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10 amazing Toronto patio escapes


Pull up a chair at one of Toronto’s best patios

TORONTO, ON., July 9, 2020 — Patio season is finally here in Toronto. COVID-19 has forced most restaurants to adjust their seating, but that hasn’t stopped locals from coming out and supporting their favourite eatery.

So grab a cold drink and check out our list of some of the best patios in Toronto.

Allen’s is a popular New York style bar located in Riverdale. Their cool patio is is a popular inviting place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Danforth. Instagram photo by @allensdanforth

Allen’s Danforth

A Toronto favourite since 1987, Allen’s offers one of the finest bar selections in the city with 340 whiskies and more than 100 VQA wines and 140 beers. Allen’s prides itself on offering Ontario farmed and grown produce with many organic selections. Reservations are encouraged and seating is limited to two hours.

Location: 143 Danforth Avenue

Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 11 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am to 11 pm.

Reservations: www.allens.to

The Drake Sky Yard patio provides a lovely escape that is almost always happening, with a lofty vantage point above west Queen West. Instagram: @thedrake

The Drake Sky Yard

Enjoy a drink at the 360 degree bar in the heart of downtown Toronto. Known for both cocktails and a rotating art collection, Drake Sky Yard is a blend of chic and cafeteria.

A fresh, locally-sourced menu prepared by the Drake Commissary adds an appetizing pairing to the extensive drinks menu. Don’t forget to join them for weekend brunch or take a break from the bustle of downtown with a dessert treat from the sweet endings menu.

Location: 1150 Queen Street West

Hours: Sunday through Thursday 8am to 11pm; Friday and Saturday 8am to 2 am.

Reservations: www.thedrake.ca

“Il Patio Di Eataly by Aperol” opened at Bay and Bloor Street July 10, outside Eataly Toronto.

Eataly “Il Patio Di Eataly by Aperol”

A new patio was born in the wake of COVID-19 at Eataly. The popular Italian favourite was forced to close their indoor restaurants earlier this year, but now they are brightening the sidewalk at the corner of Bay and Bloor with Il Patio Di Eataly by Aperol. Enjoy homemade pizza, pasta and delectable desserts with a colourful Aperol theme starting Friday, July 10th. Take a bit of Italy home after your meal by stopping in the main grocery store for even more amazing food choices.

Location: Manulife Centre 55 Bloor Street West

Hours: Daily 12 p.m.-9 p.m

Reservations: www.eataly.ca

Located in Liberty Village, one of Toronto’s hottest patio destinations with the Local, Big Rock, Craft, Williams Landing and more, the Brazen Head, a longtime hangout for creatives and TFC fans, has a massive patio (perfect for physical distancing) and pub style fare in the middle of all the action. Instagram photo.

Brazen Head Irish Pub

Enjoy the taste of Ireland at Brazen Head. Offering a selection of pub favourites in a casual sunlit setting, Brazen Head is the perfect place to unwind after work. Daily specials keep food choices interesting and allow guests to experience a world of drink options.

Location: 165 East Liberty Street

Hours: Daily 10:30 am to 10pm
Reservations: www.fabrestaurants.ca/restaurant/brazen-head/

Located in swanky Yorkville, Sofia’s patio is the ultimate destination for fine dining in style. Instagram photo.

Sofia Restaurant and Bar

Surround yourself in elegance in the heart of Yorkville at Sofia. Known for their refined Italian menu and sophisticated cocktail menu designed by Nishan Nepulagoda, Sofia is the ultimate destination for fine dining in style. Guest favourites include east and west coast oysters served with white balsamic mignonette; poached Atlantic lobster, crisp pancetta, taleggio in lemon aioli or enjoy Tartufo for Two featuring milk chocolate and caramel, salted dark chocolate, mascavado ice Cream and a cocoa crumble

Location: 99 Yorkville Ave

Hours: Lunch Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 3pm; Dinner at 5pm; Brunch Sunday 10:30am to 3pm

Reservations: www.sofiayorkville.com

The Pilot ‘The Flight Deck’ is a another popular Yorkville patio. So popular, the Mayor dropped by recently.
Great stop in from our friend Mayor @johntory!

The Pilot ‘The Flight Deck’

Another Yorkville favourite, The Pilot’s storied restaurant has been attracting diners since 1944. Meet your friends on ‘The Flight Deck’ where cool breezes and cold drinks welcome guests. The Pilot menu features sophisticated casual food including ginger beef, Asian dumplings and smoked salmon flatbread.

Location: 22 Cumberland Street

Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30am to 2am; Saturday 12pm to 2am; Sunday 12pm to 1am.

Reservations: www.thepilot.ca

Cabana Pool Bar (lead photo) is Toronto’s largest outdoor patio. the Miami style cabana bar offers an exotic menu with unsurpassed views of the city. Instagram photo

Cabana Pool Bar

Take a seat at Toronto’s largest outdoor restaurant and patio. Home to one of the city’s most exciting and exotic menus, guests can enjoy a mix of traditional summer-fare available in both vegetarian and gluten free options like loaded cabana nachos, mango green dragon maki or barbecue cauliflower. Make sure to reserve early to enjoy lakeview and pool cabanas for you and “your social bubble” .

Location: 11 Polson Street

Hours: Open daily 12pm to 11pm

Reservations: www.cabanapoolbar.com

The beer garden at Muddy York Brewing won’t look as busy as this due to the pandemic but its huge selection of craft brews and delicious cheeses will assure that it still will be the place to be this summer. Instagram photo

Muddy York Brewing

Looking to enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day? Muddy York Brewing offers up one of the areas largest selection of craft beers. Take a seat in the Beer Garden and discover a homebrewed IPA or traditional lager. Muddy York Brewing has built a reputation of excellence on developing creative blends such as Staring Down The Sun Clementine Sour, Major Small Best Bitter and Gaslight Helles Lager. Don’t forget to try one of their 100% Canadian cheese boards to pair with your favourite drink.

Location: 22 Cranfield Road

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 8pm; Sunday to Tuesday 11am to 6pm

Reservations: www.muddyyorkbrewing.com

Hemingways has no fewer than three rooftop patio settings, making it expansive for physical distancing. It also offers great people watching as it overlooks the streets of Yorkville. Instagram photo

Hemingways, Yorkville

One of the first patios to open in the city, Hemingways offers traditional pub fare with a New Zealand flair. During COVID-19 Hemingways is also offering barbecue and drinks to go including the super refreshing raspberry-mint lemonade during their “COVID Take Out Hours” Monday to Sunday from 4pm to 10pm. The perfect way to beat the heat. Or visit them on the upper patio for a classic breakfast or one of the daily specials. Don’t forget, kids get their own menu!

Location: 142 Cumberland Street

Hours: Monday to Friday 11am to 2am; Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2 am.

Reservations: www.hemingways.to

Cantina Mercatto is a 5-minute walk from Union Station. It’s a great place to gain serenity and enjoy a cocktail before hopping on the GO.

Cantina Mercatto

A perfect place for lunch, an early dinner or afternoon cocktails, Cantina Mercatto is inspired by sprawling vineyards and coastal Italian resorts. Their patio Cantina’s menu speaks to the continued evolution of both the traditional and familiar, paired with creative libations, classic cocktails and a curated mix of flowing wines.

Location: 20 Wellington St. E

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 8pm.

Reservations available online: www.cantina.mercatto.ca

story by Sarah McGoldrick

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