Raise a glass on King West

NOW Magazine - SuiteLife - - Suite Life - SARAH PARNIAK

Here’s where to drink up on the strip Tucked un­der Los Colib­ris is El Ca­bal­lito ( 220 King West, 416- 628-9838, el­ca­bal­lito.ca), a clubby, tequila- cen­tric taco den. If nov­elty som­breros and plas­tic mara­cas don’t in­trigue, book a pri­vate tequila tast­ing to ex­plore the won­ders of agave. The clev­erly named El Pa­tio is now open.

Just east of Spad­ina is Bar Hop ( 391 King West, 647-352-7476, barhop­bar.com), a prime spot to en­joy a crisp pint or cool cask ale from lo­cal, lauded and indie brew­ers. It’s al­ways packed, so ar­rive early (it opens at noon ev­ery day) and stake out ter­ri­tory at the bar or on the tiny front pa­tio. If you must wait, at least do it with a beer in hand.

If you pre­fer grapes to hops, head to Crush (455 King West, 416-977-1234, crush­winebar. com), one of the best in the ’hood (or the city). Cater­ing to a pol­ished condo crowd, Crush pours over 50 wines by the glass and of­fers ro­tat­ing, sea­son­ally in­spired flights, sim­pli­fy­ing ad­ven­tures in va­ri­etals and re­gions. Swing by on a sunny af­ter­noon to split a bot­tle (there are hun­dreds to choose from) on the quaint, leafy pa­tio.

As your sun-soaked af­ter­noon be­comes aperitivo hour, head to Bar Buca ( 75 Port­land, 416- 599-2822, buca.ca) for cock­tails, more wine and shared plates. It’s open su­per- early (from 7 am all week) for cap­puc­cino kick­starters and sub­lime pastries till very late ( 2 am) should you find your­self in need of an amaro-laced nightcap.

Glut­tons for deep-fried Amer­i­cana should march around the cor­ner and up to Home of

the Brave ( 589 King West, 416-366-2736, the­hotb.com) for slutty food, spiked slushies and boozy cock­tails from the folks be­hind taco dy­nasty and mar­ket­ing marvel La Car­nita. The per­fect stopover be­fore a night of Jäger Bombs in club­land or, hope­fully, less trashy pas­tures. Head to King West sta­ple 2 Cats Cock­tail

Lounge ( 569 King West, 416-204- 6261, 2cats. ca) for a night of whole­some, old-school de­bauch­ery. Run­ning 12 years strong, 2 Cats is for cheap drinks and sloppy par­ties to a 70s, 80s and 90s sound­track. Take the “Cock­tail” in the name loosely and stick to in­nocu­ous mixed drinks and shots, shots, shots, shots.

End the night at Phar­macy (1318 King West) a one­time methadone clinic re­opened as a cozy, no-frills dive bar by beloved T.O. bar­tender Chris Harper. At this point in the night, I pre­scribe the soul balm bet­ter known as beer, whisk(e)y and a few good pals – three things Phar­macy’s all about.

Ar­rive early to get a spot at Bar Hop.

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