Where to eat drink and party
Find the food of love at eateries, bars patios on Pride’s site and beyond By
Acme Wellesley, Burger 647-352- compAny 4089, 542 theacmeburger-Church, at company.com,ingly okay burgers @AcmeBurgerCo.with halal options Surpris-in what4 am Fridayused to and be Saturday.Zelda’s till 3 am Thursday,
Artful DoDger 12 Isabella, at Yonge, 416-964-9511, theartfuldodger.ca. Fancy a pint and a shag? This ye olde English pub is located just off Yonge behind the House of Lords.
AsAhi sushi Zone 640 Church, at Hayden, 416-934-9990, asahi-sushi.com. Inexpensive Japanese resto at the top of the village with raised wooden deck out front.
BAr Volo 587 Yonge, at Gloucester, 416928- 0008, barvolo.com, @barvolo. Cask ales and microbrews for serious beer drinkers right on the parade route.
Bishop AnD the Belcher 175 Bloor E, at Church, 416-591-2352, bishopandbelcher. com. Pub grub and combo platters on a wraparound high-rise terrace.
BlAck eAgle 457 Church, at Maitland, 416- 413-1219, blackeagletoronto.com,
@torontoeagle. Toronto’s only leather bar – unless you count the Bovine – attracts the BDSM crowd for barbecues on the rooftop deck Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 pm and Monday from 3 to 9 pm.
BlAke house 449 Jarvis, at Maitland, 416-975-1867, theblakehouse.ca,
@theblakehouse. Bloor East’s Groundhog Pub relocates and rebrands itself on the old Red Lion’s 80-seat terrace, the perfect spot for Sunday night’s $17 prime rib ’n’ Yorkshire pudding meal deal.
Boutique BAr 506 Church, at Maitland, 647-705- 0006, boutiquebar.ca, @boutique_bar. Swellegant martini lounge with curbside garden at the village’s ground zero (aka across from Woody’s).
Brownstone 603 Yonge, at Gloucester, 416-920- 6288, brownstonebistro.ca, @BrownstoneB. Cal-Ital wraps, pasta ’n’ pizza plus $5 Caesars Sundays.
Bumpkins 21 Gloucester, at Yonge, 416922-8655, bumpkins.ca. Touristy French resto on a relatively quiet side street.
ByZAntium 499 Church, at Wellesley, 416-922-3859, byz.ca. Glitzy cocktail lounge with a relatively serious kitchen and tented backyard grotto.
cAfe cAliforniA 538 Church, at Wellesley, 416-960- 6161. Tapas and sangria for the loafers ’n’ sweater set.
church street gArAge 477 Church, at Maitland, 647-352-5508. Rising from the ashes of the Unicorn, the strip’s latest entry offers all-day breakfasts and excellent sightlines.
churchmouse & firkin 475 Church, at Maitland, 416-927-1735, firkinpubs.com, @firkinpubs. Corporate pub grub and pints on the main drag.
cocinA lucero 523 Yonge, at Maitland, 416-923- 4545, cocinalucero.ca, @lucerococina. Mexican restaurant with leafy patio and a front-row view of the parade.
If you stand on a ladder.
crews & tAngos 508 Church, at Maitland, 416-972-1662, crewsandtangos. com. Huge tree-shrouded backyard patio with non-stop drag kings ’n’ queens.
Diner’s corner 3 Gloucester, at Yonge, 416-929-7031, diners-corner.com. Jerk
chicken and roti on a shady deck.
fABArnAk 519 Church, at Dundonald, 416-355- 6781, fabarnak.com, @fabar
nakresto. Stylish new café in the recent 519 addition with a locally sourced and mostly organic contemporary card. Incredible bang for the buck. Best food in the village?
fiDDler’s green 27 Wellesley E, at Yonge,
416-967-9442. Oirish pub opposite the Wellesley subway station.
fire on the eAst siDe 6 Gloucester, at Yonge, 416-960-3473, fireontheeastside. ca, @FireEastSide. Smart resto-lounge in the former Fenton’s offers brunch Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 am.
flying BeAVer 488 Parliament, at Carlton, 647347- 6567, pubaret. com. Former Slack Alice and Big Mama’s Boy mama Heather MacKenzie and comic Maggie Cassella bring cabaret to Cabbagetown. gABBy’s @ the hotel isABellA 556 Sherbourne, at Isabella, 416-515-2000, gabbys.ca, @GabbysPubs. Leafy terrace in the shadow of the historic hotel.
guu 398 Church, at McGill, 416-977- 0999,
guu-izakaya.com, @GuuToronto. Like to be verbally abused in a foreign language while eating dinner? Then this insanely popular and extremely noisy Japorean izakaya just south of the village should do the trick.
hAir of the Dog 425 Church, at Wood, 416-964-2708, hairofthedogpub.ca. Vinecovered trellis kitty-korner to the Loblaws in the former Maple Leaf Gardens.
inDiAn hut 636 Church, at Charles, 416934- 0235, indianhut.ca. Victorian townhouse with a street-side gazebo and all-you-caneat – and eat and eat – $12.95 lunch and $17.95 dinner
Java Jive 585 Church, at Charles, 416923-7267. Indie coffee house offers all-day breakfasts on a leafy sidewalk deck. Unlicensed. Koyoi 2 Irwin, at Yonge, 647-351-5128, koyoi.ca. Guu-style izakaya right on the parade route. Best food with a front-row view (obscured)? LOLA’s Kitchen 634 Church, at Hayden, 416-966-3991, lolaskitchen.ca. Popular lunch and brunch spot in a rambling Victorian with a curbside deck at the top of the strip now serves dinner. o’Grady’s 518 Church, at Maitland, 416323-2822, ogradyschurch.ca. Formerly Oscar’s, the bar that dared not speak its name, this student-friendly pub has one of the largest patios in the Village. Olympic pizza ‘76 8 Gloucester, at Yonge, 416-960- 0092, olympic76pizzacafe.com. Very old-school pizzeria just off the parade route. osteria DEL Ganzi 504 Jarvis, at Dundonald, 647-348- 6520, ganzi.ca, @ganzitoronto. Stylish new Italian resto-lounge with 200-seat patio in the old Gooderham mansion close to Cawthra Park. pi-tom’s 6A Alexander, at Yonge, 416966-1813, pi-tom.com. Pad thai on a curbside garden terrace close to Buddies and the parade. second cup 544 Church, at Wellesley, 416-966-2981, secondcup.com. Remember the Steps? Well, they’re back – except there are no actual steps, but there’s a huge cruisy patio right on the strip instead. Unlicensed. smith 553 Church, at Dundonald, 416926-2501, 553church.com. Formerly the gay bar known as Straight, this classy addition to the village and sister to Wish and 7West puts more emphasis on the food than most. Two patios, too – one right on the sidewalk out front, a second in the alley round back. spirits 642 Church, at Hayden, 416-9670001, spiritsbarandgrill.com. Neighbourhood sports bar with two patios. st Louis 528 Yonge, at Maitland, 416792-9464, stlouiswings.com. Great patio (remember Hornero?) right on the parade route, suds on tap and some of the most diabolical barbecue in town. Statler’s 487 Church, at Maitland, 416922- 0487, statlers.ca. After several incarnations, this two-storey piano bar features regular Thursday night cribbage tourneys, Saturday afternoon poker games and the Shit Show industry-night Sundays from 9 pm. Definitely something different! Sugo 582 Church, at Dundonald, 416929-9108, sugotrattoria.ca. No longer the impossible-to-pronounce Voglie, this unexpectedly polished two-storey Italian trat and lounge sports two patios, one up front cheek-to-cheek with the Vic Pub, the second a gargantuan grotto out back. urban house 4 Dundonald, at Yonge, 416-915- 0113. Rebranded pub with a panglobal menu close to the parade route in the former Local 4. vic pub 580 Church, at Dundonald, 416944-9888, thevicpubtoronto.ca, @ TheVicPub_TO. No longer swanky Fuzion, this rebranded resto moves slightly downmarket to embrace the condo crowd. Translation: goodbye, tapas and cocktails; hello, pints and poutine. Wish 3 Charles E, at Yonge, 416-9350240, wishintoronto.com. Sister to nearby 7West and Smith, this swelegant South Beach-style resto-lounge oozes sophistication, especially at weekend brunch on the white-on-white terrace.
CLUB 120 120 Church, at Richmond E, club120.ca, @Club120T. Formerly Goodhandy’s, this pansexual playground for Tgirls, T-boys, drag kings and their admirers is anonymously located upstairs from Spring Rolls’ Go and next door to McVeigh’s Irish pub. Don’t miss Friday afternoon’s naked dance party from 2:30 pm! Flash 463 Church, at Maitland, 416-9258363, flashonchurch.com. Self-described “members’ sex club and bar” in the former Bigliardi’s (!) steak house, from the nowdefunct George’s Play crew. Fly 8 Gloucester, at Yonge, 416-925- 6222, flynightclub.com, @Flynightclub. Massive laser-strafed circuit-party-style dance club open Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Drink till 4 am, dance till 7 am. Some of you might remember this as Babylon from TV’s Queer As Folk. KoKoni Izakaya 459 Church, at Maitland, 647-346- 0886. Trendy Guu-style watering hole with tapas-style bits ’n’ bites. marquis oF Granby 418 Church, at Granby, 416-599- 0418, marquisofgranby.ca. Don’t come looking for the old Barn, cuz it’s long gone (along with the famous cowboy mural on the south wall), replaced by an anonymous sports bar. Pegasus 489B Church, at Wellesley, 416927-8832, pegasusonchurch.com. Friendly neighbourhood local with pool tables, pinball machines and a Shrine of Swine dedicated to Miss Piggy.
Remington’s 416-977-2160, 379 remingtons.com.Yonge, at Gerrard, Male strip celebratesclub closeits 20thto Yonge-Dundasanniversary. Square
slack’s 562 Church, at Wellesley, 416928-2151, slacks.ca. No longer Slack Alice, this predominantly women’s resto-bar offers some of the best entertainment in the village. New this season: more than 30 different types of organic free-range chicken wings!
tallulah’s cabaret 12 Alexander, at Yonge, 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com, @yyzbuddies. The cabaret space of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre features everything from drag art performances to strip spelling bees on Fridays and turns into a retro-themed dance club Saturday nights.
Woody’s/sailoR 467 Church, at Maitland, 416-972- 0887, woodystoronto.com. Long-running home to Friday and Saturday’s Best Ass contest and Sunday’s Big Ass talent show.
Zipperz/cellblock 72 Carlton, at Church,
416-921- 0066. Two bars in one! Sing along to Broadway show tunes in the oldschool piano bar complete with working fireplace, or dance the night away on a stainless steel dance floor in the adjacent disco.
banh mi boys 399 Yonge, at Gerrard, 416-977- 0303, banhmiboys.
com, @BanhMiBoys. One of the most influential restos of the past few years, this ridiculously inexpensive Vietnamese sub shop turns the banh mi sandwich on its head by adding foodie toppings like duck confit and five-spiced pork belly to its flaky French buns. Don’t leave without an order of the Boys’ kimchee sweet potato fries. You’ll thank us later! Other location: 392 Queen W, at Spadina, 416-363- 0588.
bonga buldak (home of hot taste)
710 Yonge, at St Mary, 416-975- 0000. You have to be very drunk indeed to eat the house specialty at this student-friendly Korean cantina: Tearful Blazing Chicken, quite possibly the hottest dish in town. Vegetarians, beware: there is nothing for you here!
burrito bandidos 496 Yonge, at Grosvener, 647-352- 4770, burritobandidos.com. Home of meal-in-one Mission-style carb bombs, the tastiest by far the deep-fried halibut with salsa, jalapeños and spicy guacamole. Other location: 120 Peter, at Adelaide W, 416-5939191. Unlicensed.
capitano burgers and gelato 645 Yonge, at St Mary, 416-917-7348, capitano.ca, @CapitanoToronto. Triple-A Angus burgers on house-baked organic buns washed down with preservative-free gelato.
cha lau 476 Yonge, at Alexander, 647344- 6578, chalaudimsum.com. Classy uptown dim sum spot moves downtown, where the rents are cheaper and the students more plentiful.
coach house 574 Yonge, at Wellesley, 416-922-5551. Old-school greasy spoon with more than 50 years’ experience serving the seriously hungover.
como en casa 565 Yonge, at Wellesley, 647-748- 6666, comoencasa.ca. Once home to Pita Break, this Casa specializes in slow-cooked Mexican stews and the inevitable tacos ‘n’ burritos. Unlicensed.
CROWN PRINCESS 1033 Bay, at Irwin, So it’s not as cheap as the dim sum joints on Spadina, but it’s less expensive than most of the beaneries on Church. Where else can you get har gow topped with foie gras served by mute “French” maids in a room that looks like Versailles made over by Versace. Donatella Versace. Strauss waltzes on the sound system only add to the time warp.
five guys 329 Yonge, at Edward, 416591- 0404, fiveguys.ca. U.S.-based franchise gives the Burger’s Priest a run for his money. Almost. Unlimited pop refills and free peanuts, too. Woo-hoo! Unlicensed.
Ginger 546 Church, at Wellesley, 416- 413-1053, gingercuisine.ca. Dead cheap Vietnamese- and Thai-style stir-fries and wraps in a casual self-serve cafeteria. Best deal in the village: substantial $3.50 banh mi sandwiches stuffed with grilled spicy pork, beef or chicken or deep-fried tofu. Other locations: 695 Yonge, at Charles, 416-966-2424; 355-1/2 Yonge, at Elm, 416- 694-3278; 252 Carlton, at Parliament, 416-923-7979
Gourmet Burger company 9 Charles W, at Yonge, 647-351- 6408, thegourmetburgerco.com. Ultimate hangover helper: the Aussie burger, 6 ounces of aged lean, never-frozen house-ground Canadian beef topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, Hellman’s mayo, gooey cheddar, grilled pineapple, honey-poached beets and a runny fried egg. Other location: 482 Parliament, at Carlton, 647-344-5103. Un
Hero Certified Burgers 77 Wellesley E, at Church, 416-972-9665, heroburgers.com, @HeroBurgers. A greatly improved burger with lots of free toppings and optional gluten-free buns. Unlicensed.
522 Yonge, at Maitland, 647-340-2112, kenzoramen.ca. Gargantuan bowls of Japanese noodle soups sided with don’t-miss house-made gyoza dumplings. Other location: 138 Dundas W, at Elizabeth, 416-205-1155 KOREAN GRILL HOUSE 754 Yonge, at Hayden, 416-922-3328, koreangrillhouse.com. All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue for as little as $9.99. Other location: 369 Yonge, at Gerrard, 416-596-9206 RITZ CARIBBEAN 450 Yonge, at College, 416-934-1480. Ridiculously affordable jerk chicken with rice ’n’ peas, massive vegetarian rotis and dinner combos. Unlicensed SANTOUKA 91 Dundas E, at Church, 647748-1717, santouka.co.jp/en. Beautifully reconfigured greasy spoon now features what some say is the best Hokkaido-style ramen in town. Warning: perpetual lineups. YUMMY BAR-B-Q 522A Yonge, at Wellesley, 416-921-5158. No-frills food-court-style Korean grilled kalbi ribs and noodle sides. Vegetarians, beware! Unlicensed.
CHINO LOCOS 459 Church, at Mailtland, 416-551-7007, chinolocos.com. Ever wondered what would happen if you put guacamole and Chinese chow mein noodles in a Mission-style burrito? Now you know! Unlicensed. CREPE IT UP 507-1/2 Church, at Wellesley, 416-916-3558, crepeitup.com. Healthconscious crepes and sticky-sweet Greek pastries. Love them loukoumades honey balls! Unlicensed.
ETHIOPIAN HOUSE 4 Irwin, at Yonge, 416-923-5438, ethiopianhouse.com. Incendiary and moderately priced veggie-friendly platters on a curbside patio just off the parade route. Warning: if you don’t like eating with your fingers, remember to BYOF (bring your own fork!) FUEL+ 471 Church, at Maitland, 647-3528807, fuelplus.ca. Gluten-free pastas ’n’ salads, vegan baked goods, power shakes and dairy-free lattes. Unlicensed.
GHAZALE 78 Wellesley E, at Church, 416-922- 4417, ghazale.ca. Upstairs from a bathhouse, this wholesome familyrun Middle Eastern take-away offers an extremely inexpensive mostly veggie card in fast-food-chain digs till 4 am. Other locations: 661 College, at Beatrice, 416-5347441; 504 Bloor W, at Bathurst, 416-537-4417 Unlicensed. KATHMANDU KATHMANDU 517 Yonge, at Maitland, 416-9245787, kathmandurestaurant.ca. Friendly all-youcan-eat north Indian lunch buffet right in the middle of the madness. MAGIC OVEN 6 Wellesley W, at Yonge, 416-9297888, magicoven.com. Health-minded pizza ’n’ pasta in a cozy room just off Yonge. Pair that glutenfree pie with a gluten-free beer! 7 WEST CAFE 7 Charles W, at Yonge, 416928-9041, 7westcafe.com, @7WestCafe. 24-hour resto-lounge with tiny street-side deck, a second on the third floor and a large selection of vegetarian pasta, pizza ’n’ panini.
pride beyond the village
ANDY POOLHALL 489 College, at Markham, 416-923-5300, andypoolhall.com. Warhol-themed billiard lounge with DJs in what used to be Little Italy. Kensington
West? NNEX WRECK ROOM 794 Bathurst, at Bloor W, 416536- 0346, theannexwreckroom.com, @ annexwreckroom. Massive dance club in the Annex across from Honest Ed’s. BEAVER 1192 Queen W, at Gladstone, 416-537-2768, beavertoronto.ca, @BeaverToronto. Strong drinks, glam-punk DJs and an artsy crowd make Lynn McNeil’s smallish café one of the hottest spots on alterna Queer West. BOVINE SEX CLUB 542 Queen W, at Bathurst, 416-504- 4239, bovinesexclub.com, @bovinesexclub. From the outside, the Bovine looks like the aftermath of an accident in an ironworks. Inside, where it’s dark, down and dirty, DJs spin vintage glam metal or whatever’s loud and happening. Up on the roof, they party on a tiki-tastic deck reminiscent of the ol’ Bamboo. CADILLAC LOUNGE 1296 Queen W, at Grove, 416-536-7717, cadillaclounge.com, @Cadillaclounge2. Retro 50s-era rocker lounge with huge backyard patio and new barbecue in unpretentious Parkdale. CAMERON HOUSE 408 Queen W, at Cameron, 416-703- 0811, thecameron.com. Downtown’s original art bar offers live music nightly in two too-cool rooms. CLOAK & DAGGER 394 College, at Borden, 416-921-8308, cloakanddaggerpub.com, @TheCloakPub. Eclectic local close to Kensington Market with an emphasis on suds and alternative programming. COMFORT ZONE 480 Spadina, at College, 416-975- 0909, comfortzonetoronto.com, @CZ_Toronto. Tweaked-out DJs startingA at 3 am (!) Sundays and running well into the next day in the basement of the colourful Waverley Hotel. DANCE CAVE 529 Bloor W (2nd floor), at Albany, 416-532-1598, leespalace.com, @LeesPalaceTO. Cavernous dance club near U of T specializing in retro alternative rock. DRAKE HOTEL 1150 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca, @TheDrakeHotel. Super-hot rooftop deck, cocktail lounge and basement performance space in ultra-trendy west-side boutique hotel. EL CONVENTO RICO 750 College, at Crawford, 416-588-7800, elconventorico.com, @ElConventoRico. Latino salsa club with late-night drag shows Friday through Sunday. FOOTWORK 425 Adelaide W, at Brant, 416-913-3488, footworkbar.com, @footworktoronto. Scaled-down version of a large underground dance club with a focus on deep house and techno. GARRISON 1197 Dundas W, at Lakeview, 416-519-9439, garrisontoronto.com, @TheGarrisonTO. Live music club close to the Ossington strip with regular alternaqueer programming. GLADSTONE HOTEL 1214 Queen W, at Dufferin, 416-531- 4635, gladstonehotel.com, @GladstoneHotel. Restored Victorian hotel and arts complex complete with installations, café, live music and karaoke. HENHOUSE 1532 Dundas W, at Dufferin, 416-534-5939, henhousetoronto.com, @henhouseTO. Now under new management, the ’House shifts the focus from vegan brunch to trashy theme nights. MOD CLUB THEATRE 722 College, at Crawford, 416-588- 4663, themodclub.com, @MODCLUBTHEATRE. Medium-sized live music venue with a raised stage, extended dance floor and elevated seating. RIVOLI 332 Queen W, at Spadina, 416596-1908, rivoli.ca, @therivolito. Restolounge with adjacent pool hall and performance space and pan-global pub grub card. SISTER 1554 Queen W, at Fuller, 416-5322570, thesister.ca, @thesistersez. The name might have been altered, but this rockin’ Parkdale resto-bar’s agenda remains the same: cool tunes, reasonably priced suds and veggie-friendly grub. WAYLA 996 Queen E, at Carlaw, 647-9382524, waylabar.com. Leslieville lounge with weekly parties and DJ residences. FYI: Wayla is an acronym for What are you looking at? WRONGBAR 1279 Queen W, at Brock, 416-516-8677, wrongbar.com, @Wrongbar. Bare-bones live music and DJ space in Parkdale with an electro bent.
At Bar Volo Aleke Dekker
(left) and Steve White have a curbside view of
the Pride parade.
Manager Masaru Ogasawara oversees the popular Guu Izakaya.
There’s action inside and out
The Pride parade goes right by Banh Mi Boys, where owner/chef, David Chau serves up walletfriendly Vietnamese subs.
The Bovine Sex Club has
a rockin’ new patio.
Check out the Drake’s Sky Yard on the queer west side.
The 7 West Café is just steps away from the
Pride parade route.