of the best selections of natural wines and small-producer beers in the city. The curbside setup might not be the most spacious, plus it comes with a soundtrack of whirring sirens and streetcars—that’s life in the big city, baby!
This landmark diner on a posh strip of Rosedale has been kicking around since the 1970s. Expect a quirky-cute back patio beloved by regulars (though a towering lamb burger and Middle Eastern–inspired brunches are equally as strong a draw).
The new downtown location of this Dutch-Indonesian spot finally has a chance to welcome guests after opening mid-pandemic. And they’re doing so in style, with a decked-out front patio at Queen and Portland. Both locations will be turning out spice- and sambal-packed satays and snacks (like crispy croquettes and shredded chicken tacos), plus a selection of Indo-influenced cocktails.
This Bloor West backyard oasis has got wines by the glass, a bevy of beers and snacks of all sorts, but the real move here is to grab a bottle from the shop in the front, pony up the nominal corkage fee, and set up camp under the ivy vines in the back.
Casa Loma’s garden restaurant seems pulled from a storybook: tables are set amidst the well-groomed gardens and at night, the castle is lit up in dazzling hues of blue and purple. The menu focuses on pinkies-up plates like cobb salads, steak frites and lobster ravioli.
In a city slick with street-side pseudo-patios, the Broadview Hotel’s glitzy rooftop offers one of the best al fresco dining options in the city. Expect 360-degree views of the city’s sunsets and a full menu of snacking plates, like Gaucho Pie Co. empanadas and house-made bao.
While Bar Volo will remain a storefront for all things beer, preserves and natural wine, the kegs are tapped at the stalwart beer spot’s College Street outpost. Grab a freshly-poured pint (remember those?) and settle into the light-filled enclosed back patio.
The cozy St. Lawrence market beer mecca is moving outdoors, setting up a full-fledged Bavarian beer garden in a parking lot outside the market. There’ll be beer (obviously), bicycle parking and shaded canopies for spring showers.
Here’s something you never imagined pre-pandemic: Korean BBQ grilled curb-side. But Miga has set up everything you need for a full grilling fete (including in-table grills) in a parking-lot patio illuminated with strings of fairy lights.
After a pandemic filled with peddling drinks out of a small cart in front of the bar, the Shameful Tiki Room is communicating their tropical leanings via a tiny patio set up with umbrellas, wicker fencing and a full menu of rum-based drinks.
The Chantecler team’s colourful back patio has returned, with its selection of French staples and freshly-shucked oysters that earned them the title of one of the best takeout joints of the pandemic.
Cocktails, fried chicken sandwiches, amply spaced picnic tables, a view of the lake: these are the things pandemic dreams are made of.
If there’s something we need to cure this heatwave, it’s cool ceviche and copious servings of tequila cocktails. El Rey has all of the above, served on a colourful Kensington patio.