Where to eat and drink along the pa­rade route

NOW Magazine - Pride - - Contents - By STEVEN DAVEY


CREWS/TANGO 508 Church, at Mait­land, 416-972-1662, crewsand­tan­ Drag shows down­stairs (Crews), danc­ing dykes up­stairs (Tango) and DJs ‘n’ drag kings in the Zone. M

FLASH 463 Church, at Mait­land, 416-925-8363,

flashon­ New self-de­scribed “mem­bers’ sex club and bar” in the for­mer Bigliardi’s (!) steak house from the George’s Play crew. Naked pool en­cour­aged. M

FLY 8 Glouces­ter, at Yonge, 416-925- 6222,

fly­night­ Mas­sive laser-strafed cir­cuit-party-style dance club open Fri­day and Satur­day night. Drink till 2 am, dance till 7 am.

FLY­ING BEAVER 488 Par­lia­ment, at Carl­ton, 647

347- 6567, Ev­ery night is ladies’ night at Slack Alice and Big Mama’s Boy mama Heather MacKen­zie and comic Mag­gie Cassella’s re­cently launched Cab­bage­town pub-slash-cabaret. Dirty bingo and Sun­day brunch, too.


504 Church, at Alexan­der, 416-9638251, play­ George Pratt’s or­nately dec­o­rated play­room is home to a num­ber of drag res­i­den­cies – Chris Ed­wards and

Michelle Ross both hold reg­u­lar nights – as well as karaoke Mon­days and bingo ev­ery af­ter­noon.

GOOD­HANDY’S 120 Church, at Lom­bard, 416-760- 6514, good Pan­sex­ual play­ground for T- girls, T-boys, drag kings and their ad­mir­ers anony­mously lo­cated up­stairs from Spring Rolls’ Go and next door to McVeigh’s Ir­ish pub. M

PE­GA­SUS 489B Church, at Welles­ley, 416-927-8832, pe­ga­su­ This re­laxed sec­ond­storey space fea­tures four pool ta­bles as well as a num­ber of video and pin­ball games. Reg­u­lar drink spe­cials and free pizza Fri­days.

REM­ING­TON’S 379 Yonge, at Ger­rard, 416-977-2160, rem­ing Male strip club in the heart of Yonge Street’s de­cid­edly het­ero sleaze zone. M

SLACK’S 562 Church, at Welles­ley, 416-928-2151, Once a slacker named Alice, this neigh­bourly gas­tro-pub pulls a mixed crowd for $2.50 drinks Tues­days, DJs Thurs­days through Satur­days and live mu­sic most Sun­days. New: Sun­day brunch! M

SMITH 553 Church, at Dun­don­ald, 416-926-2501, The for­mer gay bar called Straight morphs into its lat­est alias in time for Pride. Ex­pect a more re­laxed vibe, an ac­ces­si­ble com­fort food card and week­end brunch.

TAL­LU­LAH’S CABARET 12 Alexan­der, at Yonge, 416-975-8555, bud­diesin­bad­timesthe­ Where “art meets

dance cul­ture,” the cabaret space of Bud­dies in Bad Times The­atre dou­bles as a retrothemed dance club.

WISH 3 Charles E, at Yonge, 416-935- 0240, wish­into Sis­ter to nearby 7 West and the newly minted Smith, this swanky South Beach­style resto-lounge oozes so­phis­ti­ca­tion on a chic white- on-white curb­side ter­race. Week­end brunch, too.

WOODY’S 467 Church, at Mait­land, 416-972- 0887,

woodys­ Ever watched Queer As Folk? Then you’ll know what Woody’s looks like from the street. Sadly, inside is noth­ing like TV. In­stead, this ram­bling room has sev­eral stand-up bars and pool ta­bles, and hosts a weekly Best Chest contest. M

ZIPPERZ/CELL­BLOCK 72 Carl­ton, at Church, 416-921- 0066, zip­perz­cell­ Two bars in one! Sing along to Broad­way show tunes in the old-school pi­ano bar com­plete with work­ing fire­place, or dance the night away on a stain­less steel dance floor in the ad­ja­cent disco. M



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 the city. More cheap beer

and shots of rotgut soju help deaden the heat. Thurs­day to Satur­day noon to 2 am, Sun­day 5 pm to 2 am.


555 Church, at Dun­don­ald, 416-324-8463. Funky lun­cheonette in the for­mer Five Alarm fea­tures in­ex­pen­sive all-day Molly Wood break­fasts, burg­ers and hot open-faced sand­wiches. Thurs­day and Fri­day 7 am to 10 pm, Satur­day 9 am to 10 pm, Sun­day 9 am to 10 pm.

CREPE IT UP 507-1/2 Church, at Welles­ley, 416-916-3558, After be­ing shut­tered for a lengthy ren­o­va­tion, this health- con­scious creperie is now twice the size, hav­ing ex­panded into the old Pita Pan space next door. The menu’s larger, too, and cur­rently in­cludes the café’s sig­na­ture crepes, freshly roasted cof­fee and house-baked Greek pas­tries like ad­dic­tively lick­able louk­oumades honey balls. Thurs­day to Sun­day 8 am till late. Un­li­censed.


1033 Bay, at Ir­win, 416-923-8784. Fancy some of the tasti­est – and prici­est!– dim sum in town in an over-the-top set­ting that’s best de­scribed as Ver­sace does Ver­sailles? Servers in French maid cos­tumes and Strauss waltzes on the sound sys­tem only add to the lux­ury. Show up early or wait in the in­evitable queue. Thurs­day and Fri­day 10 am to 4 pm, Satur­day and Sun­day 9 am to 4 pm.

DARVISH 508 Yonge, at Mait­land, 416-929-8893, darvis

hrestau­ For­merly Tem­pus, this cozy Per­sian bistro gets its rep for mezes-like starters, char-broiled ke­babs and chicken fe­s­en­joon in nutty pomegranate sauce. Thurs­day and Fri­day 11:30 am to 11 pm, Satur­day 2 to 11 pm, Sun­day noon to 10 pm.

ETHIOPIAN HOUSE 4 Ir­win, at Yonge, 416-923-5438, ethiopi­ 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! Thurs­day to Sun­day noon to mid­night, bar till 2 am

FABARNAK 519 Church, at Dun­don­ald, 416-355- 6781, 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? Thurs­day 7:30 am to 9 pm, lunch from 11:30 am, din­ner from 5 pm. Closed Fri­day. Brunch Satur­day and Sun­day 9 am to 3 pm, din­ner Satur­day only 5 to 9 pm. Un­li­censed.

GHAZALE ON WELLES­LEY E 78 Welles­ley E, at Church, 416-922- 4417, Up­stairs from a bath­house, this whole­some fam­ily-run Mid­dle East­ern take-away of­fers an ex­tremely in­ex­pen­sive and rel­a­tively health- con­scious card in fast-food- chain digs. Skip the mi­crowaved falafel and dig into mostly veg­gie nir­vana. Also: 661 Col­lege, at Beatrice, 416534-7441; 504 Bloor W, at Bathurst, 416-5374417. Thurs­day to Satur­day 9 am to 4 am, Sun­day 10 am to 4 am

Un­li­censed. Cash only.

GINGER ON CHURCH 546 Church, at Welles­ley, 416- 413-1053, gin­ger­cui­ Dead cheap Viet­namese and Thai-style veg­gie-friendly noo­dle dishes in a ca­sual self-serve cafe­te­ria set­ting. Also: 695

Yonge, at Charles, 416-966-2424; 252 Carl­ton, at Par­lia­ment, 416-923-7979; 521 Bloor W, at Bor­den, 416-536-3131; 212 Queen W, at Dun­can, 416-977-8778. Thurs­day 11 am to mid­night, Fri­day and Satur­day 11 am to 4 am, Sun­day 11 am to 1 am (Church). GOURMET BURGER COMPANY ON CHARLES W 9 Charles W, at Yonge, 647-351- 6408, the­gour

met­burg­ 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. Also: 482 Par­lia­ment, at Carl­ton, 647-344-5103. Thurs­day and Fri­day 11 am to 10 pm, Satur­day 11:30 am to 10 pm, Sun­day noon to 9 pm (Charles). Un­li­censed.

GUU 398 Church, at McGill, 416-977- 0999, guu-iza­ Like to be ver­bally abused in a for­eign lan­guage while eat­ing din­ner? Then this in­sanely popular and ex­tremely noisy Ja­panese-Korean hy­brid iza­kaya just south of the vil­lage should do the trick. Also: 559 Bloor W, at Bathurst, 647-3431101, Thurs­day 5 pm to mid­night. Fri­day to Sun­day 4 pm to mid­night.

KAISEKI-SAKURA 556 Church, at Welles­ley, 416-9231010, kaisek­ For Pride week­end, chef Daisuke Izutsu ditches his stun­ning $100-plus tast­ing menus based on 16th-cen­tury Zen tea cer­e­monies in favour of a more mod­er­ately priced iza­kaya-in­spired ta­pas card – chicken kara-age, skew­ered yak­i­tori – start­ing at four bucks a pop. Fri­day to Sun­day 11 am to 2 am.


517 Yonge, at Mait­land, 416-924-5787, kath­man­durestau­ Friendly all-you­can- eat north In­dian lunch buf­fet right in the mid­dle of the pa­rade. $11.99 Thurs­day and Fri-

day 11:30 am to 3 pm, $12.99 Satur­day noon to 3 pm. A la carte menu Thurs­day to Satur­day 5:30 to 10:30 pm, Sun­day 11:30 am to 10 pm.

MAGIC OVEN ON WELLES­LEY 6 Welles­ley W, at Yonge, 416-929-7888, magi­ Health- con­scious pizza ‘n’ pasta in a cozy room just off Yonge. Pair that gluten-free pie with a gluten-free beer! Daily 11 am to 11 pm.

MASA 15 Charles E, at Yonge, 416-920-3388, hrg88.

com. All-you- can- eat sushi for as lit­tle as $10.99 might not sound like an ap­pe­tiz­ing propo­si­tion, but this mod­er­ately priced Ja­panese spot makes ev­ery­thing to or­der. Make the mis­take of or­der­ing too much and you’ll pay ex­tra for what you didn’t fin­ish. Daily 11 am to 3 pm, 5 to 11 pm.


450 Yonge, at Col­lege, 416-934-1480. Ridicu­lously af­ford­able jerk chicken with rice ‘n’ peas, mas­sive veg­e­tar­ian roti and din­ner com­bos. Thurs­day to Satur­day 11 to 11 pm, Sun­day 11 am to 9 pm. Un­li­censed.

7 WEST CAFÉ 7 Charles W, at Yonge, 416-928-9041, 7west­ 24-hour resto-lounge with tiny street-side deck and third-floor rooftop aerie.

SIZZLERS 460 Yonge, at Col­lege, 416-966- 4714, siz­zler­ Diner-style burg­ers, French fries and Greek sal­ads on the Yonge Street strip. And they de­liver from 5 pm till clos­ing! Daily 11 am to 4 am. Un­li­censed.


637 Yonge, at Is­abella, 647- 436-9943. This sushi resto brings your sup­per to ta­ble via a 62-me­tre con­veyor belt. Grab what­ever you like, stack up the empty colour- coded plates to tally the bill once you’re done and you’re in ‘n’ out for un­der 20 bucks in less than 30 min­utes. Thurs­day to Satur­day 11:30 am to 11 pm, Sun­day 12:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Un­li­censed.

YO­GURT SPOON 573 Yonge, at Welles­ley, 416-966-1881, face­­gurt­spoon. Re­cently launched

DIY self-serve Pinkberry frozen yo­gurt clone. Thurs­day and Fri­day noon to 11 pm, Satur­day noon to mid­night, Sun­day noon to 11 pm Un



522A Yonge, at Welles­ley, 416-921-5158. No frills food- court-style Korean grilled kalbi ribs and noo­dle sides. Daily 11 am to 11 pm. Un



BARN 418 Church, at Granby, 416-593-9696, theb

arn­night­ Sweaty three-storey dance palace in an old Vic­to­rian with a sec­ond-floor chill deck. M

BISHOP AND THE BELCHER 175 Bloor E, at Church, 416-591-2352, bish­opand­ Pub grub and combo plat­ters on a wrap­around high-rise ter­race.

BLACK EA­GLE 457 Church, at Mait­land, 416- 413-1219, black

ea­gle­ Toronto’s only leather bar – un­less you count the Bovine – at­tracts the BDSM crowd for cruisy year-round bar­be­cues on the rooftop deck ev­ery Satur­day from 5 to 11 pm and Sun­day 3 to 9 pm.

BLAKE HOUSE 449 Jarvis, at Mait­land, 416-975-1867,

the­blake­ 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, bou­tique­ 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, brown­ Pasta, pizza ’n’ panini in an in­for­mal bistro set­ting right on the pa­rade route.

BYZAN­TIUM 499 Church, at Welles­ley, 416-922-3859, byz.

ca. The up­scale cock­tail lounge opens to the street, mak­ing it one of the vil­lage’s prime cruis­ing zones. Un­usu­ally good grub for the nabe and a gazil­lion dif­fer­ent types of mar­too­nis. M


538 Church, at Welles­ley, 416-960- 6161.

Ta­pas and san­gria next to the for­mer Zelda’s.

CARO­LINE’S 554 Par­lia­ment, at Amelia, 416-927-1593, car­o­li­nes­din­ Cab­bage­town’s Big Mamma’s Boy gets a new name and man­age­ment but keeps its health-con­scious card of lo­cally sourced mains and funky back­yard deck. Lots of gluten-free op­tions and week­end brunch, too.

CHURCHMOUSE & FIRKIN 475 Church, at Mait­land, 416-927-1735, firk­in­ Pub grub and pints at the cen­tre of the ac­tion.

COCINA LUCERO 523 Yonge, at Mait­land, 416-923- 4545, cocina Mex­i­can restau­rant with leafy pa­tio and a front-row view of the Pa­rade. If you stand on a lad­der.

FIRE ON THE EAST SIDE 6 Glouces­ter, at Yonge, 416-960-3473, fire­on­theeast­ Smart resto-lounge in the for­mer Fen­ton’s of­fers brunch Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day from 10 am. M

FUZION 580 Church, at Dun­don­ald, 416-944-9888, fuz

ion­ex­pe­ri­ Now that Zelda’s flown the coop for new digs on Yonge, this stylish sup­per club cum mar­tini lounge gets the crown for the Vil­lage’s most swelle­gant scene. The South Beach vibe, bot­tle ser­vice and trendy ta­pas keep the riff-raff at bay on the other side of the rail­ing. M

HAIR OF THE DOG 425 Church, at Wood, 416-964-2708, hairofthe­do­g­ Two-storey wa­ter­ing hole across from the for­mer Maple Leaf Gar­dens.


585 Church, at Charles, 416-923-7267. de­pen­dent cof­fee house of­fers al fresco all­day break­fasts and bar­be­cue all week­end from 11 am. Un­li­censed.

LO­CAL 4 4 Dun­don­ald, at Yonge, 416-915- 0113, lo­cal4re­laxs­ta­ Week­end brunch and great pa­rade sight­lines.

LO’LA MAR­TI­NIS 7 Mait­land, at Yonge, 416-920- 0946, lo­la­mar South Beach-style cock­tail lounge close to the vil­lage and just off the pa­rade route, with a lineup of over 80 mar­ti­nis.

LOLA’S COM­MIS­SARY 634 Church, at Hay­den, 416-966-3991, lo­las

com­mis­ Popular lunch and brunch spot in a ram­bling Vic­to­rian with a curb­side deck at the top of the strip. Thurs­day and Fri­day 8 am to 9 pm, Satur­day and Sun­day 10 am to 9 pm. M

O’GRADY’S 518 Church, at Mait­land, 416323-2822, For­merly Os­car’s, the bar that dared not speak its name, this stu­dent­friendly suds par­lour has a late-night kitchen serv­ing above-av­er­age burg­ers on a huge multi-level deck. M

PI-TOM’S 6A Alexan­der, at Yonge, 416-966-1813, pi-tom. com. Pad Thai on a curb­side gar­den ter­race close to Bud­dies and the pa­rade.

STATLER’S 487 Church, at Mait­land, 647-351- 0957, statler­son­ No longer BLU – or LUB, for that mat­ter – this two-storey show bar fea­tures nightly cabaret acts and an up­stairs deck with un­par­al­leled sight­lines.

SUGO 582 Church, at Dun­don­ald, 416-929-9108,

sug­o­trat­to­ No longer the im­pos­si­ble-topro­nounce Voglie, this un­ex­pect­edly pol­ished two-storey Ital­ian trat and lounge sports two pa­tios, one up front cheek-to- cheek with the Fuzion cock­tail crowd, the sec­ond a gar­gan­tuan grotto out back. M


477 Church, at Mait­land, 416-961- 0616. Generic Dan­forth-style Greek resto. Ask for ta­ble 26, the vil­lage’s peak peo­ple-watch­ing perch.

ZELDA’S LIV­ING WELL 692 Yonge, at St Mary, 416-922-2526, zel­ The liquored-up trailer trash queen re­turns to her orig­i­nal digs with a vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal lineup of drag queens, cheap drinks and dirty bingo in an ex­tremely se­cluded back­yard.

Snack on the pa­tio out­side the ram­bling Vic­to­rian that houses Lola’s Com­mis­sary.

Chow down 24/ 7 at 7 West Café.

Get ready for crowds at the popular Guu Iza­kaya. Ma­sura Oga­sawara, man­ager

Iza­kaya-in­spired ta­pas card at Kaiseki-Sakura is one of the best food op­tions on Church.

Chef Peter McKnight serves up his pork chop with red eye gravy and mash at Wish.

Hair of the Dog’s Michelle Chee toasts Pride. Get one of the best views of the fes­tiv­i­ties at Statler’s.

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